Washington Court Records
Washington Sex Offenses and Why They are Different
Sex offenses are criminal acts with a sexual element committed against other persons. Because these crimes present a risk to community safety, there is usually more public scrutiny than with other felonies, misdemeanors, or violations. Anyone charged with a sex offense in Washington is prosecuted under state laws by the courts. If convicted, the individual is referred to as a “sex offender,” regardless of the offender’s age or severity of the offense. For most offenses, the offender will be required to register on a public index, officially known as the “Sex Offender Registry.”
What is Washington Sex Crime?
Under RCW 9.94A.030(47), a sex crime in Washington is:
- A felony described under Chapter 9A.44 RCW, excluding RCW 9A.44.132
- An offense described by RCW 9A.64.020
- A felony under Chapter 9.68A RCW, excluding RCW 9.68A.080
- A felony under Chapter 9A.28 RCW
- A felony described in RCW 9A.44.132(1), provided the offender was convicted of this violation or RCW 9A.44.130 before June 10, 2010, on one previous occasion, at least.
- Any felony conviction before July 1, 1976 that is similar to a felony under Chapter 9A.44 RCW, except RCW 9A.44.132
- A felony described under RCW 9.94A.835 or 13.40.135
- Any federal or out-of-state conviction that is classified as a sex offense in Washington
What are the Different Types of Sex Offenses?
The different types of sex offenses in the State of Washington are classified according to Chapter 9A.20 RCW. They include:
- 1st-degree rape: Forcible sexual intercourse with another person, involving the use of a deadly weapon, kidnapping, infliction of serious physical injury, or invasion of a victim’s dwelling or vehicle to commit the act. It is a Class A felony and for offenses before July 1, 1984, attracts a term of imprisonment not less than three years
- 2nd-degree rape: Sexual intercourse with another person in conditions, unlike 1st-degree rape, listed under RCW 9A.44.050. This offense is a Class A felony
- 3rd-degree rape: Sexual intercourse with another person, in circumstances unlike 1st/2nd-degree rape, without that person’s consent or with a substantial threat of harm to the person’s property rights. It is a Class C felony
- Rape of a Child:
- 1st-degree rape of a child: When a person engages in sexual intercourse with someone below 12 years of age, and such person is not married to the victim and is older than the victim by at least 24 months. It is a Class A felony
- 2nd-degree rape of a child: When a person has sexual intercourse with someone who is at least 12 years old, but less than 14, and such person is not married to the victim and is older than the victim by at least 36 months. It is a Class A felony
- 3rd-degree rape of a child: When a person engages in sexual intercourse with someone who is at least 14 years old but not over 16, and such person is not married to the victim and is older than the victim by 48 months, at least. It is a Class C felony
- Child Molestation:
- 1st-degree child molestation: Having or intentionally causing any person under age 18 to engage in sexual contact with someone under 12 years of age, and the culprit is not married to the victim and is older than the victim by 36 months, at least. This offense is a Class A felony.
- 2nd-degree child molestation: Having or intentionally causing any person under age 18 to engage in sexual contact with someone who is at least 12 years old but less than 14, and the culprit is not married to the victim and is older than the victim by 36 months, at least. This offense is a Class B felony.
- 3rd-degree child molestation: Having or intentionally causing any person under age 18 to engage in sexual contact with someone who is at least 14 years old but less than 16, and the culprit is not married to the victim and is older than the victim by 48 months, at least. It is a Class C felony.
- Sexual misconduct with a minor:
- 1st-degree sexual misconduct with a minor:
- This occurs when a person haves or knowingly causes another person under age 18 to engage in sexual intercourse with a person who is at least 16 years of age but less than 18. Here, the victim is not married to the culprit and the culprit is older than the victim by at least 60 months, has a significant relationship with the victim, and abuses a supervisory position within that relationship to perpetrate such an act.
- A school employee having or intentionally causing another person under age 18 to have sexual intercourse with an enrolled student who is at least 16 years old but not above 21, and the culprit is not married to the victim and is older than the student by at least 60 months
- A foster parent has or knowingly causes another person under age 18 to have, sexual intercourse with a foster child who is 16 years old, at least
- 1st-degree sexual misconduct with a minor:
This offense is a Class C felony
- 2nd-degree sexual misconduct with a minor: The definition for this offense is the same as the 1st Degree Sexual Misconduct with a Minor. Except that a person is prosecuted for engaging in “sexual contact,” not “sexual intercourse” with a minor. Sexual misconduct with a minor in the second degree is classified as a gross misdemeanor
- Indecent liberties: This offense is defined under RCW 9A.44.100. It is a Class B felony. However, it is prosecuted as a Class A felony when there is forcible compulsion involved in the crime
- Sexually violating human remains: Engaging in sexual intercourse or sexual contact with a dead human body. It is a Class C felony
- Voyeurism: RCW 9A.44.115 defines this offense in the first degree and as a Class C felony when it involves the intentional viewing, photographing, or filming of a person or person’s intimate areas without that person’s knowledge or consent, in a place where the person reasonably expects privacy. When it involves an intent to distribute or disseminate the film or photograph without a person’s knowledge or consent, it is referred to as voyeurism in the second degree and is a gross misdemeanor.
