Texas’s Non-Sex Sex Registration Offenses

I started writing the list that follows just to wrap my head around the array of offenses that can result in sex offender registration in Texas (with more coming every legislative session). While I was writing it, though, (11)-(13) jumped out at me: unlawful restraint, kidnapping, and aggravated kidnapping are sex-offender-registration offenses if they are committed (and if the judge makes an affirmative finding that they were committed) against children under 17.

Unlawful restraint, kidnapping, and aggravated kidnapping are not necessarily sex-related offenses. Yet committing any these offenses against a child triggers registration as a sex offender. For example, a divorced dad who keeps his thirteen-year-old child without mom’s consent outside his visitation period might be committing felony unlawful restraint; if he hides the child, he might be committing felony kidnapping. Either way, the dad who is convicted or takes deferred adjudication probation faces at least ten years of sex-offender registration.

Does anyone even read Texas statutes before they become law?

Convictions or adjudications (including adjudications for delinquent conduct deferred adjudications) for the following offenses require sex-offender registration under Texas law.

  1. Continuous sexual abuse of young child or children;
  2. Indecency with a child;
  3. Sexual assault;
  4. Aggravated sexual assault;
  5. Prohibited sexual conduct;
  6. Compelling prostitution;
  7. Sexual performance by a child;
  8. Possession or promotion of child pornography;
  9. Aggravated kidnapping, if committed with the intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually;
  10. Burglary of a habitation with intent to commit:
    1. Indecency with a child;
    2. Sexual assault;
    3. Aggravated sexual assault;
    4. Prohibited sexual conduct;
    5. Aggravated kidnapping, if committed with the intent to violate or abuse the victim sexually;
  1. Unlawful restraint, if the case contains an affirmative finding that the victim or intended victim was under 17, or the order in the hearing or the papers in the case contain an affirmative finding that the victim or intended victim was under 17;
  2. Kidnapping, if the case contains an affirmative finding that the victim or
    intended victim was under 17, or the order in the hearing or the papers
    in the case contain an affirmative finding that the victim or intended
    victim was under 17;
  3. Aggravated kidnapping, if the case contains an affirmative finding that the victim or
    intended victim was under 17, or the order in the hearing or the papers
    in the case contain an affirmative finding that the victim or intended
    victim was under 17;
  4. The second violation of indecent exposure, but not if the second violation results in a deferred adjudication;
  5. An attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit an offense listed in (1)-(13), above;
  6. A violation of the laws of another jurisdiction based on the violation of an offense containing elements substantially similar to those of an offense listed in (1)-(13), (15), and (17), but not if the violation results in a deferred adjudication;
  7. The second violation of the laws of another jurisdiction based on the violation of an offense containing elements substantially similar to those of indecent exposure, but not if the second violation results in a deferred adjudication; or
  8. Online solicitation of a minor.

About Mark Bennett

Mark Bennett got his letter of marque from the Supreme Court of Texas in May 1995. He is famous for having no sense of humor when it comes to totalitarianism.
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8 Responses to Texas’s Non-Sex Sex Registration Offenses

  1. Adrian Sloan says:

    Given the SCOTUS holdings on the topic the label “sex offender registry” is just that, a legislative label with only the most tenuous relationship to truth. They could require embezzlers to register without invalidating the label because it’s a legislative definition not a public use definition.

  2. Ric Moore says:

    I doubt many people are watching this one play out. New Federal legislation would deny anyone convicted of a sex-offense the right to unemployment compensation. Or, the ability to apply for an FHA loan. Or, the ability to apply for and receive a small business loan.

    I did my crime, admitted it and took my lumps. I had them coming. But, after all of the Human Resources programs I took in prison, the one thing I came to learn was that I would be more successful, post-release, running my own business. Now that is being closed to me, even if I am credit-worthy.

    I bought and sold four houses under FHA, and paid them all off. That is about all the good credit I have left. Sorry, …don’t bother trying to apply to FHA now. I suppose I could live under a bridge.

    Talk about “Taxation without representation”, if I’m working for an employer who withholds monies to pay into the state unemployment fund and he goes under, am I being denied the benefit without representation? Or, should I STFU and eat worms?

    HR5618, HR 5297 and HR5072 are mean spirited bills and they serve no positive public purpose.

