Thursday, May 1, 2008
Thursday, 01 May 2008
State sex offender registry to include others Print E-mail
The Associated Press
Utah's sex-offender registry is expanding with the addition of people convicted of crimes that have nothing to do with sex.
Kidnapping has been added to the list of crimes that require registration, although there is an exception for parents convicted of taking their children.
Beginning Monday, the Utah Sex Offender Registry will require convicts to also provide more information.
"If the Web site says they have a red Ford and they paint it gray, we need to know that. I think these are common-sense issues," said Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clinton, who sponsored the law approved in the 2008 legislative session.
He said the changes are taken directly from federal mandates, but some critics are concerned that lawmakers have gone too far.
"The Legislature does some weird things. It's government as a reactionary body doing what it thinks will keep its constituency happy," said Roy Cole, a public defender in Ogden.
Cole said adding other crimes to the registry is a mistake. The new crimes are kidnapping, child kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping and unlawful detention.
"The first person who challenges that is going to win. How do they qualify as sex crimes?" Cole said. "The reality is [they] rarely have anything to do with sex. It's a false media stereotype you see on TV that someone down at the Legislature has bought into."
Utah's registry contains about 6,900 names. Half of the people are under active supervision by the state.
Under the new requirements, offenders must provide their license-plate numbers to other information, which includes the color, make and model year of their vehicles. Boats and planes must be reported.
Offenders must list any state licenses, ranging from medicine to private investigation. Offenders who volunteer at schools must name the school.
"It's government as a reactionary body doing what it thinks will keep its constituency happy." Roy Cole public defender