House passes sex offender registry expansion

The Michigan House has approved expanding the state's online public sex offender registry to people convicted of certain crimes against children.
AP Wire
Feb 20, 2013

The crimes covered by the proposal include unlawful imprisonment of a minor and knowingly possessing child sexually abusive material. People convicted of such Tier I crimes already must register as sex offenders with the state, but their information is currently only available to police. The proposal would make it available to everyone.

The public registry lists offenders' names, addresses and jobs. Republican Sen. Rick Jones of Grand Ledge, who is sponsoring the legislation, said it could help keep Michigan children safe. But others say it could negatively impact people's reputations by grouping them with people who commit more serious crimes.

Those who are in the public registry now include people convicted of Tier II and Tier III offenses, such as producing child sexually abusive material or kidnapping someone under the age of 18.

The bill approved Tuesday now goes to the Senate for approval before it goes to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk. The Senate approved the measure last month, but the House made a minor change, which is why it must go back to the Senate.

If the bill is signed into law, a few hundred people would be added to the state's public registry, according to the House Fiscal Agency. But Michigan State Police spokeswoman Shannon Banner said authorities do not know for sure how many people would be affected.

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