Sex Offenders Living with Minors, Part I

Every now and then I get a call—usually from a concerned citizen or a prosecutor—asking whether it’s okay for a sex offender to be living in the same residence as a minor. This post summarizes the restrictions on living with minors applicable to registered offenders who are still under supervision by the Department of Correction. In a subsequent post I’ll discuss the restrictions (or, as turns out to be the case, the lack of restrictions) on registered offenders generally.

Offenders under supervision for a conviction that requires registration or that involved the physical, mental, or sexual abuse of a minor must be subject to certain special conditions of probation under G.S. 15A-1343(b2) or post-release supervision under G.S. 15A-1368.4(b1). The substance of the mandatory conditions is the same for both types of supervisees. First, those convicted of offenses for which there was evidence of the sexual abuse of a minor may not reside in a household with any minor child. G.S. 15A-1343(b2)(4), -1368.4(b1)(4). Second, those convicted of offenses for which there was evidence of physical or mental abuse of a minor may only reside in a household a minor child if the court expressly finds that it is “unlikely that the defendant’s harmful or abusive conduct will recur and that it would be in the minor child’s best interest to allow the probationer to reside in the same household.” G.S. 15A-1343(b2)(5), -1368.4(b1)(5). Recall that the period of post release supervision for an offender convicted of a reportable Class B1 through E felony is 5 years—not the typical 9 months—so the condition has the potential to apply for some time. G.S. 15A-1368.2(c).

The court of appeals has upheld the mandatory prohibition on living in a household with a minor against a constitutional challenge. In State v. Strickland, 169 N.C. App. 193 (2005), the defendant was convicted of taking indecent liberties with a child for having sex with his wife’s 13-year-old sister, who was living with the defendant, his wife, and their young son at the time. The court placed him on probation and, after finding that the offense involved the sexual abuse of a minor, ordered that he could not reside in any household with a minor child under G.S. 15A-1343(b2).

When Strickland continued to live with his family (including his son), his probation was revoked. He argued on appeal that the condition violated his fundamental right to the custody and care of his own child. The court of appeals disagreed, holding that a condition of probation may restrict a fundamental right if it is reasonably related to protecting the public and to rehabilitating the offender—and, the court concluded, this condition was. The court noted that the condition did not amount to a loss of custody of the child or a general prohibition on visiting the child in the home. Rather, it “simply prevented [Strickland] from also residing in that home for the probationary period.” The court also rejected the defendant’s argument that the condition should not apply because to him because his victim was not a blood relative, and there was no evidence that he ever abused his own child.

Note that these special conditions are mandatory for any offense that involves the physical, mental, or sexual abuse of a minor, not just for reportable crimes. As in the context of the satellite-based monitoring law, “physical, mental, or sexual abuse of a minor” is not defined in the probation statutes. One could imagine, for example, that certain non-reportable assaults might be deemed to involve the physical abuse of a minor, and thus trigger the mandatory special conditions, although there are no appellate cases on that issue. (I’m curious if any readers have seen it happen.) Page Two, Side Two of AOC-CR-603 guides the court through the appropriate findings and the special conditions themselves.

24 comments on “Sex Offenders Living with Minors, Part I

  1. I spent four month on probation for a sex offense (I violated and served my active sentence). Under the Sex Offender Control Program, not only may an offender not reside with anyone under the age of 18, but may not have ANY contact with ANY minor in a work, school, or social setting. In my case, the judge specified that I could live with my own children, but since my wife and I were separated, probation wouldn’t allow me any type of visitation at all. Basically, I could live with them, but since I wasn’t living with them, I couldn’t see them.

  2. So does that mean that ANY registered sex offender cannot live with a minor child even if the criminal offense had no involvement with a minor after successfully completing all the probation requirements?

    ie; the sex offender is no longer on probation, he/she did not commit a crime against a minor and was placed on the lowest level of registration.

    I’d like to know the answer to that.

    • Similarly I would like to know that if it is illegal for an offender who is post probation/supervision to be alone with a minor in general. For example to be providing a ride between locations, or in public areas (ie movies/store), and the parents are aware of the offenders status/past?

    • I want to know the answer to this

  3. I was told that my 2 grandsons they could my stay here because sex offender;; their ages are 17 and 13 is this true?

  4. I would like to know the answer to that also. My ex wife decided to move a registered sex offender into her home with my 2 minor children, months before I found out. He’s been there about 4 months now. He was convicted of 2 counts of indecent liberties with a minor, a 10 yr old girl. This was a plea bargain down from rape… My 2 kids are 5 and 8, a girl and boy respectively. We have no custody order and I currently have my kids with me. In north carolina, doesn’t she have to notify me if she plans on doing this? Hes not on probation anymore, in fact I believe he just completed it before moving in. Im fighting for custody, period. Im not going to let this sick person have a chance to ruin my kids lives. I was just wondering if there was something that would help, like maybe she was in violation for not letting me know. Thank you for any clarification in advance. Phil.

