FAQ's regarding sex offenders
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is a Sex Offender?
The term "sex offender" refers to any person, juvenile or an adult, who is convicted of specific offenses that include, but are not limited to: Rape, Rape of a Child, Child Molestation, Sexual Misconduct with a Minor, Indecent Liberties (without or without forcible compulsion), Sexual Violation of Human Remains, Incest, Communication with a Minor for Immoral Purposes (both felony and gross misdemeanor).
A person can also be listed as a sex offender if they are convicted of a Felony with a finding of sexual motivation, or a Federal out-of-state conviction that, under Washington State Law, would be classified as a felony sex offense. For more information, please read RCW# 9A.44, 9A.64.020, 9.68A.090, 9.94A.127, and 13.40.135.
Who must register as a sex offender?
Any adult or juvenile who has been convicted of any sex offense (listed above) after February 28, 1990 (the date listed in the Community Protection Act of 1990), or who is on active supervision for a sex offense (Probation or Parole, now called Community Custody), or who has been committed as a sexually violent predator, as defined in RCW 71.09. For more information, please visit http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx
How long must an offender register?
The duration of a sex offender's duty to register is based up on the original offense, not the Level they are classified as:
- Class A Felony: May stop registering only upon the petition of the superior court.
- Class B Felony: Fifteen years from the last date of release from confinement or entry of the judgment and sentence; if the person has spent 15 consecutive years in the community without being convicted of any new offenses. If an offender satisfies these requirements, they shall be relieved of their duty to register by the sheriff’s office in the county of their residence.
- Class C Felony: Ten years from the last date of release from confinement or entry of the judgment and sentence; if the person has spent 10 consecutive years in the community without being convicted of any new offenses. Again, if an offender satisfies these requirements, they shall be relieved of their duty to register by the sheriff’s office in the county of their residence.
- Petition of Court: Any person having the duty to register, or an offender having the duty to register for a sex offense when the offender was a juvenile, may petition the superior court to be relieved of that duty. If an offender is granted permission to be relieved of their duty to register by a superior court judge, they will no longer have to comply with the sex offender registration requirements of the State of Washington.
What is a Risk Level?
One of three risk levels is assigned to a sex offender based on the potential risk to re-offend. Specific factors are taken into consideration when determining the risk level of a sex offender; some of which are past criminal history, conviction data, and psychological behavioral evaluations. The leveling of a sex offender is merely a guide to the risk of re-offense; there is no way to know the future actions of any individual, including those convicted of a sex offense:
•Level I: Considered a Low Risk to re-offend.
•Level II: Considered a Moderate Risk to re-offend.
•Level III: Considered a High Risk to re-offend.
Under what authority is sex offender information released to the public?
This Department releases sex offender information pursuant to RCW 4.24.550 which authorizes law enforcement to release information to the public regarding sex offenders when the agency determines that disclosure of information is relevant and necessary to protect the public and to counteract the danger created by the particular offender. The content of the information made available, as well as where and how the information is disseminated, is restricted to the standards set forth in Chapter 4.24 and by the Washington State Supreme Court ruling in State v. Ward, 123 WA 2d 488 (1994.)
The individuals who appear on the Clark County/Vancouver Police websites have been convicted of a sex offense that requires registration with the Sheriff's Office in the county of their residence. Furthermore, previous criminal history places them in a classification level that reflects the potential to re-offend.
These sex offenders have served the sentence imposed on them by the courts and have advised the Clark County Sheriff's Office that they will be living in the location listed with their information.
The Vancouver Police Department has no legal authority to direct where a sex offender may or may not live. Unless court ordered restrictions exist, these offenders are constitutionally free to live wherever they choose.
Sex offenders have always lived in our communities; prior to the passage of the Community Protection Act of 1990 (which mandates sex offender registration) law enforcement officials did not know where offenders were living. Citizens should refrain from threatening, intimidating, or harassing registered sex offenders. Such abuse could potentially end law enforcement's ability to notify the community. Persons who engage in this behavior not only threaten take away this tool, but could face criminal charges based on their actions and intent.
Who decides where a sex offender may live?
The Vancouver Police Department has no legal authority to direct where sex offenders may or may not live. Currently in Washington State, there is no law or statute regarding where sex offenders may or may not reside; unless court-ordered restrictions exist, the offender is constitutionally free to live wherever they choose.
If a sex offender is on active probation through the Washington State Department of Corrections, they can have restrictions on where they live and where they can go (such as parks, malls, etc.) and who they can have contact with, i.e. minors; however those restrictions are lifted once the sex offender has completed his community custody. For more information about sex offenders and probation please visit the Department of Corrections website at http://www.doc.wa.gov/corrections/.
Who can I contact to obtain more information regarding Vancouver Sex Offenders?
The Vancouver Police Department's SONAR Unit: Det. Dave Jensen who can be reached at (360) 487-7446. Sex/Kidnap Offender Registration Unit, SOR Detective, (360) 397-2284 or e-mail at ClarkCountySOR@clark.wa.gov, the Washington State Department of Corrections Special Needs Unit, (360) 571-4300; request to speak with a Supervisor on duty regarding sex offenders that are on active community custody.