Did you know the origin of Megan's Law?
In July of 1994, Jesse Timmendequas, a convicted sex offender, raped, beat and
strangled Megan Nicole Kanka. This sex offender lived across the street from
the Kanka family, however the family was never aware of this.
Since Megan's death, the Kanka family has fought to get laws approved that requires
each state make public information about sex offenders. Most states do this
through an online sex offender registry website. In addition, each sex offender,
by law, must be compliant to re-register each time they move or annually. The
Kanka family created a foundation in behalf of their daughter and received some
430,000 signatures to create these new proposed laws called 'Megan's Law.'
In 1996 President Bill Clinton signed legislation requiring states to
notify communities when a sex offender moves into the area. In signing
the law Clinton noted the rights of former offenders, but said "there
is no greater right than a parent's right to raise a child in safety
and love." Since this time, each state in the nation has developed and
maintained an online registry of all the registered sex offenders. In
addition, laws have been cracking down on such things that lead to sex
crimes, such as child pornography, sexual assaults on children under
the age of 16, and sexually lewd acts.
Megan's Law allows the States discretion to establish criteria for disclosure,
but compels them to make private and personal information on registered
sex offenders available to the public. Community notification: 1. Assists
law enforcement in investigations; 2. Establishes legal grounds to hold
known sex offenders; 3. Deters sex offenders from committing new sex
offenses; 4. Offers citizens information they can use to protect children
from Registered Sex Offenders, child molesters and victimization.
Nicole Kanka Foundation