SEX OFFENDERS (Letson, T., Retherford, W.) To provide notice to a long-term care facility when a Tier III or similar category sex offender/child-victim offender indicates an intent to reside in the facility or registers an address within the specified geographical notification area including the facility and to amend the versions of sections 2950.11 and 2950.13 of the Revised Code that are scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2014, to continue the provisions of this act on and after that effective date.
Bill sponsor Rep. Wes Retherford told the panel the bill would require county sheriffs to notify managers of long-term care facilities if a Tier 3 sex offender registers within a specific distance of the facility. Subsequently, managers would be required to notify residents and their sponsors of the registration.
Further, the Ohio Department of Health would be required to develop a list of such facilities by county and make their addresses easily available to sheriffs.
Mr. Retherford said the bill stems from a situation in his district in which a resident of a care facility was raped by another resident who was a registered Tier 3 sex offender.
The sponsor said the bill would give residents and their sponsors more ability to protect themselves from potential violators.
Rep. Letson, who said he lives close to a nursing home, was advised that an offender had moved into the facility, but said residents of the facility did not get such a warning. He said the bill treats nursing home residents the same as it treats those who live outside of facilities.
He also stressed the importance of notifying sponsors of the sex offenders’ presence, noting that some residents have limited capacities.