Local News

State law allowed convicted sex offender to be removed from state registry

Posted June 25, 2014
Updated June 26, 2014

 Bailey Mills

— A Harnett County man convicted twice of sex crimes involving children was not a registered sex offender when he was arrested this year in a case that led authorities to an alleged child pornography operation.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said Wednesday that’s because state law changed in 2001, four years after Bailey Joe Mills was first arrested on a charge of indecent liberties with a child.

Mills, 33, of 184 Nichole Drive in Sanford, was convicted of the crime in 1997 and placed on the state Sex Offender Registry for 10 years – the maximum under state law at the time.

In 2000, he was arrested and convicted on a second charge of indecent liberties with a child and ordered onto the registry for another 10 years.

The law changed beginning in October 2001, mandating that repeat sex offenders remain on the registry for life. Then, in 2006, a new law went into effect requiring convicted first-time offenders to remain on the registry for at least 30 years.

But in 2011, after being in the statewide database for 14 years, Mills petitioned, as outlined under the 2006 state law, to be removed from the registry.

A judge granted that request, finding that Mills was not a current or potential threat to public safety.

Fast-forward to January 2014, when Mills was arrested for allegedly propositioning a 13-year-old girl for sex. After his arrest, Harnett County sheriff’s detectives eventually uncovered evidence of a child porn operation.

Investigators say Mills was running the operation under the guise of an unregistered day care to attract young children to his home. Detectives say he found men online willing to pay to have sex with the children – 10 victims between ages 1 and 14 years old.

Four other people are also charged in connection with the alleged operation, and Mills now faces more than a dozen other charges, including five counts each of statutory rape and statutory sexual offense and first-degree rape of a child.

“Cases like these show why the sex offender list can be so important, that, potentially, it can save a child,” Cooper said.

“The sex offender registry needs to be as tough as possible,” he added. “We have changed the law so that the situation will be corrected in the future. We pushed for that change in the law. We need to make it as tough as possible.”



20 Comments

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  • dsdaughtry Jun 26, 2014

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    You are absolutely correct! The current administrative procedure requires the district attorney of the offense county to be notified 3 weeks before the trial for sex offender termination. Either the story is wrong or this didn't happen. It should be investigated by reporters.

  • Steve Orringer Jun 26, 2014
    user avatar

    My main concern about the registry is how about people who are really innocent that were found guilty because your lawyer had a confession from the accuser and did not present it at the trial. For a case that you will be outraged by, just look at falseconvictions.com and this will show you where innocent people really do get convicted, put on this registry and his name ruined for life. It is just not right.

  • Brandon White Jun 26, 2014
    user avatar

    Just realize your wonderful government is putting teenagers on the list for life for: mooning, flashing, dating 16 yo's, texting selfies that are R rated and misdemeanor indecent exposure. Five states have repelaed their sex offender registry becuase they were creating a whle new level of homelessness and unemployed. Predatory pedophiles, yes for life, one time stupid acts by 18yo's for 10 years, NO. We the ciitizen's need to demand common sense because our elected officials are incapable. These 18 yo's when they have children, later in life, cannot attend parent teacher conferences at schools.

    I know a lawyer right now who is representing a college student who streaked. The Bladen Co. DA wants to put on the SO list. Really?!

  • teddymac12 Jun 26, 2014

    If I read this correctly if the judge wouldn't have grant his request to removed from registry he should have been there until 2017. He would have stayed on the list if I were the judge for goodness sakes it was his second offense!!!!

  • 1cent+1cent Jun 26, 2014

    Since all of Mills convictions were in Wake County, wouldn't a Wake County judge have to hear his appeal for removal from the sex offender registry?

  • Mollers Jun 26, 2014

    Is that the same guy in the pictures?

  • Steve Orringer Jun 26, 2014
    user avatar

    I am not defending sex offenders. They just make me sick. However, there are always exceptions to everything. I was falsely convicted of Indecent Liberties with a Minor and guess what, I can actually prove that the crime was not even committed. I was on the registry for 10 years. While I am off the registry, it still affects my life today. See my site at www.falseconvictions.com and you will see proof that I am innocent. I have to live knowing the child confressed and still have to be treated like an outcast. It is just wrong.

  • busyb97 Jun 26, 2014

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    Agreed.

  • Todd Jenkins Jun 26, 2014
    user avatar

    All this hoopla about the sex offender list would not have done anything got avoid these new charges.

  • ncrebel Jun 26, 2014

    When are people going to come to the realization that sex offenders are broken in their brains. They can never, ever be trusted again. They cannot be repaired regardless of the therapy they go through. They offer no good to society.

    The judge, court system, state committee that allowed this to happen should be held accountable. This is unacceptable and as a citizen and tax payer, I am outraged!

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