Sex Offender Registration and Notification
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do only sex offenders register under S.O.R.N?
A: No. Offenders who commit certain non-sexual offenses against children, such as kidnapping, are also required to register. This type of offender is labeled a “Child-Victim Offender,” and is subject to the same registration and restrictions as an Offender of a Sexually Oriented offender.
Q: Is every offender who ever committed a sex offense in Ohio required to register?
A: No. The S.O.R.N. Act became effective on July 1, 1977, and was written so that only persons who were in prison or jail as of that date, or who were convicted of a new offense after that date, would be required to register.
Q: What address must a homeless person give as their “residence?”
A: The place where they sleep and keep their belongings. A homeless shelter, a friend’s house, or any physical location where the person actually resides can be a valid residence address. The S.O.R.N. Act does not permit a person to give a post office box as their residential address.
Q: Which S.O.R.N. registrants are not allowed to live near school premises?
A: The S.O.R.N. Act prohibits qualifying adult offenders from establishing a residence within 1,000 feet of any school premises. (This does not include colleges).
Q: Are school bus stops “school premises?”
A: ”School premises” for the purposes of S.O.R.N. means either 1) property on which a school is situated, or 2) property that a state-regulated school board or other school governing body owns or leases, where some school instruction, extracurricular activities, or training takes place.
Q: I just found out a sex offender lives in my neighborhood, why was I not notified?
A: There are a few reasons this can occur:
- Offender’s classification is not one that allows public notification.
- You live outside of the one thousand foot notification radius.
- The offender’s crime occurred prior to July 1st 1997.
- Notifications were sent out prior to you moving into the neighborhood.
Q: I know of a sex offender who is not on your website. Why not?
A: There are several reasons an offender may not be on the Public Web site.
- Only persons who committed a sexually registerable offense on or after July 1st 1997 or if they were incarcerated for a registerable offense on or after July 1st, 1997 are required to register. If the person had been charged with a sex offense and had completed their sentence prior to the above date they are not required to register.
- The person’s registration requirement had expired.
- Only ‘Actively’ registering offenders are shown on the Public Web site.
Q: Can the offender be around children? Schools?
A: Unless the offender is court ordered or currently on a form of community control (i.e. probation or parole) and the conditions of that control prohibits it, the offender has the same rights as any other citizen.
Q: Are sex offenders allowed to live within 1,000 feet of a school, day care, or preschool?
A: No adult offender can live within 1000 feet (about 1/5 mile) of a school or daycare/preschool center – this is determined based on when the offender committed their crime. If they committed their crime prior to the law taking effect – they are exempt.
Crime(s) committed prior to July 31, 2003 would be EXEMPT from the SCHOOL STATUTE.
Crime(s) committed prior to July 1, 2007 would be EXEMPT from the DAY CARE/PRESCHOOL STATUTE.
Q: Are there restrictions on where offenders can work?
A: There are no restrictions on their employment. An exception would be if the offender is on parole or probation and said conditions are set by APA.
Q: What are the requirements if an offender is travelling outside of Ohio?
A: If the absence will be for 7 days or more, the offender is required to notify the local Sheriff Office in the County of residence and provide the temporary lodging information, including the address of residence, and the dates they will be travelling outside of Ohio, prior to their expected travel.
Q: Who is notified and how does the notification process work?
A: Not all registered sex offenders are subject to mandatory community notification. There are several classifications of sex offenders that are subject to mandatory community notification; the most common are “Sexual Predators” and “Tier 3” sex offenders. When an offender registers their residential address, deputies verify the address. Once the address is verified, the Sheriff’s Department generates a community notification (mailing) to neighbors who live within a 1,000’ radius of the registered address. This notification provides specific information about the offender; including their registered address, a photo, physical description and identifiers, and conviction information.
Q: How are notifications handled in multi-unit buildings?
A: The state defines a multi-unit building as a building with more than 12 residential units that have entry doors that open directly into the unit from a hallway that is shared with one or more units. In this instance, a notice will be given to the building or condominium manager and the notice should be posted in each common entryway.
Q: How are offenders classified?
