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NY: Do You Know Your Neighbors? State Megan Law Has Loophole.

October 24, 2002

By Kathleen Louis

Thanks to a 1996 Megan Law, as many as 60 Queens residents are listed as sex offenders on the stateís Division of Criminal Justice Serviceís Web siteóbut thatís only a small portion of the predators who may be living right down the block or around the corner.

The stateís online registry of sex offenders only lists those with past convictions of sex crimes who are considered a high risk for repeating their crimes (Level 3). However, a loophole was added to the stateís Megan Law when a federal court upheld a challenge brought by several convicted offenders.

The state is now barred from releasing information about thousands of sex criminals who were convicted before the law was enacted. And, because a total of 15 new offenses was added to the list of registrable crimes in December 1999 and March 2002, predators found guilty of the acts prior to those dates need not register as sex offenders.

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Source: © 2002