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This article reviews sex offense laws including:

  • What statutes exist in Illinois about sex offense laws?
  • What is the Sex Offender Database?
  • What information is required on the sex offender database?
  • Can My Name Be Removed From The Illinois Sex Offender Database?
  • Sex Offender vs. Sexual Predator
  • What Happens If I Don't Register As A Sex Offender?

The Illinois statute which requires the state police to maintain a sex offender database does not specifically outline any procedure to remove a person’s name from the data base.  In fact, Section 7 of the statute, “duration of registration” specially states that a person who has been adjudicated to be sexually dangerous and is released or found to be no longer sexually dangerous and discharged, shall register for the period of their natural life.

A person who is “sexually dangerous” is referred to as a “sexual predator”.  A “sexual offender” may have a shorter registration period than “for their natural life”, however, it is usually at least ten years.   The Illinois statute requires sex offenders to register not only with the State Police registry but also with local law enforcement.  The purpose of the law is to comply with the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Offender Registration Act of 1994 and the federal Megan’s Law.  The purpose of each being the registration of sex offenders and community notification.  

This article reviews sex offense laws including:

  • What statutes exist in Illinois about sex offense laws?
  • What is the Sex Offender Database?
  • What information is required on the sex offender database?
  • Can My Name Be Removed From The Illinois Sex Offender Database?
  • Sex Offender vs. Sexual Predator
  • What Happens If I Don't Register As A Sex Offender?

What statutes exist in Illinois about sex offense laws?

Illinois Compiled Statutes 730 ILCS 152/115(a) provides that the Department of State Police shall establish and maintain a Statewide Sex Offender Database for the purpose of identifying persons who have been convicted of certain sex offenses and/or crimes against children.  Persons who are required to register as “Sex Offenders” are persons who have been charged;  have charges that result in a conviction or conviction for “attempt” to commit the offense, a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity, or a finding not resulting in an acquittal after a hearing.  (Illinois State Police website)

A “sex offender” is defined under 730 ILCS 152/115 as any sex offender whose offense or adjudication as a sexually dangerous person occurred on or after June 1, 1996, and whose victim was under the age of 18 at the time the offense was committed but does not include certain offenses as described in the statute.

Once a person is placed in a “sex offender database” can their name ever be removed? Each person’s circumstances are different, but the duty to register once labeled a “sexual offender” are the same.   First, we will review the law in the State of Illinois which requires sex offenders and sex predators to register with the State and local law enforcement. The statute specifically makes it the Illinois State Police’s responsibility to maintain the registry.   Next, we will discuss the difference between a sex offender and sexual predator, the period of time in which they must register and when, if ever, their name can be removed from the registry.  Finally, the Federal laws that reinforce the state laws.  

What Is The Sex Offender Database?

Pursuant to 730 ILCS 152/115, the Illinois State Police (ISP) maintain a website that includes the sex offender database.  The registry is maintained and updated daily according to the website.  A person must first acknowledge the ISP disclaimer, but then may look up all of the sex offenders within a ten mile radius of their home.  The registry will inform the researcher of the age of the sex offender, the age of his victim and also provides a picture of the sex offender. (https://isp.illinois.gov)

The statute provides that the sex offender has a duty to register annually for up to ten (10) years from the date of their conviction or release from jail. The ten year reporting period can be longer or for the person’s “natural life”.  If there is any change in the information provided to the registry, the sex offender is required to notify the registry of the change within three (3) days.  Upon completion of an offender’s ten (10) year registration period, their information may longer appear on the website, provided they have not violated any terms of their release or probation and have not been arrested for any other criminal offenses.

What information is required on the sex offender database?

The statute is very clear as to exactly what information the sex offender must provide to the registry.

THE INFORMATION A SEX OFFENDER MUST PROVIDE TO THE REGISTRY INCLUDES:

  • current photograph
  • current address
  • current place of employment
  • the sex offender’s or sexual predator’s telephone number
  • school attended
  • all email addresses
  • instant messaging identities
  • chat room identities
  • other Internet communications identities
  • all Uniform Resource blogs
  • all other Internet communications identities that the sex offender uses or plans to use, all URLs registered or used by the sex offender, all blogs and other Internet sites maintained by the sex offender or to which the sex offender has uploaded any content or posted any messages or information.

