Oregon takes sex-related crimes very seriously. Nowhere is this fact more evident than in Oregon’s sex offender registration laws. Under these laws, anyone convicted of certain crimes is required to report to Oregon law enforcement as a sex offender. Typically, this occurs after the individual in question is released from jail. Once registered, their name is placed on the Oregon sex registry and in most cases it will remain there for life. Anyone will be able to access the registry and see the individual’s sex offender status.
Oregon law specifically states that the purpose of sex offender reporting and registration is to assist law enforcement agencies in lessening future sex offenses. However, being labeled as a sex offender has enormous repercussions on a person’s personal and professional life. Neighbors, acquaintances, and simple busybodies can access the registry. Often, when an individual’s sex offender status is discovered, they are shunned and treated as a pariah, even when the offense that placed them on the registry occurred years or even decades ago. Employers, landlords, and educational institutions routinely use the registry to screen out sex offenders. Once on the registry, it can become more difficult to find a decent job, adequate housing or even friends.
What is a Registerable Sex Crime in Oregon?
In Oregon, a fairly significant number of criminal offenses are considered sex crimes that require registration as a sex offender. The offenses include:
- Rape in any degree
- Sodomy in any degree
- Unlawful sexual penetration in any degree
- Incest with a child victim
- Using a child displaying sexually explicit conduct
- Encouraging child sexual abuse
- Transporting child pornography into the state
- Paying for the ability to view a child’s sexually explicit conduct
- Contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor
- Sexual corruption of a child online in any degree if the offender reasonably believed that the child is more than five years younger than the offender
- Using child pornography to induce a child to engage in sexually explicit conduct
- Sexual misconduct if the offender is 18 years of age or more
- Compelling prostitution or promoting prostitution
- Sexual assault of an animal
- Public or private indecency where the offender has a prior sex crime conviction
- Human trafficking and
- Kidnapping a person under 18 years of age to further the commission of first-degree rape, sodomy, or unlawful sexual penetration.
In addition, it is also a sex crime to attempt any of the acts listed above, commit a burglary with the intent to commit any of the acts listed above or conspire with others to engage in any of the acts listed above.
Who is a Sex Offender in Oregon?
Oregon law defines a sex offender as any person convicted of a sex crime. It should be noted that sex offender status in Oregon is not dependent upon the crime in question being committed within the state. The relevant statute specifically states that a person convicted of a sex crime in another jurisdiction in the United States will be considered a sex offender in Oregon even if the crime in question isn’t a sex crime here. As long as the crime in question required the person to register as a sex offender in that jurisdiction, the person will be required to register as a sex offender in Oregon.
This fact demonstrates the enormous burden that comes with a sex crime conviction. Not only can your name stay on the Oregon sex offender registry for life, but you will also be required to register as sex offender if you move out of state, as many states also have laws very similar to Oregon’s. In fact, Oregon will notify the appropriate criminal justice agency of another state regarding your intention to relocate there. All in all, it is a nationwide system with very little room for either error or mercy once your name is on it.
The Oregon Sex Offender Registration Process
The Oregon sex offender registration process begins with conviction. Upon being sentenced for a sex crime, the court must notify the person being sentenced that they have an obligation to report to the appropriate law enforcement agency in the county where they reside upon parole or release from prison. Moreover, at the initial intake for incarceration or upon release, the offender must complete a form that documents both the obligation to report, as well as the penalties for failing to report.
Once incarcerated, the offender must undergo a risk assessment performed by the Board of Parole or other supervisory authority. This risk assessment classifies sex offenders in one of three categories:
- Level One – for individuals who present the lowest level of reoffending and require minimal notification
- Level Two – for individuals who present a moderate level of reoffending and moderate notification and
- Level Three – for individuals who present a high level of reoffending and will require high notification.
The offender must then report in person to the appropriate law enforcement authorities in their county within ten days following discharge from prison or release on parole. Upon reporting, the offender will fill out a registration form that will, at a minimum, require the offender to list all names they go under and all addresses they use, undergo fingerprinting if necessary, and submit to photographs of the face, as well as photographs of any identifying scars, marks or tattoos. If the offender is currently unsupervised, they will also be charged an annual $70 fee.
The offender must also report in person to the appropriate law enforcement agency within ten days of:
- A change of residence
- The offender’s birthday, regardless of a change of residence
- Getting a job or attending an institute of higher education or
- A change of status at an institute of higher education.
Failure to initially report as a sex offender upon release is considered a Class C felony. A failure to meet any of the other reporting requirements is considered a Class A misdemeanor, except if the sex crime in question was a felony. In such a case, the failure to report is considered a Class C felony.
Schedule A Free Consultation
The State of Oregon takes its sex offender registry seriously. This means that you need to take any charges against you for a crime of a sexual nature seriously as well. A conviction for a sex crime will have negative repercussions that could last a lifetime. Take the time to contact our office today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your options.