The Iowa Court of Appeals has ruled in a Clarke County case involving registration requirements for convicted sex offenders. Joseph Adams was convicted of third-degree sexual abuse in 1999 and as a result is required to notify the Clarke County Sheriff when he changes his residence, and under the sex offender law is not allowed to live within 2,000 feet of a public elementary school.
Adams did register his residence in Murray, but in 2008 he stay three straight nights at the home of his fiancee in Osceola. The fiancee’s home is within 2,000 feet of an elementary school, and Adams did not register the Osceola home as his new address. Adams was found guilty in district court of violating the sex offender registry requirements, but appealed saying he did not know that sleeping at his fiancee’s house for three days would constitute a change in residence, and said the law’s registration requirements were unconstitutionally vague.
The Appeals court says the law defines a residence as a place where a person “habitually sleeps” and said the definition of the law was not vague. The Appeals Court however did rule that there was nothing to show that Adams knew or should have known he had to register a change of address, so the court said it could not uphold the conviction for violating those requirements of the law.
See the entire ruling here: Adams Appeal PDF