Sex Offender Registration
Chapters 589, 589.400-426
Establishment of the Sex Offender Registry
U.S. Department of Justice statistics show that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience some kind of sexual assault in their lifetime. Statistics also show that 67% of sexual assaults have victims under the age of 18.
Almost two-thirds of all sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of statistics. 2007)
Missouri implemented its own statewide Sex Offender Registration program in January 1995 in accordance to standards set by the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act.
Currently, all 50 states have a registration and tracking system in place. Missouri requirements allow for the collection of DNA samples from registered offenders and then stores this information in a DNA database. This collection is performed through the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Crime Lab.
Jacob Wetterling Act
In 1989, Jacob Wetterling, age 11, was riding his bike with friends when a masked man grabbed him and told his two friends to run toward the woods nearby. By the time the two friends turned around, Jacob and the man were gone.
Following Jacob's abduction, his mother, Patty, was appointed to a Governor's Task Force and became a strong voice for missing children. As a result of her efforts, Congress passed the first federal law in 1994 dealing with sex offender registration, known as the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act.
This law required states to put into operation a Crimes Against Children and Sex Offender Registry.
Update: 27 years after his disappearance, Minnesota authorities have reported the remains of Jacob Wetterling have been found. On September 4, 2016 a news release stated "the Ramsey County Medical Examiner and a forensic odontologist identified the remains as Jacob Wetterling".
In 1996, Megan's Law amended the Jacob Wetterling Act. Megan Kanka, age 7, was raped and murdered by a twice-convicted pedophile who was residing in her neighborhood. While this law gives states discretion as to the criteria of information available, it requires them to enact a community notification system.
Megan's Law allows states to make private and personal information available to the public.
Pam Lychner Sexual Offender Tracking Law
Another amendment to the Wetterling Act came in 1996 with the Pam Lychner Sexual Offender Tracking Law. This law provided law enforcement the ability to track sex offenders from one location to another.
Initially, when a sex offender moved, there was no system in place to enable one law enforcement agency to notify another.
This law also added the length of time an offender was required to register from 10 years to life.
Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act
The last change to the Wetterling Act came in 2000 with the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act. This Act provided for the tracking of convicted, registered sex offenders enrolled as students at institutions of higher education, or working or volunteering on campus.
The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006
Adam Walsh was six years old when he was abducted from a Florida department store on July 27th, 1981. Sixteen days after Adam disappeared,he was found murdered. On December 16, 2008 Adam's case was closed. No new evidence was produced, but law enforcement authorities have confidence that convicted serial killer Ottis Toole was responsible for the crime. Toole confessed during the initial investigation but then later recanted his story. He was never charged. Toole later died while in custody for unrelated charges.
The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 was signed into law on July 27th, 2006. Title I of this Act, entitled the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), implements new strategies for expanding the National Sex Offender Registry, strengthening federal penalties for crimes against children and forms new regional Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforces. These taskforces will provide funding and training to help State and Local law enforcement combat crimes involving the exploitation of minors on the Internet.
Missouri's legislation has implemented a number of the measures as of June 2008 and expect to be compliant with SORNA guidelines in the timeframe established by the United States Department of Justice.
Opposition to Sex Offender Laws
With any newly enacted law, there is usually opposition and questions as to whether the laws are constitutional at the State and Federal Level. Some general questions raised are:
- Do the Sex Offender Registry laws violate due process of rights?
- Should the offender's punishment stop after their sentence has been served?
- Do sex offender laws involve possible violations of the Ex Post Facto Clause?
- Do sex offender laws create double jeopardy?
- Do they enact violations of the Eighth Amendment that prohibits cruel and unusual punishment?
Because sex offenders were more likely to re-offend (Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCJ 198281, 2003), lawmakers felt this constituted more regulation. However, critics of the law state it adds a penalty to the crime that was not there when the offender was sentenced and the laws inflict degrading and inhumane treatment of the offender.
