Perhaps the harshest penalty associated with conviction of a sex crime is the sex offender registration that follows. Once a person has served any prison time, if sentenced to such, he or she must register as a sex offender for a period of time ranging from 15 years to life, depending upon the crime of which he or she was convicted.In some cases, a person received no prison time for his or her conviction, but still must register for life. The stigma associated with conviction can be difficult to bear.
On a recent Oklahoma City metro area neighborhood Facebook page, a resident quickly notified other neighbors that a "new sex offender moved into the neighborhood." Another neighbor pulled his picture from the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry website and posted it, along with his name and address, on the page.One neighbor commented she looked up his registration and said, "He's charged with second degree rape which I looked up and it is a little ambiguous on definition. . . . It sounds like it could be a violent rape to anyone over the age of to 12."Now the neighborhood has the name and address of someone they assume to be a violent rapist, when the facts do not support their belief at all.In fact, the definition of second degree rape is not ambiguous at all. Second degree rape is statutory rape, or sex in which both parties consent to sex, but one of those parties is legally unable to provide consent. It is not violent or forcible rape, which is charged as first degree rape.Further research into the man's court records show that he was only 19 at the time of his conviction, which likely means that he was convicted of a sex crime for having a partner that was too young to consent to sex. He�has since petitioned for removal from the sex offender registry, an act which shows that his crime was being slightly too old for his slightly-too-young partner.Many people do not realize that sex offender registration removal is possible in Oklahoma; however, there are specific conditions under which a person convicted of a sex crime may be able to have his or her name removed from the Oklahoma sex offender registry.Those convicted of "consensual" statutory rape must register as sex offenders for life--the same as habitual offenders, child rapists, and forcible rapists. This seems unfair that they are classified as high-risk offenders for sex with a willing partner who was legally precluded from providing consent.Fortunately, under 57 O.S. § 590.2, certain people convicted of statutory rape may file a motion for removal from the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry. If a person is convicted of statutory rape, required to register as a result of that conviction, and has no other sex crime convictions, he or she may petition for removal if he or she "[w]as not more than four (4) years older than the victim of the violation who was fourteen (14) years of age or older but not more than seventeen (17) years of age at the time the person committed the violation."The state also allows two other methods for sex offender registration removal.
- Level 1 sex offenders are required to register for a period of 15 years; however, if 10 years have passed since the completion of their sentence and they have not been in any other legal trouble, they may petition for removal
- In 2013, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled in Starkey v. Oklahoma Department of Corrections that a law passed in 2007 which lengthened sex offender registration could not be applied retroactively. This allowed thousands of sex offenders convicted prior to 2007 to be removed from the sex offender registry when their initial period of registration expired.
If you think you may qualify for Oklahoma sex offender registration removal as a Level 1 sex offender, a person convicted of statutory rape, or pursuant to Starkey, contact an attorney for more information.