  5. Yes. I want to know the answer to the questions which were raised.

    If a person is a convicted offender on the registry list, yet no actual minors were directly involved, (a total absence of physical molestation or rape, that is, photographs of strangers unwittingly downloaded from internet and having had no direct contact with said minors, yet convicted of an offense).
    After probation is completed, are they still forbidden to live in a home with minor children?

    • I’d like to know the answer to this question

  6. I also would love to know this as well, i have two children both girls 4&7, my 4 year olds dad is a registered sex offender, which i didnt know at the time he was a S.O. but anyways, he is wanting custody of her (full) he is not on probation but the cops have to come out everymonth to see him physically. I was just wondering if he could get any kind of custody with her.

  7. if I knew this person was registered as a sex offender and had him around my kids could I get my kids taken away from me and custody be given to there biological father or can social services take them?? he is gone now but I did have him here for about a month.

  8. I just found out after boing married for 2 years my husband is a level 1OFFENDER I’m shocked he has been very abusive to all of us me my son and others can I choose to have him move out? What’s my legal rights?

  9. My son’s father is awaiting release. He was wrongfully convicted on no evidence. Essentially the military made an example out of him based strictly on a digruntled woman’s word who later admitted that she made up the whole story. The appeal was denied because…well…our justice system does not give a crap. My question is this…
    When he is released will he be able to have any contact with our children? two sons…who have never met him and long for their father…they need him. In my case he is an innocent man who was convicted wrongfully. His sentence was 25 years. He will make parole within a 2 year period. He has already served 6 years….could someone shed some light on how we can try to bring our family back together?

    • Wow, I just found myself in the same predicament, sad the military is doing this to our soldiers…

  10. I am finding out that I am pregnant by a sex offender with rape kidnapping assualt and shooting a fire arm what rights does he have to my kids as far as visiting being around them or living with ( we are not together) he just was arrested for probation violation what are his rights?

  11. My husbands ex wife was a school teacher at a mentally handicapped school and was charged and convected with 2 felony charges and is now a registered sex offender. They have 3 girls now 19,16,and 10yrs old. she did a short time in jail he got full custody till she got out then she lived with her parents and got joint custody. When the middle child said she wanted to live with her she ended up with custody of her and joint with the youngest. The 19yr old daughter is having a baby in January and she was told her mom was not allowed to babysit the baby (her granddaughter) but now her new husbands 15year old daughter has moved in with her. Why is that ok? Anytime anyone calls on her about it they just tell them she is no longer on probation and dont want to hear about it. but my question is what does that matter if she is still registered. If she was a Male I believe they would be treating the case totally different.

  12. I need to know will my husband ever be able to live with me and our 2 children again? He was arrested but hasn’t had his trial yet. He has no arrest record, and had no evidence of porn on any devices taken. He has 3 charges against him presently and unfortunately has a public defense attorney. I would also like to know what his sentence might be to prepare myself and our kids.

    • Do you have a Facebook? Going through the same. And I just need someone to talk to that understands);

  13. My former wife and three children (12, 10, 8 – girl) live with a convicted sex offender. He was convicted in 2006 of 7 female assaults, 2nd degree attempted rape, and indecent liberties with a minor. He has a life long sex registry requirement. He currently lives with my former wife and 3 children and registered her address as his current and only address. Additionally, he was sexually with my former wife when she was 15 yrs of age and he was 38 years old in the state of Indiana. They now reside in NC. Do I have a legal option to have him removed from the home that my children live based on the current sex offender laws in the state of NC?

    Thank you in advance for your assistance and advise.

  14. My grandpas brother just got out of prison and is a registered sex offender who is coming to live with us. I am over the age of 18 and my younger sister sometimes comes over to visit with me. This morning the probabtion officer made my younger sister wake up and leave the house and said she is not allowed to visit anymore. As far as I’m aware, minors can’t live under the same roof but they aren’t allowed to visit either? Even if the minor and sex offender are related and do not reside together, the minor is still not allowed to visit? Is this true?

  15. I have a 4 year old child whose father has custody, I have every other weekend visitation or secondary custody, my current boyfriend is a sex offender but is in no way a harm to my child. Can my childs father revoke my visitation privileges by law? That being said he very rarely is around my child and never alone with her.

  16. Can a sex offender, not on probation, be in living in house with minor children?

  17. I have a question if I am a registered sex offender and the victim is not related to me but I have a child of my own can I still be around my child unsupervised even if I did my time on probation and it’s a sexual battery and I even serve my time and the lawyer said I can be around my child is that true please reply back I need to know this ASAP

  18. Depending on the state and laws.. some sex ofender can live with there own biological clidren after there convition but not while there on probation. In fact they can not have any contact with there own children while bing on probation until thry complet there probation. I believe it depents on the state and laws and thr nature of there charges

  19. Im currently separated from my husband and hes a registered sex offender and i was wondering if i could get into trouble for letting him see our 10yr old son and his charge was against another child that was in the home at the time 7 yrs ago. Will i get in trouble with this situation? Thanks in advance