Law enforcement agencies around the state are struggling with a delicate issue. Some years ago, the state created the ESORN online sex offender database designed to provide residents with an easy way of finding out if any sex offenders were living in their neighborhood.
However, a recent law has done little to clear up the issue surrounding the publication of information concerning a small segment of registered sex offenders.
“There’s been a lot of confusion,” said Clermont County Sheriff Tim Rodenberg. “There’s been debate and disagreement about what should be done about juvenile sex offenders. It’s an odd issue because an adult offender can’t live within 1,000 feet of a school, but there are juvenile sex offenders who have committed offenses just as serious as some adults who are actually going to school. They are in the schools that adults can’t even live near.”
The issue, he said, is a sad one. On one hand, you have children who would normally be protected by law from having their criminal history released. On the other hand, said students have in the past committed some sort of sexual assault, likely against other students. Discovering a way to protect both the convicted assaulter and any additional potential victims has become a slippery slope.