2006 Missouri Supreme Court Ruling
On July 17, 2006 the Missouri Supreme Court invalidated the duty to register for convictions/pleas prior to January 1, 1995.. Since Missouri's sex offender registry was not in effect before January 1, 1995, the new law imposed a new obligation and violated Missouri's constitutional bar on laws retrospective in their operation. (MO Constitution Article I, section 13)
Offenders convicted, found guilty, or pled guilty prior to January 1, 1995 and not required to register in another state, federal or military jurisdiction, are no longer required to register with the Chief Law Enforcement Official.
This ruling upholds registration for sexually violent predators based on the findings that they are sexually violent predators and not merely on pre-Megan's Law criminal conduct.
All other aspects of 589.400-589.425 RSMo remain in effect.
* Superceded by Missouri Supreme Court Ruling SC89727
2007 Missouri Supreme Court Ruling
On June 12, 2007 the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that a law requiring registration as a sex offender whose conviction occurred prior to the offense's effective date, was retrospective in operation and in violation of MO Constitution Article I, section 13.
* Superceded by Missouri Supreme Court Ruling SC89727
2008 Missouri Supreme Court Ruling
On February 19, 2008 the Missouri Supreme court ruled the 1,000 ft. residential restriction did not apply to offenders who resided at their place of residence on or before the date that the restriction was signed into law - June 5, 2006. This decision was made on the same principle as the above retrospective rulings.
2009 Missouri Supreme Court Ruling
On June 16, 2009 the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that federally mandated registration requirements under the Sexual Offenders Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) applies to individuals who committed a sex offense prior to July 20, 2006. Therefore, SORNA imposes an independent obligation requiring respondents to register as sex offenders in Missouri. The independent registration requirement under SORNA operates irrespective of any allegedly retrospective state law that has been enacted and may be subject to the Article 1, Section 13 of the Missouri State Constitution.
2010 Missouri Supreme Court Ruling
On January 12, 2010 the Missouri Supreme Court held that Missouri Statute 566.147 does not apply to those whose convictions were before the statute's effective date of August 28, 2004. The ruling was based on Article I, section 13 of the Missouri constitution which forbids enactment of laws that are retrospective in operation.
On January 12, 2010 the Missouri Supreme Court held that Missouri Statute 589.426 does not apply to those whose convictions were before the statute's effective date of August 28, 2008. The ruling was based on Article I, section 13 of the Missouri constitution which forbids enactment of laws that are retrospective in operation.
On April 26, 2011 the Western District court of Appeals upheld that a suspended imposition of sentence (SIS) requires registration under the Federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
On December 18, 2012 the Missouri Supreme Court upheld the duration of registration in Missouri is lifetime, whether registering because of a Missouri, Federal, Out of State, Tribal, Military or Foreign registration requirement.
On December 23, 2013 the Missouri Supreme Court ruled the restriction under 566.150 RSMo. can be applied retroactively and does not violate Article I, section 13 of the Missouri constitution. The ruling goes on to state the prohibition against laws retrospective in their operation does not apply to criminal laws.
- Tier I offenders have a 15-years registration requirement and shall report to the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) in person in the month of the offender's birth.
- Tier II offenders have a 25-year registration requirement and shall report to the CLEO in person semiannually in the month of the offender's birth and 6 months thereafter.
- Tier III offenders have a life time registration requirement and shall report to the CLEO in person every 90-days. Tier III offenders are not eligible to file petition for removal from the sex offender registry, unless the requirement to register results from an adjudicated delinquent (juvenile) adjudication, after 25 years, and the clean record removal is met. (589.401)
Removal from the registry, the offender must complete the petition process found in (589.401)
- Tier I offenders may file for petition in court of adjudication for removal from the registry after 10 years if clean record removal is met.
- Tier II offenders may file for petition in court of adjudication for removal from the registry following 25 years if criteria are met.
- Tier III offenders are not eligible to file petition for removal from the sex offender registry, unless the requirement to register results from an adjudicated delinquent (juvenile) adjudication, after 25 years, and the clean record removal is met.
