New bill would apply retroactively


COLUMBUS — Sex offenders would have to move from established residences that are within 1,000 feet of schools, under legislation introduced in the Ohio Senate.

Sen. Tim Schaffer, a Republican from Lancaster, said his Senate Bill 42 would ensure earlier legislation related to where sex offenders live is applied retroactively, regardless of when they were convicted of their crimes.

The state Supreme Court has ruled that the residency restriction cannot be applied retroactively, because the law was too vague, Schaffer said.

As a result of court decisions, “four convicted sex offenders in my hometown of Lancaster were allowed to live anywhere they chose, as they committed their offenses before the effective date [of the earlier law],” Schaffer said. “Since that case, one of the four gentlemen involved in the appeals decision has already re-offended and is in prison for another sex crime.”

Schaffer’s bill would state that the earlier law applied retroactively, meaning sex offenders could not remain in a residence if it is within 1,000 feet of a school.

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