NOTICE: The information presented below is not legal advise. Specific legal questions should be addressed to your local law enforcement agency, local prosecuting attorney, or victim service provider.

Summary of Ohio's Sex Offender Registration & Notification Law (Sorn Law)

Ohio Revised Code Section 2950 creates levels of sexual crime categories: sexually oriented offenses; habitual sex offender; sexual predator; and a specification of sexually violent predator. The state will keep a record of all registering sex offenders. For juvenile offenders, this law applies only to juveniles bound over to adult courts.

Levels of Sexual Offenders

There are certain offenses which qualify the offender as a Sexually Oriented Offender. They are:
a) Regardless of victim's age:

  • rape
  • sexual battery
  • gross sexual imposition
  • murder (sexually oriented)

or similar laws in Ohio or other states, including attempt, conspiracy or complicity to any sexually oriented offense.

b) If the victim is under 18 and offender is not a parent:

  • kidnaping
  • abduction
  • unlawful restraint
  • child stealing
  • endangering children (sexually oriented)
  • corruption of a minor
  • compelling prostitution
  • pandering obscenity
  • criminal child enticement
  • creating nudity oriented material or performance

Every offender convicted of a second sexually oriented offense, regardless of the date of the first offense can be designated as a Habitual Sex Offender.

Every offender convicted or released after 1-1-97, of a sexually oriented offense is presumed to be a Sexual Predator unless the judge, in a required hearing, determines otherwise by clear and convincing evidence. Judges may consider any prior convictions, victim's age, use of drugs or alcohol to impair the victim, sexually deviant behavior, whether threats or acts of torture were used, offender personality disorder, or other behavioral characteristics to determine the offender's status. Judges may later determine to drop the offender's predator status. Hearsay evidence is admissible.

Sentences

Each crime has certain sentence options allowed by law, but sexual predators must be sentenced to a minimum two years and up to life in prison (not local jail). The judge can later reduce the sentence or the "predator" status.

Offenders convicted with a sexually violent predator specifications must be sentenced to life in prison without parole when that option is available for the crime (except for death penalty cases). Any mandatory sentences for firearms or repeat violent offenders, or prior sentences for sexually violent predator convictions must be served consecutively. Offenders must submit to DNA collection.

Registration Requirements

Requirements include registration with sheriff and verification of changes in residence. Failure to register is a felony 5th degree if original offense was a felony, a misdemeanor 1st degree otherwise.

Sexually oriented Offenders must register annually for ten years. This is the minimum that applies to all offenders convicted of a sexually oriented offense; and also applies retroactively to similarly convicted offenders who were or are currently incarcerated. All offenders must also personally register within 7 days prior to establishing residence or when visiting for more than 7 days. Offenders who are not "habitual" or "predator" offenders are not subject to victim and community notification.

Possible Enhancements above the minimum requirement may be ordered by the sentencing judge. Habitual Sex Offenders may be required to register annually for twenty years (may be changed by court order). Sexual Predators and Sexually Violent Predators may be required to register every 90 days for life (may be changed by court order.)

Victim & Community Notification

Sheriff's registration information is public (A.G. Opinion 97-038): name, identifying factors, criminal history, photograph and fingerprints, employer name & address, and residence address.

For Habitual Sex offenders (if court ordered) and all Sexual Predators.

  • Victims, if requested to sheriff or judge, and adjacent neighbors must be notified within 72 hours of registration.
  • Other community notifications include area Children Services, school, pre-school and day care programs, college, & local police.


For Ohio's county by county sex offender links go to http://www.klaaskids.org/st-ohio.htm.
For Allen County's Sex Offender Registry, go to
http://www.acso-oh.us/.

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