Bill seeks to close sex offender registry loophole

Sen. Amanda Shelton (PNC file photo)

Guam – No more loopholes, enough is enough!

This was the battle cry of Senator Amanda Shelton after she introduced Bill 157-35, which seeks to close a loophole in the Sex Offender Registry Law.

Bill 157-35 mandates that convicted sex offenders comply with the requirement to register on the sex offender registry even when the convict files for an appeal.

According to the senator, survivors of sexual assaults whose perpetrators are under appeal have found that their perpetrators have not had to register with the sex offender registry and have gone on to work in similar environments.

This, the senator said, potentially puts a new population at risk. Thus, Shelton said convicted sex offenders should be registered immediately with the sex offender registry even if they file an appeal.

In an interview with K57’s Phill Leon Guerrero show, Shelton said she worked with all stakeholders and survivors of sexual assault in crafting the legislation.

“This is also something I’ve spoken to the Attorney General about and some other survivors in our community. So this is a collective effort that we’re bringing to the table now and I’m thankful to my other co-sponsors Speaker Tina Muna Barnes, Senator Telena Cruz Nelson, Senator Joe San Agustin, Senator Louis Muna and Senator James Moylan for also signing on to better protect our community and closing this gap that we found,” Shelton said.

The Guam Sex Offender Registry was established by Public Law 25-75 in 1999 with the intent to protect members of our island community from sexual offenders by monitoring those offenders and making their information accessible to the public.

Shelton added that sex offender registries are a vital tool in informing communties about the possible presence of sex offenders in their area and preventing further victimization.