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Arizona Sex Offenses and Why They are Different

In Arizona, illegal sexual acts inflicted on other individuals are called sex offenses. A person found guilty of committing a sex offense is a “sex offender.” Upon sentencing by a state court, an individual is legally mandated to disclose their identifying information on a registry that is open to the public. Offender registration is only one of the grave repercussions of being convicted of a sex offense in the state. As these crimes endanger public safety and security, a convicted individual is subject to significant jail sentences, fines, probation, supervision, living, working, educational and employment restrictions, and other additional penalties prescribed by the law. A sex offense conviction also damages an individual’s social status and reputation in a way that is incomparable to other crimes.

What is Arizona Sex Crime?

Arizona statutes defined a broad range of sex offenses classified as sex offenses. Codified under Title 13 of the Arizona Revised Statutes (A. R. S.), this law outlines penalties that will be incurred by anyone convicted of a sex offense. Sex offenses are classified according to A. R.S Title 13, Chapter 6 into Class 1–6 felonies and Class 1–3 misdemeanors. Sentencing may occur as provided in A. R.S Title 13, Chapter 7, or as described under the specific sex offense.

What are the Different Types of Sex Offenses?

The different types of sex offenses in Arizona as follows:

  • Indecent exposure (A. R.S 13–1402): Exposure of private male or female areas (genitals, anus, breasts) in the presence of another individual without regard for the individual’s reaction (offense or alarm), excluding breastfeeding acts.
    • Penalties: It is a Class 1 misdemeanor if the exposure occurred in the presence of an individual who is 15 years of age or older, and a Class 6 felony when the individual is under 15. If the perpetrator has two or more sex convictions or one or more previous convictions under A. R.S 13–1406, it is a Class 6 felony. It is a Class 3 felony if a person convicted of indecent exposure has two or more prior felony convictions of indecent exposure or public sexual indecency to a minor under 15 years of age. Such a person is subject to the following jail sentences:
      • Six years, mitigated sentence
      • Eight years, minimum sentence
      • Ten years, presumptive sentence. This sentence can be mitigated or aggravated under A. R.S 13–701(D)and (E)
      • 12 years, maximum sentence
      • 15 years, aggravated sentence
  • Public sexual indecency (A. R.S 13–1403): Knowingly engaging in acts of sexual contact, sexual intercourse, oral sexual contact, or bestiality in the presence of another individual without regard for the individual’s reaction (alarm or offense). It is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
    • Public sexual indecency to a minor: Engaging in the act of sexual contact, oral sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or bestiality in the presence of a minor under 15 years of age. It is a Class 5 felony.

The prison sentences for these crimes are the same as that of “indecent exposure” offenses.

  • Sexual abuse (A. R.S 13–1404): This means intentionally having sexual contact with an individual who is 15 years of age or older without the individual’s consent, or sexual contact with an individual under age 15 if the contact involved the female breast only. It is a Class 5 felony. However, if the victim is below 15 years of age, it is a Class 3 felony punishable under A. R.S 13–705
  • Sexual conduct with a minor (A. R.S 13–1405): Knowingly having sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with a minor below 18 years of age. It is a Class 2 felony when the minor is less than 15 years old, a Class 6 felony when the minor is at least 15 years old, and a Class 2 felony if the minor is at least 15 years old and the perpetrator has or had a position of trust.
  • Sexual assault (A. R.S 13–1406): Intentionally engages in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with a person without their consent. It is a Class 2 felony. The minimum sentence for a first offense is 5.25 years, and the maximum is 14 years. Individuals with a prior conviction have a minimum prison sentence of 7 years and maximum, 21 years. When there are two or more prior convictions, the minimum sentence is 14 years, and the maximum, 28 years.
    • Violent sexual assault (A. R.S 13–1423): Offenses under A. R.S 13–1404, 13–1405, 13–1406 or 13–1410 that involved the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, or involved serious physical injury inflicted on purpose, and the perpetrator has a prior conviction for a sexual offense or an out-of-state offense that is comparable. Anyone convicted of the offense is sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • Adultery (A. R.S 13–1408): This occurs when a married person has sexual intercourse with anyone other than a spouse and an unmarried person who has sexual intercourse with a married person. It is a Class C misdemeanor. However, unless a husband or wife files a complaint, this crime cannot be prosecuted under Arizona law.
  • Unlawful sexual conduct (A. R.S 13–1409): Occurs when an employee of an adult probation department or juvenile court intentionally coerces a victim to engage in oral sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or sexual contact by threatening to negatively or positively influence the status of the victim’s supervision or release. It is a Class 2 felony when the victim is under 15 and a Class 3 felony when the victim is at least 15 years old but below 18. Any other offense of this nature is a Class 5 felony
    • Unlawful sexual conduct (peace officers) (A. R.S 13–1412): When a peace officer intentionally has sexual contact (oral or not) or sexual intercourse with anyone who is in the officer’s custody or who is a subject of an investigation. The classification for this crime is the same as “unlawful sexual conduct.”
    • Unlawful sexual conduct (correctional facilities) (A. R.S 13–1419): When an employee or contract personnel of a state correctional facility knowingly commits any sexual act with an offender incarcerated in the facility (Department of Corrections, Department of Juvenile, city/county jails, non-public prison facilities, or a detention facility). If the offender is below 15 years of age, it is a Class 2 felony. If the offender is at least 15 years old but not over 17, it is a Class 3 felony. Any other offense not within the aforementioned age ranges is a Class 5 felony.
  • Molestation of a child (A. R.S 13–1410): Intentionally having or causing an individual to engage in sexual contact with a person under 15 years of age, excluding sexual contact with the breast of a female. It is a Class 2 felony.
  • Bestiality (A. R.S 13–1411): Knowingly having sexual contact or intercourse with an animal or causing someone else to have oral sexual contact, sexual contact, or sexual intercourse with an animal. It is a Class 6 felony. If the person who was coerced into committing the crime of bestiality is a minor under 15, it is a Class 3 felony.
  • Continuous sexual abuse of a child (A. R.S 13–1417) is defined as engaging in three or more acts defined under A. R.S 13–1405, 13–1406, or 13–1410 over a three-month period with a child under 14 years of age. This offense is a Class 2 felony.
  • Sexual misconduct (behavioral health professionals) (A. R.S 13–1418): Occurs when a behavioral health professional, psychiatrist, or psychologist intentionally has sexual intercourse with a patient currently under the person’s care. It is a Class 6 felony.
  • Voyeurism (A. R.S 13–1424): Knowingly invading another person’s privacy without the person’s knowledge or consent for sexual gratification. This crime is a Class 4/5 felony, as described under section 13–1424
  • Unlawful disclosure of images depicting states of nudity or specific sexual activities (A. R.S 13–1425): This means purposefully disclosing an identifiable image of a person under conditions listed under the statute. Mainly, offenders are guilty of a Class 5 felony. However, if the image was disclosed electronically, it is a Class 4 felony. If the perpetrator threatened to disclose the image but did not do so, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  • Sexual extortion (A. R.S 13–1406): Intentionally threatening someone in order to coerce the person to engage in acts outlined in section 13–1406(1), (2), and (3), including sexual contact or intercourse. It is a Class 3 felony, but if the victim is below 15 years of age, it is a Class 2 felony.

