SNAP opposes weakening of sex-offender registry

A few Missouri lawmakers want to stop requiring convicted sex offenders to list their work addresses on the state sex offender registry. (Some say this requirement makes it harder for some offenders to get some jobs.

We oppose this proposal.

Depending on what statistics you believe, roughly one in four or five girls and one in seven or eight boys is sexually violated.

So the real problem is that too many innocent kids can't live the safe childhoods they deserve, not that too many child molesters can't get the better jobs they prefer.

Obviously, we should be focusing more on protecting still-vulnerable kids and less on helping already-convicted criminals.

We oppose this proposal for three reasons

--If this measure passes, we fear that more sex offenders will try to get more jobs around more kids. (Why wouldn't they, especially if they don't have to list their work addresses?)

--Many predators befriend co-workers and customers on the job, ingratiate themselves into their families, and end up molesting their kids. (Think of all the clerics, teachers, coaches, camp counselors, day care employees and others who end up molesting kids.)

--We believe that parents, employers and the public need more information, not less, about proven predators.

We support giving adults more details about the crimes that caused offenders to be put on the registry. For some, it's helpful to know whether a person was convicted of child porn, child sex abuse, or other offenses. Supporters of this new law claim that some on the registry have been convicted of "indecent exposure" just for urinating in an alleyway. If that's the case, again, more information (not less) is a partial remedy (so that the public knows such offenders haven't directly assaulted children).

Here's a better idea: reform MO's archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations so that more child molesters are caught, charged, convicted, and ousted from jobs and so that more children are safeguarded.

Finally, we urge local parents and parishioners to keep their kids away from Kuchar in Chesterfield (where he works) and in St. Charles (where he lives). A change of location or profession doesn’t cure a serial child predator. We are calling on citizens in Chesterfield and St. Charles and customers at Starbucks to warn parents that they know about Kuchar.

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