  3. Jeff Gamso says:

    Back in the comparatively early days of Megan’s Law in Ohio, an intermediate appellate court held that sex offender registration for offenses like 11, 12, and 13 on your list was unconstitutional because they were not sex offenses. The legislature promptly came up with classification and attendant registration requirements for “child oriented offenders.”

    As a category into which to dump those offenders, it had a certain logic. But it also meant that a whole lot of additional people got registration requirements and the resulting problems.

  4. Glen_G says:

    “HR5618, HR 5297 and HR5072 are mean spirited bills and they serve no positive public purpose.”

    One has to wonder though, will these pass Constitutional Muster? The registry survives exposte facto by being “remedial not punitive”. utter BS I know, however where is remedial when it comes to the bills you have listed here? They do not amplify public safety, nor are they to identification of such offenders.

    mark,

    Regarding your confusion on why. It really doesn’t matter does it? The current politic wants to stay elected, they understand that nothing whips up the foam like a ‘sex offender’, so they pass the bills into law without any real intention to uphold the Constitution or the rights of individuals in the state.

    For years they have used the excuse that sex offenders are everywhere, they cannot be cured, and they will re-offend to the man at any opportunity. “Think of the Children!!!” Even while the real data suggests that sex offenders are the second least likely to re-offend at 5.3% re-offending over a 20 years time frame. It isn’t hard to understand, it’s only hard to stomach that we elected these A-holes to do this.

  5. Mickey Fox says:

    I have been crying in the wilderness, as it were, about these types of offenses and the “super-secret” conditions of probation that often accompany them. Oklahoma enjoys a lifetime registration option as well.

    When you couple registration and probation together you, for all intents and purposes, have relegated an individual to complete non-productive status (you cannot use a computer – even to fill out applications and job search, cannot work at McDonald’s – children are present, cannot – in some cases – own a cellular phone, cannot live in many areas – or in some cities, an so on). The problem is that all offenses that are even remotely sexually-related or perceived as sexually-related work to categorize the accused offender into the lowest of the low category and, therefore, unworthy of any protections, rights, etc.

  6. Ernie Menard says:

    Mark,
    Although it doesn’t have to be stated: of course you are correct about this. Those offenses shouldn’t require registration as a sex offender. So as I and others have acknowledged your obvious correctness please allow my related but somewhat tangetial observation.

    Unfortunately, many people of presumably average intelligence would read that entire statute and read what isn’t there [any mention of sex] in items 11 through 13, simply because [I presume] the title states that these offenses require registration as a sex offender. As a matter of fact, you could tell them to only read what is there in the subsection and they’d come to the same conclusion – that what is not there is there [some act of sex]. And if you went over the statute word by word with them they’d arrive at the same conclusion and state that you were a dope.

    I’ve been down that road about something other than sex offenses or registration. The person ended up cutting and pasting [in the context of the online conversation] words and strings of words from different sections and subsections of a lengthy statute to prove his point.

    That being said, hopefully the pendulum of sex offense hysteria will settle in the middle before many more people are ruined. Don’t count on it.

  7. Doug Weathers says:

    Thanks Mark for the list and reminder of the ever-growing offenses that can land one in the woods building bird houses. Seriously, I’m printing this post for quick reference.

  8. Ric Moore says:

    In my case my attorney got me a 5 year bid for my offense. Between the DA, my attorney, my Detective and everyone else in the case decided I was low risk, my bond was $5,000 and I stayed out and supported my family for a little over a year before trial. The judge ruled that I was non-violent, and recommended me for work release. The day I got out, I got a visit from Probation/Parole who told me I was to do 5 years of Parole. I thought with Fair Sentencing there was no Parole? That my sentence was carved in stone?? I decided It was sign the damn paper, and get the hell out to my Mother waiting at the gate. I figured I’d fight it another day. So, I got out and Mom took me home to Virginia where I registered as a Non-Violent Offender. No sweat. I found a job in NC that lasted about a year. Unemployed, I moved back to Virginia. This time I’m told that Virginia decided I was now a Violent Offender. Can someone say “Ex-Post-Facto”? Guess who will hire me if they think I might jump up and rape the receptionist?? 9,000 others got that treatment in Virginia alone and there is nary a protest in the press. Go figure. Is society safer when we kick the Constitution under the bus? When the very plea bargains that you Defenders craft are torn to shreds by vigilantes? I worry about these things because today it is me and tomorrow it may be you. I don’t hear the ACLU doing anything at all, either.

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