(photo courtesy Stuart Miles and freedigitalphotos.net)
August 28, 2018 requirements are changing for sex offender registration in Missouri. The purpose of these changes is to get Missouri law more in tune with the Federal Sex Offender Registration Notification Act (SORNA). If you view the “Offender Registration” on our website, www.livcoso.org, you will now see each person is listed as either Tier I, Tier II, or Tier III.
Now Missouri law allows for at least the following:
Tier I registered offenders, being the lowest of the 3 levels, to register for a minimum of 15 years (589.400.4 RSMO) and shall register with the chief law enforcement officer (county sheriff) at least annually in the month of their birth. Tier I offenders may file a petition in the court of adjudication (county of conviction) for removal from the registry after 10 years if clean record removal is met (589.401.4)
Tier II registered offenders must register for 25 years and register with the county sheriff at least semiannually. Tier II offenders may petition the court of adjudication for removal from the registry following 25 years if clean record removal is met.
Tier III registered offenders must register for life and register with the county sheriff at least every 90 days. Tier III offenders are not eligible to file petition for removal from the sex offender registry, unless the requirement to register results from an adjudicated delinquent (juvenile) adjudication, after 25 years, and the clean record removal is met.
Tier I, II, and III offenders are still required to register whenever certain things change such as their address, employment, schooling, vehicles and so forth.
Any Tier I, II, or III offender who has a conviction of Failing to Register as a Sex Offender gets bumped up one Tier level and must comply with that level of requirements.
Currently the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) supervises 42 registered offenders in Livingston County. We have offenders on all 3 tier levels with this new law impacting several of our registered people while a few will have no changes.
The new law changes permit an avenue and encourages registered offenders to show they are lawful citizens and potentially be removed from the registration.
The difficult tasks this law placed on Missouri Sheriffs’ was to properly assign each offender to the proper tier level. Missouri sex crime laws have changed over the years and for example a person convicted of a certain sex offense 30 or more years ago may have been convicted under a statute number that no longer exists. Or we may have people who were convicted out of state and their specific crime and statute number does not exactly match Missouri law. In those cases we had to compare all possible Missouri statutes and also compare to Federal SORNA regulations which cover interstate registrations. Here our Captain and the Sheriff spent significant time in reviewing each case to ensure each registered offender has been placed in what we believe is the correct Tier level.
Sheriff Cox sent a letter to each of our 42 registered offenders and outlined specific information about the changes. If anyone including the registered offenders have questions about the new Missouri registration requirements they should speak with an attorney. You may also view the new Missouri law online which is 2018 Sex Offender Tiering Senate Bill NO. 655.
There are a few other more minor changes in the new law and that also takes effect August 28, 2018. In Livingston County most of our registered offenders are compliant, a few have been angry with us on the requirements to register, and fewer have attempted to not accurately report as required by law. The LCSO will continue with verifying registered offenders information as we believe it is an important part of keeping our community safe and informed.
Sheriff Steve Cox