Sex Offender Levels of Classification in Arizona

Sex offenders are classified according to their risk levels in Arizona. Based on certain criteria, these levels are assessed by law enforcement agencies with custody of offenders to determine an offender’s potential for recidivism. Nineteen such criteria may be used for offender-risk evaluations. Arizona has three offender classifications:

  • Level I offenders: Individuals with low possibilities of reoffending
  • Level II offenders: Persons assessed to have a moderate risk of reoffending
  • Level III offenders: Individuals with a high risk of reoffending

These classifications also determine how long an individual should register as a sex offender in the state and the level of restrictions placed on an offender. Typically, sex offenders are required to register in county sheriff offices.

How Do I Find A Sex Offender Near Me in Arizona?

Interested persons may find a sex offender near their addresses in Arizona by using the Arizona Sex Offender Registry to search for offender information. The registry is maintained by the Arizona Department of Public Safety. However, the information available on the registry is restricted to Level II and III offenders. Information on Level I offenders may be obtained from the local sheriff’s office. As of January 7, 2019, Arizona had roughly 14,192 persons registered as sex offenders.

Arizona Sex Offender Registry

A. R. S. 13–3827 established the Arizona Sex Offender Registry to provide the public with accurate information on sex offenders living within the state. The registry contains information on Level II and III sex offenders and any offender who was convicted or adjudicated guilty except insane (GEI) for any offense listed under A. R. S. 13–3827(2)(a-i) or any out-of-state equivalent. These offenses include sexual assault, sexual exploitation of a minor, child molestation, child prostitution, and child sex trafficking. A complete list of registrable offenses can be found under A. R.S 13–3821.

To obtain offender information from the Arizona Sex Offender Registry, an individual may search using the following parameters:

  • Addresses, cities, or zip codes
  • Offender’s name (first and last)
  • Offender’s city of residence
  • Offender’s non-compliance
  • Offender’s internet name or email

Results that can be obtained include the offender’s name, physical description, photograph, and address (including a map to the address), and offense(s). This registry is also downloadable. However, unlike the free online registry, it costs $25 to download the list of sex offenders in Arizona. This list cannot be used for commercial purposes. Inquiries on a list for commercial purposes may be directed to the Sex Offender Compliance Unit by calling (602) 255–0611.

Interested parties can also sign up for community notifications via the internet registry to get email alerts when an offender moves within their area or changes an address.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile

The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What are the Sex Offender Restrictions in Arizona?

A. R.S 13–3727 outlines residency restrictions for sex offenders in Arizona. According to this law, a person convicted of a dangerous crime against children as defined by 13–705(Q), or an offense equivalent to a dangerous crime against children in another state or jurisdiction, must comply with the certain restrictions, including:

  • Cannot knowingly or unintentionally reside within 1,000 feet of a former victim’s real property. Offenders exempted from this restriction (A. R.S 13–3727(C)) include:
    • Individuals with written consent from a minor’s (victim) parent or guardian allowing residence near the victim, provided the offender is not the parent or guardian.
    • Any person mandated to register as a sex offender under A. R.S 13–3821
  • If classified as Level III offender, cannot reside within 1,000 feet of:
    • A private or public school where kindergarten programs occur and grade 1 through 12 students are enrolled
    • A child care facility

However, this rule does not apply to:

    • An offender who resides in an area prior to September 19, 2007, or before the establishment of the new school or child care facility
    • A juvenile
    • An offender currently on probation
    • An offender whose civil rights were restored under A. R.S Title 13, Chapter 9
    • An offender with no subsequent offense in the last ten years, excluding incarcerations in any federal, state, county, or jail facility

In the state, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor to violate these residency restrictions and a Class 6 felony for a second or subsequent violation.

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