Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Tennessee's failure to include sex offenses by juveniles on its public sex offender registry could start costing the state federal money in 2009.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Kristin Helm said the agency is going to "wholeheartedly push" to have the legislature change the sex registry law to include offenses by juveniles.
The federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 includes a 10 percent reduction in federal law enforcement funding to states that fail to comply with the law by July 2009.
The law allows two annual extensions for states that show significant movement toward including juveniles in public sex offender registries.
The portion of the Adam Walsh law that has not been passed in Tennessee is the juvenile portion," Helm told the Knoxville News Sentinel.
Man falls through cracks
A man who preyed on women at South Knoxville businesses for almost a year had been listed as a child molester on public registries in two other states but was not required to report as a sex offender in Tennessee.
Grant Anthony Friese had been convicted in South Carolina in 1995 of molesting a 6-year-old girl. Although he was 14 at the time of the conviction, South Carolina mandated that Friese be listed on the state's sex offender registry.
When Friese moved to Georgia in 2004, he was listed on the state's publicly accessible sex offender registry.
But when he moved in December 2005 to Hamilton County, his status was not tracked.
"He's a poster child for the need for this legislation," Helm said. [Mark Godsey']