One of the most severe consequences of a sex crime conviction remains long after your prison sentence is complete: the requirement to register as a sex offender.
Sex offender registration is associated with a very negative stigma, and it may result in the mistrust or even loss of your friends, family, and neighbors. Sex offender registration also restricts your privacy, housing prospects, employment opportunities, and more.
Regardless of the relative severity of your offense, if you are convicted of a sex crime that comes with required sex offender registration, you will be placed in the same category as heinous criminals who have committed unimaginable crimes.
Below, we’re going to cover the Minnesota sex crimes for which sex offender registration is required, as well as the specific consequences of sex offender registration.
Types of Sex Offenses that Require Registration in Minnesota
In Minnesota, individuals convicted of certain sex crimes are required to register as a predatory offender with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, otherwise known as registering as a sex offender.
Registration is required if you are convicted of the following offenses:
- Child pornography: Possession, production, reception, or distribution of sexually explicit content involving a minor under 18 years of age.
- Use of a minor in a sexual performance: Employing, consenting to, or authorizing a minor to participate in a sexual performance.
- Solicitation of a minor for sex, including on the internet: Attempting to lure a minor into engaging in sexual activity. This also includes using the internet to attempt to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity.
- Kidnapping and false imprisonment: Intentionally taking a person away or moving a person against his or her will by use of force or threats of force (kidnapping), or by confining or detaining another person against his or her will without any legal justification (false imprisonment).
- Criminal sexual conduct: Otherwise known as rape or sexual assault, this crime involves sexual penetration, sexual touching, or attempting to remove clothing without the consent of the victim. This includes victims who are unable to consent, such as minor children or the mentally disabled.
- Felony indecent exposure: Exposing of one’s genitals to a child under 16 with a prior conviction of the same act, or exposing one’s genitals while confining or restricting movement of the victim.
Depending on the type of offense and the circumstances around the specific offense, sex offenders may be required to maintain registration for different lengths of time. However, all registrants must maintain registration for the duration of their probation or a minimum of 10 years, whichever is longer.
Sex offenders convicted of more serious offenses, particularly those committed against children, may be required to register for life. Also, if your case is prosecuted federally, you will likely be required to register for life.
Consequences of Minnesota Sex Offender Registration
As mentioned above, if you are convicted of a sex offense, you will be labeled a sex offender, or “predatory offender” in the state of Minnesota, and required to register and remain registered for at least 10 years, and potentially for life.
Sex offender registration is humiliating, and it enables the public to track your location and access details of the offense. Sex offender registration will also affect your personal liberties, and many other aspects of your life:
- Registration requirements: If your case is prosecuted by the state, you will be required to re-register should you move out of Minnesota, and you will be subject to your new state’s laws regarding registered sex offenders. Failing to maintain sex offender registration will extend your registration period, and it may even land you back in prison.
- Residency restrictions: Regardless of the nature of your offense, you will be unable to live within a certain distance of gathering places for children, including parks, schools, daycare centers, and playgrounds. Further, most landlords run a criminal background check, and may reject your application if you are a registered sex offender.
- Restricted employment: Under Minnesota state law, you will be barred from working at or anywhere near certain types of places, including schools, clothing stores with changing rooms, salons or spas, or in positions of power over someone else (for example, a doctor who sees patients).
- Loss of child custody: Regardless of the nature of your offense, your ex-partner can use your sex offender registration as grounds to revoke child custody, stating that you are a danger to your children.
- Privacy: Sex offender registries are intended to keep tabs on prior sex offenders, meaning that your privacy will be extremely limited. Your residence, vehicle and employment will be accessible to the public. It’s not uncommon for registered sex offenders to face harassment from neighbors.
- Bias, prejudice and intolerance: Sex offender registration comes with an enormous negative stigma. Your friends and family may view you as a threat or outcast.
In short, sex offender registration is a devastating consequence of a sex crime conviction. While it is certainly not the only reason to fight back and attempt to avoid conviction, it is certainly one of the biggest.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is a Minneapolis-based criminal and DWI defense attorney known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge, and recognized as a Minnesota Super Lawyers Rising Star (2014–2015), a Top 100 Trial Lawyer (2013–2015), and a Top 40 Under 40 Attorney (2013–2015).