Any politician running for office or police officer patrolling the street will likely say, “Utah’s sex offender registry keeps our children safe.” But an objective look at the data shows that the registry may not be having an actual affect on our children’s safety.

Numerous studies and reports have concluded the same thing: sex offenders have a low recidivism rate. (Jeffrey C. Sandler, Naomi J. Freeman, Kelly M. Socia: Does a Watched Pot Boil? A Time-Series Analysis of New York State’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Law (2008)). One study examined sex crime rates committed by first-time offenders as well as previously convicted offenders from 1986 through 2007 — the 10 years before New York enacted the Sex Offender Registration Act through 11 years after. Tellingly,the recidivism rates for the non-registry group and registry group were unchanged. This indicates that the sex offender registry did not have any impact on the prevention or reduction of sex crimes. The U.S. Department of Justice’s reported in 2004 that 95 percent of sex offenses are committed by first time offenders, or said another way, people with no prior conviction for a sex crime. This means that the sex offender registry doesn’t even affect 95% of all the crimes that it’s supposed to prevent.

The registry doesn’t serve as a deterrent to people committing sex crimes, it doesn’t reduce the number of sex crimes, and it doesn’t protect children or society at large. Unfortunately, politicians and police will continue to vouch for it’s effectiveness. More and more people will have to register their names on the list. The best way to stop this madness is to aggressively fight any sex crimes charge to prevent yourself from being put on the registry.

Utah Sex Offenders must register with the State of Utah. For example, a person convicted of Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor, a 3rd Degree Felony, must register for a 10 Year period of time after the probationary period. Other offenses such as Rape, a 1st Degree Felony, require a lifetime registration.

One of the most difficult aspects of an Utah sex offense conviction is being classified as a Felon and as a sex offender for employment purposes. Getting your life back on track after being convicted of Rape or Child Sex Abuse can be challenging. The following video offers some basic advice for Ex-Felons and Registered Sex Offenders who are seeking employment.

Online superstar Antoinne Dodson who is most notorious for his appearance on a local news broadcast warning people about a rapist in his neighborhood, which was spoofed by Auto Tune News is back to work (here). Dodson redeems himself, yet again, as he claims the title “spokesperson” for a new iphone and Android app that helps people locate sex offenders wherever they are.  This app would track Utah sex offenders.  In a harsh criminal justice system, this comedic spin might bring some laughter.

Utah’s sex offender registry (Utah Code Section 77-27-21.5) is one of the most expansive and encompassing registries in the United States.  It doesn’t just apply to people who have gone to prison for criminal sexual offenses.  It also applies to anyone who is on parole or who has completed parole within the last ten years.

Anyone who is convicted in Utah or enters a plea in abeyance in Utah for violating the following crimes must register for the sex offender registry:

  • Kidnapping: 76-5-301
  • Child kidnapping: 76-5-301.1
  • Aggravated kidnapping: 76-5-302
  • Unlawful detention: 76-5-304
  • Enticing a minor over the Internet: 76-4-401
  • Voyeurism: 76-9-702.7
  • Unlawful sexual activity with a minor: 76-5-401
  • Sexual abuse of a minor: 76-5-401.1
  • Unlawful sexual conduct with a 16 or 17 year old: 76-5-401.2
  • Rape: 76-5-402
  • Rape of a child: 76-5-402.1
  • Object rape: 76-5-402.2
  • Object rape of a child: 76-5-402.3
  • Forcible sodomy: 76-5-403
  • Sodomy on a child: 76-5-403.1
  • Forcible sexual abuse: 76-5-404
  • Sexual abuse of a child or aggravated sexual abuse of a child: 76-5-404.1
  • Aggravated sexual assault: 76-5-405
  • Sexual exploitation of a minor: 76-5a-3
  • Incest: 76-7-102
  • Lewdness involving a child: 76-9-702.5
  • Aggravated exploitation of prostitution: 76-10-1306
  • Attempting, soliciting, or conspiring to commit any felony offense listed above

If convicted of any of those crimes in Utah, you must also register when:

  • You are placed on probation
  • You are incarcerated by the Utah Department of Corrections
  • You are released from prison and put on parole
  • You escape (yes, when you escape you must register!)
  • You are put into or released from a community based residential program operated by the Utah Department of Corrections
  • Your probation period ends (when you aren’t incarcerated)

Utah law requires that you must register every year for ten years after the end of your sentence (meaning the end of your parole period or your involvement with the Department of Corrections).  Basically, the ten-year countdown starts after you get out of prison and after you finish parole.

It also requires that you register every time you move or change address.

As you can see, being convicted of a crime that puts you on Utah’s sex offender registry is serious business.  Your conviction will follow you long after you get out of prison (sometimes forever).  It is important to have a qualified attorney represent you if you are charged with any of the above mentioned crimes.

SONAR (Sex and Kidnap Offender Notification and Registration) aka Utah’s Sex Offender Registry requires many details from an offender in order to register:

  • Name
  • Aliases you use or have used
  • Physical Description Information
    • Current photo of offender
    • Age
    • Sex
    • Race
    • Hair
    • Height
    • Weight
    • Eye Color
    • Scar/Tattoos
  • Address and Other Known Addresses
  • Professional Licenses
  • Type of vehicle offender drives
  • Information on the crime that offender was convicted
    • Description of offense
    • Date convicted
    • Date released from prison
    • Details about offense
    • (Victim information is not listed)

Utah law states that “members of the public are not allowed to use the information to harass or threaten offenders or members of their families; and harassment, stalking, or threats against offenders or their families are prohibited and doing so may violate Utah criminal laws.”  Utah Code Section 77-27-21.5(24)(b-c).

If you are on Utah’s Sex Offender Registry and someone is harassing you, call the police.  If the police are unresponsive due to your status as a sex offender, call a qualified attorney that can help protect you from harassment.