A sex offender case involving both Kansas and Texas is another illustration of differing state laws on the subject. The Wichita Eagle reports that when a prosecutor charged Mark Anthony Baker, 25, with murder and sodomy in the death of a 19-month-old boy, it wasn’t the first time he had been accused of sex crimes against children. Baker had been convicted twice, when he was 15, of crimes against two girls in Kansas.
Those crimes were enough to land him on the Texas public sex offender registry when he moved there. But Kansas — because of the way its law governing juveniles is written — does not list him on its sex crime registry, even though the crimes against the girls occurred here. Relatives of the murdered boy said that had they known Baker was a sex offender, they wouldn’t have wanted him around the toddler. Joe Pennington, the boy’s paternal grandfather, said Kansas should have required Baker to be listed on its public registry, even if he was a juvenile when he committed sex crimes. “Those type of laws, juvenile or not, they need to be changed so people can be aware,” he said. “That’s the only protection we’ve got.”