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Kentucky Sex Offender Records

What is a Sex Offender?

A sex offender is anyone found guilty of committing a sex-related crime and sentenced by the court after being found guilty. Though U.S states, including the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and the federal government have varying sex crime laws, these offenses are regarded seriously, and offenders are considered a threat to public safety.

Typically, the penalties faced by a sex offender depend on the type of offense and other aggravating factors. For instance, sex crimes committed against minors attracts lengthier incarceration periods with hard labor and no probation. In Kentucky, the courts usually penalize offenders with fines and confinement in a correctional facility. Also, offenders typically have their information accessible to the public and are restricted from being or living around particular places.

Who is Considered a Sex Offender in Kentucky?

A sex offender in Kentucky is an individual found guilty of committing sex offenses contained in Kentucky Revised Statutes, Chapter 510. Such sex crimes include rape, sodomy, sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, and indecent exposure.

What are the Different Types of Sex Offenses in Kentucky?

In Kentucky, sex offenses result in criminal charges. The seriousness of the penalty can depend on aggravating factors, such as the victim's age, use of force, or the victim's mental or physical condition. Per Kentucky Revised Statutes 510.020, lack of the victim's consent is an element present in every sex offense in the state. It may result from the victim's inability to consent because they are minors, forcible compulsion by the offender, or mental or physical incapability.

The different types of sexual offenses in Kentucky are as follows:

Rape in the first degree: A sex offender commits rape in the first degree if:

  • They use any form of coercion to engage in sexual intercourse with a victim. Coercion in this context can mean a threat of force or physical force that scares the victim.
  • The victim cannot consent due to being:
    • A minor under twelve years of age.
    • Physically incapable of giving consent. Such persons might be unconscious or lack any communication ability.

Rape in the first degree in Kentucky is a class B felony punishable by ten to twenty years of incarceration. If the victim is not up to twelve years of age, it becomes a class A felony, punishable by a sentence for twenty years or life.

Rape in the second degree: In Kentucky, rape in the second degree is a class C felony that occurs under the following circumstances:

  • Sexual intercourse between an offender aged eighteen years or older and a victim not up to fourteen years old.
  • Where the victim is mentally incapacitated or intellectually disabled and therefore cannot give consent. Individuals referred to as "mentally incapacitated" cannot temporarily understand or control the act due to the intake of intoxicants administered to them against their will.

Persons found guilty of this offense face an imprisonment sentence not less than five years and not more than ten years.

Rape in the third degree: Per Kentucky Revised Statutes 510.060, this is a class D felony that happens under any of the following situations:

  • If the offender is twenty-one years old or more and the victim is not yet sixteen years of age.
  • If the victim is at least sixteen years of age and the offender is ten years or more.
  • If the offender is twenty-one years or older and provides the foster family home for a victim no less than eighteen years old and sexual intercourse occurs.
  • If the offender holds authority over the minor and uses their influence to engage in unlawful sexual intercourse.
  • If the culprit is a law enforcement officer or works for the Department of Corrections, Department of Juvenile Justice, or a detention facility and engages in sexual intercourse with an individual under custody, supervision, or evaluation.

Anyone found guilty of the above shall be imprisoned for up to five years.

Sodomy in the first degree: Sodomy generally occurs when someone participates in a deviate sexual act. In Kentucky, "deviate sexual act" means the illegal gratification of an individual's sex organ on another's mouth or anus. This also occurs if a person uses a foreign object for penetration. An individual is guilty of sodomy in the first degree under the following circumstances:

  • The offender used forcible compulsion to make a victim engage in deviate sexual intercourse with them.
  • The victim is not up to twelve years of age or physically helpless, therefore, cannot consent to the act.

This offense is usually a class B felony punishable by ten to twenty years in prison. Nevertheless, it is a class A felony if the victim is a juvenile aged less than twelve years or is inflicted with serious physical injuries.

Sodomy in the second degree: An individual is guilty of this class C felony when:

  • They are at least eighteen years of age or older, and the victim's age is below fourteen years.
  • The victim of the deviate sexual act is mentally incapacitated or has an intellectual disability and cannot consent.

Individuals convicted of sodomy in the second degree will serve a prison sentence between five to ten years.

Sodomy in the third degree: An individual is guilty of sodomy in the third degree if they engage in deviate sexual intercourse when:

  • They are aged twenty-one years or older, and the victim is younger than sixteen years of age.
  • The crime victim is sixteen or seventeen years old when the unlawful intercourse occurred, and the offender is at least ten years older.
  • The offender provides a foster family home for the victim who is not up to eighteen years old.
  • The offender exerts a position of authority over the minor or of special trust and engages in unlawful deviate sexual conduct when the minor is not yet eighteen years old.
  • The offender is a law enforcement officer or an employee of related agencies, such as the Department of Corrections, and is responsible for the victim's supervision, evaluation, or general treatment.

