The following article, along with a case we are organizing on behalf of out-of-state registrants who are on the Florida registry, gives some hope that there might be ways to challenge the registration requirement.

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The 12th Circuit State Attorney Office has dropped a case against a man accused of failing to register as a sex offender.

The Holmes Beach Police Department arrested Brian Edward Owens for failing to register in July 2016, when he was living in Holmes Beach.

The state decided not to prosecute in January due to evidence that came to light after the charges were brought and, in May, released a department memo explaining the decision.

The defense provided the state with a 2011 court order from Indiana, which “specifically states that the defendant is not required to register because his conviction predated the registry,” Assistant State Attorney Shanna Sue Hourihan wrote in the memo.

Owens, now 57, had been convicted of a 1985 attempted rape in Indiana, the memo states.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reported in May that Owens was a transient in Anna Maria, with his last registration in March.

HBPD arrested Owens July 27 after a tip about an unregistered sex offender residing at a residence on the 2700 block of Avenue C.

While the state determined Owens’ case was an exception, state law requires sex offenders to register in any county they reside within 48 hours of moving to a permanent or temporary residence or every 30 days if transient.

 

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