Kentucky Supreme Court rules on sex offender registry case

(FOX19)  - Justices on the Kentucky Supreme Court upheld a law that sex offenders convicted before 1994 do not have to give their addresses to law enforcement.

The ruling centers on the case of Anthony Nash of Lexington. He was first convicted of a sex offense in 1993-- just months before Kentucky enacted its sex offender registration requirements. In 2007, prosecutors charged Nash with failing to register. Nash pleaded guilty but appealed.

On Thursday, the high court ruled the 1994 law does not apply to Nash because his conviction came before the law was passed and there's no provision making the law retroactive.

"I have kids walking home in the afternoons," said Talesha Tribble, a teacher at Newport Intermediate School. "So how dare they not have to register where they are, be noticed, or announce who they are and where they live at, especially like I said, around the schools."

Lifelong Newport resident and new mom Misty Partin wants lawmakers to rethink the move; if only for the sake of her 17-month-old daughter.

"I think they should still have to because I have a daughter, and I don't want her growing up around {a sex offender,}" said Partin. "Just because it was before 1994 doesn't mean that {sex offenders} are not going to continue to do it. I don't want my daughter in an environment around like that."

Gary Hudson has heard that fear before.

Hudson runs the non-profit Darkness to Light, a group focused on preventing child sexual abuse. Hudson said he often worries about the victims of sexual abuse, but adds tracking everyone convicted of a sex crime is not necessarily the answer, either.

"We can't just imprison all perpetrators," said Hudson. "Not treat them and then have to track a huge list of folks on a sex offender registry, many of whom may not be a risk to anyone. Let's focus our dollars and our energy on people who really are at risk, and let's try to treat them and keep them away from children to the extent that we can."

According to the Kentucky State Police Sex Offender Registry website, only the following sex offenders convicted of statutorily covered crimes who fit the following criteria must register if:

•Convicted after July 15, 1994 of a sex crime;

•Incarcerated or sentenced after July 15, 1998 for a sex crime (even if convicted prior to July 16, 1994);

•Convicted or released from incarceration (even if convicted prior to July 16, 1994) after April 11, 2000 for a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor;

•Required to register in another jurisdiction (state, territory, federal) or has committed an offense under the laws of another state or territory that would require registration if committed in Kentucky; or

•Convicted of a sex crime or criminal offense against a victim who is a minor under federal law, military law or the laws of another state, territory or other country; or

•Committed or designated as a Sexually Violent Predator under the laws of another state, territory, other country or under federal law."

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