Local News

Sex Offender OnLine Registry is a Busy Site

Posted March 31, 1998

— The ability to find out where a convicted sex offender lives is now just a click away in North Carolina. The state'sonline registry of sex offendersdebuted Wednesday morning and its' been busy ever since. By 2:00 a.m. Thursday, the registry had counted 40,700 searches.

Only a half dozen other states in the country have a similar online program, but judging by the early success here, maybe more states should think about it.

More than half the times WRAL-TV5's Len Besthoff logged onto the site, he couldn't get any listings, but when he did, he found they were quite detailed.

Each lists the name, address, and in some cases, a photograph of the sex offender. The database contains more than 2,200 listings. This information became more readily available to the public as a result of legislation passed by the General Assembly last year. The online registry lists people convicted of a sex offense or people released from prison for a sex offense, since 1996.

There are many different sex offenses that can qualify a person for inclusion in the registry, including rape, incest, taking indecent liberties with children, and more than a dozen others. Even an attempt to commit one of these offenses can land someone on the list.

Those who can't access the information by computer, can get the same information from local sheriff's offices. Law enforcement officers in Charlotte have already received numerous requests to view the registry.

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