St. Louis Public Radio News
9:40 am
Mon July 21, 2003

Sex Offenders Supporters Not Swayed by Lawsuit

Jefferson City, MO – Supporters of a law expanding public access to Missouri's list of sexual offenders say they aren't concerned about a legal challenge.

A group of registered sex offenders recently sued to challenge the constitutionality of a state law requiring sex offenders to register with authorities in their home counties.

The suit claims the registration law restricts personal freedom without a due process hearing and is applied illegally to past offenders.

One day after the lawsuit was filed, Gov. Bob Holden signed into law a measure allowing the existing list of sex offenders to be posted on the Internet.

Chris Bauman, Holden's deputy legal counsel, says the lawsuit received little consideration while the governor's staff was deciding whether to expand the registry to the Internet.

The lawsuit was filed in Jackson County in western Missouri.

The law authorizing the Internet sex offender list takes effect August 28th. The new online registry would be searchable by name, ZIP code and address.