West Virginia's child abuse registry explained - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

West Virginia's child abuse registry explained

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A recent child abuse sentencing in Raleigh County leaves a mother of six without her children, on home confinement and also a life-long member of West Virginia's Child Abuser Registry.  Most of us are familiar with the sex offender registry but what does it mean to be a registered child abuser?

Most convicted child abusers like the Beckley mother of 6, Sabrina Smith, in addition to serving time are required to add their name to the state's child abuse registry.  It mimics West Virginia's sex offender registry as far as reporting workplace, home address and where they might be attending school or training.  And it's their responsibility to keep the state police updated.

Cpl. Rob Daniel is in charge of keeping up with Raleigh County's sex offenders and child abusers.

"If any of your information changes just like the sex offender registry, you have to report that to me within 10 business days and if you get lazy and don't to it I will arrest you and take you to jail," said Cpl. Daniel.

The biggest difference is convicted child abusers who are on home confinement or probation are NOT allowed to live with a minor, and once their time is served they have to report any minor living with them.

People on the child abuse and sex offender registries can actually live wherever they want once their off probation... Even if it's right beside a school. All they have to do is let the state police know.  Daniel said the registry helps him keep track of people but it also serves as a deterrent to crime.

"Someone may not be on probation or parole any further but the more contact they have with law enforcement with the police, then the less likely they are to keep committing crimes," said Daniel.

And he said West Virginia is actually ahead of the curve because a lot of states don't have a child abuse registry at all.

Cpl. Daniel said he could always use your help, too.  If you think a registered child abuser is living with a minor or is in some way violating their registry, give the state police a call and he will look into it.