The law in Tennessee forbids registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of any school in the state. Recently, a man who is a registered sex offender due to a previous sex crimes conviction was arrested for allegedly breaking that law by living 42 feet from a middle school. The man is listed on Tennessee’s Sex Offender Registry because of a 2004 guilty plea for attempted sexual battery of a 6-year-old.

A laser range finder was used by investigators to determine how close he was living to the middle school. There are no allegations that the man harmed any children at the school, but investigators said he should not have been living so close to the school. The man was also charged with failing to check in with officials as he was required to do. His bond has been set at $10,000, and he is due in court in early September.

Being required to register as a sex offender seriously affects a person’s life. The requirements are different, however, depending on whether a person is classified as a violent sexual offender or not. A “violent sexual offender” is any person convicted of a violent sexual offense as defined by Tennessee law. Violent sexual offenders must remain registered as such for the rest of their lives, whereas other sexual offenders may be able to be taken off the registry if they have not re-offended and have complied with the registry’s requirements for 10 years.

Sex offenders are required to report every year around the time of their birthday, but there are more strict demands on violent sexual offenders, who must report quarterly during the months of September, December, March and June.

Sex offender registry requirements are serious, and charges of failure to follow them correctly could seriously impact a person’s life and professional career. Consultation with an attorney can help clarify whether certain actions may be construed as a violation of the registry, and can help protect one’s rights when an aggressive prosecution seeks to portray an innocent mistake as something done with the intent to re-offend.

Source: WMC-TV “Police: Sex offender caught living feet away from school,” Nick Kenney, Aug. 29, 2012