Non-compliant sex offender found with hundreds of child pornographic images in Hurricane

Non-compliant sex offender found with hundreds child pornographic images in Hurricane (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) - There have been two arrests in Washington County involving child pornography in the last few days, James Richey, out of St. George and Sean O’Neal out of Hurricane.

One month ago, Officer Ken Thompson with Hurricane Police Department said officers received a tip that O’Neal had engaged in unlawful sexual activity with a 16- or 17-year-old.

“He was a non-compliant sex offender I believe it was a failure to register his vehicles, which is a requirement,” Thompson said.

Detectives arrested O’Neal and then got a warrant to seize his computer and other electronic devices from his home and later found that he had downloaded an estimated 700 pornographic images on his computer.

“Investigators don't think that any of the images were produced by Mr. O’Neal. They weren’t children from this area.” Thompson said.

This case raised a question…. how do police track, non-compliant sex offenders?

“Most sex offenders are required to come in twice a year to update their registration, current photograph, vehicles, address, things like that,” Thompson said and a monthly non-compliant list is often sent out, depending on the agency.

“When we have somebody that doesn't come in, they miss their deadline, know officers are notified, they go out confirm with the person that everything is still accurate and make a judgment call on whether to pursue charges or not.”

Thompson said if there are overtime funds provided to the department they have officers go out and do spot checks on these sex offenders in the area to make sure they are following the rules.

“There is something like 36 registered sex offenders in Hurricane City,” Thompson said.

2News asked Thompson if there were any more “efficient” ways of keeping track of these offenders and he replied:

“I really don't know if there's a more efficient way or a better way,” Thompson said, “It's really not up to us....on what we can and can’t do as far as tracking. it's up to lawmakers in the state.”

Utah Laws Regulating Registered Sex Offenders

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