MO Court Frees Many Sex Offenders from GPS Monitors

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Hundreds of sex offenders will soon have GPS monitoring devices removed from their ankles after Missouri officials recently required that they wear the bulky devices, under a preliminary injunction ordered by Cole County Circuit Court yesterday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The case was filed on behalf of a sex offender from St. Charles County. The state Board of Probation and Parole installed 364 GPS ankle monitors on sex offenders in April for life, even though such monitoring was not part of their sentencing agreement.

Officials said the retroactive requirements are part of a revised state criminal code that went into effect Jan. 1. Offenders who either were found guilty or pleaded guilty to various sex crimes based on an act committed on or after Aug. 28, 2006, were subject to the added security measures. Previously, the monitoring technology was used for a more limited class of high-risk offenders. Attorney Matt Fry sued the state on behalf of D.G., a 40-year-old man who said the law didn’t exist when he pleaded guilty to crimes associated with sending webcam photographs of his genitals to an undercover officer posing as a 13-year-old girl. D.G. completed five years of probation in 2016. The GPS devices are supposed to alert state officials if an offender lingers near a school, park or other areas from which sex offenders are excluded.

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