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FL: Sex offender blames COVID-19 quarantine for not registering

[ocala-news.com – 5/27/20]

A convicted sex offender from Ocala says he failed to register in April as required by law because he was in quarantine.

Christopher Anthony Votos, 65, of 4064 SW 50th Road, was charged recently with failing to register biannually as a sex offender. Votos was convicted in August 2015 of using a computer to solicit or lure a child to engage in sexual conduct and is required to register twice a year – in April and October. Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show he has registered 10 time since his conviction.

On May 19, Votos reported to the lobby of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Sexual Predator Unit (SOPU) to update his vehicle information. A deputy checked the FDLE offender watch and saw Votos had not registered in Marion or any other Florida county, nor had he been arrested, during the month of April, according to the sheriff’s office arrest report.

A sign had been posted March 30 on the front door of the SOPU saying the lobby would be closed temporarily and registrations would be conducted through the lobby door, due to the threat of COVID-19 contamination. The sign instructed offenders to wait in line a safe distance from one another, and when it was his or her turn to register, to approach the door and call the phone number on the sign. Registration would then be conducted through the door, the report said.

Read the full article

 

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  1. AERO1

    What the hell was this guy thinking …

  2. Vernon

    He will be charged with FTR and no one will give a DAAAAM !

    • Tim in WI

      “No on will give a damn”
      He will. And that’s enough to win at FTR. With Covid in play jury assignment is hazardous. It may not find The courts calender – an overly crowded docket!

      The Supreme court has recently nixed pre-trial detention for registration offenses. That being the exceptional collateral aspect of deeming sex offender registration a “civil” cause. The knife cuts both ways, the court asserted incarcerating for what the state itself ” insist is a civil regime & claims”, even in the context of felony FTR cause in state trails must first gain the approval by convening of a jury and upon finding of guilt. To permit the states to do so violates substantively due process.

      Ok I know most states have since 1998 ‘and probably still do arrest and jail people for bond on FTR. Is this guy willing to spend 9K on appeal for a day in jail, probably not. So the kings agents get their way most of the time and as programmable logic goes, any number divided by zero renders stack overflow. Why? Failure to terminate. The outright purpose & effect of employing ex post facto prohibition keenly vetted by our fhttps://stackoverflow.com/questions/8031354/what-is-the-result-of-divide-by-zeroounders.

      • My say

        wait… this cant work so well. If I don’t register and then they catch me later – they cant keep me and i can just leave again??? If you say yes i will of course contact a lawyer to double and triple check but dammmnn talk about an easy way off the list haha.

        • Tim in WI

          @My say,
          Most likely it you insist on trial the judge himself will ask you to comply and register because believe me his stack file is loaded and he’s \ she’s got better things to do. Agree only if state ADA will pull the charge. In the interim file discovery papers with the clerk requesting relative documents. A pro we defendant may familiarize themselves with the term” ameliorate”

          Talk to a lawyer, he’ll tell you to comply as he must. However in the context of Covid 19 he might not. A clear and present danger.

      • AJ

        @Tim in WI:
        “The Supreme court has recently nixed pre-trial detention for registration offenses.”
        —–
        Citation, case, or source URL, please.

  3. Eric

    This is sickening. This has to stop. This man paid his debt to society, which must not have been too severe because he was convicted in 2015 so he has already served time and completed probation and is now registered probably fro life.

  4. TS

    So, will the judge look at him following the governor’s direction and the public health order associated with it as conflict with the law or just fault him as a law breaker regardless? Time will tell…

    • ABC

      It will be interesting to see what happens. The law in Florida was recently changed; it’s now a minimum mandatory 6 months on probation with an ankle monitor for any registration violation – even the smallest one, such as failure to report an email address or vehicle. The judges don’t have discretion since the legislature took it away. Unfortunately the guy more or less admitted that he knew about his responsibility to register and did not complete the process. I don’t see how he will be found not guilty.

  5. AERO1

    Realistically what’s the point of having someone’s face posted on the Megan’s Law website when everybody’s wearing masks it’s kind of pointless now …things are about to change in a real way sit back get your tickets and enjoy the show it’s about to get interesting

    • Jax

      To be fair, thats a pretty weak argument. People (including registered sex offenders) don’t just walk or drive around their suburban neighborhood wearing masks. They normally put it on only when in close contact with people at a grocery store or mall or something like that. If you are on the public registry, the soccer moms WILL know your in the neighborhood, pandemic or not. But nice try though.

      • TS

        @Jax

        How do you know registrants aren’t walking or driving with masks on especially if they’re in a greater impacted age group or with underlying health conditions?

        Moms may know but that doesn’t stop a mask from being worn by someone.

        • Jax

          @TS Housewives and scout den moms know who you are. A sex offender cant hide behind that mask. Like i said, folks in the neighborhood arent pulling up in their driveway or walking out to their mailbox with a mask on.

        • TS

          @Jax

          Again, how do you know people aren’t wearing masks as you describe? Maybe in your ‘hood they’re not, but elsewhere, maybe they are or have been.

      • Will Allen

        Where do People Forced to Register (PFR) live where it matters if any neighbors know the person is a PFR or not? I’m friendly with the people who live up and down the street I live on, perhaps .5 miles in each direction. Other than that, there is no one else near that would have a chance in Hades of recognizing me out in the community. MAYBE 1 or 2 cops would, but that’s about it, and it is very doubtful they’d would ever be around where I live and visit. In over 2 decades of Registering, I can’t recall ever seeing one in public that I recognized. And I get out and around a lot.

        I can travel a mere 5 miles down the street from me and I won’t see anyone I recognize except maybe once a year. It is normal and typical for me to be 20 – 50 miles away from where I live or work all the time. I’d be stunned to run into anyone I know. If I had a mask on, I imagine I could wander around for 5+ YEARS and no one would ever recognize me.

        So, I’m asking a real question. Does it ever matter if neighbors know? I don’t associate with most of my neighbors and it would be even easier to never associate or come into contact with any of them ever. Would take no effort at all.

        I get that it would matter if a person lived in a small town. But surely not a large percentage of PFRs do, right? If you do and it bothers you, move to a city and I promise you that you can easily be invisible. You can make the Registries useless without even trying.

  6. Jay

    @TS Most people driving in their car aren’t pulling up to their driveway with a mask on. Or they’re not sitting in their neighborhood diner with a mask on. Those are just commn sense things. Masks give protection when we’re around people, not when we’re in a car by ourselves or sitting on our porch by ouselves or walking down an empty sidewalk in the neighborhood by ourself-those are examples of how people spot sex offenders in their neighborhood. Offenders can’t hide behind masks unless they plan to have them on 100% of the time, which was my original point before you started splitting hairs.

    • TS

      @Jax or Jay

      You’re the one who qualified it to start with, not me, with those who aren’t supposedly doing what you said. I asked you you to prove it which you didn’t and can’t but only speculate because you aren’t in every neighborhood, only yours. Commonsense says what you said, but there are folks who are doing what you said because they can if they want or feel the need regardless of how protective the mask is and where it is more applicable.

      As to 100% of the time, NO ONE can hide behind the mask if they are known to others. However be ready for possibly eating with masks on given developers have developed such a mask to allow eating while being worn.

  7. Ahsoka

    I live downtown once I walk out my door with or without a mask chance’s of someone noticing me from Megan’s law website are very slim

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