Community notification laws refer to the various laws in each state on which information regarding sex offenders is released to the public and to other organizations.
There are 32 states with laws that allow some type of notification, or access to information, on sex offenders.
They are generally broken down into the following categories:
- Broad community notification – This pertains to the states that allow the broad release of sex offender information to the general public. There are 13 states that allow broad community notification.
- Notification to organizations and people at risk – This tier of community notification involves notifying organizations and people who are vulnerable or at risk from a specific sex offender. There are eight states that enforce this type of community notification for sex offenders.
- Access to registration information – Under this tier, citizens and organizations are able to obtain sex offender information through local law enforcement agencies. There are 11 states with this type of community notification law on the books.
What are the community notification laws in Oklahoma?
In Oklahoma, the following rules apply to sex offender notification:
- Adult sex offenders are subject to the notification rules.
- The state maintains a statewide database of sex offenders.
- Sex offender registries are maintained by local law enforcement agencies.
- Registration information can only be released to public and private elementary schools, state licensed child care facilities and providers, and entities that provide services to children.
What information is included on the Oklahoma sex offender registry?
In Oklahoma, sex offenders are required to include the following information on their registries:
- Date of birth
- Eye color
- Social security number
- Driver’s license number
- Home address
- Description of offense.
It’s worth noting that child care facilities and other child service centers are not allowed to see the sex offender’s home address.
How does Oklahoma’s law measure up with other laws?
A recent analysis of state laws regarding sex offender community notification proved the following to be true:
- In most cases, sex offender notification is saved for the high-risk offenders or those who have been convicted of crimes against children.
- There are various methods for notifying the community, including press releases, flyers, newspaper ads and mailouts.
- The people who are notified usually learn the offender’s name, photo, approximate address, description of crime and age of the victim.
- Usually, the general public has access to the sex offender information, but Oklahoma is one of the few that only allows access to organizations that deal with children.
Do you have questions about sex offender community notification laws? Are you a sex offender who doesn’t understand the registry? Contact Jacquelyn Ford Law today for a consultation.
Brock Turner is a familiar name to those who have followed the news lately. The disgraced Stanford swimmer sexually assaulted an unconscious woman on campus, but only received a six month sentence.
His short sentence has been the subject of major controversy. Despite the prosecutor’s request for a much harsher sentence, the judge only sentenced Turner to six months. Outraged critics have suggested this is a prime example of lax policies on campus rape and overly lenient sentences for young, privileged, and wealthy whites.
We won’t be broaching those criticisms today, instead we’ll explore another factor that most likely played at least a small part in the sentencing.
In contrast to headlines and social media posts, under California’s laws Turner isn’t technically considered a rapist. California (and other states) has very specific laws that make distinction between sexual assault and rape.
WARNING THE FOLLOWING CONTENT IS GRAPHIC
Unless there is genital-to-genital contact, the crime is not considered rape in California. Since the DNA evidence showed no signs of genital-to-genital contact, the rape charges originally filed against Turner were dropped.
Instead of rape, Turner was charged with three counts of felony sexual assault:
- Sexual penetration of an intoxicated woman
- Assault with intent to commit rape
- Sexual penetration of an unconscious woman
Although he wasn’t convicted of rape, Turner will have to register as a sex offender.
California isn’t alone in being criticized for sexual assault laws. Our own great state of Oklahoma came under fire recently for our oral sodomy laws. As a Oklahoma City sexual assault attorney, Jacqui has personally taken a stand to ensure every citizen in Oklahoma receives a fair trial no matter what they are accused of.
If you’ve been accused of rape or sexual assault, call us today for a consultation. These aren’t the kind of charges you want to face alone.
Your Best Defense Podcast
Jacqui Ford: Welcome to Your Best Defense podcast. My name is Jacqui Ford, and today we’re going to be talking more about sex crimes. Today’s topics are going to include sex crimes involving children, but not as you might understand. The laws in Oklahoma have very strong protections for minors and children under the age of 18 from being exploited for the purposes of child pornography.
The problem the laws in Oklahoma have right now is that the law can’t keep up with technology. And what we see is that these children, who the laws were designed to protect from adult predators, are now becoming defendants charged with possession, and distribution, and procurement of child pornography. How is this happening?
