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Sex Offenders Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Sex Offender?

The term "sex offender" refers to any person convicted of Rape, Rape of a Child, Child Molestation, Sexual Misconduct with a Minor, Sexual Violation of Human Remains, Incest, Communication with a Minor for Immoral Purposes, a Felony with a finding of sexual motivation, or a Federal out-of-state conviction that, under Washington State Law, would be classified as a felony sex offense. See RCW# 9A.44, 9A.64.020, 9.68A.090, 9.94A.127, and 13.40.135.

Who must register as a sex offender?

Any adult or juvenile who has been convicted of any sex offense (listed above) after February 28, 1990, or who is on active supervision for a sex offense, or who has been committed as a sexually violent predator.

How long must an offender continue to register?

The duration of a sex offender's duty to register is based up on the original offense:

  • Class A Felony: May stop registering only upon the petition of the superior court.
  • Class B Felony: Fifteen years from the last date of release from confinement or entry of the judgment and sentence; if the person has spent 15 consecutive years in the community without being convicted of any new offenses.
  • Class C Felony: Ten years from the last date of release from confinement or entry of the judgment and sentence; if the person has spent 10 consecutive years in the community without being convicted of any new offenses.
  • Petition of Court: Any person having the duty to register, or an offender having the duty to register for a sex offense when the offender was a juvenile, may petition the superior court to be relieved of that duty.

Who decides where a sex offender may live?

The Renton Police Department has no legal authority to direct where sex offenders may or may not live. Unless court-ordered restrictions exist, the offender is constitutionally free to live wherever they choose.

What is a Risk Level?

One of three risk levels is assigned to a sex offender based on the potential risk to re-offend. Past criminal history, conviction data, and psychological behavioral evaluations are considered:

  • Level I: Considered a Low Risk to re-offend.
  • Level II: Considered a Moderate Risk to re-offend.
  • Level III: Considered a High Risk to re-offend.

Under what authority is sex offender information released to the public?

This Department releases sex offender information pursuant to RCW 4.24.550 which authorizes law enforcement to release information to the public regarding sex offenders when the agency determines that disclosure of information is relevant and necessary to protect the public and to counteract the danger created by the particular offender. The content of the information made available, as well as where and how the information is disseminated, is restricted to the standards set forth in Chapter 4.24 and by the Washington State Supreme Court ruling in State v. Ward, 123 WA 2d 488 (1994.)

The individuals who appear on the King County Registered Sex Offender Notification have been convicted of a sex offense that requires registration with the Sheriff's Office in the county of their residence.  Furthermore, previous criminal history places them in a classification level that reflects the potential to re-offend.

These sex offenders have served the sentence imposed on them by the courts and have advised the King County Sheriff's Office that they will be living in the location listed with their information.

The Renton Police Department has no legal authority to direct where a sex offender may or may not live.  Unless court ordered restrictions exist, these offenders are constitutionally free to live wherever they choose.

Sex offenders have always lived in our communities; prior to the passage of the Community Protection Act of 1990 (which mandates sex offender registration) law enforcement officials did not know where offenders were living.  Citizens should refrain from threatening, intimidating, or harassing registered sex offenders.  Such abuse could potentially end law enforcement's ability to notify the community.

The Renton Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit is available to help you set up Block Watch programs and provide you with useful information on personal safety. The Crime Prevention Unit may be reached at (425) 430-7521.  If you have information regarding current criminal activity of this or any other offender, please call 9-1-1.

What guidelines are used to determine the extent of public disclosure?

  • Level I: Information about Level I sex offenders shall be shared with other law enforcement agencies and, upon request, the Department may disclose relevant, necessary, and accurate information to any victim or witness to the offense and to any individual community member who lives near the residence where the offender resides, expects to reside, or is regularly found. Level I sex offenders MAY NOT be the subject of general public notification.
  • Level II: Relevant, necessary, and accurate information concerning Level II sex offenders may be disclosed to the public and private schools, child daycare centers, family daycare providers, businesses and organizations that serve primarily children, women or vulnerable adults, and neighbors and community groups near the residence where the sex offender resides, expects to reside, or is regularly found. Level II sex offenders MAY NOT be the subject of general public notification.
  • Level III: Relevant, accurate, and necessary information concerning Level III sex offenders MAY BE disclosed to the public at large.

What steps should I take to protect my family?

Sex offenders, including those who live in the community and haven't satisfied their obligations to register, have always been with us. Personal safety questions can be answered by the Crime Prevention Unit at (425) 430-7521.

Who can I call to obtain more information regarding Renton Sex Offenders?

The Renton Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit, (425) 430-7521, would be happy to answer any further questions you may have regarding sex offenders living within the city Limits of Renton.