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Sex offenders face arrest if they fail to register

Indiana State Police troopers from the Sellersburg post will begin checking Sexual Offender registries in Harrison, Floyd, Washington, Clark and Scott counties to make sure past sexual offenders are complying with the law.
Sgt. Jerry Goodin, public information officer for the ISP posts in Sellersburg and Seymour, said there are several reasons why they intend to check the registers.
‘First, it’s a state law,’ Goodin said. ‘It’s a law that needs to be enforced.’
Zachary’s Law, as it is called, went into effect Jan. 1, 2003. It requires all sex offenders, as defined by Indiana law, to register with the sheriff or chief of police in the jurisdiction where they live, work or study.
Another reason why the ISP wants to make sure sex offenders are properly registered, Goodin said, is ‘in light of recent events, in Indiana, Florida and other states, we feel like there may be a problem’ with offenders not complying.
‘Neighbors have a right to know if they are living next to a sex offender,’ he said.
Sexual offenders who have been convicted of attempting to commit or conspiring to commit, or who have committed the following crimes are required to register: rape, criminal deviate conduct, child molesting, child exploitation, vicarious sexual gratification, child solicitation, child seduction, sexual misconduct with a minor as a class A, B or C felony, incest, sexual battery, kidnapping (if the victim is younger than 18), and criminal confinement (if the victim is younger than 18).
Goodin said the law also applies to persons who have similar convictions in other states who live in or visit Indiana.
‘Failure to comply with this law is a class D felony,’ Goodin said, ‘which may be enhanced to a class C felony if there is a prior conviction for the same offense.’
Sexual offenders are told how to register, and they know they have to give notice if they move.
‘They have seven days to do so,’ Goodin said.
Indiana maintains a Web site (www.in.gov/cji) that lists all registered sexual offenders in the state. Information for the site comes from local jurisdictions where the offenders register. Harrison County has at least 70 registered offenders, and they live in just about every community of the county: Bradford, Central, Corydon, Crandall, Depauw, Elizabeth, Georgetown, Laconia, Mauckport, New Middletown, New Salisbury, Palmyra and Ramsey.
Goodin said state police troopers will track sexual offenders through local jurisdictions to see if they are at their last registered address.
‘If they’re not there, we’ll start an investigation,’ he said. ‘Some people may never have registered at all.’
Anyone with information on violators are urged to call the Indiana State Police at 1-800-872-6743.

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