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Police to ask Ukrainian Parliament to pass Megan’s Law
21:16, 30 May 2017
Police to ask Ukrainian Parliament to pass Megan’s Law

Law enforcers of Donetsk region offer to increase criminal responsibility for sexual abuse of minors

21:16, 30 May 2017

Sexual abuse against children
112 Agency

The regional branch of the National Police in Donetsk region came to conclusion that sex offenders must bear more serious responsibility for crimes against children. According to Vyacheslav Abroskin, Head of the National Police in Donetsk region, that was the topic of today’s staff meeting with local officers.

‘In 2016, law enforcers officially registered over 400 cases of sexual abuse against minors; however, there are many more of them,’ the official said. ‘These are latent crimes; the criminals have been raping children scot-free for years. Our country shows the most tolerant attitude to those committing crimes against the future of our state.’

According to Deputy Interior Minister Anastasiya Deyeva, Megan’s Law is one of the tools that could be of use when identifying sex criminals and preventing new crimes.

Megan’s Law is the name for a federal law, and informal name for subsequent state laws, in the U.S. requiring law enforcement authorities to make information available to the public regarding registered sex offenders. Laws were created in response to the murder of Megan Kanka. Federal Megan's Law was enacted as a subsection of the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexcually Violent Offender Registration Act of 1994, which merely required sex offenders to register with local law enforcement.  Since only few states required registration prior to Megan's death, the state level legislation to bring states in compliance —with both the registration requirement of Jacob Wetterling Act and community notification required by federal Megan's Law— were crafted simultaneously and are often referred as "Megan's Laws" of individual states. Thus, federal Megan's Law refers to community notification (making registry information public), whereas state level "Megan's Law" may refer to both sex offender registration and community notification.   

Individual states decide what information will be made available and how it should be disseminated. For example, they disseminate the information via social media platforms such as Facebook. Commonly included information is the offender's name, picture, address, incarceration date, and offense of conviction. The information is often displayed on free public websites, but can be published in newspapers, distributed in pamphlets, or through various other means.

At the federal level, Megan's Law requires persons convicted of sex crimes against children to notify local law enforcement of any change of address or employment after release from custody (prison or psychiatric facility). The notification requirement may be imposed for a fixed period of time—usually at least ten years—or permanently. Some states may legislate registration for all sex crimes, even if no minors were involved. It is a felony in most jurisdictions to fail to register or fail to update information.

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