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The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 was enacted to protect children from abductors and child sex offenders, and to make it more difficult for these offenders to reach children on the Internet. Congress named the bill in recognition of the efforts of John and Reve Walsh, whose son Adam was abducted from a Hollywood, FL, mall in 1981, and later found to be murdered. Since the loss of their son, the Walshes have been advocates for the safety and security of children all across the United States.
Included in Title I of this act is the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), which lists the minimum federal requirements for the registration and notification of sex offenders in the United States. SORNA created an office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking, which is known as the SMART Office. The SMART Office creates standards for notification and registration of sex offenders in accordance with the SORNA guidelines, and it also provides technical assistance to the states with regard to sex offender registering and notification.
Registered sex offenders are categorized into three tiers, with Tier III encompassing offenders who have committed the most serious crimes. While states may have their own definitions for these tiers (see 29 O.R.C. §2950.01 for Ohio’s descriptions of Tier I, II, and III sex offenders and child-victim offenders,) the Adam Walsh Act outlines the federal organizations for these tiers and includes the minimum prison sentencing guides for offenders. Anyone charged with inflicting serious bodily injury on a minor could receive at least ten years in prison. Those charged with kidnapping or maiming a minor could receive a prison term of at least 25 years, and those charged with murder could serve at least 30 years or the state could pursue a charge of life in prison. The penalties for child prostitution and sex trafficking of minors were increased as well.
The act created the national sex offender registry website that maintains current public listings of registered sex offenders. The website includes pertinent information about the sex offender, such as addresses, birth dates, and places of employment, so people may be able to search their geographical location to see if registered sex offenders live or work in their area. Tier I offenders must verify their registration every year for 15 years after they have registered, and Tier II offenders verify their registration every six months for 25 years. Tier III offenders must maintain current registration every three months for their entire lives.
Sections 629 and 630 of the act discuss the ever-increasing use of the Internet by minors and the ways in which they become vulnerable to sexual predators. The Attorney General has authorized grants to be used to combat online materials such as child pornography, and to educate parents and children on how to navigate the Internet safely.
If you are charged with a sex crime against a minor, you need to understand that these charges are extremely serious and can have a lifelong negative effect on your reputation. You will probably have many questions, and you may want to consider hiring a criminal attorney to help you receive the best possible outcome for your case.
A conviction for a sex crime against a minor will remain on your criminal background for life. That’s why it’s important to get the help you need from the right source. Luftman, Heck & Associates explore every possible defense for our clients and strive to obtain the very best outcomes in their cases through creative and aggressive advocacy. If you’re facing a charge of a sex crime against a minor and need a Columbus sex crimes attorney, call us today at for a free and confidential consultation.