JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Out of the 77 bills that Gov. Greitens signed into law on Friday, there’s one pertaining to the sex offender registry that didn’t make the cut.
It’s an amendment to a bill that would allow less serious sex offenders to be removed from the registry.
KOLR10’s Brea Douglas spoke to the sponsor of the bill about how it’s designed to categorize certain levels of sex offenses, Brea?
David, representative Kurt Bahr says his bill will break down the levels of sex offenses ranging from tier one to tier three, with the purpose of eliminating a lifetime of punishment for those convicted of tier one and tier two sex crimes.
If signed into law, tier one offenders will consist predominantly of those who have committed nonphysical offenses like possessing child pornography; not to be mistaken with creating it. They could be removed from the sex offender registry after 10 years if a felony or no other sex crime is committed.
An example of a tier two offender is a 19-year-old having sex with a 17-year-old. They could be removed from the sex offender registry under the same tier one guidelines except it applies after 25 years.
And tier three offenders are those who commit rape and they remain on the registry for a lifetime.
As the law stands now, anyone convicted of a sex crime is put on the sex offender registry for a lifetime.
Some of the repercussions of being on the list include difficulty finding housing and employment.
Representative Bahr says his bill will clearly define those who are dangerous sex offenders versus those who are not.
“Unfortunately, as more and more people get on the list for a lifetime, the list gets to be so big that it becomes difficult to know if the person that is your neighbor down the street who is on the list are they a tier one offender who is not really likely to offend again anyway or are they a tier 3 offender who you need to be worried about and today’s list doesn’t specify that, but this new law that local detail will be there so it can be actually used for a tool for public safety,” Bahr said.
Even though former Gov. Greitens didn’t sign this bill into law, Gov. Parson still has until July 15 to either sign it or veto it along with the other bills that weren’t signed.