Protecting the Children: Part 2

By: Tamara Evans
By: Tamara Evans

In July two different laws were passed aimed at sex offenders that will affect offenders in Kentucky.

One Kentucky law impacted where sex offenders can live and a national law passed was aimed at strengthening how these offenders are tracked.

A new law went into effect on July 12th in Kentucky which put tighter restrictions on where sex offenders can live.

Under the old law registered sex offenders that were on probation, parole, or some conditional discharge were under a requirement to not live 1,000 feet of a public school,” says Bowling Green Police Detective David Dunn.

Detective David Dunn spends much of his time tracking local sex offenders.

He says the new law prevents all sex offenders on the registry from living near public parks as well.

The new law also requires these sex offenders to register any place they might stay.

"So, if you're renting one place and staying at another place then both places have to be reported and on the registry,” says Dunn.

The new law gave sex offenders in violation ninety days to move.

Their time is now almost up.

By October 13th these offenders cannot be living within 1,000 feet from schools, daycares, or public parks.

"I think the thinking, the rationale, behind it is if you can keep people who are inclined to offend sexually away from places where children are, especially those who are inclined to offend against children, then that would be effective,” says Dunn.

A new federal law signed by President Bush in July also targeted sex offenders.

The new legislation is called "Adam's Law".

It's named after Adam Walsh.

He's the son of America's Most Wanted host John Walsh.

Six-year-old Adam disappeared from a Florida department store 25 years ago.

He was found murdered two weeks later.

The new law creates a national registry so that parents and the police can track sex offenders better.

"By enacting this law we're sending a clear message across the country, those that prey on our children will be caught, prosecuted, and punished to the fullest extent of the law,” President Bush said in July at the signing of Adam's Law.

John Walsh became an advocate for missing and exploited children in the years following Adam's death.

He helped push for this new nationwide law.

The law will expand the National Sex Offender Registry by combining the information in state sex offender registry systems and ensuring that law enforcement across the United States has access to the same information.

The law will also increases federal penalties for crimes against children and assigns more FBI agents to investigate internet sex crimes.

It's hoped that this new law will close exiting loopholes in the sex offender system.

These loopholes have let some sex offenders to move from state to state allowing them to beat the system.

"It will change the way this country and the criminal justice system deals with the rapists of our women and the molesters of our children,” John Walsh said at the signing of Adam's Law.

When Kentucky's law regarding where registered sex offenders can live was passed in July there were 43 of these offenders living in Warren County.

Twenty-six of them were affected by the new law.

With the ninety day grace period they were given this means they will have to be moved by next Friday.

This may make many of you feel a little bit more secure to know that these offenders won't be living as close to schools and parks anymore, but it seems the scariest statistics show that most offenders aren't strangers.

"The whole point is it could be anyone, not just the people that are on those registries. Those are just the ones who get caught,” says Bowling Green police officer Barry Raley.

Thursday night in "Protecting the Children,” we'll take a closer look at who is more likely to commit these sexual acts against children.

You may be surprised at the results.

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