Certain sexual offenders may not reside within 1,000 feet of any public or private school up to the 12th grade or childcare facility which is in existence at the time of the offender establishing his or her residency. If the offender has already established residence and a public or private school or childcare facility is built or placed within 1000 feet of the offender's residence, the offender should notify the county sheriff within one week of the facility being opened. The offender has the responsibility of providing proof he/she had residence established prior to the new facility opening. (566.147) *
Certain sexual offenders may not loiter within 500 feet of the real property of any school when a person younger than 18 is present without permission from the School Superintendent or School Board or Principal of a private school. (566.149)
Certain sexual offenders are prohibited from knowingly being physically present in or loitering within 500 feet of or approaching, contacting, or communicating with any child younger than 18 years of age in any child care facility building or the real property comprising any child care facility when children younger than 18 years of age are present in the building or on the grounds unless the offender is the parent, guardian, or custodian of the child in the building or on the grounds. (566.148)
Certain sexual offenders are prohibited from knowingly being present in or loitering within 500 feet of any real property comprising any public park with playground equipment or a public swimming pool. (566.150)
Certain sexual offenders are prohibited from knowingly serving as an athletic coach, manager, or trainer for any sports team in which a child younger than 17 years of age is a member. (566.155)
* Persons who commit comparable offenses in any other state or foreign country or under tribal, federal, or military jurisdiction shall be subject to the same restrictions as Missouri offenders.
Effective 8-28-2008: 589.426 restricts certain activities of sex offenders on Halloween:
- Avoid all Halloween-related contact with children
- Remain inside his/her residence between 5:00 and 10:30 p.m.(unless there is just cause to leave)
- Post a sign stating "No candy or treats at this residence"
- Leave all outside residential lighting off during the evening hours
The Missouri State Highway Patrol is proud to offer sex offender registry community notification via this website.
Types of Notifications
Users of the Missouri State Highway Patrol Sex Offender Registry Community Notification Program have two notification options that may be utilized:
- Notification by address: This type of notification allows users to enter up to five physical addresses to track. Additionally the user must select a radius around each address spanning from 500 feet up to 5 miles. If at any time a sexual offender registers a home, work, or school address located within the user's selected radius an e-mail notification will be sent notifying the user of the sex offender's registration information.
- Notification by offender: This type of notification allows users to track a specific sex offender regardless of the proximity of that offender to any given address. If this notification option is selected, the user will receive a notification e-mail anytime that the selected offender changes their registered home, work, or school address. Up to five separate sex offenders may be tracked at any single time utilizing this option.
Frequently Asked QuestionsQ: I have enrolled my e-mail address and password in the community notification program but never received the initial confirmation e-mail to validate my account. What do I do?
A: Your e-mail account may have blocked the confirmation e-mail message due to a spam filter. If your e-mail account has a spam or junk folder you may need to check this folder for the confirmation message.Q: What do I need to do if i forget my community notification enrollment password?
A: You may re-set your password by clicking on the following link:Q: I entered an address but the system told me that it was unable to map the address I had entered. What should I do?
You will need to provide your e-mail address and supply a new password. A confirmation e-mail will then be sent to your e-mail account. Once you click on the link contained in this e-mail your new password will take effect.
A: The Missouri State highway Patrol makes every attempt to keep its mapping software up-to-date, however, occasionally new addresses, or addresses in rural areas will not be able to be mapped via this site. If this happens, it is suggested that you attempt to use a different address that can be mapped that is near the address you are trying to track.Q: How do I change the e-mail address where my alerts are sent?
A: At this time, you cannot change the e-mail address associated with your account. Instead, you will need to delete the e-mail address that you are currently using from the Community Notification System by using the following link:Q: Can I receive alerts at multiple e-mail accounts?
Once you have deleted your old e-mail address you may re-enroll with a new e-mail address.
