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Sex Offender Registration and Notification Unit

Who is notified and how does the notification process work?

Not all registered sex offenders are subject to mandatory community notification. There are only two classifications of sex offenders that are subject to mandatory community notification; “Sexual Predators” and “Tier 3” sex offenders. When an offender registers their residential address, deputies verify the address. Once the address is verified, the Sheriff’s Department generates a community notification (mailing) to neighbors who live within a 1,000’ radius of the registered address. This notification provides specific information about the offender; including their registered address, a photo, physical description and identifiers, and conviction information.

How are notifications handled in multi-unit buildings?

The state defines a multi-unit building as a building with more than 12 residential units that have entry doors that open directly into the unit from a hallway that is shared with one or more units. In this instance, a notice will be given to the building or condominium manager and the notice should be posted in each common entryway.

I just found out that a sex offender lives in my community and I wasn’t notified. Why not?

There are a few reasons this may occur:
  • Offender’s classification (see question 1)
  • You live outside of the 1,000’ radius
  • The offender was released from prison prior to the state law going into effect on July 1, 1997. Therefore does not have a duty to register as a sex offender.

How are offenders classified?

Under current Ohio Law, the Adam Walsh Act (AWA) offenders are classified on a tier level, based on their offense of conviction. Each qualifying offense is assigned a predetermined tier level; Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3. For example, an offender who is convicted of Rape is classified as a Tier 3 Sex Offender. Prior to the Adam Walsh Act, offenders were classified under “Megan’s Law”. Under Megan’s Law, offenders had a judicial hearing in court; the court (Judge) determined classification based on certain discretionary guidelines. Under Megan’s Law offenders were classified as Sexually Oriented Offender, Habitual Sex Offender, or Sexual Predator.

What is the purpose of the Sheriff’s Sex Offender Website?

The purpose of the website is public awareness. ALL Registered Sex Offenders residing in Cuyahoga County are listed on the Sheriff’s Sex Offender Website. The website provides the same information listed on the community notification mailing. Through the Sheriff’s Sex Offender website, you can sign up for email alerts; you will receive an email alert when an offender registers an address within a one mile radius of your address. Also, you can utilize the website to submit tips on registered sex offenders.

Why are there multiple offenders listed at the same address?
  • Some offenders share residences
  • Some offenders are sentenced or committed to residential treatment facilities including halfway houses and nursing homes which are exempt from ORC 2950.031
  • The address is a homeless shelter

Can an offender be around children/schools?

Yes. Unless the offender is currently on a form of “Community Control” (Parole or Probation) and the conditions of that sanction prohibits it, the offender has the same rights as any other citizen.

I checked your website and it states that a sex offender lives two doors down from me. I have NEVER seen him/her there and I know the family. If your website states he lives there and I know he does not, what should I do?

Please submit the tip through the website. Through follow up and investigation, if it is determined that the offender is not residing at his/her registered address, criminal charges will be filed. The offender will be prosecuted.

I own a business. An ex-employee is on the Sheriff’s sex offender website, but he/she is still listed as employee of my company. How can I have my company information removed from the website?

Simply contact the Sheriff’s Sex Offender Unit @216-443-5577 or submit a tip through the sex offender website.

While reviewing the sex offender website, I noticed that an offender lists a residential address as a place of employment. How is that possible?

It is not uncommon for an individual to operate a business from a home office or for an individual to be self-employed. The nature of some “service” businesses requires the individual to report to various locations on a daily or even hourly basis. It would be impractical and in some cases, impossible to list every job site. Therefore, the address of the business is listed. 

Does my employer have to tell me if they hired a registered sex offender?

No. An employer is not required to inform employees. It is left to their discretion.

I thought sex offenders are prohibited form living within 1,000’ of a school or daycare facility, but I know one who does. Why aren’t you charging the offender with a crime?

The issue of an offender residing in proximity to a school zone/daycare facility is a civil matter; not a criminal matter; it is not a crime. To ultimately evict an offender from the restricted entity, it is up to the municipality to take legal action (injunctive relief) against the registered sex offender in their community.

The responsibility of the Sheriff’s Office is to inform the offender if their residence address is within a 1,000’ of a school zone/daycare facility. The Sheriff’s Office instructs the offender to contact their municipality for clarification of restrictions for the particular community. Every municipality may expand the state minimum restrictions.

How is the 1,000’ radius measured?

OffenderWatch database calculates the 1,000’ radius measurement (as the crow flies) from the offender’s property.