Here’s the story.

Both the feds and the states are prohibited from creating ex post facto law.

Adding to someone’s punishment post-conviction is explicitly ex post facto.

This is why Ohio reasons that this particular person should not have to register. They understand the constitution, and their registration law is constructed to obey it.

However, the supreme court has ruled that registration is “not punishment” (which is sophist, ridiculous and absurd, but regardless, that’s what they said.)

Consequently, any state or the feds can register anyone, for anything, pre- or post-conviction, guilty or not. Another example of just this kind of misuse of power is the no-fly list. They make the list, decide you belong on it, bingo, you’re on it, and you have no recourse.

This dangerous and constitutionally forbidden path was taken because the public in general will support just about anything with regard to the bogyman of a sexual offender; what they didn’t realize is that in setting these precedents, they were constructing a legal environment that could, and eventually would, affect them.

Now that the definition of “sexual offender” has widened considerably – the odds of someone labeled “sexual offender” having sexually touched a pre-pubescent child are now very low – people are starting to become concerned; likewise the no-fly list, the no buy list (yes, there is such a thing), and everything that naturally rolls downhill from this particular aspect of punishment, like the “oh no, you’re not going to get credit” effect and the “oh no, you can’t live here” effect, and the “oh no, we can’t hire you” effect.

But it’s too late to easily fix this. The precedent has been set at the supreme court level.

This has already affected many lives, and will affect many more lives before it gets fixed, if indeed it is ever fixed. In this particular case, the complainant is likely to lose at every level below the SCOTUS, specifically because the SCOTUS has ruled that registration is not punishment, ergo, it can be applied by the feds or the states for any reason they deem worthy, at any time they choose, to any list they care to make.