The consequences of a Missouri sex crime often go far beyond jail time and fines. Depending on the details of the conviction, the law may limit where offenders live, the jobs they hold and disqualify them for mortgages or student loans. Required registration on the Sex Offender Registry, which is available to the public, is one of the most notable collateral consequences.
According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, the state has a tiered sex offender registry. A variety of factors determines which tier the state designates a person.
Sex offender registry tiers
Tier I is the lowest level conviction, and offenders serve less than one year in jail. Offenses include attempted but not completed sexual conduct against an adult, receipt or possession of child pornography and attempted sexual act.
Tier II offenses typically encompass crimes with more aggressive sexual contact. They include any physical, sexual contact with a minor, producing or distributing child pornography and soliciting a minor. A second Tier I offense may also place an offender in this category.
Tier III offenders are among the most dangerous or repetitive sex offenders, and they may spend more than 30 years in prison. Offenses include aggravated sexual abuse or assault, engaging in sexual acts by threat or force and sexual acts with an unconscious or drugged person. The Missouri Department of Health states that the age of consent is 17 years of age. Specific statutes address engaging in a sexual act with a child under 12, Tier II victims younger than 13 years of age. Additional regulations address sexual acts for children under 16 years old.
Consequences of the sex offender registry
Each tier has different requirements after offenders finish their jail term, ranging between less than one year to life. Tier I offenders remain on the registry for 15 years and must report to the Chief Law Enforcement Officer annually. Tier II offenders stay on the registry for 25 years and report to the CLEO semi-annually. Finally, Tier III offenders remain on the registry for the rest of their lives and report to the CLEO every 90 days.
Sexual assault charges can change a person’s life, and a conviction can carry some of the harshest penalties the state allows.