Save Although you probably don't know it, chances are that you are living, working or going to school around someone who has been convicted of a sex crime. There are rapists and child molesters right in your midst, and not knowing about them could prove to be a very dangerous ignorance. According to the Indiana Sheriff's Association, there are such convicted people registered in the four-county area: They are scattered throughout the towns and countryside, and there aren't any local areas where one cannot be found.
The state of Indiana says its citizens have a right to know who these people are, where they are and what they look like. Zachary's Law, effective Jan. The law is named for Zachary Snider of Cloverdale, who was 10 years old when he was murdered by a convicted child molester in In more recent news, the man arrested for kidnapping North Dakota college student Dru Sjodin last month is a convicted rapist.
The year-old woman still has not been found, and authorities fear she is dead. Checking the sex offender registry should be as commonplace and widespread as locking the front door, putting on a seat belt, checking the expiration date or looking both ways before crossing the road. After all, it may be just as necessary for safety and prevention of harm. However, most local law enforcement officers believe that few people are taking the necessary steps to identify sex offenders near them.
Searches can be conducted by name, by county or by city. Clicking on the name of a sex offender provides searchers with a home address, description and photo, as well as information on when the offender was released from prison, when he registered with the local sheriff's department, where he works and what crime he committed.
DeKalb County has made a special effort to promote the registry, developing its own Web site with local registry information, as well as information on subjects with active arrest warrants against them. Its site can be found at http: Oberholtzer said that parents of young children, schools and day care centers show a special interest in keeping track of the location of sex offenders. The sex offender registry lists people convicted of rape, criminal deviate conduct, child molesting, child exploitation, vicarious sexual gratification, child solicitation, child seduction, sexual misconduct with a minor, incest, kidnapping a minor and criminally confining a minor, as well as similar out-of-state convictions, including sodomy and fondling.
In the four county area, Other types of convictions that are common to the area are sexual battery, The rest of the list is made up of a smattering of offenses ranging from criminal sexual conduct, rape and child solicitation to incest, indecent assault and possession of child pornography. Convicts are supposed to register with their local sheriff's departments within seven days of being released from prison. They are ordered to report any changes in their address or work information quickly and are made to re-register once a year.
Although many of the offenders simply accept the registry as a part of their sentence, police say some do not register and attempt to elude the authorities to avoid being posted on the Internet as a sex criminal. Clarkson said he thinks, on average, there are eight to 10 convicted sex offenders in LaGrange County who have not registered.
Due to a transient population of people who move back and forth between Michigan and LaGrange County and another who move between Noble County and LaGrange County, it's hard to pin them down. Authorities in other counties also say its unlikely that everyone who should be registered in their area is.
Sooner or later, we'll track them down," Leatherman said. I completely disagree with that because of the nature of the crime If they want to commit the crime, they have to pay the penalty, and this is part of it. All of the counties will pursue any leads they get about this type of evasion and they urge their communities to check the registry. If you see one of the listed offenders loitering in a place where children play or living at a different address than the one they have listed in the registry, call your sheriff's department.
Meanwhile, continue to check for updates to the sex offender registry and be cautious with strangers, according to Clarkson, who warns, "Always know where your children are. Know who's supervising your children. Do a little checking before leaving your children with someone.