POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

New bill clarifies which minors will be placed on the Utah sex offender registry

Jan 4, 2023, 8:58 AM | Updated: Jan 5, 2023, 2:06 pm

utah capitol, a new bill heading to lawmakers will affect the utah sex offender registry...

Snow piles up at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify the details of four of bills being proposed for the 2023 Legislative session regarding the sex offender registry. 

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah law doesn’t require all violating minors to register or follow sex offender guidelines, but a proposed bill in the 2023 Utah Legislative Session might change that.

Utah’s registry, the Sex and Kidnap Offender Registry, currently has around 7,000 registrants, something that four of the proposed bills would surely change.

KSL’s Legal Analyst Greg Skordas said that Utah’s registry has historically been for adults, but the bills presented would adjust which juveniles can be added to the list, depending on the crime.

“Certain minors, who commit offenses that would be registerable sex offenses had they been adults, will be subject to the sex offender registry requirement.”

It contradicts Utah’s previous rehabilitation attempts for juveniles, which KSL’s Legal Analyst Greg Skordas said has proved effective.

“Historically in Utah, we treat juveniles as people that can be rehabilitated, people that can be changed, people that can be counseled. So putting them on a sex offender registry is a little bit contrary to that.”

Once a sex crime has been convicted, an individual is placed on the list for 10 years. But most times, if the crime involves a child, they are guaranteed to be on the list for life.

H.B. 139 includes a clause that would honor a registry from another state, requiring offenders to register within 10 days after they arrive.  

Areas an offender can and can’t enter are also detailed, including private pools in a Home Owners’ Association neighborhood, according to H.B. 146.

H.B. 122 also clarifies the details and vagueness surrounding human trafficking’s involvement with the registry.

Violation of the registry would result in a more severe penalty and repeat offenders will receive increased restrictions, according to H.B. 99. What was a misdemeanor would become a felony. And what used to be serving 10 years on the list, could be a lifetime.

More on the upcoming Legislative Session in Utah:

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New bill clarifies which minors will be placed on the Utah sex offender registry