DENVER — It’s a list that’s meant to protect communities and punish convicted sex offenders but some believe it’s too easy for former criminals to remove themselves off the state registry.
“It mortifies me and it terrifies me,” said Marilyn Spittler in an interview with FOX31 Denver after learning her ex-husband, a convicted sex offender wanted to remove his name of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s public list.
Spittler contacted KDVR after learning Jeff LeClere, who was convicted of a sex crime in the 1990s, had petitioned Douglas County in April to remove his name from the state offenders list through a judge’s permission.
“I was shocked. I had no idea that it was even possible to petition the court,” Spittler said after learning about her ex-husband’s request. The request though, according to data from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, may be more common than many people are aware.
According to a CBI spokesperson, since 2006, over 2,300 people have been removed from the state’s registry. Now, at the request of Marilyn Spittler, state lawmakers are considering changing the rules and allowing a district attorney to block the request for removal from the list.
“I would like to remove my name, given that opportunity,” LeClere said in an interview with FOX31 Denver in early April. More than a month later, LeClere has since removed his request to have his name cleared by a judge.
Since his release, LeClere has complied with state laws and provided law enforcement with updated pictures and addresses. LeClere has even notified his neighbors about his status in order to remain in compliance with sex offender laws.
“I think that over twenty years, I’ve given to the community a lot and I’m ready to move on,” added the 54-year-old businessman.
On Monday, a draft of amendment was released that would modify state law and make it harder for previously convicted offenders to remove their names.
As of late Monday afternoon it was not introduced by lawmakers because of unrelated discrepancies.