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Beavercreek state rep pushes Jacob’s Law to help protect children

Published: Friday, July 05, 2019 @ 4:43 PM

A Beavercreek lawmaker is endeavoring to create a child abuse registry to help protect children and is receiving support from local residents.

A Miami Valley lawmaker wants to create a registry of people convicted of abuse, neglect and other crimes against children.

News Center 7’s Jim Otte has more on how it would work, and why proponents say this is needed.

State Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek, has a proposed registry that is similar in some ways to what sheriff’s already have — an online database of people convicted of sex crimes — and the idea has some support with people in Greene County.

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“This is my third General Assembly working on it, over five years,” Perales said.

Scott Johnson is the father of two boys, and like a lot of parents, would do most anything to protect his children.

“My kids are with my wife or I all of the time. Some families can’t always do that. Single parents may have to hire a babysitter to watch their kids. Having a registry like this might really help,” Johnson said.

It’s called Jacob’s Law, named for Jacob Barker who died several years ago while in the car of Justin Payne, who was convicted in Jacob’s death.

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Payne had an earlier child abuse conviction that Jacob’s family did not know about.

Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer said under the proposal pending at the Statehouse, people would have to come to his office to see it, and it might help. But he added, much of that already is available if you know where to look.

“If somebody has been convicted of a felony the Greene County Clerk of Courts has that on the internet,” Fischer said. “I know the media does it all of the time, to see if something has been filed or somebody has been convicted of something.”

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Perales said he thinks in Jacob’s case, it could have saved his life, and that if the registry were available in the future people will use it.

“If there was any kind of doubt of a person coming into the family that might have that kind of track record they would check it. I know we would,” he said.

Perales is hoping the legislature will green light this proposal and that it can be put into law, possibly by the end of the year.