Indiana Sex Offenses and Why They Are Different
Among many other crimes, sex offenses standout in Indiana because of the social perspective it has. The impact of a sex crime on the victim extends beyond physical trauma to psychological damage. For this reason, Indiana takes sex crimes seriously. The system punishes sex crimes by mandating all sex offenders to register and update their personal information regularly. This information is available to the public to protect the potential victims of the same offender. The consequences for the offender include housing restrictions, work restrictions, and constant monitoring of movements by law enforcement agencies. The Indiana criminal code contains regulations that govern sex crimes in the state.
What Is an Indiana Sex Crime?
Indiana sex crimes comprise criminal offenses with the element of sexual involvement. Sex crimes in Indiana may be sub-categorized based on the offender’s age and the victim, and the severity of the act. Most sex crimes in Indiana are also sex crimes by federal laws. Because of this, most sex offenders are eligible for prosecution by both the state and federal governments.
What Are the Different Types of Sex Offenses?
Sex offenses in Indiana include:
- Child molestation and exploitation
- Child solicitation or seduction
- Sexual misconduct with a minor
- Sexual battery
- Possession of child pornography
- Promoting prostitution
- Promoting child sexual trafficking
- Promoting human sexual trafficking
- Sexual misconduct by a service provider with a child in custody
Sex Offender Levels of Classification in Indiana
Sex or violent offenses but not a sexually violent predator: All forms of sex offenses devoid of violence, force, threats, or manipulation are in this category: rape, child molestation or exploitation, vicarious sexual gratification, child solicitation/seduction, and sexual misconduct with a minor, incest. Besides other incarceration penalties that may apply, they are under bounds to register as sex offenders with the local law enforcement agencies in their residence for 10 years before they stand a chance of release from registration.
Sexually violent predators: this category of offenders are guilty of the same offenses listed above, but with additional charges of violence, based on the definitions of IC 35–38–1–7.5, IC 11–8–8–5 (a), 35–42–4–5 (a) (1)- (3) of the laws of the Indiana General Assembly. The definitions revolve around the acts of violence, the age of the offender, and repeat offenses. This category of crimes are subject to the penalty of lifetime registration as a sex offender.
How Do I Find a Sex Offender Near Me in Indiana?
Sex offender records are public in Indiana. It means that anyone interested can access them. While there is over one repository of sex offender records in the state, the county sheriff’s department provides one-stop access to records on any business day of the week. These records arise from registrations generated by sex offenders within the county. The state law mandates all sex offenders in Indiana to register upon conviction with the local sheriff’s department. Whenever there are changes in residence, they must update such changes at the sheriff’s office. Copies of the records are at the county sheriff’s department, while the same information is available at the central state database. A cursory criminal history check with the Indiana State Police will yield results of sex offenders.
Indiana Sex Offender Registry
Zachary’s law of the state of Indiana mandates all sheriff’s departments to forward the names of sex offenders at their local offices to the central state sex and violent offender registry. It informs the public about the identity, address, and physical description of sex and violent offenders who reside, work, or get an education in Indiana. Their social security numbers, however, remain private information. The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute is the agency that has oversight on the registration process. The registry provides the names of sex offenders and their addresses by county. Individuals seeking such information can either use this route or visit the local sheriff’s department for information. The registry also allows residents to subscribe for alerts that will give them information about the whereabouts of sex offenders in their neighborhood.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.
Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
What Are the Sex Offender Restrictions in Indiana?
A sex offense committed influences the restrictions placed by the government on the offender. Some of them are:
- A prohibition from living within 1000 feet of school property, a public park, or a youth program center
- Sexually violent predators and all sex offenders against children cannot have a residence within 1 mile of a victim’s home.
- They do not have permission to work for pay or volunteer on school property, youth center, or a public park.
All sex offenses attract a continuous registration exercise that the offender must sustain. There are two registration types in Indiana, namely ten years and a lifetime. Non-violent sex offenders must regularly register for ten years. The severity of the non-violent sex offense also determines how often a re-registration must take place. Sexually violent offenders must register for life. They must provide full names, aliases, date of birth, gender, race, physical identifying information like height, weight, hair color, scars, and tattoos at the point of registration. Other identifying details include license numbers, identification numbers, vehicle descriptions, principal residence address, and any different address where they may likely spend seven nights in 14 days. Mailing address, name, and address of employers or school if the offender is a student, electronic mail address, electronic chat room, usernames, and social handles, are all part of the data that the law enforcement agency requires.
Non-violent offenders must register within six days of release from custody. The sexually violent predators must do so within three days of release, all at the sheriff’s department in the county where they live. Should there be address changes, the offender must report in person to update the change within 72 hours. If the law enforcement authority requires, the offender must submit to regular photograph updates regularly for identification. After that, all sex offenders must register once a year. Sexually violent predators must do so every 90 days. Failure to register, update changes in residence, or provide incorrect information is a felony offense liable to prosecution by state laws. Note that the rules of restriction for violent sex offenders apply equally to sexual crimes against children.