Oklahoma Sex Offenses and Why They are Different
Of criminal offenses, sex offenses are considered the most controversial: these offenses can incite moral, social, and legal dilemmas. Regardless, there is consensus about the derogatory nature of sex offenses and the tendency of the offense to drastically change the lives of the survivors and the public alike.
In Oklahoma, criminal justice agencies and the Oklahoma judiciary work together to ensure public safety and give offenders appropriate punishment. Concerning sex offenses, local law enforcement has the responsibility of arresting and indicting suspected offenders; employees of the judiciary try such offenders under the Oklahoma criminal procedure, and the Department of Corrections is responsible for the rehabilitation and supervision of convicted sex offenders.
What is a Oklahoma Sex Crime?
Oklahoma sex crimes refer to sexual activities that violate moral and statutory standards. These consist of several crimes and rape and sexual assault, where an individual achieves sexual gratification by solicitation, exposure, or force. In most cases where sex crimes happen, the other party cannot give explicit consent, or the offender refuses to accept rejection. The statutes that describe sex crimes, applicable penalties, and the enforcement of sanctions are in Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes.
The law does not apply to private sexual acts between adults, provided that the parties can consent to such practices and understand the ramifications of the action. Instead, the law prohibits sexual conduct or behavior that deviates from acceptable cultural and legal standards, especially those where another party is a victim of the offender’s hedonism.
What are the Different Types of Sex Offenses?
Within the boundaries of Oklahoma laws, the following are types of sex offenses, severity, and applicable penalties:
- Sexual Assault: Per Okla. Stat. Ann. §21–112, sexual assault is any contact or behavior that occurs without another party’s explicit consent. These include, but not limited to, forcible intercourse (rape), sodomy, child molestation and sexual abuse, incest, and fondling. The law also deems any attempt or use of a foreign object to complete the acts mentioned above to be sexual assault. The penalty for sexual assault depends on the specific charge and aggravating factors. For example, rape is a felony and the punishment, depending on the degree, is typically life imprisonment or even a death sentence. However, if the court sentences the offender to a specified jail term (up to fifteen (15) years), such offender is not eligible for parole, and he or she is subject to post-conviction supervision for life (Okla. Stat. Ann. 21§ 1114; 21§ 1112).
- Sexual Battery: The intentional and lewd touching, mauling, or feeling of the body or private parts of any person for sexual gratification are prohibited under Oklahoma laws (Okla. Stat. Ann. 21, § 1123). Sexual battery is a felony, and the punishment depends on aggravating factors such as the victim’s age, relationship to the victim, and distress caused to the victim. Consequently, the court shall order the offender to serve a prison term (lengthy years to life imprisonment). An offender who serves a lengthy prison term is usually not eligible for parole. Besides, he or she is subject to post-conviction supervision for a term the court shall determine.
- Forcible Sodomy: Oklahoma regards sodomy as abominable and against nature. The offender is liable to imprisonment of up to twenty (20) years in prison. The offender is not eligible for parole, and upon completing the sentence, he or she is subject to supervision (Okla. Stat. Ann. §21–888).
- Prostitution: Oklahoma laws prohibit intentional participation in any act linked to prostitution. Therefore, using a property (real estate or vehicle) for prostitution, aiding prostitution, as well as receiving services or compensation from a prostitute is illegal (Okla. Stat. Ann. §21–1029). Prostitution and related acts is a misdemeanor. The statutory punishment is up to 30 days in jail, up to $7,500 in fines, community service, or a combination of sanctions. The court shall impose stiffer penalties on habitual offenders. Furthermore, prostitution may be a felony depending on aggravating factors, such as involving a minor or prostituting while aware of a viral infection (e.g., HIV).
Sex Offender Levels of Classification in Oklahoma
Upon conviction of a sex crime, the court shall assign a numeric risk level to the offender. The assignment of risk level to an offender achieves several aims, most importantly, assessing the sex offender’s likelihood of recidivism based on the nature of the crime. Second, the risk level enables law enforcement to monitor offenders post-conviction. Besides, the level defines requirements as well as restrictions imposed on the offender post-conviction.
- Level 1 Sex Offender: These offenders are mostly guilty of misdemeanor sex offenses, pose minimal threat to society, and are least likely to re-offend. Nevertheless, the court typically orders level 1 offenders to register in the sex offender registry for 15 years. The offender must also present himself or herself at the supervisory agency every twelve (12) months.
- Level 2 Sex Offender: These offenders are next in rank for society’s threat and likelihood to re-offend. A level 2 sex offender registers in the sex offender registry for twenty-five (25) years. He or she must also submit for verification every six (6) months.
- Level 3 Sex Offender: These offenders commit the gravest sex offense, pose the most risk to society, and are most likely to re-offend. Level 3 sex offenders typically comprise rapists, serial offenders, as well as child sex offenders. Due to the threat level, the court registers such an offender for life. Furthermore, he or she must submit for verification every ninety (90) days.
How Do I Find A Sex Offender Near Me in Oklahoma?
To ensure public safety and continued monitoring of sex offenders, state law and, indeed, the United States Constitution mandate that every state must maintain a publicly available database on sex offenders. Every local law enforcement maintains a local database that also feeds directly to the state database to ensure seamless operation. Thus, any individual who wishes to find a sex offender may visit the local law enforcement office during business hours. Alternatively, they may conduct an online search of the Oklahoma sex offender registry from the repose of his or her home.
The Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry
According to the Oklahoma Sex Offenders Registration Act, every convicted sex and violent offender must register with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC). As the official custodian designated to maintain the sex offender repository, the ODOC allows public requesters to query the database for information on any sex offender. Searchers do not have to meet any requirements or pay a fee to access the registry. The search must possess the knowledge to perform the search, such as name and geographical location. If these are unavailable, the search may conduct an appearance search based on the offender’s physical profile.
Upon query, the database returns available information based on the parameter inputted. The searcher shall then access the offender’s most recent photograph, personal information, and residential information within the state boundaries. To get started:
- Visit the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry
- Accept the terms
- Query the database with a parameter
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 Oklahoma?
Oklahoma imposes civil restrictions on convicted sex offenders. While these restrictions are typically general, the court may impose additional restrictions on the risk the offenders pose to society. Violation of a restriction results in criminal liabilities with punishment varying from hefty fines to jail time.
- Residency restriction: A sex offender is limited in where he or she may reside within Oklahoma. In addition to providing an address for verification, they may not live within 2,000 feet of any property, facility, or institution working with children. The restriction applies regardless of whether the offender committed a sex crime involving a child or not.
- Employment restriction: Like the residency restriction, a convicted sex offender may not work or seek employment with any organization working with children or located within 2000 feet of a children’s facility.
- GPS monitoring: Depending on the nature of the offense, the offender may be subject to GPS monitoring.
The sole aim of these restrictions is to ensure public safety and not cause socio-economic hardship to the offender. The high recidivism rate among sex offenders necessitates criminal justice agencies to impose these restrictions to protect society.