One of the most upsetting characteristics of the law with regard to convicted sex offenders is that even when they have completed a prison term, their punishment can continue in the form of having to comply with sex offender registration requirements.
As a recent case involving a man who was apparently living Tennessee demonstrates, the failure to comply with those requirements can have serious consequences.
The facts of the case involve a man who was convicted in 2008 of a sex crime involving a minor. After completing his prison sentence another state, he was supposed to comply with strict requirements to update his status with the registry every year or in the event of a move.
However, at one point he left that state and entered Tennessee, where he reportedly stayed for multiple months but failed to notify state authorities in either state of his sex offender status or his relocation.
In Tennessee, the law requires that anyone considered to be a sex offender has 40 hours after entering the state to register.
Law enforcement officials, upon learning that the man was not living at his claimed residence and had moved to Tennessee, asked for and received federal assistance in locating him again. U.S. Marshalls apprehended him in Kingsport, Tennessee.
Possibly because he was accused of violating sex offender registration laws in two states, the accused has been indicted in a Federal District Court in Greeneville. He has also been charged with multiple counts of burglary, theft and vandalism.
Sex offender registration requirements are matters that state governments take seriously, and failing to adhere to them can lead to aggressive prosecution on charges that can result in incarceration. Nonetheless, anyone accused of a crime in Tennessee is entitled to a legal defense and to vigorous representation by counsel, and is considered innocent until proven guilty.
Source: TimesNews, “Virginia man faces felony for failure to register as a sex offender,” Matthew Lane, Aug. 23, 2014