August 20, 2010

Convicted rapist from Portage challenging sex registry

8-20-2010 Indiana:

VALPARAISO | Portage resident Terry Hough admits upfront he was convicted of rape in Pennsylvania in 1993.

But the 46-year-old argues in a legal petition that he should not be forced to register as a sex offender in Porter County because at the time of his offense and conviction there were no registry laws in either Pennsylvania or Indiana.

"The Indiana Supreme Court has held that the sex offender registration requirements cannot be applied retroactively to one who committed an offense before the Act without violating the state constitution," according to his suit targeting the state of Indiana.

The petition asks the court to set a hearing and make a determination in his favor.

Deputy Prosecutor Cheryl Polarek, who handles sex offense cases in the county, agrees with Hough's reading of the law, but she said the decision will be up to the courts and state attorney general's office.

She said one or two others have tried to make the same case, but, unlike Hough, they did not follow the proper procedure.

Hough said he pleaded guilty to his offense on Aug. 19, 1993, was released from custody in 1997 and completed parole in 1998.

Indiana enacted its registry law in 1994 and Pennsylvania followed in 1996, he said.

He said the Porter County Sheriff's Department continues to notify him in writing that he must register as a "sexual or violent offender."

"I am not now required to register in Pennsylvania or in any jurisdiction other than Porter County, Indiana," the suit says.

Hough said his only other criminal conviction is for misdemeanor disorderly conduct in 2006 in Porter County. ..Source.. Bob Kasarda

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