Some Tennessee Sex Offenders Applying to Be Taken Off List

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

Knoxville (WVLT) A little known part of Tennessee's sex offender law allows some offenders to apply to have their names removed from the list.

Most people Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb talked to didn't even know that part of the law existed.

It allows non-violent offenders who have complied with the sex offender law for ten years to be taken off the list.

We first learned of it yesterday, when WTVF in Nashville reported that the name and picture of Springfield's vice mayor had been removed from the registry after he applied to have it removed.

James Hubbard had a 1992 conviction for statutory rape, but since has stayed out of trouble.

But at least one lawmaker we talked to, says there should be exceptions but circumstances like Hubbard's shouldn't be one of them.

Tennessee's sex offender registry is designed to let you know if there's a sex offender in your neighborhood.

But did you know some people can get off that list?

Violent offenders are on the list for life, but officials with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says a non-violent offender who stays clean for ten years past their end of sentence date can get off the list.

One state senator says it's designed to deal with examples like consensual sex between an 18 and 17 year old.

Senator Tim Burchett says, "they sinned and they goofed up and need to be punished but they don't need to report to a sex offender registry unless it was a force-able rape situation."

But the senator says James Hubbard's non-violent case slipped through the cracks.

Court records show Hubbard was a 44 year old counselor at a Springfield high school and the incident took place in his office.

Burtchett continues, "and he had sex with a 16 year old and the way the law is written is that if it's non-violent offense but to me, personally, that's a violent offense."

Some residents say the registry must serve to protect the public.

Will Saylor says, "there's a large number of repeat offenders. Once on the list, stay on the list."

Stuart McNeill continues, "so if you're going to have good behavior and it's in the law and you apply, you have to change the law first."

Burchett says Tennessee has some of the toughest sex offender laws in the country.

But he also says hopefully this one situation now having come to his attention will be corrected shortly so this won't ever be able to happen again.

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  • by jewell Location: haywood on May 13, 2010 at 10:34 AM
    I think they should have an opportunity to have their names removed after proving they are not really violet people. My friend son which is 20 slept with a 17 yr old thinking she was 18 and was charged with rape because of age different. No force the girl testified that he didn't rape her but the mother pushed the issue. This is not fair at all. This happen 11 yrs ago and he hasn't been in trouble since but he is labled as sex offender. For those of you that think this is fair, how would you feel if you was made to pay for your mistakes for the rest of your life or 15 to 20 yrs after the fact. Don't act like you haven't made any because we all have. My pastor has a great saying and I quote: "We all may not have sinned alike but we all have sinned." Learn to forgive and I am not talking about people who keep committing these acts just those that made a terrible mistake and have learned from this mistake and just want to be able to live again.
  • by angela Location: nashville on Aug 26, 2009 at 02:08 PM
    I fully agree that anyone that commits a crime should be punished, but there is no registry for murders. How come they are more accepted than a person that commits rape? My husband commited a sex offense at age 19 with a 19 year old he was dating(21 yrs ago) and hasn't commited any crime since. I do not by any means condone such acts however we all have done things we are not proud of some have been caught and some not. When very strict restrictions are placed on sex offenders we are asking for higher crime rates. Some are blessed enough to find a job but many are not. Regardless of what they should be able to feed and clothe themselves. Just like any other crime I feel they should have ONE opportunity to redeem themselves. Some may not agree but if they are to repeat the offense it's going to happen regardless. What is the real percent of sex offenders who repeat and how does the registry keep them from repeating or committing other crimes?
  • by Kristy Location: tn on Jul 17, 2009 at 06:03 PM
    It kills me that you people think that "sex offender" automatically means "child molestor". Thats not always the case, you should serisouly check the persons cherges before you give them that title. Some people have concentual sex and some people just have "ALIGATIONS" no actual contact with anybody! But since they had aligations against them, they have to carry this offender name. And thats not right. My husband for example, had a girl lie on him 16 years ago, he never touched the girl. He was 20, she was 17. He's had to register for 16 years, now he is off the registry and he can have his life back. He never had a free trial, he passed all his lie detector tests and passed the rape test. This girl failed her tests. But he still had to register. Is that fair? NO! I'm glad they have this law. You shouldnt be worried about people on this list. You have a better chance of your neighbor molesting you that someone on this list anyways! These people have been caught, what about the rest?
  • by citizen Location: tenn on Oct 24, 2008 at 09:31 PM
    i dont think they should be able to get their names off any list , they have done things to hurt women and children and all of these women and children ask for the things that were done to them. if we the citizen of all states would keep this from going to court and passing , we would be able to keep and help others to know where these person are and help to keep us safe. please if you have a child or a mother sister daughter or a female friend who u care about help stop this from passing or else they will be able to break the law anytime they want and get away with it just by going to court and having some kind of law dismissed to let them rome the streets again.they know what they have done and a lot of them will do it again as soon as they can find someone who isnt watching or doesnt care. help stop these people help stop the law from removing their names so we cannt protect our love ones. if you care and want this send word to the judges to not let this pass beforwe it happens again
  • by Katherine Location: Knoxville on Jul 12, 2008 at 08:29 AM
  • by Alex Sanders Location: Knoxville TN on Apr 27, 2008 at 02:19 AM
    Not all Sex Offenders are Child Molesters. Are you really not aware of that? These laws ARE descriminatory and single out one type of crime and subject citizens to vigilantiism. If someone breaks the law, arrest them. If someone learned his lesson and is iving by the law, leave him alone. By the way, just saying something doesn't make it true. Like the person who said, "Sex offender lists are NOT discriminatory!" Really? Just because you said so, and used all caps? Also, 90% of the time, children are molested by a family member, not a stranger. Therefore these laws are plain stupid. -Alex Sanders
  • by linda Location: knoxville on Sep 24, 2007 at 09:44 PM
    sex offenders cannot be rehabilitated. keep them in prison non-segregated from other prisoners. protect our children and vulnerable adults. there is no paranoia involved in wanting to keep your children safe. my ex-husband is a sex offender and for some reasonnot known he is still NOT on the registry, what is wrong with this picture????
  • by A Mother Location: In Tennessee on Sep 24, 2007 at 01:36 AM
    "Concerned Citizen" a sex offender CANNOT be cured or fixed. People have the right to know who the sex offenders are so that they can protect their children. Sex offender lists are NOT discriminatory! And once on the lists they belong there for LIFE! These offenders once released from prison always end up repeating these same type of crimes against children until they end up back in prison. My solution to the sex offender problem is not to protect them by keeping them away from the general prison population. But to release them into the general prison population! Society will have a fast decline in child molesters.
  • by gameboy Location: knoxville on Sep 23, 2007 at 11:03 PM
    I think that once they are on the list that they should stay on it. Regardless of the severity of the crime, a sex crime is a sex crime no matter what.
  • by maggie nola on Sep 21, 2007 at 07:54 PM
    its very difficult to get on the sex offender list ... there are NO INNOCENT VICTIMS on that list ... once on the list, always on the list I say. After all, it is a list of convicted sex offenders, and that status does NEVER change right? Its a historical fact. Oh, and if you don't wanna know if someone has that history ... then don't look at the list.
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