Melissa L. Jampol, Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences and Litigation practices, in the firm’s New York office, was quoted in Fox News, in “After Epstein Death, Glaring Loopholes in National Sex Offender Registry Raise Concerns,” by Hollie McKay.
Following is an excerpt:
Federal law has divided convicted sex offenders into three “risk” categories. “Risk one” generally has mandated a 20-year registration period, with “risk two” and “risk three” violators cataloged for life. In 2006, the Sex Offender Registry and Notification Act (SORNA) purported to close existing discrepancies between states by establishing a national standard, with states threatened with the loss of federal funding for failing to comply.
However, several states have pushed back against such standards -- and in some cases, the auditing processes have been tied up in red tape and lack of oversight. …
SORNA requires sex offenders to re-register annually with a new photograph and DNA sample, report any changes of address within three to ten days of re-locating, document vehicle information and adhere to strict residency restrictions. For example, offenders are banned from living near parks, schools or places where children congregate.
Failing to heed to the reporting conditions would be considered a felony and even first-time violators would face up to four years behind bars regardless of their reasons for running afoul of the law. Still, Epstein – with his big bucks and powerful posse of lawyers – was able to skirt the system even as a “risk three” offender.
“Jeffrey Epstein was labeled a level one offender in both Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands, but a level three in New York and there are still many questions regarding the role of his power and money in avoiding responsibility,” noted Melissa Jampol, a former sex crimes assistant at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. “And the impact of states applying the law differently is that the value of the offender status labeling is applied disparately and not uniformly.”