A: Under current Ohio Law, the Adam Walsh Act (AWA) offenders are classified on a tier level, based on their offense of conviction. Each qualifying offense is assigned a predetermined tier level; Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3. For example, an offender who is convicted of Rape is classified as a Tier 3 Sex Offender. Prior to the Adam Walsh Act, offenders were classified under “Megan’s Law”. Under Megan’s Law, offenders had a judicial hearing in court; the court (Judge) determined classification based on certain discretionary guidelines. Under Megan’s Law offenders were classified as Sexually Oriented Offender, Habitual Sex Offender, or Sexual Predator.
Q: Why are there multiple offenders listed at the same address?
- Some offenders share residences
- Some offenders are sentenced or committed to residential treatment facilities including halfway houses and nursing homes which are exempt from ORC 2950.031
- The address is a homeless shelter
Q: Can an offender be around children/schools?
A: Yes. Unless the offender is currently on a form of “Community Control” (Parole or Probation) and the conditions of that sanction prohibits it, the offender has the same rights as any other citizen.
Q: I checked your website and it states that a sex offender lives two doors down from me. I have NEVER seen him/her there and I know the family. If your website states he lives there and I know he does not, what should I do?
A: Please submit a tip through the Public Website or call the local Sheriff Office. Through follow up and investigation, if it is determined that the offender is not residing at his/her registered address, criminal charges will be filed and the offender will be pursued for prosecution.
Q: I own a business. An ex-employee is on the Sheriff’s sex offender website, but he/she is still listed as employee of my company. How can I have my company information removed from the website?
A: Simply contact the local Sheriff’s Office with information, or you can submit a tip through the Public sex offender website.
Q: While reviewing the sex offender website, I noticed that an offender lists a residential address as a place of employment. How is that possible?
A: It is not uncommon for an individual to operate a business from a home office or for an individual to be self-employed.
Q: Does my employer have to tell me if they hired a registered sex offender?
A: No. An employer is not required to inform employees. It is left to their discretion.
Q: I thought sex offenders are prohibited form living within 1,000’ of a school or daycare facility, but I know one who does. Why aren’t you charging the offender with a crime?
A: The issue of an offender residing in proximity to a school zone/daycare facility is a civil matter; not a criminal matter; it is not a crime. To ultimately evict an offender from the restricted entity, it is up to the municipality to take legal action (injunctive relief) against the registered sex offender in their community.
(The responsibility of the Sheriff’s Office is to inform the offender if their residential address is within a 1,000’ of a school zone/daycare facility. The Sheriff’s Office may also instruct the offender to contact their municipality for clarification of restrictions for the particular community. Each municipality may have expanded the state minimum restrictions.)
Q: How is the 1,000’ radius measured?
A: The 1,000’ radius measurement is calculated (as the crow flies) from the offender’s property line to the school property line.
Q: I am a truck driver registering as a sex offender in another state. Do I have to register in OH if I am only passing through your state?
A: An offender who is only passing through would not have a duty to register in OH.
Q: I am a truck driver making drops/pickups in OH, do I have to register as a sex offender?
A: If you are working in OH for 3 days consecutive, or 14 days aggregate in a calendar year, then you would have a duty to register the work address.
Q: Can a Sex Offender Travel Out of the Country
A: There are no state laws prohibiting international travel. However, it would be incumbent upon the offender to ensure they would be allowed to enter the Country to which they wish to travel internationally. In some cases, Countries have denied the sex offender access into the Country.
Q: What are the requirements for an offender who will be travelling out of the country?
A: The registering sex offender is required to notify the local Sheriff Office in their County of residence of the intended plans to travel internationally. The Sheriff’s Office will send appropriate notification to the U.S. Marshals Service National Sex Offender Targeting Center informing them of the plans for the offender to travel internationally.
Q: I am a sex offender from another state who is moving to OH. What are my requirements for registration?
A: If you move into OH with a duty to register in the convicting jurisdiction, then you would most likely have a duty to register in OH. OH requires you contact the local Sheriff Office in the county of residence within 3 days of moving into OH.
Q: I am a sex offender from another state who will be visiting in OH. What are my requirements for registration?
A: If your visitation to OH is for 3 consecutive days, you will need to contact the local Sheriff Office in the county where you are residing regarding the requirements of your duty to register.
Q: My offense was a Federal or Military conviction. Do I have a duty to register?
A: OH does register based on certain Federal or Military offenses/convictions. You are required to contact the local Sheriff Office in the County of residence within 3 days of moving into OH.