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Thousands of NYS Sex Offenders To Come Off Registry

By Kerry Longobucco.
Thousands of sex offenders will come off the state's public registry this year. Now, some are demanding a change in the law, for the sake of keeping our communities safe.

A state law, enacted in 1996, requires level one sex offenders to be registered for 20 years. By the end of 2016, the whereabouts of thousands of these criminals will be publicly untraceable.

Though level one offenders are considered the least likely to re-offend -- the nature of their crimes are serious.

"Forcible touching, sexual misconduct, various levels of rape," Detective Michael Clapp, of the Broome County Sheriff's Office, said. "Sexual assault, sexual abuse."

Once their names come off the registry -- even police are unaware of their whereabouts.

"When they come off the registry, they're no longer required to update an address, update anything as far as their personal lives go, per the new york state registry," Clapp said. "So really, my involvement with them ends,"

There are currently 208 registered level one sex offenders right here in Broome County -- and at least one is due to fall off of that list this year. Officials say that number will only grow, if this law doesn't change."

A Long Island assemblyman proposed a bill that would extend the requirement from 20 years, to 30. But Dave Lindsey -- whose daughter was raped and murdered at age 12, says that's not long enough.

"That's kind of scary too," Lindsey said. "You have to know where these people are all the time."

Lindsey believes, like level two and three offenders, level ones should be required to register for life.

"They commit a crime -- especially a sex offense -- they're serious, and people should be aware of it," Lindsey said.

While not distinquishing between levels one, two, and three -- the Bureau of Justice says five percent of all offenders are re-arrested for a sex crime within three years of their release.

"The registry is put out there, and the fliers are sent out to make neighbors and neighborhoods aware of the people that are in their community," Clapp said. "I could see where that could cause concern for people in the community."