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What is the National Sex Offender Registry?

Many Louisianans may have heard of the National Sex Offender Registry. They may not, however, be familiar with it, or how a person becomes listed on the National Sex Offender Registry. The National Sex Offender Public Registry was established in 2005, and then subsequently renamed the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW).

The NSOPW is a U.S. government website where individuals can perform searches of sex offenders listed on state, territorial or tribal registries throughout the country, including Louisiana. The NSOPW provides identifying information about where convicted sex offenders work, attend school, and live.

There are many crimes in Louisiana for which, if convicted, an individual will be required to register as a sex offender, and therefore, would be listed on the NSOPW. Offenses requiring registration in Louisiana have either a 15 year registration period, a 25 year registration period, or a lifetime registration period. Offenses that require lifetime registration in Louisiana include those crimes that involve exploiting children, such as aggravated kidnapping of a minor, sexual battery of a child under 13 years of age, and trafficking of children for sexual purposes. Other felony offenses requiring lifetime registration include aggravated, forcible, or simple rape, as well as sexual battery of the infirmed.

Registration as a sex offender can be embarrassing and limiting for a Louisianan, and, undoubtedly, something that an individual will want to avoid, if possible. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime that may lead to forced registration as a sex offender if convicted, it may be wise to seek prompt legal counsel to protect your rights.

Source: nsopw.gov, "About NSOPW," accessed July 1, 2016

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