State Court of Appeals: Man doesn’t have to register as sex offender
By Teresa Auch Schultz firstname.lastname@example.org November 12, 2012 11:52AM
Jerome Michael Burton is this week’s (5-1-2011) fugitive of the week. The U.S. Marshals Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force is looking for Burton, who was charged in Lake Superior Court with failure to register as a sex offender. Burton, 44, is 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 120 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Burton’s last known address is an apartment at 2 Ruth Street, Hammond. Investigators believe he is homeless. Anyone with information on Burton’s whereabouts may contact task force investigators toll-free at 1-888-805-6119. All callers will remain anonymous. | Provided Photo~Sun-Times Media ptmet
Updated: November 12, 2012 8:28PM
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a Lake County man, ordering that he did not violate the state’s sex offender registration rules because his conviction came before the law, according to a ruling.
Jerome Michael Burton was convicted in 1987 in Illinois of aggravated criminal sexual assault and sentenced to six years in prison. Illinois didn’t have a registry law covering Burton until 1996. He was charged in that state twice — once in 2003 and again in 2007 — with failure to register.
He moved to Indiana, where he was charged in 2009 after officials discovered he hadn’t registered in Indiana, either. He was charged a second time when they discovered he was living in Lowell without registering.
However, Burton’s attorney, public defender Kristin Mulholland, argued that because Indiana’s law, which requires that sex offenders register for life, didn’t apply to Burton because the law wasn’t enacted until after his conviction.
The Appellate Court agreed, dismissing the state’s argument that he violated Indiana law because he is required to register in Illinois.
“It is for us, not Illinois, to determine who is required to register under our (law),” the court said in its ruling.
The ruling grants Burton’s request to dismiss the charges.