Offenders shall be guilty of a class D felony, punishable by confinement to state prison for up to five years.

Sodomy in the fourth degree: Under the state's revised statutes, individuals of the same sex that engage in sodomy are guilty of this sex offense. The other participant's consent is not a defense, and the victim's lack of consent is not an aggravating element. Here, offenders are guilty of a class A misdemeanor. It means up to $500 in fines and a twelve-month incarceration sentence.

Sexual abuse in the first degree: In Kentucky, sexual abuse happens when an offender subjects an individual to sexual contact under different circumstances. Factors that determine sexual abuse in the first degree include:

  • The offender subjects the victim to the act by forcible compulsion.
  • The victim is not yet twelve years of age, physically helpless, or intellectually or mentally incapacitated.
  • The offender, being 21 years or older, does any of the following:
    • Subjects a minor younger than sixteen years of age to sexual abuse.
    • Masturbates in the presence of the minor and is aware of the minor's presence.
    • Communicates with a minor online or using electronic communication devices and can be seen or heard engaging in masturbation by the minor.

Individuals guilty of engaging in such conduct are charged with a Class D felony and face between a year to five years in prison. If the victim is less than twelve years old, the offender shall face up to twenty years in prison.

Sexual abuse in the second degree: Circumstances in which sexual abuse in the second degree occurs includes:

  • When the offender's age is within the range of eighteen years to twenty-one years old, and the victim is not up to sixteen years of age.
  • When the offender holds an employment position at any Kentucky correctional facility, Department of Juvenile Justice, or associated facilities, and the victim is confined, treated, supervised, or evaluated in the facility.
  • When the offender is a peace officer, and the victim is under investigation or detention for a crime or traffic violation.

However, the following are suitable defenses to the offense:

  • The age difference between both parties is less than five years.
  • The victim cannot consent because they are less than sixteen years of age.
  • The victim is aged fourteen years or older.

Convicted persons shall serve a maximum prison sentence of twelve months and pay $500 in fines or less.

Sexual abuse in the third degree: Typically, this occurs when the victim does not consent to sexual contact by the offender. Lack of consent may arise from the following:

  • The victim is less than sixteen years of age and therefore incapable of giving consent.
  • The victim is not older than fourteen years of age.
  • The individual guilty of the offense is younger than eighteen years of age.

Sexual abuse in the third degree constitutes a class B misdemeanor and is penalized by up to ninety days of imprisonment.

Sexual misconduct: An individual is guilty of sexual misconduct in Kentucky if they participate in deviate sexual intercourse or sexual intercourse without the other party's consent. It is a class A misdemeanor, and individuals convicted will serve time in jail for up to twelve months.

Indecent exposure in the first degree: Typically, indecent exposure in Kentucky occurs when an offender deliberately exposes their genitals under unlawful circumstances. Indecent exposure in the first degree happens when the act is performed in the presence of anyone under eighteen years of age, and it alarms them.

First-time offenders shall serve up to ninety days in jail, and a second conviction within three years of the first offense warrants up to twelve months of incarceration. Subsequently, the offender will be charged with a Class D felony and penalized with a maximum prison sentence of five years.

Indecent exposure in the second degree: Under Kentucky Revised Statutes 510.150, an individual is guilty of this offense if the victim is at least eighteen years of age or older. It constitutes a class B misdemeanor offense, and offenders shall serve a prison sentence of up to three months.

What Types of Sex Offenders Exist in Kentucky?

There are two types of sex offenders in Kentucky, classified according to their required mandatory periods. These include:

  • Lifetime registrant
  • Twenty-year registrant

According to law, several statutory factors contribute to each sex offender's classification. The court usually considers the specific offense, each person's conviction frequency, a history of convictions for sexual crimes, and history of convictions for crimes where the victims are minors.

Lifetime Registrant

Lifetime registrants must be registered for the rest of their lives, with their details permanently published and updated on the Kentucky sex offender registry. Each lifetime registrant must also complete verification exercises every 90 days for life. According to KRS 17.520, persons ordered to lifetime registration were convicted, registered, or released after April 11, 2000, for the following:

  • A conviction for kidnapping a person younger than 18 years at the time of the offense, except the person is the juvenile's parent
  • A conviction for unlawful imprisonment of a victim younger than 18 years old at the time of the offense, except where committed by the victim's parent
  • A person convicted of a sex crime if the person has at least one prior conviction for a felony criminal offense against a minor, or at least one other sex crime conviction
  • A person convicted of at least two felony criminal offenses against minors
  • A person convicted of rape in the first degree or sodomy in the first degree
  • A sexually violent predator

Twenty-year Registrant

All persons convicted of sex crimes that do not fit the requirements for lifetime registration must register for 20 years. The registration period begins after release from incarceration, or after the maximum probation, shock probation, parole, or conditional discharge date, or any other early release date. In cases where more than one of the aforementioned early releases apply, the registration period begins after whichever release period is greater.

