Parents have a new way to check if a registered sex offender has tried to contact their child on the internet, on the phone, or through online video games.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Buckeye Sheriff's Association unveiled a new search option on the state's Electronic Sex Offender Registration and Notification (eSORN) site.
According to the Attorney General's Office, the new search function allows anyone to input unfamiliar phone numbers, email addresses, social media screen names and video game handles in to the site's database to see if the information matches a registered sex offender in Ohio.
"In this age of technology, knowing which sex offenders live in your neighborhood isn't always enough," said Attorney General DeWine. "Digital communication allows people to break geographical boundaries, and sexual predators can use this to their advantage to pose as peers and develop cyber friendships with unsuspecting children. The new reverse lookup feature is just another tool that parents can use to screen who their children are communicating with."
Registered sex offenders in Ohio are required by law to make public their home address, work address and vehicle information with their local sheriff's office. What you may not know is that they are also required to provide the sheriff's office the phone numbers, email addresses and screen names--but this information is not made public.
Citizens can now input the information on the eSORN site and if the information is linked to a registered Ohio sex offender, an alert will appear, advising you to contact your local sheriff.
"Each local sheriff's office will take the information that is provided and determine what type of follow up investigation is needed," said Knox County Sheriff David Shaffer, the Buckeye State Sheriffs' Association SORN Committee Chairman.
Ohio is one of eight states in the U.S. offering the new sex offender reverse lookup feature.
"With nearly 18,000 registered sex offenders living in Ohio, we believe this is very a useful tool," said Attorney General DeWine.
To access the eSORN database, click Ohio Registered Sex Offender Database
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