By LORI FRIEND
Upper Arlington (UA), Ohio is a suburban town in Franklin County that shows a population of about 34,000; a rather small community that sits between the Olentangy and Scioto rivers as it were.
The reason this is important is because they are taking Monday to review proposed scaling back of “current requirements for sex offender registration” and although this suburb ‘only’ has two registered sex offenders (ratio is 16,161 to 1), the community is small enough to warrant a revisit of requirements.
Ohio being the first to comply with the Adam Walsh Act, stated juvenile sex offenders be automatically required to register for the rest of their lives but were able to be ‘reclassified’ 25 years after that requirement began.
But, last year the Ohio Supreme Court had struck down a lifetime registration requirement for juvenile sex offenders. They also don't require registration for those who have been out of prison 15 years, starting as juvenile or no.
Last year’s 5-2 vote, with Justice Paul E. Pfeifer voting in favor of striking it down had this to say then, “Before a juvenile can even begin his adult life, before he has a chance to live on his own, the world will know his offense,” Pfeifer wrote. “His potential will be squelched before it has a chance to show itself.”
Difficulty in this statement lies with light being shown on the fact of why this was brought to attention in the fist place: the conviction of a 15-year-old in the kidnapping and rape of a six-year-old relative in Athens County.
With that being said, UA requires the lifetime registration for sex offenders.
Adding the fact it goes against state law now, and how offenders are not allowed to work within 1,000 feet of schools, public parks, libraries and pre-schools, it stands to reason a small suburb like UA may not be seen as the most “inviting”.
Not to be blamed, a few citizens were not all that sympathetic, saying they are worried how this will impact the children in the community and noted the offenders made the decisions they made and should have to live with the consequences.
According to the email, the reading of proposed changes, the first reading, is going to be at the City Council meeting at the Municipal Services Center at 7:30 p.m. June 10.