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Criminal Defense, Sex Crimes

What are the Different Tiers of Ohio’s Sex Offender Registry?

In 1994, Congress passed the Wetterling Act, House Resolution 324, which required all states to establish sex offender registries. Two years later, the Act was amended by House Resolution 2137, known as Megan’s Law, which then required states to provide relevant information about sex offenders to the public.

Under Ohio law, offenders are classified on a tier level system from 1 to 3, based on their conviction. Ohio sex offenders are required to provide their local Sheriff’s office with certain information that can be accessed through the Electronic Sex Offender Registration and Notification (eSORN) database. This information includes criminal history, home address, identifying characteristics, photo and fingerprints, work address, and vehicle information.

Tier 1 Sex Offenders are required to register every 12 months over a period of 15 years. However, time can be reduced if the individual does not commit any additional sex offenses or felonies, completes sex offender treatment, and, successfully finishes probation or parole.

  • Ohio convictions that fall under Tier 1 include, child enticement with sexual motivation, gross sexual imposition, illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, importuning, menacing by stalking with sexual motivation, pandering obscenity, sexual imposition, unlawful restraint with sexual motivation, and voyeurism.

Tier 2 Sex Offenders are required to register every 180 days over a period of 25 years. Currently, and unlike Tier 1 registration, no legal mechanism exists for the early termination of Tier 2 (and Tier 3) registration.

  • Ohio convictions that fall under Tier 2 include, any sexual offense that occurs after the offender has been classified as a Tier 1 offender, child endangering, compelling prostitution, gross sexual imposition (victim under 13 years of age), illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, kidnapping with sexual motivation, pandering obscenity involving a minor, pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor when the offender is at least four years older than the victim or when the offender is less than four years older and has no prior conviction for the alleged crime.

Tier 3 Sex Offenders are required to register every 90 days for life and are subject to a community notification which provides residents who live within 1,000 feet information about their offense and residence.

  • Ohio convictions that fall under Tier 3 include, felonious assault with sexual motivation, kidnapping of a minor not by parent and/or to engage in sexual activity, murder and aggravated murder with sexual motivation, rape, sexual battery, and unlawful death or termination of pregnancy as a result of committing or attempting to commit a felony with sexual motivation.

Today, there are over 780,000 national sex offenders and 18,000 are Ohioans. Brad Wolfe is a Cleveland Sex Crimes defense lawyer. If you have been charged with a sex crime, are under investigation, or have questions about Ohio’s sex registry, please call (216) 815-6000 to speak with Brad today.

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