Sex offenders are considered to be dangerous people by the general public. Often, citizens in Adams, Arapahoe and Jefferson County fail to realize that “sex offender” is a very general term. The Colorado Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB) uses a “one-size-fits all” approach, and treats serial rapists the same as someone who got caught peeing in public one too many times. Colorado government and law enforcement officials often ignore the constitutional rights of fellow citizens who have already paid their dues for the crimes they committed. In a recent ruling by a U.S. District Court judge, it was determined that the City of Englewood's regulations regarding where sex offenders can live are so restrictive that they are unconstitutional.
Sex Offender Registration Laws Unconstitutional: Ban People from Living in Entire Cities
The ACLU brought the case on behalf of a man who plead guilty to a criminal attempt to commit Sexual Assault on a Child by One in a Position of Trust – C.R.S. 18-3-405.3. After he continued to see his alleged victim (a high school girl with whom the relationship was consensual), he served 2 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections. After his release, he registered as a sex offender as required. He and his wife purchased a home in the city of Englewood last year, but he didn't know about an ordinance: Anyone who had a conviction of certain sex offenses was not allowed to live within 1,000 feet of a licensed day care center, recreation center, swimming pool, walk-to-school rout, recreational trail or property next to a bus stop, or within 2,000 feet of a school, park or playground. Obviously, this included much of the city. The ACLU lawyers created a map that showed the area that was affected by these restrictions: over 99% of the city banned sex offenders. A U.S. District Court judge ruled that this was unconstitutional, and concluded that Englewood would not be able to enforce these restrictions.
Sex Offender Registration Laws: Isolate Offenders and Cause them to Re-Offend
Laws that ban citizens from living in entire cities is clearly unconstitutional. Even the harsh SOMB released a statement saying that attempting to eliminate all sex offenders from living in a community interferes with the goal of reintegrating sex offenders back into the community. If we don't allow sex offenders (who have paid their dues by spending time in prison or completing comprehensive treatment) back into our communities, they will never be able to reintegrate into society. If they are isolated, they will figure they have nothing left to lose, and are more likely to reoffend (read studies that show that sex offender registration aids recidivism).Request a Free Consultation