- Custodial sexual misconduct:
- Ist-degree custodial sexual misconduct: When an employee or personnel of a jail or correctional institution, who has the means to influence the conditions, terms, or length of incarceration or correctional supervision, engages in sexual intercourse with a person who is confined to a state, county, or city correctional facility, or who is under correctional supervision. It is a Class C felony
- 2nd-degree custodial sexual misconduct: The definition for this offense is the same as custodial sexual misconduct in the first degree. Except that a person is prosecuted for engaging in “sexual contact,” not “sexual intercourse.” This offense is classified as a gross misdemeanor
- Criminal trespass against children: A person who commits this offense is referred to as a covered offender under RCW 9A.44.190. After being personally served a written notice barring entry or outlining conditions of entry and use of a covered entity’s legal premises, any covered offender who illegally enters the premises without permission or violates the conditions of entry and uses under RCW 9A.44.193 is guilty of this crime. It is a Class C felony
- 1st-degree incest: Intentional sexual intercourse with a relative. It is a Class B felony
- 2nd-degree incest: Intentional sexual contact with a relative. It is a Class C felony
- Sexual exploitation of children: These offenses are listed under Chapter 9.68A RCW, including crimes such as sexual exploitation of a minor, promoting sexual abuse of a minor, viewing depictions of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, among others. However, reporting of depictions of minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct (RCW 9.68A.080) is not considered a sex offense
- Anticipatory offenses: Criminal attempt, solicitation, and conspiracy to commit crimes defined under Chapter 9A.28 RCW
- Failure to register as a sex offender: Intentionally failing to register as a sex offender for an offense that qualifies for registration is regarded as a Class C felony. This is true for an offender’s first conviction for such an offense, and the offender has a prior felony failure to register as a sex offender offense. It is a Class B felony when the offender has two or more prior convictions for this crime. It is a gross misdemeanor when the sex offender’s offense is not a felony but still fails to comply with the provisions of RCW 9A.44.130 on purpose.
- Finding of sexual motivation (RCW 9.94A.835 or 13.40.135)
Sex Offender Levels of Classification in Washington
Sex offenders are classified into three risk levels in Washington:
- Level I (mostly first-time offenders): Low tendency to recidivism.
- Level II: Moderate tendency to recidivism
- Level II: High tendency to recidivism
This classification is assigned by a law enforcement agency where an offender lives and is based on an offender’s likelihood of re-offending (recidivism). There are specific factors considered in determining this risk level, including:
- The offender’s criminal history: including the number of sex/sex-related convictions and non-convictions, number of felony convictions, and age of first conviction or adjudication of sex/sex-related offense
- Nature of offense: including use of force, use or threatened use of a weapon, number or age of the victim(s)
- Psychological and behavioral data
- Disciplinary infractions while incarcerated
It is important to note that this classification level does not mean that an individual will definitely commit a future offense. It simply serves to alert the public of a sex offender’s risk level and promote public safety in a community.
How Do I Find A Sex Offender Near Me in Washington
At the state level, interested persons may find information on sex offenders with the Washington Sex Offender Public Registry. However, this registry does not list compliant or transient Level I sex offenders (RCW 4.24.550).. Local Sheriff offices may be contacted to obtain information on these Level I offenders. Sheriff offices also publish county-specific sex offender registries on their official websites.
Washington Sex Offender Registry
The law covering the registration of sex offenders in Washington, including the statutory time limits for registration, is RCW 9A.44.130. RCW 9A.44.128 lists offenses that qualify for registration, including 2nd-degree sexual misconduct with a minor and promoting prostitution in the first and second degrees. Depending on the classification or severity of the offense, an offender will be required to register for some years (Class B or C felonies, and gross misdemeanors) or for life (Class A felonies).
The Washington Sex Offender Public Registry is established under RCW 4.24550(5)(a) and maintained by the Washington Association of Sheriff and Police Chiefs. The registry contains information on Level II, III, and non-compliant or transient Level I adult or juvenile offenders within the state. Offenders can be searched by proximity to an area, name, city, and non-compliance. Through this registry, it is possible to obtain a sex offender’s name, alias, physical description, photo, address with a map, photograph, and details on criminal conviction(s) by clicking “view details” after searching using any of the aforementioned search parameters. However, geography searches do not show offenders whose addresses cannot be mapped electronically. Information on addresses that cannot be mapped can be obtained by clicking the relevant button. Individuals may also register to get email alerts when an offender moves to an address within one mile of their place of residence.
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 Washington?
In Washington, there are no laws or statutes restricting what a sex offender can and cannot do, including matters of employment, residency, public areas, etc., unless restrictions are ordered by the sentencing court, or the offender is being supervised by the Department of Corrections, Juvenile Rehabilitation, or county probation. These limitations may include living restrictions, curfew, no alcohol or drugs, or restricted places (parks, playgrounds, schools, malls). Any offender who violates a restriction may be imprisoned again. All restrictions are removed once an offender’s supervision is finalized. Members of the public may find out if an offender is being supervised by contacting a local Community Field Office.