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IL: What to Do to Make Sure Your Family Doesn’t Rent a Motel Room Next to a Registered Sex Offender

[ 5/7/18]

Remember that a sex offender’s residency at a motel or inn is completely legal, and there is no obligation on the part of any establishment to research the background of a guest, or alert other guests to someone’s criminal history. There is also no specific obligation of any police agency, in the states we checked, to give notice directly to hotel or motel guests, about a sex offender who has reported his or her residence there.

So the best way – and likely the only way – for a family to try to take steps to make sure they do not check in to a motel room next to a sex offender is to get the address for the motel, and then cross-check the readily available sex-offender databases for that address. But even that will not work one hundred percent of the time:

Every state maintains its own registry of sex offenders, which is supposed to be updated every time an offender changes his or her home or work address. Most state registries allow you to search by address. But not all work that way. That includes – in the Midwestern states we researched – Minnesota. For the most part, Minnesota does not map offenders by exact addresses, but only by the overall block where they report their residence.

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Related article:

Unintended Consequences: Sex Offenders in Motels [ 5/7/18]

In April of 2014, a five-year-old girl was playing with her brothers on the grounds of the Econo Lodge in Terre Haute, Indiana where she was staying with her family, when a man grabbed her, took her into his motel room, hit her, pulled off her clothes, and molested her.

Court records show that the man, Timothy Blazier, 50, was a recently paroled, twice-convicted child-molester. He’d been living at the Econo Lodge for three months when he molested the five-year-old girl. He’s now back in prison, serving a sixty-year sentence for the attack — his third conviction involving the sexual abuse of a child.

The incident spurred protests from some Terre Haute residents when they learned that the Econo Lodge — part of the Choice Hotels International chain — had been home not just to Blazier, but to twelve other convicted sex offenders who, according to local news reports, had been housed there at state expense because the motel was one of the few locations that lay outside the town’s prohibited zones for sex offenders.

Following the attack, Choice Hotels cut its affiliation with the motel, which closed a few months later. Choice Hotels International has not responded to several emails from NBC5, asking for comment on the 2014 incident.

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NBC News Chicago ran an investigative report on the news tonight on sex offenders living in hotels and motels in Illinois, under the headline: What to Do to Make Sure Your Family Doesn’t Rent a Motel Room Next to a Registered Sex Offender Fortunately local sex offender advocate attorney Adele Nicholas was interviewed and said some logical things (sex offenders have no place else to live since they are banned from most residential communities), but I fear her voice will be completely overshadowed by the interviews with parents in the motel hallways freaking about the monster down the hall, and… Read more »

There are chains that do from my understanding, e.g. Best Value Inn does check.

It must be sweeps week. All the TV shows are winding down with their season finales, so the local media is breaking in with fear-mongering pieces like this for viewership.

Children + potential danger + fear = $$$$

“MAP: Hotels and Motels Where Registered Sex Offenders Have Stayed in Last 8 Months” Can anyone have any doubt where this is headed? I’m afraid that we will see more-and-more hotel chains proudly proclaim that they refuse to serve “registered sex offenders.” If that happens, then IML will become virtualized within the States, as well. The instrument that makes all of this possible, of course, is the online Registry. We need to put an end to this.

A local surgeon in Connecticut was drinking at a club and decided to drive home. He was so intoxicated he hit a child on a skate board. He drove most of the way home with the child still on his hood. How can you be sure your child isn’t out skateboarding when a drunken surgeon is driving home? You can’t, there is no hope for you or your child. There is no registry, there is no law against surgeons getting drunk, there is no web site, there is nothing for a parent to do to prevent this. Isn’t that just… Read more »

A representative from Missouri (Chrissy Sommer-R) proposed legislative bill MO HB2418 this year, which “changes the laws regarding certain sexual offenders staying in lodging establishments.” Basically, my spouse would never be able to stay in a lodging establishment because he looked at underage porn. When booking a room he would have to let them know that he was a sex offender and the lodgimg establishment would have to post a sign behind the desk stating that there is a sex offender on the premises. How many places do you think would rent to sex offenders under these conditions? I don’t… Read more »

What puzzles me is that this is the same, or worse, treatment that was heaped upon gays, blacks, and so many other groups at one time in the US, and so many people fought to overcome that, yet it is happening again to us, and so many are silent on it. The truth is, most people who committed a sex offense are not a danger, or even a risk. Yet, ALL are treated like kidnappers and killers. That law makes it sound like in the middle of the night the ex-offender will get a sudden compulsion and smash through the… Read more »

Here is the Legiscan data for the bill:

Legiscan has Facebook commenting on virtually every step of the process.

I would be curious how registrants visiting from out of State are supposed to be aware of such a requirement? Is every motel clerk required to ask every person checking in if he/she is a registrant? That should be good for offending people! I’m very surprised that the State’s Hotel Association and Tourism Bureau are not actively opposing this proposed bill. It certainly won’t be good for those businesses.

@David They should know as every registrant is supposed to know of all laws where they are going to, by research. The LEO can be unknowing of the law they are trying to enforce, by SCOTUS decision, but the law abiding citizen has to know the law they are supposed to follow wherever they are or going to. If front desk clerks or reservations agents are supposed to ask the question by whatever directive, they will or face potential negativity in return through possible liability issues. It may not be good for business, but it is business they may deem… Read more »

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