Supreme Court sets process for putting children on sex offender registry

2013-07-01T19:30:00Z 2013-07-02T00:15:18Z Supreme Court sets process for putting children on sex offender registryDan Carden, (317) 637-9078
July 01, 2013 7:30 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | The Indiana Supreme Court on Monday clarified the process juvenile court judges must follow before a child who commits a sex crime can be added to the state's sex offender registry.

In a 5-0 decision, the state's high court said prior to registry placement juvenile court judges must hold a formal fact-finding hearing and expressly determine there is clear and convincing evidence a juvenile sex offender is likely to re-offend.

At that hearing, the juvenile must have the opportunity to be represented by counsel, the ability to challenge the prosecutor's evidence and present his or her own, wrote Justice Loretta Rush, a former Lafayette juvenile court judge. Any continuation of the initial hearing must meet the same requirements.

Unlike adult sex offenders, who are automatically required to register following conviction — in part to permit community condemnation of the offender, the process must be different for juveniles because rehabilitation is the purpose of the juvenile system.

"For children, the effect of registration is particularly harsh because while some juvenile court records are confidential, registration reveals their delinquent acts to the world and exposes them to the profound humiliation and community-wide ostracism that registration entails," Rush wrote.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court overturned a decision by the Indiana Court of Appeals and ordered a Bedford-area child removed from the sex offender registry until a Lawrence County judge holds the now-required fact-finding hearing.

That case involved a 16-year-old boy using the game Truth or Dare to entice a 9-year-old boy to engage in fondling and other sex acts. Following treatment, the boy was rated as having a 4 to 6 percent risk of sexual recidivism, according to court records.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Latest Local Offers

Septic Tank Services - Jack & Vernon's Septic Service of Lake Station, IN

Jack & Vernon's Septic Service is here for all your septic…

We Won't Drive On Your Lawn ~ Jack & Vernon’s Septic Service – Experienced professionals.

With more than 35 years of experience, you can trust that Jack…

Featured Businesses



Who do you support for the U.S. House of Representatives in District 1?

View Results