Governor Snyder recently signed a new law in Michigan that details where convicted sex offenders may go to school. Or more specifically, where they may not go to school. In this case, under our new Michigan law, convicted sex offenders may not attend the same school as their victims. And that’s not all.
What does the new law say exactly?
According to our new legislation, schools in Michigan are now required to immediately expell any student convicted of a sex offense against another student in the same school district. (We’ll see whether this requirement meets a Constitutional mandate for “due process”.) This applies regardless of where the actual assault took place. In addition, a convicted sex offender may never return to that same school, or make use of that same school bus as their victim.
Why was this law passed in Michigan?
This piece of legislation was crafted in response to a situation that came up in Livingston County. A 16-year-old high school student was convicted of raping multiple classmates. He was convicted and sent to jail, but after his release he attempted to return to school. There was widespread panic in the community at the thought of him going to school with his victims.
In the end, the terms of his probation made it impossible, and he was forced to go to school elsewhere, but the fact that it may have been possible was enough to spur action by House Representative Lana Theis on this issue. As an aside, most sex offenders are placed on probation for at least five years and one condition of their probation is to have no contact with their victim and/or to stay a specific distance away.
How will this law affect convicted sex offenders in future?
If the convicted sex offender is high school age:
In larger towns and cities, where the young person convicted needs to return to high school after their release, it will be less of a problem. Most cities and large towns have multiple high schools, and assuming their victims are distributed among the remaining schools, they will be free to attend whatever school isn’t being attended by their victim/s.
However, for convicted offenders in smaller towns and villages, and rural farming communities, this might be more difficult. If there is only one high school in the area, it will prove difficult for them. They will be forced to travel out of area to attend high school, which creates the burden of considerable time and cost for their family. Other alternatives include being homeschooled, which only works if there is a willing parent or caregiver available, or online schooling.
If the convicted sex offender is an adult:
Since most adults have graduated high school, this would only affect them if the school they wish to attend is a college or university. If there is only one campus nearby, they will have to option of getting their degree online, otherwise, they can choose to attend college at a different university or community college.
Sex offenders are highly restricted after release in Michigan!
Being a convicted sex offender in MIchigan, means living with a number of highly restrictive rules – namely, the Michigan Sex Offender Registry. You are told how close to a school you may live, where you may go to school, and made to pay fees. You have to report it every time you change addresses, get a new job, buy a new vehicle, or sign up for a new social media account. All in all, there are a LOT of regulations to follow, and skipping even one can land you right back in prison!
Have you or a loved one been charged with a sex crime in Michigan?
If you or a loved one have been charged with a sex crime, or accused of a sex assault crime in Michigan, contact us immediately at 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail). Timing is important, and delays usually work against you. So don’t delay! Call our skilled and experienced sex crime defense attorneys . We have decades of experience fighting sex crimes and CSC charges all over the lower peninsula of Michigan.