Florida law provides that under certain circumstances an individual may have his name removed from the sex offender or sexual predator registry. However, before that can occur, the judge deciding the matter must determine that removal of the person's name will not conflict with federal law.
In a recent case called Miller v. State of Florida, a judge denied Mr. Miller's request to have his name removed from the sex offender registry because it conflicted with a federal law commonly known as the Adam Walsh Act. More specifically, the judge found that the Adam Walsh Act permits only persons who have been convicted of consensual sexual activity to be exempt from registering as sex offenders. Because Mr. Miller was unable to prove that the sexual activity that he was convicted of was consensual, the trial judge refused to order the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to remove Miller's name from the sex offender registry.
In response, Miller made three arguments:
1. The crime that he pled guilty to (lewd or lascivious battery), does not require proof that the sexual act was not consensual;
2. The Florida law that permits an individual to have his name removed from the sex offender registry does not explicitly require that the crime in question involve consensual conduct; and
3. The sex act that occurred between Miller and the victim in his case was, in fact, consensual.
On appeal, Florida's Fifth District Court of Appeal rejected each of these arguments. From now on, therefore, one of the things that a person trying to get his name removed from Florida's sex offender registry will have to prove is that the sexual activity he was convicted of was consensual in nature.