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Is it possible to be convicted of a sex crime but not have to register as a sex offender?

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by: Ryan • May 30, 2011 • no comments

This post is NOT about relief from sex offender registration requirements. In some cases, sex offender registration can end after a period of years in which the defendant is conviction free. That's not discussed in this post. Rather, it's about those circumstances where a defendant doesn't have to register from day 1.

In very limited circumstances, defendants who are convicted of offenses such as Rape III, Contributing to the Sexual Delinquency of a Minor, Sodomy III, and a couple of other offenses, do not have to register as sex offenders if the following conditions are met:

(1) The defendant and the victim are within 5 years;

(2) The lack of consent is based solely on age;

(3) The victim is older than 14;

(4) While there may be multiple incidents and convictions, there is only one victim;

(5) The defendant has no other sex crime convictions that would require registration;

(6) The trial court enters an order relieving the defendant of sex offender registration.

The relevant statutes are at ORS 181.830 and ORS 181.832 and ORS 181.833.

Note that the above statutes do not apply to Sex Abuse II, even though, per St v. Stamper, Sex Abuse II can be based on a situation where the lack of consent resulted solely from age of the victim. Thus, a 20-year old who has sex with a 17 year old, when they are more than 3 years apart in age, can be convicted of Sex Abuse II and have to register as a sex offender. But a 19 year old who has sex with a 14 year old - if within 5 years - and only convicted of Rape III would not have to register as a sex offender. For more discussion of this issue, see my post, A Shameful Day for the Court of Appeals.

While it is generally worse to be convicted of Sex Abuse II than Rape III, there is a defense to Sex Abuse II that doesn't apply to Rape III.

Ryan Scott is a partner at Scott & Huggins.