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Sex Offender Classification

On January 1, 2008 Ohio’s Sex Offender Registration laws changed. Ohio became one of the first States in the nation to adopt the provisions of the Adam Walsh Act. The Adam Walsh Act was passed and signed into federal law in 2006. It required States to implement the provisions and guidelines of the Adam Walsh Act or risk losing federal block grant money. The intent of the Adam Walsh Act is to provide a universal method of determining sex offender classifications and the requirements of those classifications in all States nationwide.

The Adam Walsh Act replaces previous sex offender classification designations such as Sexual Predator, or Sexually Oriented Offender, with Tier classification designations. The Tier classification designations for sex offenders are determined by the criminal offense or offenses the offender was convicted of. The Adam Walsh Act was retroactive and included the re-classification of all sex offenders previously convicted as well as determining the classification of all sex offenders convicted in the future.

The County Sheriff is responsible under Ohio law for the registration of sex offenders. Sex offenders must register with the County Sheriff on scheduled periodic basis, which is determined by their sex offender Tier classification. In addition, sex offenders must register with the County Sheriff any change of residential address, place of employment, or enrollment in a school or institution of higher education.

The Tier classification system requirements are as follows:

  • Tier 1 – Sex offenders must register with the County Sheriff at least once annually for a period of 15 years. In addition, must register any change of residential address, place of employment, or enrollment in a school or institution of higher education.
  • Tier 2 – Sex offenders must register with the County Sheriff every 180 days for a period of 25 years. In addition, must register any change of residential address, place of employment, or enrollment in a school or institution of higher education.
  • Tier 3 – Sex offenders must register with the County Sheriff every 90 days for life. In addition, must register any change of residential address, place of employment, or enrollment in a school or institution of higher education.

Note: Tier III sex offenders are also subject to community notification, which means upon a change of residential address, the County Sheriff will provide notice to a neighborhood within 1,250 feet of the sex offenders residential address. The County Sheriff will also provide notice to schools, registered day-care providers, and law enforcement agencies within the 1,250 foot radius.

Tier sex offender classifications are determined based upon criminal conviction of offenses and criteria outlined in the table below.

Ohio offenses under Adam Walsh Act Tiers

Tier I

  1. Importuning 2907.07
  2. Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor 2907.04 (B)(2), unless consensual, case then not registration offense
  3. Voyeurism 2907.08 (C ) and (D) against a minor
  4. Sexual Imposition 2907.06
  5. Gross Sexual Imposition 2907.05 (A)(1)-(3) (5)
  6. Illegal Use of a Minor in Nudity-oriented Material or Performance 2907.323 (A)(3) (AWA non-Ohio)
  7. Voyeurism 2907.08 (A)(B) & (E) (Ohio, non-AWA)
  8. Child Enticement 2905.05 (sexual motivation) (Ohio, non-AWA)

Tier II

  1. Compelling Prostitution 2907.21
  2. Pandering Obscenity Involving a Minor 2907.321
  3. Pandering Sexually Oriented Material Involving a Minor 2907.322
  4. Illegal Use of a Minor in Nudity-oriented Material or Performance 2907.323 (A)(1) & (2)
  5. Child Endangering 2919.22 (B)(5)
  6. Kidnapping with Sexual Motivation 2905.01 (A)(1)(3)(5)
  7. Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor 2907.04 (B)(1)(3)(4)
  8. Any Sexual Offense that occurs after the offender has been classified as a Tier I sex offender

Tier III

  1. Rape 2907.02
  2. Sexual Battery 2907.03
  3. Aggravated Murder with Sexual Motivation 2903.01
  4. Murder with Sexual Motivation 2903.02
  5. Unlawful Death or Termination of Pregnancy As A Result of Committing or Attempting to Commit a Felony with Sexual Motivation 2903.04
  6. Kidnapping of Minor to Engage in Sexual Activity 2905.01(A)(4)
  7. Kidnapping of Minor, Not By Parent 2905.01(B)
  8. Gross Sexual Imposition 2907.05 (A)(4) (Under 13)*
  9. Felonious Assault with Sexual Motivation 2903.11**
  10. Any Sexual Offense that occurs after the offender has been classified as a Tier II sex offender

* Federal offense is victim under 16
** comparable to Attempted Sexual Abuse 18 USCS 2242

By Adam Hunt

Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney Adam Hunt
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