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Connecticut Sex Offenses and Why They are Different

Any offense involving sex is a high profile and serious crime in Connecticut. Indeed, there are several reasons sex offenses garner attention from criminal justice agencies. Apart from violating legal norms, sex offenses are intrinsically offensive and scarring to the survivors and the public alike. Given these, state police and the Connecticut judiciary are responsible for identifying and prosecuting sex offenders under the Connecticut laws.

What is a Connecticut Sex Crime?

The definition of what constitutes a sex crime in the state of Connecticut is multifaceted. Nevertheless, a common characteristic of sex offenses is the deviation from moral, social, and statutory standards. Generally, any sexual act or behavior to achieve sexual gratification at the physical or psychological discomfort of another person, without explicit consent, is a sex crime. Furthermore, if such an act or behavior involved the use of threat, force, or blackmail, it is a sex crime. Likewise, anyone who commits unlawful sexual acts, directly or indirectly through a third party, commits a sex crime under the Connecticut Penal Code.

What are the Different Types of Sex Offenses?

Within the boundaries of Connecticut laws, the following are types of sex offenses, severity, and applicable penalties:

  • Sexual Assault: Per Section 53a–70, sexual assault refers to another person’s physical or verbal compulsion to engage in sexual intercourse. It shall also refer to engaging in sexual intercourse with any person who is unable to give consent. The inability to consent may be due to age, mental incapacitation, or physical incapacitation. Depending on the degree, sexual assault is a felony, and the offender is liable to an imprisonment term of at least ten (10) years. 
  • Prostitution: A person who has attained maturity (more than eighteen years of age) is guilty of prostitution if he or she agrees or offers sexual conduct for monetary compensation. Similarly, any individual who solicits the services of a prostitute or intentionally aids the operation of a prostitution business via any means is guilty. Prostitution may be a misdemeanor or felony, and the guilty offender is liable to jail time of at least nine (9) months, fines of up to $15,000, or both.
  • Enticing a minor: The intentional use of an interactive device or service to persuade or coerce a child to engage in sexual activity is a felony. The court shall sentence a first-time offender to a term of imprisonment of at least five years. A subsequent offense carries at least ten years imprisonment. 
  • Public indecency: refers to sexual intercourse, indecent exposure of body part to arouse or satisfy a sexual desire, as well as the lewd fondling or caress of the body of another person with the knowledge that the conduct is explicitly observable by others (Section 53a–186). As a class B misdemeanor, public indecency is punishable by up to six (6) months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
  • Voyeurism: Per Section 53a–189a, voyeurism refers to the malicious, clandestine, and intentional creation of photographs, films, videotapes, or digital document of another person, without explicit knowledge and consent, to achieve sexual gratification. It also refers to any such practice under circumstances where the subject expects privacy. The act of voyeurism, and the dissemination of voyeuristic material, is a felony. It is punishable by one (1) to five (5) years imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Bigamy: marriage or intention to marry another person while lawfully married is prohibited under Connecticut laws. Any such act or intent to commit within or outside the state is a felony. Bigamy is punishable by one (1) to five (5) years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000 (Section 53a–190). 
  • Incest: Per Section 53a–191, intentionally marrying, having sexual relations with, or intending to have sexual relations with a relative as specified in section 46b–21 is a felony. The offense is punishable by one (1) to five (5) years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

Other sex offenses in Connecticut include coercion (Section 53a–192), obscenity (Section 53a–194), pervasive dealing with child pornography (Section 53a–196c), and Commercial sexual exploitation of a minor (Section 53a–196i).

Sex Offender Levels of Classification in Connecticut

The classification of sex offenders in Connecticut depends on the nature of the crime, not necessarily assessing the offender’s threat to society.

  • Tier 1: Offenders who belong to this tier comparatively commit the least serious offenses, and the law designates the offenders as low risk. Such a person must register on the sex offender registry for at least fifteen (15) years and present for evaluation every twelve (12) months.
  • Tier 2: These offenders commit severe crimes and are likely to re-offend. A level 2 sex offender is typically convicted for more than one (1) year or a second-time offender. He or she remains on the sex offender registry for twenty-five (25) years and must submit for evaluation every six (6) months.
  • Tier 3: These offenders commit the most serious sex offenses and are considered high-risk offenders. Level 3 sex offenders are most likely to re-offend and remain on the sex offender registry for life. Furthermore, he or she is subject to evaluation every ninety (90) days.

How Do I Find A Sex Offender Near Me in Connecticut?

Interested individuals may visit a local law enforcement office in person, during business hours, to request information on a suspected or convicted sex offender. The local database is accessible to all, and at times, local law enforcement publishes information regarding sex offenders on mass media. Alternatively, a searcher may remotely access the Connecticut sex offender registry to obtain the same information without visiting an office.

The Connecticut Sex Offender Registry

Per the Connecticut Sex Offender Registration Law, every convicted sex and violent offender must register on the Connecticut sex offender registry. Any person may query the database so far he or she has access to the internet. Nevertheless, the searcher must know the name, internet alias, email address, phone number, or the offender’s geographical location to initiate and complete a search. With these in mind,

  • Visit the Connecticut Sex Offender Registry
  • Accept the terms
  • Query the database with a parameter

Upon query, the database returns available information based on the parameter inputted. The searcher can then access the offender’s most recent photograph, personal information, physical description, and residential information within the state boundaries.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that the person resides in or was accused of.

Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What are the Sex Offender Restrictions in Connecticut?

Statutory restrictions on convicted sex offenders in Connecticut are imposed to ensure public safety. While these restrictions are typically general, the court may impose additional restrictions based on the offender’s class or tier. Violation of a restriction results in criminal liabilities with punishment varying from hefty fines to jail time. A significant restriction on sex offenders in Connecticut is the residency restriction, which prevents sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of children. Others include employment restrictions and GPS monitoring.

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