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The intersection of sex offender registration with offense level

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2024 | Sex Offenses

In Ohio, the law classifies sex offenders into one of three tiers. Each tier comes with specific registration requirements and potential community notification levels.

Ohio’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Law aims to balance public safety with offender reintegration.

Tier 1

SORN considers Tier 1 offenders to pose the lowest risk to the community. These offenses include voyeurism, importuning and certain types of sexual imposition. Tier 1 offenders must register annually for 15 years. They must provide their address and other pertinent information to local law enforcement. Community notification for this tier is generally limited to specific circumstances upon request, such as if the offender lives near a school or daycare.

Tier 2

Tier 2 offenses include a wider range of crimes. These include child endangering, certain acts of gross sexual imposition involving minors under 13 and repeat offenses by Tier 1 offenders. Registration requirements for Tier 2 are more stringent, with offenders needing to verify their information every 180 days for 25 years. Community notification requirements depend on the specific offense and the offender’s risk assessment. Notifications may include public meetings and distribution of flyers.

Tier 3

Tier 3 comprises the most serious sexual offenses, such as rape, sexual battery and aggravated murder with sexual motivation. The law considers these offenders to pose the highest risk of re-offending. They must register for life and verify their information every 90 days. Community notification includes widespread public dissemination of the offender’s information and is almost always mandated for Tier 3 offenders.

Age considerations

Age plays a significant role in tier placement. For juveniles, judges have more discretion in assigning tiers, focusing on rehabilitation and potential for change. Juvenile penalties may also be heavily affected by Ohio’s Revised Code 2907.04, sometimes called a Romeo and Juliet Law, which details exceptions to sexual offenses based on age.

Ohio’s tiered system aims to protect public safety while recognizing the varying degrees of risk posed by different offenders. Understanding the tiers and registration requirements allows communities to stay informed while respecting individual rights.