A recent Grand Rapids investigation into just whose name is on the Michigan sex offender registry and whether those people are really predators revealed some disturbing statistics.
The Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry (PSOR), which is designed to inform the public about “sexual predators” in their neighborhood, places anyone who is convicted of a Michigan sex offense on the registry. Nearly 1900 names from Kent County alone are on the list. Once on the registry, a person’s name may be there for several years to life.
If you have been charged with any Michigan sex crime, it is crucial to contact an experienced sex crimes defense lawyer to provide a vigorous defense and keep your name off the list.
While some people who are the list could be considered “predators” and dangerous, many others are not. As stated in the Target 8 investigation “[w]ith few details about why a sex offender is on the list, it’s difficult to determine who might be a predator and who is not a danger.”
In fact, many youthful offenders’ names are placed on the list after having consensual sex with another teen. In one case, a 17 year old was convicted of statutory rape of a 15 year-old-girl who had consented to the encounter. His name will remain there for 25 years, well after completion of his 2-year probation sentence. He continues to suffer daily set backs as the result of his listing – including not being able to get into the military, not being able to find work, and not being able to be involved in after-school activities with his sons.
Such a result is unjust. As Kent County Circuit Judge Paul Sullivan states, placement of a person’s name on the list for minor offenses in some cases nearly constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment.”
Michigan has until summer to comply with the Adam Walsh Act, which separates sex offenders into 3 tiers based on the seriousness of their convictions. Even if Michigan does comply and makes these changes, it is still crucial to fight to keep your name off this list and avoid the stigma and significant consequences attached.
For more information, or if you have been charged with any Michigan sex crime, contact the experienced Michigan sex crimes defense lawyers at Grabel & Associates for a free consultation.