Sexual Offenders Are Required To Provide Information To The Registry For At Least Ten Years And In Some Circumstances For The Duration Of Their Natural Life

Can My Name Be Removed From The Illinois Sex Offender Database?

The statute does not contain any language which provides for a means to remove one’s name from the registry.  

In order to determine whether or not a person’s name can ever be “removed” from a sex offender database, we look to the Illinois statute and the duration of registration requirements.  The statute does not provide any means to “remove” a name from the database.  There is no process specifically stated in the statute by which one can petition a court or tribunal for removal of their name.  Therefore, once a person retains the label of “sexual offender” there is little that can be done.  It is extremely important for anyone charged with a criminal sexual offense to talk to a lawyer about their rights and options.  A person’s life is severely impacted once their name is placed into the registry.

Sex Offender vs. Sexual Predator

The Illinois Statute Defines Both A “Sex Offender” And A “Sexual Predator”

A  “sex offender” means any person who is :  (1) charged pursuant to Illinois law, or any substantially similar federal, Uniform Code of Military Justice, sister state, or foreign country law, with a sex offense set forth in subsection (B)  of this Section or the attempt to commit an included sex offense, and :

  1. Is convicted of such offense or an attempt to commit such offense; or
  1. Is found not guilty by reason of insanity of such offense or an attempt to commit such offense; or  
  1. Is found not guilty by reason of insanity pursuant to Section 104-25c of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 of such offense or an attempt to commit such offense; o
  1. Is the subject of a finding not resulting in an acquittal at a hearing conducted pursuant to Section 104-25(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 for the alleged commission or attempted commission of such offense; or  
  1. Is found not guilty by reason of insanity following a hearing conducted pursuant to a federal, Uniform Code of Military Justice, sister state, or foreign country law substantially similar to Section 104-25© of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 of such offense or of the attempted commission of such offense; or
  1. Is the subject of a finding not resulting in an acquittal at a hearing conducted pursuant to a federal, Uniform Code of Military Justice, sister state, or foreign country law substantially similar to Section 104-25(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 for the alleged violation or attempted commission of such offense; or

(2)  declared as a sexually dangerous person pursuant to the Illinois Sexually Dangerous Persons Act, or any substantially similar federal, Uniform Code of Military Justice, sister state, or foreign country law; or

(3)  subject to the provisions of Section 2 of the Interstate Agreements on Sexually Dangerous Persons Act; or  

(4)  found to be a sexually violent person pursuant to the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act or any substantially similar, federal, Uniform Code of Military Justice, sister state, or foreign country law; or

(5)  adjudicated a juvenile delinquent as the result of committing or attempting to commit an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute any of the offenses specified in item (B), (C), or (C-5) of this Section or a violation of any substantially similar federal, Uniform Code of Military Justice, sister state, or foreign country law, or found guilty under Article V of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 of committing or attempting to commit an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute any of the offenses specified in item (B), (C), or (C-5) of this Section or a violation of any substantially similar federal, Uniform Code of Military Justice, sister state, or foreign country law.

Convictions that result from or are connected with the same act, or result from offenses committed at the same time, shall be counted for the purpose of this Article as one conviction.  Any conviction set aside pursuant to law is not a conviction for purposes of this Article. 730 ILCS 150/2.

Under subparagraph (E) “sexual predator” means:  any person who is convicted for an offense including: luring of a minor, that involves keeping a place of juvenile prostitution, exploitation of a child, child pornography, aggravated child pornography, criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, and ritualized abuse of a child.

What Happens If I Don't Register As A Sex Offender?

In Illinois, the law states that a person who is convicted of a sexual offense under either Federal or State law is considered a “sex offender”.  The United States Department of Justice provides a “Citizen Guide to U.S. Federal Law on Sex Offender Registration”.  18 U.S.C. S2250 – Failure to Register.  This statute makes it a Federal offense for sex offenders required to register pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) to knowing fail to register or update a registration as required.  Stated convicted sex offenders may also be prosecuted under this statute if the sex offender knowingly fails to register or update a registration as required, and engages in interstate travel, foreign travel, or enters, leaves, or resides on an Indian reservation.  18 U.S.C. Section 2250   A sex offender who fails to properly register may face fines and up to 10 years in prison.  Furthermore, if a sex offender knowingly fails to update or register as required and commits a violent federal crime, he or she may face up to 30 years in prison under this statute.  18 U.S.C. Section 2250.

Posted 
March 29, 2021
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