STATE CAN’T FIND 467 SEX OFFENDERS
New York State has lost track of 467 convicted sex offenders, including rapists and childmolesters, despite a law requiring them to register annually for inclusion in the Megan's Lawdatabase. At least 15 sex offenders whose whereabouts are listed as unknown by the state'sDivision of Criminal Justice Services, which is responsible for maintaining the Sex Offender
Registry, had their last known addresses on Long Island, where a total of 1,523 offendersare registered.
We've established a law that requires society's most cunning of criminals to register on anhonor system, and that's what is leading to them disappearing, said Laura Ahearn, executivedirector of Parents for Megan's Law and the Crime Victims Center, a Stony Brook-based nonprofitorganization that advocates for sex offender victims and works to find addresses for missingoffenders. For their victims, it's terrifying to know the offender who victimized them isnowhere to be found.
Of Long Island's 15 offenders listed as unknown, at least three last provided addresses inNassau and 12 in Suffolk, records show. The state finds out a sex offender's whereabouts isunknown once that person fails to check in with the state registry on the person's designatedannual registration date. Of the statewide offenders whose whereabouts are listed as unknown,according to state records:
- 161 are classified as Level 1 offenders, meaning authorities have deemed their riskof reoffending as low based on the crimes they committed, their level of rehabilitation and otherfactors.
- 171 are Level 2 offenders, with a moderate risk of reoffending.
- 112 are level 3 offenders, deemed to have a high risk of reoffending.
The records show that the risk of reoffending for the remaining 23 has not beendetermined.
Failure to annually update home addresses with the state registry is a felony under statelaw, punishable by up to seven years in prison. Offenders must notify the registry within 10days of moving.
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