In California, sex offender registration is taken quite seriously. Any person who has been convicted of any one of a litany of sex crimes (including indecent exposure) could be forced to register as a sex offender, oftentimes, for life. While there is debate among members of the public and political pundits concerning the wisdom of the sex offender registration system as it stands, with its burdensome and onerous litany of requirements, the fact remains that an individual who does not comply with the obligations of their registration could end up facing harsh penalties.
Recently, a 26-year-old man from Winters was sentenced to over 13 years in state prison for having violated the terms of his status as a sex offender registrant. In sum, he failed to update registry officials when he changed addresses, which he was required by law to do annually on or within 5 business days of his birthday. The man was already on probation for having failed to register in the first place. Once law enforcement officials associated both with the FBI and the Sacramento Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Task Force (funded by the California Office of Emergency Services) were alerted to the man’s whereabouts, they searched the home, where he was living illegally with a child, and found 6 different videos containing exploitative images of children in sexual situations.
This was on the basis of being convicted of child pornography (CA Penal Code 311). Situations like these stress both the importance of keeping up with one’s sex offender registration requirements and the unusual nature of the strict requirements themselves.