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Supreme Court rules sex offenders who move to Indiana must register
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Supreme Court rules sex offenders who move to Indiana must register

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INDIANAPOLIS — A sex offender required to register in any other state must also register with Indiana police if he or she relocates to the Hoosier State, regardless of when the initial sex crime was committed.

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled 5-0 Thursday that it is not an unconstitutional retroactive punishment for the state to require sex offenders with registration obligations elsewhere to also register in Indiana.

Sidney Tyson, of Merrillville, was judged a juvenile delinquent as a 13-year-old in Texas for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old. He served two years probation and was required to register as a sex offender in Texas until 2014.

He moved to Indiana in 2009.

In 2012, Tyson was stopped by Merrillville police for driving a vehicle with an expired license plate and ultimately arrested for failing to register as a sex offender in Indiana, as required by a 2006 statute.

Tyson’s attorney, Kristin Mulholland, argued to the Supreme Court that it’s unconstitutional for Indiana to require Tyson to register since his 2002 conviction preceded the 2006 law mandating registration of out-of-state sex offenders who move to Indiana.

But Justice Mark Massa, writing for the high court, said Tyson had sufficient notice that he would be required to register when he moved to Indiana, and the additional burden is minimal since he already was obligated to register in Texas — and had done so.

In addition, Massa notes that “by requiring registration from individuals who are required to register elsewhere, Indiana avoids becoming a safe haven for offenders attempting to evade their obligation.”

Prosecution of Tyson’s alleged failure to register as a sex offender has been on hold while his Supreme Court case was pending.

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