Why would someone who is a sex offender not be required to register as a sex offender? I recently discovered that if a sex offender is convicted on a non sex offense charge in a sexual assault case, he or she is not required to register as a sex offender. As a rape survivor that did not make sense to me. Many times in court the prosecutor will charge the offender with a crime that is easier to convict especially in sexual assault cases. Prosecutors will also plea deal to a lesser charge that may allow the offender to avoid lengthy prison time or having to register as a sex offender. Though this is a good process to get the violent offender off the street, it creates a danger for the victim and the community. If there is no monitoring or documentation of sex offenders, the offender can victimize again and again.
In 2008 Nathaniel Tumbwe, a man diagnosed with AIDS raped me. In 2010 he was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and is now serving time in Huntsville, TX. The weapon was his penis. He is a rapist, a sex offender! However, because he was convicted on a non sex offense charge, when he is paroled he will have the freedom to victimize again. Tumbwe has already assaulted again and again. His first arrest was in 2004. He was convicted of non sex crimes when in fact his crimes were sexual assaults.
But Tumbwe is not the only sex offender who has been convicted on a non-sex crime, when the crime was in fact a sexual assault. How many other sex offenders in our communities are not registered because of a court plea deal or being convicted of a non-sex crime? How many are repeat offenders like Tumbwe? I know sometimes it’s difficult to convict a violent offender on the merits of the case sometimes without a plea deal or without changing the charge? However, this practice is a clear danger to the public. What can be done to protect the public? How can the courts better protect the citizens? How can the court system become more victim conscious when it comes to the sentencing of sex offenders?