Are sex offenders living in your neighborhood?
Sgt. Melissa Clemons with the West Virginia State Police Crimes against Children unit, told 59News 4,152 registered sex offenders live in West Virginia. She showed us just how easy it is to find out how many of those live in your county.
Once convicted of a sexual crime, they are required to register on the sex offender list, most of the time for life. Sgt. Clemons demonstrated how to find the sex offenders living in Mercer County.
"You go to www.wvsp.gov and type in the county you live in. We have 143. It does give you their full address. It provides you with a list of where they work, their height, weight, eye color, and a brief description of their offense and what they were convicted of and the age of the victim," Clemons said.
Before the days of public Internet access, Clemons told us it was much easier to conceal your identity as a sex offender.
"We of course have always had the list and the registry but now with the Internet it makes it more available to the public. It's not as easy nowadays to hide your conviction from your neighbors and co-workers," she told us.
If you think someone should be on the registered sex offender list or if you see a registered sex offender violating the conditions on their parole or probation, you're asked to call your local state police detachment.
If a registered sex offender moves to or from West Virginia, they have 10 days to re-register in their newly residing state.