Thursday, August 14, 2008

4000 Ohio Sex Offenders Challenge Law OH Nearly 4000 Sex Offenders Challenge New Rules

WBNS TV Columbus: Updated: Thursday, August 7, 2008 7:21 AM

Nearly 4,000 convicted sex offenders in Ohio are challenging a bill that would redefine the way they are classified.

10TV News talked to a convicted sex offender, who asked not to be identified, who pleaded guilty to rape when he was 29 years old.

"I made a mistake," the man said. "Every day I pay for it, every day."

The man, now 56, has served time behind bars, completed counseling and was about two years from not having to register as a sex offender, 10TV's Andy Hirsh reported.

"It's almost there," he said. "The nightmare would be over."

He recently received a letter from the attorney general's office informing him that he was reclassified as a Tier III sex offender, the most severe type under the new law. It requires him to register his address every 90 days for the rest of his life. The man is also subject to community notification wherever he lives, works or goes to school.

"I started crying," the man told 10TV News. "I just couldn't believe it."

Nearly 4,000 other sex offenders across the state are challenging the new law, claiming they are being punished a second time for their crimes.

"They're saying, 'Hey, I entered my plea of guilty under these conditions, these rules, and now you're enhancing them,'" said Franklin County Judge Charles Schneider.

Schneider is one of many judges in the state trying to determine if it is fair, Hirsch reported.

"Is it constitutional to change the rules as to this individual, from those that applied when he or she entered their plea?" Schneider said.

The sex offender 10TV News talked to said no.

"I'm being punished again, after my sentence is over," he said. "I'm being punished every day."

Schneider said he expects to have his decision on Senate Bill 10 cases by the end of August. It would be the first ruling in Franklin County. An appeals court in northern Ohio has ruled the new law is constitutional.

Link to read decision:

This is a good thing, but there are nearly 30,000 sex offenders in Ohio and all 30,000 must challenge! Get off your duffs!