People who have never been convicted of a sex offense could end up on a public registry in Ohio, reports USA Today. A law effective in August targets alleged sex offenders who can no longer face charges or be sued because the statutes of limitations for either action have expired. The law allows prosecutors, the state attorney general, or alleged victims to seek to put a person on the registry. Whoever makes the request must present enough evidence to convince a judge that the crime was more likely than not to have occurred.
No other state has a civil registry or is even considering one, said Blake Harrison of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters has asked a court to order a priest to register. The priest is accused of molesting an Ohio elementary school student in the 1980s. Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), which lobbies for abuse victims’ rights, wanted to extend the statute of limitations. A leader criticized the civil registry, saying, “All that will happen is their name will go on a list that nobody will see because nobody knows about it.”