The first failure to comply with registration requirements is a Class D felony. Each subsequent violation offense is considered a Class C felony. These same penalties apply to sex offenders who knowingly provide misleading, false, or incomplete information. If a sex offender gets re-incarcerated for any crime, the remaining registration period is kept on hold during the incarceration. According to KRS 17.580, all sex offenders must remain registered until a reversal of the underlying conviction or the offender receives a pardon.

How to Find a Sex Offender Near Me in Kentucky?

According to Kentucky Revised Statutes 17.580, it is the responsibility of the Kentucky State Police to publish sex offender information on its site to make it available for public inspection. This helps to encourage public safety and awareness because some sex offenders tend to repeat their offenses.

Therefore, interested persons can search for registered sex offenders in Kentucky using the state police's Sex Offender Registry. Sex offender information can also be obtained in person from the Kentucky State Police office at the following location:

Kentucky State Police
Criminal ID and Records Branch
1266 Louisville Road
Frankfort, KY 40601

Individuals can also get Kentucky sex offender information by calling the sex offender alert line 1-(866) 564-5652. This initiative by the Kentucky State Police, along with the Department of Corrections and the Division of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Services, notifies subscribers of released sex offenders within their community.

What Happens When You Register as a Sex Offender in Kentucky?

When a convicted sex offender registers in Kentucky, their information becomes available to the general public. The length of this registration depends on the crime. There are lifetime registrants that register for the rest of their lives and twenty-year registrants whose registration periods end after twenty years.

Per Kentucky Revised Statutes 17.545, it is a violation for registrants to reside or be present in certain places. For instance, such registrants are banned from living within a thousand feet of a school, public playground, or children's facility. Anyone in violation of this prohibition is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

What is the Kentucky Sex Offender Registry?

The Kentucky sex offender registry is a public database that provides information on all persons registered as sex offenders in the state. It helps alert the public to potential risks posed by convicted sex offenders. Information on the registry includes each offender's full name, sex offender number, birth date, gender, physical description, registry status, and registry type. The registry also displays offense descriptions, known aliases, and photo histories with the date each photo was taken.

Interested members of the public may also obtain public record information from third party websites. These privately owned sites typically host data culled from public databases and repositories. However, the information available on third-party sites may vary since they are independent of government sources. To use a third-party site, record seekers may be required to provide all of some of the following information:

  • The full name on the record of choice
  • The last known or current address of the named individual
  • The address of the requestor

Who Runs the Kentucky Sex Offender Registry?

The Kentucky State Police (KSP) operates the sex offender registry, according to KRS 17.580. Kentucky law requires all convicted sex offenders to update and verify their information regularly. Before release from prison, sex offenders must report their addresses and other details to the Kentucky Department of Corrections or the Kentucky Department of Probation and Parole after designation as a probationer or parolee. These departments collect information from the offender and forward it to the Kentucky State Police for inclusion on the registry. Offenders who intend to change their addresses must notify their local probation and parole office before moving. Upon notification, the office sends received details to the KSP to update the online database. An offender who moves without first providing the appropriate notification may be tagged "non-compliant" and subject to a Class D felony charge for the first offense or a Class C felony charge for each subsequent violation.

Who Can View the Kentucky Sex Offender Registry?

Kentucky law ensures public access to the state's sex offender registry. All interested persons may visit the registry to find information on sex offenders as desired. According to KRS 17.580, the registry does not contain DNA samples, social security numbers, government-issued ID numbers, fingerprints, palm prints, and motor vehicle operator's license numbers. Information that identifies sex crime victims is also unavailable.

While the registry is updated daily, the KSP cautions members of the public on possible inadequacies on the platform. The KSP does not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided online and encourages concerned parties to reach out for verifiable details. The public is also advised to only use the registry for informational purposes as harassing sex offenders is a criminal offense. According to KRS 525.070 and KRS 525.080, crimes committed may be punishable by up to 90 days in county jail. More severe crimes against sex offenders may incur harsher penalties.

What are the Sex Offender Laws in Kentucky?

State laws on sex offenders are codified under Sections 17.500 to 17.580 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes. The laws provide for the creation of a sex offender registry to promote public awareness, and also prescribes registration periods for all convicted persons. The law further provides certain restrictions for sex offenders, such as residency restrictions and controlled use of internet or electronic communications for persons guilty of crimes where the victim was a minor. Such persons are forbidden from using electronic means to communicate with a minor or gather information on minors. In addition, the law provides information on charges liable to persons who violate any part of the requirements expected of convicted sex offenders.

