Local lawmaker’s bill would provide way for minor sex offenders to remove name from registry

A bill drafted by Rep. Jack Draxler, R-Logan, would allow those convicted of minor sexual offenses who are “no longer a threat to society” to petition to get their name removed from the Sex Offender and Kidnap Registry, according to the bill. “It’s just an attempt at fairness and justice for those who have changed their lives and paid their debt to society,” Draxler said.According to <a href=”http://le.utah.gov/~2011/bills/hbillint/hb0389.pdf”>House Bill 389</a>, the change would affect offenders with one of three convictions; unlawful sexual conduct with a 16 or 17 year old, unlawful sexual activity with a minor or voyeurism. At least 5 years after a conviction, if the offender has completed a court-appointed sentence and counseling and has stayed out of trouble with the law, an offender could petition to have their name taken off the sex offender registry. Draxler said there are sexual predators that need to stay on the registry. However, he said there are some on the list who at age 19 or 20 had sex with a 16-year-old, and their names remain on the list years after. He said he knew of a couple that was involved in this way and the man was convicted of sexual offense. Ten years later, the couple is married and has children, but the man is still on the registry. Draxler created the bill after his constituents came to him talking of injustice regarding the registry, and he said he’s had hundreds of e-mails of support since the bill’s creation. In June, Draxler gave an initial presentation of the bill to the Judiciary Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice interim committee. In September, the bill will be presented again to the same committee, who will decide if it goes on to the Legislative session in January.- rachel@cvdaily.com

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