New feature will help find sex offenders faster

Computer keyboard.
Computer keyboard. (WDTN Photo)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – A new feature to the state’s Electronic Sex Offender Registration and Notification Database promises to help users find thorough information faster.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association unveiled a reverse lookup feature on the eSorn web site.

It allows you to input unfamiliar phone numbers, email addresses, social media screen names and video game handles into the database to try to determine if they belong to a registered sex offender in Ohio.

“In this age of technology, knowing which sex offenders live in your neighborhood isn’t always enough,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Digital communication allows people to break geographical boundaries, and sexual predators can use this to their advantage to pose as peers and develop cyber friendships with unsuspecting children. The new reverse lookup feature is just another tool that parents can use to screen who their children are communicating with.”

Registered sex offenders in Ohio are required by law to register their home address, work address, and vehicle information with their local sheriff’s office to be publicly accessible through the eSORN database.

Each of Ohio’s 88 county sheriff offices input the information into the system.

The reverse lookup feature now allows members of the public to input phone numbers, email addresses and internet names into the eSORN database and an alert will be displayed if the information is associated with a registered sex offender.

“Each local sheriff’s office will take the information that is provided and determine what type of follow up investigation is needed,” said Knox County Sheriff David Shaffer, the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association SORN Committee Chairman.

DeWine says 18,000 registered sex offenders live in Ohio.  You can access eSorn by visiting the Attorney General’s web site.

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