How Long Do Sex Offenders Have to Register in Kentucky?

Sex offenders in Kentucky must register for 20 years or for life. Convicted persons must also adhere to other requirements regarding repeated verification exercises throughout their respective registration periods.

Can a Sex Offender Live With Their Family in Kentucky?

Sex offenders can live with their families in Kentucky. State law does not prevent these persons from residing with their families except where such residences violate other lawful or court-ordered residential restrictions imposed on the offenders.

Do Sex Offenders Have to Notify Neighbors in Kentucky?

Kentucky does not require sex offenders to notify their neighbors of their sex offender status. Persons who need information about nearby sex offenders may search the Kentucky sex offender registry by providing geographical information. Interested persons may provide city, county, street address, or zip code information, or use the registry's neighborhood map. However, according to KRS 17.580(6), law enforcement agencies may provide personal notifications on registered sex offenders in a particular area, to neighbors and other persons in close proximity.

Do Sex Offenders Have to Put Up a Sign in Their Yard in Kentucky?

Kentucky sex offenders do not have to put up signs in their yards. State law does not require convicted persons to put up any public notices at any location.

How Close Can a Sex Offender Live to a School in Kentucky?

Kentucky law forbids registered sex offenders from taking up residential locations within 1,000 feet of a preschool, elementary school, middle school, high school, public playground, or daycare facility. The 1,000-feet distance should be measured in a straight line from the nearest property line of the offender's place of residence to the nearest property line of the facility.

It is the sex offender's duty to determine whether any of the prohibited facilities is within 1,000 feet of a prospective residence. If a new facility opens within 1,000 feet of an offender's residence, KRS 17.545(3)(b) presumes that the offender knows about the opening and expects the offender to vacate the residence for a compliant option within 90 days. This does not apply to a youthful offender under probation or parole, while still a juvenile, or while enrolled in a secondary or elementary education program.

In addition, a registered sex offender must not be found on the grounds of any school, playground, or daycare facility, except the person has received advance written permission from a person of relevant authority at each of these locations. While applying for permission to be on these grounds, the sex offender must give full disclosure about their sex offender status. Furthermore, a sex offender who is at least 18 years old and was convicted of a criminal offense against a minor, cannot reside in the same location as a minor, except for parents, grandparents, stepparents, siblings, stepsiblings, or a court-appointed guardian of the minor. However, this exception does not apply if the minor was a victim of the offense. The rule also applies exclusively to offenses committed after July 14, 2018.

Can You Expunge a Sex Offender Charge in Kentucky?

Sex offender charges are not eligible for expungement in Kentucky. Although Kentucky expanded the list of eligible offenses in 2019, sex offenses were not included. Generally, sex offenses and all other offenses committed against a minor are ineligible for expungement.

How to Look Up Sex Offenders in Kentucky?

The Kentucky sex offender registry contains records of all persons convicted of various sex offenses in the state. Users should note that the registry does not display information on persons currently incarcerated. Kentucky law only requires convicted persons to register before release.

The registry allows interested persons to find records of registered persons by entering one or more of the following details:

  • Last name
  • Offender number
  • Street address
  • City
  • County
  • ZIP code (5 digits)

Searchers may also view registered sex offenders using the registry's Neighborhood Map. Searching the Neighborhood Map requires one or more of the following fields:

  • Street address
  • City
  • ZIP code
  • Radius (1, 3, and 5-mile radii)
  • County

Is Public Urination a Sex Offense in Kentucky?

All cases of public urination are illegal in Kentucky and are violations of indecent exposure laws. However, several factors, judged case-by-case, could require a convicted offender to register as a sex offender. Before a convicted person is ordered to register, the court may consider multiple factors. These include a specific description of the crime, whether the person is a repeat offender, and whether a minor was present during the commission of the crime.

What is Indecent Exposure in Kentucky?

Indecent exposure is the intentional exposure of a person's genitals where the person knows or should know that the conduct could affront or alarm others. According to KRS 510.150 and KRS 510.148, a person is guilty of indecent exposure in the second degree if the onlooker is 18 years of age or older, and indecent exposure in the first degree if the onlooker is under the age of 18. For first-degree indecent exposure, the first offense is a Class B misdemeanor. Subsequent occurrences are as follows:

  • A second offense committed within three years of the first conviction - Class A misdemeanor
  • A third offense committed within three years of the second conviction – Class D felony
  • Subsequent offenses committed within three years of the previous conviction – Class D felony

How to Report a Sex Offender in Kentucky

All persons who notice suspicious activity from a sex offender, especially regarding a violation of their registry requirements, are encouraged to report to the nearest law enforcement office. Members of the public may report to a sheriff's office, police department, or contact the state police at:

Kentucky State Police
919 Versailles Road
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: (502) 782-1800