Many local sex offenders go unaccounted for

Tens of thousands of sex offenders have gone unaccounted for nationwide including about a half dozen in Mohave County.

Of about 13,000 convicted sex offenders in Arizona, about 750 have not registered in the Megan's Law database, according to Val Biebrich, supervisor of the sex offender compliance unit with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Biebrich also said there are about 500 registered sex offenders in Mohave County, but the number who have not registered locally is not known exactly.

Mohave County Sheriff's Office detective Harry Traxler said there are another 200 registered sex offenders in the county who were convicted prior to Megan's Law, which went into effect in Arizona in 1996.

Those sex offenders are not subjected to Megan's Law guidelines.

According to the DPS Web site database, there are 168 sex offenders in Arizona who have absconded, or have been reported missing.

Of those, seven have been convicted in Mohave County of sex crimes and have been reported missing.

Traxler said those seven could be anywhere in the country.

Traxler said it is difficult to track down sex offenders who are released from prison, even in another state, and say they are coming to Mohave County but don't.

Many times unregistered sex offenders are arrested on other charges or traffic offenses.

According to the sheriff's office Web site, one Kingman man is wanted for failure to register as a sex offender.

Currently, there are 20 registered sex offenders in the city.

Of those three have addresses that are not verified.

Traxler said in California alone, it was recently estimated that there are 8,000 to 10,000 unaccounted-for sex offenders.

Crimes committed by sex offenders range from indecent exposure, child molestation, sexual assaults and rape.

Sex offenders are classified in three levels, from level one, the least dangerous, to level three, the most dangerous or with the greatest chance of committing another offense.

The state's version of Megan's Law specifies that a person convicted of a sex offense in any state and living in Arizona must register with the local sheriff's office within 10 days of conviction or 10 days of relocating to any county in Arizona.

A registered sex offender who changes addresses must notify the sheriff's office in the county where they are registered within 72 hours.

Anyone who fails to register as a sex offender could face additional felony charges punishable by up to three years, nine months in prison.

Traxler also said prosecuting someone for failing to register can be difficult.

The names of those who are registered as sex offenders can be found on DPS's Web site at www.azsexoffender.com.