Oregon has become a haven for sex offenders who want to escape much stricter rules in other states, reports The Oregonian,w hich cites cases of offenders who easily flouted the federal mandatory sex offender registration law by moving from state to state without letting authorities know. Once off the radar, they continued to prey on women and children. They lived or landed in Oregon, a state with one of the worst records in the U.S. at following federal standards intended to thwart roaming sex offenders. Oregon is two years behind entering names into its electronic database of registered sex offenders. It’s so out of date that local police don’t rely on it.
Oregon’s public website lists only a small fraction — 2.5 percent — of the state’s more than 25,000 sex offenders. Residents can’t really tell who and how many sex offenders are in their neighborhoods. In fact, Oregon has the most registered sex offenders per capita of any state except one, national statistics show. And those are the sex offenders police know about. Others come to Oregon with no intention of playing by the rules. They simply don’t register. They exploit federal and state laws that rely on the honor system. It’s up to an offender to continue to register. Police often discover violators only after they commit another crime, get pulled over during a traffic stop or because someone reports them. “Most of these cases, to be blunt, are dumb luck,” said Josh Marquis, Clatsop County’s district attorney.