Bill to remove some sex offenders from registry moves to Senate

SALT LAKE CITY—The Utah House unanimously passed a proposed bill Tuesday that would permit registered sex offenders to petition to have their names expunged from the statewide registry after five years.Utah Rep. Jack Draxler of North Logan, who sponsored HB 113, used the example of a man convicted at 19 for having sex with a 15-year-old. The young man later married her, and they now have four children.Draxler painted the picture of the young man’s life, telling other lawmakers the consequences the man has dealt with since being convicted of the crime and being placed on the sex offender registry.”He cannot take his children to a park, he cannot go to his children’s parent-teacher conferences,” Draxler said. “It affects where they can live and it affects his employment.”This is the kind of case that Draxler hopes his bill will rectify. The legislation would apply only in cases unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old if the individual was no more than 15 years older than the victims, or unlawful sexual activity with a younger minor if the individual was no more than 10 years older than the victim.In either case, the person petitioning to be removed from the registry must have completed all court-ordered treatment, and paid full restitution.Rep. Tim Cosgrove, R-Murray, voted to approve the bill, but warned lawmakers and the public about its possible consequences, saying children could suffer the consequences of laws made on Capitol Hill.”It’s the kid that suffers the consequences if the system fails, or if we’ve erred in a way we haven’t been able to capture,” he said.HB 113 has now moved to the state Senate.


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