There are currently 200 sex offenders in the county — 11 more than last year. (Illustration/Jamie Sparacino)

Archived Story

Local sex offender number rising

Published 1:17pm Tuesday, April 24, 2012

By NICOLE LOGGINS / Staff Writer

There are currently 200 sex offenders in the county, including 110 who are required to register for public notification.

That number, which is monitored by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, has risen slightly in the last 12 months. Last year, 189 sex offenders were registered in the county.

Sgt. Russell Bedsole, who works with the administrative division of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, said most sexual offenses require registration, but public notification may not apply to all offenders.

“Under the new law, non-sexual offenses can be deemed as having a ‘sexual motivation’ to them and require registration,” Bedsole said. “For example, a person could be convicted of burglary, and it would not normally require registration. If the person committed a burglary to commit a sexual offense, the offense could be deemed to have a sexual motivation even if no conviction on a sexual offense occurs.”

The new law Bedsole referenced is the Alabama Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification Act.  It can be found in the Alabama Criminal code under Title 15 in chapter 20A.

For the majority of juvenile offenders, there is no notification given to the public unless they receive a higher risk assessment.

“Indecent exposure and sexual misconduct are the only two adult offenses that are not subject to notification, unless there is a second conviction,” Bedsole said.

Adult sex offenders register for life. Juvenile registration varies depending on whether they were convicted prior to July 1, 2011, when the Alabama Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification Act went into effect.

All juveniles convicted prior to that date register for 10 years. After that date, it depends on the offense.  Serious offenses including first-degree rape, sodomy and sexual abuse require the juvenile to register for life with an option to petition for relief after 25 years.

All other juvenile offenses have 10-year registration terms.

Patrol deputies receive sex offender verification forms for each offender twice per year.

A deputy will then make contact with each registered sex offender twice during the year and verify he or she is currently residing in the registered residence.

Bedsole said the law does not require the visits, but the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office does them to hold offenders accountable.

“(The visits) also allow the patrol deputies to become more familiar with the registered offenders that live in the portion of the county they are assigned,” he said.

If a convicted offender moves, the law requires him or her to give “immediate notice” to law enforcement. The notice must be made to both law enforcement in the jurisdiction, which the offender is leaving, and the jurisdiction where the offender is moving.

Most adult offenders cannot live within 2,000 feet of schools, daycares and childcare facilities. Adult offenders must register quarterly each year.

“Whether an offender lives in your area or not, you should always operate under the assumption that a sex offender could be living in the neighborhood,” Bedsole said.  “Use good judgment with who your kids go with and where they go.  There are people capable of offending that have never been convicted or required to be subject to community notification.”

  • Sloth

    Just letting all the Shelby County folks know that you are someone that post comments to every sex offender registry story you can find. I wonder why?

    • Rudy101

      The Shelby County Reporter knows exactly why I comment. But you do not. Why is that?

      Because I have a RIGHT to speak out on issues without fear. That is why you don’t get to know my motivations on why I speak out on any issue I want, including any and all (if I so choose) articles on sex offenders.

      Stick with the ideas. Because who I am or why I am doing what I am doing is really immaterial. It is the IDEAS that you should be worried about.

  • Sloth
    • Rudy101

      Are you a: Sloths are the six species of medium-sized mammals belonging to the families Megalonychidae (two-toed sloth) and Bradypodidae (three-toed sloth)?

      OR

      In the Christian moral tradition, sloth (Latin: acedia, accidia, pigritia) is one of the seven capital sins, often called the seven deadly sin?

      Just wondering, because your post carries no point. If you think you are coming after me, or are going to expose me, don’t go there. Either stay on topic, debate the issues, or leave.

      But if you come after me personally for only the purpose of directing violence against me or to try and discredit me, I will destroy everything about your registry.

      Who I am is MY POWER. It is something you people never considered or could consider when passing such stupid and illegal laws in the first place.

  • Rudy101

    Well, it was easy, wasn’t it?

    You created a police state, comprehensive and all encompassing. It is created from those you have a severe dislike for, and those that it effects, have no say, hearing or appeal on any laws that come down the pike. You can even pass laws decades after the conviction. What is the best part of your police state? The assertion of dangerousness can never be challenged; therefore, they are always dangerous, and it gives perfect stage for playing politics and making an even larger police state.

    You do know, of course, that police states have no credibility because the assertion of dangerousness has no ability to be challenged, the laws can be drawn tighter at any time, for any reason, that the laws for many are applied ex-post facto and there is absolutely no evidence ANY of the laws provide any public safety.

    You have painted yourself into a legal corner. You think your laws, simply because they are laws, that they have to be followed. OH HOW VERY STUPID YOU ARE.

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