If you ask this question, you are probably trying to determine how far away someone on the sex offender registry list must live from a school. One mile equals 5,280 feet. Therefore, someone on the sex offender registry in Ohio can live within one mile of a school.

Prohibiting an Offender From Living Near Schools

ORC §2950. 034 states that no person that has been convicted of or pled guilty to sexually-oriented offenses or child-victim oriented offenses can live within 1,000 feet of a school, child daycare facility, or preschool. If an offender establishes a residence within 1,000 feet of a school, the offender is not charged with a crime. However, there are rules in place for individuals or agencies to file a civil case to have the offender evicted or forced to move. 

However, how do you measure 1,000 feet? Do you measure the distance from door to door by the shortest path, even if the path runs through buildings and other property? 

Do you map the shortest route by streets from the offender’s house to the school to measure the distance? Is the distance measured from the edge of the property lines either by the shortest path or by driving on roads?

The 1,000 feet is generally measured “as the crow flies.” In other words, from the offender’s house to the school, if you could fly there by the shortest path.

Who Has to Register as a Sex Offender in Ohio?

If you are convicted of a sex crime or a crime involving a minor under 18 years of age, you must register on the sex offender registry. The registration requirements depend on the criminal offense.

There are three tiers. Sex crimes and child offenses are placed in the tiers based on the seriousness of the crime. Tier III has the most serious crimes. 

The sex offender registry tiers are:

Tier I

Offenses in Tier I include voyeurism, sexual imposition, public indecency in front of a minor, promoting prostitution, pandering, and illegal use of material containing a minor in nudity. 

An offender in Tier I must remain on the registry for 15 years. They must register once every 12 months. This Tier does not require the sheriff to notify the neighbors or community if the offender moves into the area.

Tier II

Offenses in Tier II include compelling prostitution, child pornography, unlawful sexual conduct, human trafficking, pandering involving a minor, kidnapping/abduction, and gross sexual imposition of a victim under 13.

An offender in Tier II must remain on the registry for 25 years. They must register with local law enforcement officers every 180 days. This Tier does not require the sheriff to notify the neighbors or community if the offender moves into the area.

Tier III

Offenses in Tier III include sexual battery, rape, aggravated murder, sexually violent predator classification, murder, felonious assault with sexual motivation, gross sexual imposition of a minor under 12 with intent to harm or abuse, and voluntary manslaughter with sexual motivation.

An offender in Tier III remains on the sex offender registry for the rest of their life. They must register with law enforcement officers every 90 days. 

A notice is sent to all residents that live within 1,000 feet of the offender’s home. Notices may also be sent to school districts, daycare centers, children’s services, and higher education institutions. 

Penalties for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender in Ohio

If you are required to register as a sex offender, you can face criminal charges and penalties for failing to register. An offender who fails to register for the first time could face a jail sentence of between six months to 18 months. An offender convicted for a first, second, or third degree felony could face the same prison sentence for a failure to register as they would for the original crime.

Failing to register a second time could result in a prison sentence between one and five years. If the person were convicted of a first, second, or third degree felony, the prison sentence is likely to be longer than the prison sentence would have been for the original sentence. Judges tend to issue sentences from the top of the sentencing guidelines for repeat offenders.

Never Assume – Always Ask 

If you are unsure about your requirements to register as a sex offender or the restrictions associated with being on the sex offender registry, contact a criminal defense lawyer. You do not want to face additional criminal charges and go back to prison because you misunderstood your obligations to register as a sex offender.