OH: Sex Offender’s Out-of-State Registration Counts Toward Ohio Sex Offense Reporting Requirement

Source: courtnewsohio.gov 8/31/23

A man convicted under an Ohio sex offender reporting law completed his 10-year registration requirements while living in Kentucky and did not have to start the reporting period over when he moved to Ohio, the Supreme Court of Ohio ruled today.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court rejected the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office contention that Michael Schilling’s Ohio sex offender reporting obligation paused while he was living and registering as a sex offender in Kentucky and then resumed when he moved back to Ohio in 2020.

Writing for the Court, Justice Melody Stewart explained that Schilling had committed a sex offense in Ohio in 2007, but was not convicted for that offense until 2008. At sentencing, Schilling was notified by the court that his conviction required him to register as a sex offender under the Adam Walsh Act, Ohio’s sex offender reporting law, which took effect January 1, 2008.  Justice Stewart explained that this notification was erroneous to the extent that Megan’s Law, Ohio’s sex offender reporting law in effect at the time the offense was committed, applied to Schilling.

The Court concluded that there is an active duty to report under Megan’s Law when an offender lives, works, or goes to school in Ohio, but that this duty is inactive when the offender remains out of state. The Court concluded that the period, or duration, of the reporting obligation imposed by Megan’s Law is not “tolled,” or paused, when an offender remains out of state.  Instead, the period continues to run even if there is no active reporting obligation.

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Wish they would except to set mine back to 10 years like agreed to in my plea deal 🙄 but good for this guy!!!

Good. Every damn state wants their piece of the pie. Offense free for X period, is offense free for X period. It shouldn’t have to matter where that time was. I hope karma pays a visit to that DA.

So does mean once you’re relieved of your duty to register in your state, you can move anywhere in the United States and not be required to register, under Megan’s law”s mandatory minimum registration period ?

As long as the time is served, it needs to continue to count towards the original measure of sentencing. The clock should not stop in one state or reset if moved to another. A time period is a time period (that is how the Feds should see probably see it). This is where @SR points out it needs to be uniform which I agree with.

While I agree with the rights of the citizens of each state to have sentencing they find acceptable within the rights of the Constitution, there does need to be uniformity in them across the board as the USSC (US Sentencing Commission) should mete out for Congress to pass and applicable to the nation as a whole (which borders on a communist way of life when considered).

The goal is rehabilitation not continual punishment regardless of what side of a border one is living on. The legal system has gotten out of hand and their way of administering it continues to punish those who have paid their debt. There needs to be a common sense reset of the laws which are similar across the country within each state and politicians don’t get the chance to modify them to their wishes for election purposes.

I asked Janice Belucci for some clarification on this very confusing issue (as posed by the question of Aero Pho above). Here is a copy of my exchange with her:

“Janice, if you could, when you have a moment, comment upon or clarify the question posed by “Aero’s Pho” yesterday (Aug. 31) (in response to the article entitled: “OH: Sex Offender’s Out-of-State Registration Counts Toward Ohio Sex Offense Reporting Requirement”). He asks:

“So does this mean once you’re relieved of your duty to register in your state, you can move anywhere in the United States and not be required to register, under Megan’s law”s mandatory minimum registration period ?”

I also asked for clarification if the state to which the subject moves (the new state) is a “SORNA state”, how does that affect the requirement to register.

Janice responded:

The comment posted by Aero’s Pho is not correct. After being removed from the registry in one state, it is possible that a person might be required to register in another state whether visiting or living there permanently. Whether SORNA applies or not is another question and the answer is even less clear. Janice”

Good grief, all this dancing around SORNA requirements, details, twisting of laws here and there to make it work here, or not work there, or rules here, violations there, time served here, fees paid there, residency restrictions here, not there, murders, suicides, vigilantism. All this is blatant punishment, there’s no way around it anymore! I’m sick and tired of my entire freaking life being a maze of requirements all dictated by the damn registry and sex hysteria (via parole restrictions)! Some lawmakers need to get together, man up and strike the entire thing down! I repeat, just abolish the damn registry already and be done with the entire thing!

“The Court concluded that there is an active duty to report under Megan’s Law when a… [person] lives, works, or goes to school in Ohio, but that this duty is inactive when the… [person] remains out of state.”

Ha! Ha! ha! Tell that to Wisconsin

It wasn’t discussed in this decision of course but it’s hard to envision a situation where if the OH legislature had decided that OH registration tolled/paused when living out of state, the registration laws would still meet their stated intention of protecting the public. To toll for someone who is out of state, if in the law, would seem to me proof that the intent of the law was actually punishment.

Stated another way, if the legislature decided that 10 years of registration was sufficient to protect the public – that is 10 years without a new offense makes the person less dangerous to the public so that registration is not needed – how can effectively extending that by tolling have anything but a punitive intent even if stated otherwise.

So what links are updated? The guide put out by Washington State Sheriffs? (thank you boys) Or the other links, because they’re from 2017 and 2015. I’m confused 🤷