Convicted Sex Offender Pleads Guilty to Federal Charge

A 40-year-old Jacksonville man pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender Tuesday after he allegedly travelled to Florida from Maryland, according to the Department of Justice.

The man faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has not yet been set. The man has been in custody since his arrest on Sept. 30, 2014.

According to court documents, the man was convicted of criminal sexual conduct with a minor in Charleston County, South Carolina in December 1998. Following his conviction, he traveled from Maryland to Florida, where he has been living ever since.

The man allegedly failed to register as a sex offender in Florida as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

On Sept. 30, 2014, the man was arrested at his Jacksonville home and apparently acknowledged that he had been living there since June 2014. He had obtained a Florida identification card on Aug. 4 that referenced a different Jacksonville address as his residence.

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act is part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. The Adam Walsh Act helps state and local authorities to locate and apprehend non-compliant sex offenders.

This case is another brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

One of the harshest and most lasting penalties of being convicted of a sex crime is the requirement to register as a sex offender. Even once you have served your jail or prison sentence, law enforcement will continue to keep tabs on you and track your whereabouts. Not only can police pinpoint your location, but any member of the public can find out where you live and that you were convicted of a sex crime. Being a registered sex offender bans you from going certain places, like schools and churches, and you could even be blocked from using email and certain internet sites such as Facebook.

If you have been charged with failure to register as a sex offender in Florida, a Florida Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you with your case. We will evaluate the details of your arrest and make sure you understand all of your legal options. For an appointment, please call us at 866-608-5529 or contact us online.