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(A) Findings and intent.
(1) Repeat sexual offenders, sexual offenders who use physical violence, and sexual offenders who prey on children are sexual predators who present an extreme threat to the public safety. Sexual offenders are extremely likely to use physical violence and to repeat their offenses, and most sexual offenders commit many offenses, have many more victims than are ever reported, and are prosecuted for only a fraction of their crimes. This makes the cost of sexual offender victimization to society at large, while incalculable, clearly exorbitant.
(2) It is the intent of this section not to impose a criminal penalty but rather to serve the town's compelling interest to promote, protect, and improve the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the town.
(B) Prohibited locatons. Those individuals defined by the Indiana Code as sex offenders shall be permanently prohibited from the following properties: any town park.
(C) Any sex offender who enters upon any of those parks as described in division (B) of this section above, after having received written notice from the town of this prohibition, shall be subject to criminal prosecution, at the discretion of the county prosecuting attorney, based upon IC 35-43-2-2(a), criminal trespass.
(D) The town Police its agents and/or officers shall deliver a copy of this section to the address of each of those individuals registered sex offenders as set forth on the state sex offender registry which live within the town boundaries. This shall serve as actual and constructive notice to those individuals that they are prohibited from the parks as described herein.
(E) All sex offenders shall be prohibited from the parks. Therefore, in order to insure that those sex offenders who do not live within the jurisdiction of the town are notified of this prohibition, there shall be a sign posted at the entrance of each facility notifying all sex offenders that it is unlawful for them to enter the parks. Further, the sign shall set forth that their entry upon the premises may constitute the crime of criminal trespass and that they may be subject to arrest and prosecution.
(F) In addition to the above notice, the town Parks and Recreation Board shall be required to post all rules that have been adopted by the Parks Department and/or the Town Council not later than February 1st of each year.
(G) In order to insure that each and every affected person has the opportunity to object to their ban from the parks, the town shall adopt the following process permitting a sex offender the opportunity to be heard and be considered for exemption from enforcement of this section:
(1) The Town Council, hereinafter referred to as “Council,” shall serve as hearing officer to hear all requests for exemption by a sex offender who wishes to be exempt from the prohibitions of this section;
(2) (a) A sex offender may request a hearing before the Council wherein the sex offender shall be allowed to present evidence in support of the sex offender's request that he or she be exempt from the section. The sex offender has the burden of proof to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the sex offender should not be prohibited from entering the parks;
(b) A sex offender shall provide written notice of his or her request for hearing by providing same to the office of the Town Attorney and/or the office of the Council. The Council shall conduct a hearing upon this request not more than 30 days from the sex offender's request.
(3) The Council shall, upon the close of the hearing, enter findings of fact and conclusions of law setting forth whether the sex offender has demonstrated good cause to support the sex offender's request for exemption from the section.
(4) The hearing before the Council shall be conducted pursuant to the Indiana Open Door Law;
(5) The Ex offender shall have 30 days from his or her receipt of notice of the section to request a hearing under this provision of the section. If the sex offender fails to request a hearing for exemption within 30 days of notice of the ban, the sex offender's right to hearing shall be deemed waived.
(6) The sex offender may appeal the Council's decision to the county Circuit or Superior Court. The Court shall set aside the Council's decision only for abuse of discretion.
(7) The sex offender shall be entitled to request exemption from this section annually.
(H) Severability. If any provision of this section or application thereof to any person or circumstance is held unlawful or otherwise invalid, such invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this section which can be given effect without the invalid application or provision, and to this end each such invalid provision or application of this section is severable. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the Town Council that this section would have been issued had any such unlawful or otherwise invalid provision or application not been included.
(Ord. 2008-4, passed 7-1-08) Penalty, see § 130.99