There is a word that I imagine most of our parents are familiar with called ‘sexting.’ And I’ve learned this word from my teenaged clients and friends. Sexting is the act of texting in a flirtatious or sexual way. What we see more and more these days with cameras and videos on everyone’s phones is that our children, mostly our teenagers, but they’re still children under the law, are engaging in an act of exchanging photographs with their friends, and their boyfriends and girlfriends. Read more
Jacqui Ford, Jacquelyn Ford Law, P.C.: Welcome to Your Best Defense podcast. My name is Jacqui Ford. And we are talking this week about sex offender registration. It’s part of the important things you have to consider when you’re charged with sex offenses in Oklahoma. Is whether or not you’re going to have to register. How long you have to register. And what are some of the constraints within that. registration
I’m joined here today with my friend, mentor and law partner Mr. Jack Dempsey Pointer. Jack literally wrote the book on sex offender registration in Oklahoma. He is a go to expert in the field. Lawyers, prosecutors, judges alike rely on his expertise in understanding the sex offender registration act and how it is applied to offenders within the state. So, thanks for joining us Jack.
Jack Dempsey Pointer, Jacquelyn Ford Law, P.C.: Miss Ford, thank you very much for your solicitous remarks concerning me. I appreciate that very much. But I’m still going to be a little bit hesitant to talk about some of this.
JDP: Simply, because it’s so fact intensive – literally fact intensive. I had an individual call me about sex offender registration. The man was a Kansas resident. This is out in the panhandle He was a Kansas resident who was convicted of a sex crime in Oklahoma. He then moved, he didn’t move, he just went back to Kansas on probation. And he had to register in Kansas. There are some provisions, I don’t know all the particulars because the attorney’s not coming in until next week. But apparently there are some provisions in the Kansas registration scheme would allow him to get off of sex offender registration. That’s an unusual situation. You’re convicted in one state requiring registration – a crime that requires registration. And you’re serving your registration period in another state that has different provisions. It almost sounds like a law school quiz. But, it basically is. But that remains to be seen. Read more
On behalf of Jacquelyn Ford Law, P.C. posted in Other Sex Crimes on Thursday, June 11, 2015.
The legal age of consent in the state of Oklahoma is 16 years of age. However, there is one notable exception — the age of consent for students is 18 in order to protect them from being taken advantage of by a person in a position of power, such as a teacher or school administrator. It is under this exception that a teacher in the Oklahoma City Metro is facing charges for rape in the second-degree.
Reports indicate that the 43-year-old teacher entered into a relationship with one of her 17-year-old students. The student told police that the two had at least 11 sexual encounters. He went on to say that those encounters took place in some unusual locations. The two began seeing each other on Valentine’s Day.
Another teacher at Choctaw High School discovered the relationship sometime in April. The woman was suspended from her job and placed under arrest. The investigation continued after that, and she was recently charged with seven counts of second-degree rape. She cooperated with police and turned herself in before posting a bond of $175,000. Her employment with the school district was also terminated.
No further information is available regarding whether she intends to go to trial or is in negotiations with Oklahoma prosecutors to come to an agreement. The woman is entitled to be presumed innocent until and unless prosecutors provide evidence of her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. She and her legal team will review the evidence — including the statements of the young man involved — and determine the course of action that will provide her with a satisfactory resolution to the charges.
Source: kfor.com, “Choctaw teacher charged with sex crimes free on bail“, Abby Broyles, June 5, 2015
While the following source article is a little old, the issues it tackles are important regardless of the time frame since it was written. The story dives into the origin, so to speak, of the sex offender registry laws we have in the United States. All 50 states and the District of Columbia all have variations of a sex offender registry, and most, if not all, can be traced back to an unfortunate day in 1989 when an 11-year-old was kidnapped and never seen again.
The boy was riding his bike with his brother and friend when a masked gunman stopped them. He asked them their ages. Once he had the information he wanted, the gunmen told the 11-year-old’s brother and friend to flee and not turn around, otherwise he would shoot. They fled, and by the time they looked back, the masked man and the 11-year-old were gone. The masked man was never found, nor was the 11-year-old.
It’s a tragic and sad story, but it gave rise to a massive movement — led by the 11-year-old’s mother — to bolster sex offender laws. And it worked.
There’s some good and some bad to this. On the one hand, having laws that deter terrible sex crimes are, obviously, a good thing. But on the other, these laws were drawn up in reaction to a horrific and truly exceptional crime. The crime that started it all is not the norm when it comes to sex crimes. And yet all people who are convicted of sex crimes feel the punishment as if they were the person who committed the terrible crime from 1989.
One of the hallmarks of these laws is how notoriously difficult it is to be taken off of a sex offender registry. The argument, so it goes, is that sex offenders are high recidivism candidates. And yet there is much research that indicates this is a total myth — that, in fact, sex offenders are not likely to commit a sex crime again.
This is the problem with draconian laws, or laws that have a good intention but go way, way too far in exacting punishment.
Source: Slate, “Sex Offender Laws Have Gone Too Far,” Matt Mellema, Chanakya Sethi, and Jane Shim, Aug. 11, 2014