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Ian Gorvin, deputy director of the Program Office, and Aisling Reidy, senior legal counsel, edited the report. In February 2005 she was abducted from her home in Florida, raped, and buried alive by a stranger, a next-door neighbor who had been twice convicted of molesting children.

Ashoka Mukpo, Grace Choi, and Andrea Holley provided invaluable production assistance. Over the past decade, several horrific crimes like Jessica's murder have captured massive media attention and fueled widespread fears that children are at high risk of assault by repeat sex offenders.

Patty Wetterling, a prominent child safety advocate who founded the Jacob Wetterling Foundation after her son was abducted in 1989, recently told Human Rights Watch, I based my support of broad-based community notification laws on my assumption that sex offenders have the highest recidivism rates of any criminal.

But the high recidivism rates I assumed to be true do not exist.

Indeed, people children know and trust are responsible for over 90 percent of sex crimes against them.

In addition, sex offender laws are predicated on the widespread assumption that most people convicted of sex offenses will continue to commit such crimes if given the opportunity.

While these beliefs may seem intuitively correct, they are predicated on several widely shared but nonetheless mistaken premises.

Federal law and the laws of all 50 states now require adults and some juveniles convicted of specified crimes that involve sexual conduct to register with law enforcement-regardless of whether the crimes involved children.

So-called "Megan's Laws" establish public access to registry information, primarily by mandating the creation of online registries that provide a former offender's criminal history, current photograph, current address, and other information such as place of employment.

In many states everyone who is required to register is included on the online registry.

*No representation is made that the person listed here is currently on the state's offenders registry.

All names presented here were gathered at a past date.

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