Sex Offender Registration and Notification Unit
How does the notification process work? Who is notified and how?
First it is important to explain that legally we cannot notify the public of every offender. We can only notify of Tier III and Tier II Offenders with notification specifications. To find information about offenders that do not require public notification the public must request it from our office. This web site was developed to make that process more convenient. When an offender registers an address (Residential and Employment), Deputies are assigned to confirm his residence/employment. Once, we confirm the offender’s residence/employment we attempt to make personal contact with all neighbors whose property is directly adjacent to that of the offender. We then prepare mailings, which consist of a post card listing the offender’s pertinent information including a picture of the offender. Those mailings are sent to all addresses within a one-thousand foot radius of the offender’s home/place of employment and to all schools and registered day cares within one mile. The Board of Education, Catholic Dioceses, and the local police are also notified.
How are notifications handled in multi-unit buildings?
The state defines a multi-unit building as a building with more than 12 residential units that have entry doors that open directly into the unit from a hallway that is shared with one or more units. In this instance a notice will be given to the building or condominium manager and the notice should be posted in each common entryway.
I just found out a sex offender lives in my community and I wasn’t notified. Why not?
There are a few reasons this can occur:
- Offender’s classification is not one that allows public notification. (See question #1 paragraph 1)
- You live outside of the one thousand foot notification radius. (See question #1 paragraph 2)
- The offenders crime occurred prior to July 1st 1997 (See question #5)
How are the offenders classified?
Under Senate Bill 10, commonly referred to as The Adam Walsh Act, offender classifications are based on the offense they were convicted of. Each qualifying offense is assigned a pre-determined tier level. For example, An individual convicted of rape of a child under the age of 13 years of age is automatically classified as a Tier III Offender.
I know of a sex offender who is not on your website. Why not?
Only persons convicted of a sexual offense after July 1st 1997 or those still in state custody at that time are required to register. If the person had been charged with a sex offense and had completed their sentence prior to the above date they are not required to register.
What is the purpose of your website?
The purpose of our website is public awareness in accordance to what is commonly known as “Megan’s Law.” In July of 1994, seven year old Megan Kanka of Hamilton, NJ was raped and murdered by a convicted sex offender who lived in her neighborhood unbeknownst to the community. Approximately ninety percent (90%) of all sex crimes against children, the offender KNOWS the victim. Our website was designed as a means to provide parents and communities with information concerning all offenders living in the county, so that they can discuss this important topic with their children and hopefully prevent another tragedy.
Why are there multiple offenders listed at one address?
There are a few reasons this can occur:
- We do have some sex offenders who share residences. There are also offenders who are related to other offenders.
- Some offenders are sentenced or committed to residential treatment facilities including halfway houses and nursing homes which are exempt from ORC 2950.031.
- The address is a homeless shelter
- The address is a residence recognized by the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections that houses recent parolees.
Can the offender be around children? Schools?
Unless the offender is currently on a form of community control (i.e. probation or parole) and the conditions of that control prohibits it, the offender has the same rights as any other citizen.
I checked your web site and it says that a sex offender lives two doors down from me! I have NEVER seen him there and know the family. If your site says he lives there but I know he doesn’t, then where is he/she?
While we strive to maintain the most accurate information on our site there is always the possibility we have been misled. If we are able to determine that the offender purposely misled our office he/she can be charged with a crime. We welcome your information and encourage public involvement. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have knowledge that one of the offenders on your site has died. How can I get his/her information removed from your list?
Contact our office and we will request confirmation from the Bureau of Vital Statistics or the Coroners Office. Please DO NOT send obituaries or death certificates we cannot accept them from the public. Email us at:email@example.com
I own an apartment building/business. One of my ex-tenants/ex-employees is on your Sex Offender list, but he/she is still listed as living/working at my building/business. How can I have my address removed from your list?
Contact our office with the information. We will ask you to fill out a signed statement informing us that the information provided by the offender is incorrect. This will allow us to remove an address and file charges against the offender. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
While reviewing your site I noticed that one of the offenders lists a residence in my neighborhood as his/her place of employment. How is this possible?
It is not uncommon for an individual to operate a business from a home office. The nature of some businesses (i.e. construction, delivery service, etc.) requires an employee to report to various locations throughout the county on a daily or even an hourly basis. It would be impractical or in some cases impossible to list every possible work site. We therefore list the address of the company itself.
Does my employer have to tell me if they have hired a sex offender?
No, an employer is not required to inform his/her employees. It is left to their discretion.
I thought Sex Offenders cannot live within 1,000 feet of a school, day care, park, or school bus stop, but I know one that does. Why aren’t you charging him/her with a crime?
Ohio Law States: § 2950.031. Residing within 1,000 feet of school premises prohibited; injunctive relief.
(A) No person who has been convicted of, is convicted of, has pleaded guilty to, or pleads guilty to either a sexually oriented offense that is not a registration-exempt sexually oriented offense or a child-victim oriented offense shall establish a residence or occupy residential premises within one thousand feet of any school premises.
(B) If a person to whom division (A) of this section applies violates division (A) of this section by establishing a residence or occupying residential premises within one thousand feet of any school premises, an owner or lessee of real property that is located within one thousand feet of those school premises, or the prosecuting attorney, village solicitor, city or township director of law, similar chief legal officer of a municipal corporation or township, or official designated as a prosecutor in a municipal corporation that has jurisdiction over the place at which the person establishes the residence or occupies the residential premises in question, has a cause of action for injunctive relief against the person. The plaintiff shall not be required to prove irreparable harm in order to obtain the relief.
Currently, Ohio law does not allow Sex Offenders to reside within 1,000 feet of a school. It DOES NOT forbid offenders from living near day cares, parks, bus stops, etc. The law DOES NOT establish a criminal penalty for violations; therefore Law Enforcement CANNOT arrest or prosecute violators. Instead, violations are handled through civil proceedings. The prosecutor/law director of the affected community must file in their local court for injunctive relief, which is essentially a court order instructing the offender to relocate. When an offender registers an address with our office we determine if it is in violation of O.R.C. 2950.031. If we find the address to be too close to a school we inform the offender of such and require them to sign a form stating that they have been made aware of the law, the fact that they are in violation, and the possible ramifications. We then compile a list of all violators within Cuyahoga County and make that list available to all police departments and cities in the county upon request.
How do you determine what a school is?
The Ohio Revised Code 2925.01 defines a “School” as: (Q) “School” means any school operated by a board of education or any school for which the state board of education prescribes minimum standards under section 3301.07 of the Revised Code, whether or not any instruction, extracurricular activities, or training provided by the school is being conducted at the time a criminal offense is committed.
How do you measure the 1,000 foot distance?
The distance is measured from the property line of the school to the property line of the offender’s residence. In conjunction with the Cuyahoga County Auditors Office we have developed a mapping program capable of determining a 1,000 foot radius from any address in Cuyahoga County.