Sex offenders convicted of lower-level crimes would be able to petition to have their names removed from a state registry under a bill that a Senate committee is considering.

The Columbia Missourian reports that Republican Rep. Kurt Bahr’s bill already has passed the House. It would create a tiered system, similar to what the federal government uses, to make it possible for people who have committed an offense that falls into the first two tiers to petition to have their name removed from the registry.

A Senate committee heard a bill that already has passed the House which would do three things:

- Require stricter background checks for those wishing to work in a childcare facility.
- Impose a mandatory life sentence without eligibility for parole for a person convicted of a predatory sexual offense.
- Create a tiered system to allow sex offenders to petition to be removed from the sex offender registry.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol registered sex offender report, which is updated daily, indicates that there are around 15,500 sex offenders in the state who are not in prison.

Bahr says his bill could help make the registry clearer for the public.

The bill also distinguishes different kinds of sexual offenses, and imposes a lifetime sentence with no eligibility for parole for those who commit a predatory sexual offense.

Kurt Parsons