GET ANSWERS: Sex Offender Rules

8:30 PM, Aug 9, 2010   |    comments
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Patricia wrote to us asking, 'Is it OK to have a registered sex offender over a major restaurant?'

We contacted the Bibb County Sheriff's Office and took a look at Georgia law to find out.

Lt. Greg Abernathy heads up the Bibb County Sheriff's Office's Sex Offender Registry tracking unit.

"We know where they live, we know where they work. We do periodic checks on them. They are required to live by certain requirements and we enforce those," he said.

According to Abernathy, people who committed a sex crime before June 4, 2003 have no residency or employment restrictions; they can live or work anywhere.

Because Georgia lawmakers have updated the law, it sets different restrictions for people who committed crimes at different times.

For those who committed offenses between June 4, 2003 and June 30, 2006, restrictions kick in. An offender can't live within 1,000 feet of a child care facility, school or area where minors congregate. That includes places like playgrounds and parks, but does not include churches, bus stops, swimming pools or libraries for this group. They also have no employment restrictions.

Living and employment restrictions for offenders who committed a crime from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2008 extend to include churches. They can't live near areas where children congregate; this extends to cover community pools and bus stops.  Libraries still don't fall under restrictions for this group.

For sex offenders who committed their crime on or after July 1, 2008, the restrictions extend to include public libraries.

This group can't work or volunteer with child care facilities, churches, or businesses within 1,000 feet of them.

The law doesn't prevent people from working at any other specific places like a restaurant and Abernathy says it all depends on when they committed their offense and which limitations apply.

If you think someone is in violation of sex offender registry regulations you can contact your local sheriff's office.

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