As of Thursday morning, there were 280 sex offenders in Fayette County, and six were not in compliance, according to
the Fayette County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Kathy Witt said some addresses are visited every day. Those who are incompliant
are usually not living at the addresses listed for the individuals. Witt received and skimmed the ruling Thursday morning.
"I haven't had time to digest the whole thing," she said, adding that she planned to look it over and decide how to proceed
.State Rep. Joni Jenkins, D-Shively, lead sponsor of the bill, noted that the Supreme Court decision doesn't strike down
the entire law, only a provision of the law.Jenkins said the law still helps protect children, as it was meant to do.
But she said it's also important for parents not to rely on the sex-offender registry because most children are abused
by a family member or family friend."We still need to look after our personal safety and the safety of our children,"
Jenkins said.Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, who also sponsored the bill, said he was disappointed and surprised by
the decision."Our focus was not to penalize anybody," Damron said. "Our focus was to provide protection to potential
victims of sex offenders."He said the date a sex offender was convicted is irrelevant."To say that I'm disappointed
is probably an understatement," Damron said.In October 2006, authorities in Fayette County began knocking on doors
and arresting sex offenders who were in violation of the law. At the time, there were 256 sex offenders in Fayette County,
and 180 were expected to move.Most of them were living in older, urban neighborhoods inside New Circle Road.
Downtown Lexington was virtually off limits to sex offenders because of the number of prohibited areas.The new law
included playgrounds in the list of prohibited areas whereas the former law only prohibited offenders from living near
day-care centers and schools. The new law also measures the distance from a property line instead of the center of
a property.Many registered sex offenders in Fayette County who owned homes for years were upset about being forced
to move because of a law enacted after they committed and served time for their crimes.Sex offenders across the state
took their concerns to court only to receive varying opinions from judges.Michael Baker, who entered a guilty plea to a
third-degree rape charge in March 1995 in Kenton County, challenged the new law on several constitutional grounds and
asked the court to dismiss charges that he violated the residency law.Kenton District Judge Martin J. Sheehan ruled that
the law was punitive and not regulatory, and violated the ex post facto clause in the U.S. Constitution. Kenton District
Court granted Baker's motion.The issue was sent to the Supreme Court to determine whether the law was unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court, however, disagreed with Kenton District Court that the General Assembly intended for the law to be punitive.
The Supreme Court said state legislators intended for the law to be a "civil, non-punitive regulatory scheme,"
according to the ruling.Still, the residency restrictions are "so punitive in effect as to negate any intention to deem them as civil."_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________IN Supreme Court Nixes Retroactive Law jconline.comIndiana court limits sex offender residency law. Indianapolis –
Convicted sex offenders who lived near schools or other places frequented by children before a state law
restricting their residency was enacted in 2006 would not have to move under a ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court.
The court ruled this week that the residency law violated the Indiana constitution by retroactively punishing Anthony W. Pollard,
a Blackford County sex offender who died in December.Pollard had owned his home in northeastern Indiana for about
10 years when he was convicted of a sex offense against a child in 1997. He was then charged in January 2007 with violating
the 2006 law that prohibits convicted sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school, public park or youth program
center.The state Supreme Court decision said the residency law prevents a sex offender from living in his home even if
he bought it before the law took effect and even if a school or youth center moved within 1,000 feet of a home where he
already lived.“Although the statute does not affect ownership of property, it does affect one’s freedom to live on one’s own property,”
Justice Robert Rucker wrote. “A sex offender is subject to constant eviction because there is no way for him or her to find a
permanent home in that there are no guarantees a school or youth program center will not open within 1,000 feet of any given
location.”Bryan Corbin, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, which handled the appeal, said a staff attorney
interpreted the ruling to apply only to offenders who were charged, convicted and sentenced before the residency
law was enacted.The decision was the latest by the state Supreme Court to find that certain laws regarding state
oversight of sex offenders violate the Indiana constitution’s ban on laws punishing people for acts that were legal
when they were committed.In April, the court overturned a man’s conviction for not registering as a sex offender
because he had already completed a sentence for child molestation before the state’s Sex Offender Registration Act was passed._________________________________________________________________
__NJ High Court Strikes Down Residency Lawshttp://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2009/05/new-jersey-high-court-bars-sex-offender.phpAP : NJ
court strikes down sex offender residency limit.
New Jersey’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that towns cannot ban sex offenders from living near schools, parks,
or other places where children gather.The court struck down two municipal ordinances that restricted where convicted
sex offenders could live, a ruling that invalidates similar laws in more than 100 other towns across the state. The two
cases, in Cherry Hill and Galloway townships in southern New Jersey, highlighted Megan’s Law, which requires convicted
sex offenders to register their whereabouts with law enforcement.The broader issue, though, centered on whether towns
have the authority to pass ordinances that may conflict with state laws.In its 6-0 decision, the Supreme Court echoed a
2008 appellate ruling that sided with the plaintiffs. Justice John E. Wallace Jr. did not participate.All 50 states have some
version of Megan’s Law, but the cases decided Thursday are the first of their type to reach a state Supreme Court,
said Frank Corrado, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union who represented the unidentified plaintiff in
Galloway Township. The ACLU filed a lawsuit in Vermont this week challenging a similar ordinance in the town of Barre,
near Montpelier.“We continue to feel these laws are counterproductive and don’t accomplish their purpose,” Corrado said
Thursday. “There’s no real connection between limiting where someone can live and a sex offense occurring in a park
or public place.” Stratis said supporters of the ordinances will now have to rely on the state Legislature to expand
Megan’s Law or explicitly authorize towns to craft their own rules. Lawmakers are expected to revisit several bills
that have been on hold pending the Supreme Court ruling.Iowa’s legislature recently revised a state law to relax
restrictions on where lower-risk sex offenders can live, but also created buffer zones that prevent them from entering
areas where children congregate.Under Megan’s Law, convicted sex offenders may only live in a residence approved
by a parole officer, and must notify authorities when they change addresses and employment. The law forbids anyone
from using an offender’s criminal record to deny housing.Both New Jersey towns have ordinances that prohibit sex
offenders convicted of offenses against minors from living within 2,500 feet of schools, parks, playgrounds and
day care centers. In all, about 120 towns in New Jersey have passes similar ordinances.The Galloway Township case
involved a Stockton College student who had served two years’ probation for criminal sexual contact committed
when he was 15 against a 13-year-old girl. He was designated under Megan’s Law as a Tier I offender, meaning
he was considered to have the lowest risk of re-offense.
The township sent him a notice telling him he could not live on campus since his dorm was within 2,500 feet of a
day care center.The two plaintiffs in the Cherry Hill case, James Barclay and Jeffrey Finguerra, moved into a
motel within 2,500 feet of Camden Catholic High School while they awaited approval for a new residence from
their parole officers. The township found them guilty of violating the ordinance and fined them.