A: At this time, you cannot receive notification alerts at multiple e-mail accounts via one enrollment. However, you may still enroll each of your e-mail addresses separately to receive alerts.Q: When will the Missouri State Highway patrol Sex Offender Registry Community Notification System send me e-mail notifications?
A: The Community Notification System will send you an e-mail immediately when you initially enroll in order to confirm your e-mail address. If at any time you add or change an address or an offender that you are tracking, you will receive another confirmation e-mail within 24 hours. Lastly, anytime that an offender moves into your selected radius or a specific offender that you are tracking changes their address information, you will receive an e-mail within 24 hours from the time that the information is entered into the Missouri Sex Offender Registry.
To enroll in the Missouri Sex Offender Registry Community Notification System, please follow the steps below:
Click Here to direct your internet browser to the Community Notification System
- Type in your e-mail address and a password that you will be able to easily remember. Once complete, click "Register"
- An e-mail will be sent to your e-mail account to confirm the e-mail address that your sex offender notifications will be sent to. Please log-in to your e-mail account and click the link provided in the confirmation e-mail to validate your account. This must be done within 48 hours or it will expire.
- Once you click the link provided in the confirmation e-mail, your enrollment is complete and you may now log-in to setup your notification settings.
- Probation and Parole has access to home computer information for a registered sex offender. (589.042)
- DOC must notify MSHP of any offender requiring electronic monitoring. (559.106)
- When using a livescan device for taking fingerprints of an offender, the CLEO should retain a signed copy of the fingerprint card. This fingerprint card can be used if the offender fails to register.
Public Access / MSHP Website
The Missouri Sex Offender Registry can be accessed through the Missouri State Highway Patrol's website at http://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov. Information included on the website includes name, alias names, date of birth, alias dates of birth, physical description, all addresses, offense, vehicle information, picture of registered sex offenders and offense dates.
In August 2005, legislation was passed to give the counties the ability to post on their web sites pictures of all sex offenders registered within the county.
Effective October 1, 2006, the Missouri State Highway Patrol will operate a toll free number 888-SOR-MSHP (888-767-6747) to disseminate sex offender information. (43.533)
Sheriff's departments may publish sexual offender information in the newspaper.
Additional public access can be found by searching the National Sex Offender Public Website:
Compliance Status Definitions
Compliance status of offenders include:
- Compliant - the offender is registering as required.
- Non-Compliant - the offender has not completed or updated his/her information and is not compliant with the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in the county in which they reside.
- Pending Registration - the offender has provided a change of address to another county within Missouri and has not registered with the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in the county in which they plan to reside OR the offender has provided an address to the Department of Corrections prior to release and they have not registered with the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the county in which they plan to reside.
- Absconder - the offender's whereabouts are unknown to law enforcement officials.
- Previously Exempt / Registration Required - the offender was previously exempted from registration due to the Supreme Court rulings in 2006 (SC86573) and /or 2007 (SC87786), but is now required to register per the Supreme Court ruling in 2009 (SC89727). This offender has not re-registered with law enforcement officials and their whereabouts are currently unknown.
- Incarcerated - the offender's last known whereabouts is a county, city or state correctional facility.
- Moved Out of State - the offender is no longer living, working or going to school in the state of Missouri.
- Establishment of the Sex Offender Registry
- Jacob Wetterling Act
- Megan's Law
- Pam Lychner Sexual Offender Tracking Law
- Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act
- The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006
- Opposition to Sex Offender Laws
- 2006 Missouri Supreme Court Ruling
- 2007 Missouri Supreme Court Ruling
- 2008 Missouri Supreme Court Ruling
- 2009 Missouri Supreme Court Ruling
- 2010 Missouri Supreme Court Ruling
- 2011 Missouri Western District Court of Appeals
- 2012 Missouri Supreme Court Ruling
- 2013 Missouri Supreme Court Ruling
- Missouri Sex Offender Tier Categories
- Removal from Registry, Petition Process
- Special Considerations
- Community Notification
- Miscellaneous Information
- Public Access / MSHP Website
- Compliance Status Definitions