STUART, FLORIDA - A news story posted on wptv.com reports that the Martin County Sheriff's Office advises business owners to look for driver's licenses that have been doctored when they are hiring potential employees. Hillary Hughes, a small business owner, stated that she recently hired a new employee who concealed that he was a convicted, registered sexual predator. According to Ms. Hughes, the former employee used a cigarette to burn and hide a designation on his license that shows he is a sexual predator. The employee altered his Florida driver's license to cover the sexual predator designation.
According to Hughes, when she asked the applicant about the burn on his license, the man stated that he burned his license by accident while at a bar having drinks and was smoking.
Lieutenant Yesenia Carde stated that the job he was going to fill was to recruit young women for the local business. Lieutenant Carde also said that the employers were upset that they didn't understand what to watch out for. Carde stated that this is not an isolated incident and that their sheriff's office has seen other incidences of sexual predators attempting to hide their past from potential employers. In another recent incident, a convicted sex offender was found driving kids in a limousine to prom.
Lieutenant Carde's message to all businesses is to examine the bottom right corner of driver's licenses for scuffs, white-out, or alterations.
The Florida driver's license will state "sexual predator" or will have a statute number beginning with 943.
According to Joe Catrambone, president and CEO of the Martin County Chamber of Commerce, about 10% of our members do not understand that it appears on the Florida driver's license and he is sharing the new information with the chamber's members. He also stated that this is an "absoulte" liability issue and if a business hire a sexual offender who commits an offense against another employee, there would be no question that the employer would be held liable. Also, conducting nationwide background checks is recommended by safety advocates.
Florida Statute Section 943.04354 - "Removal of the requirement to register as a sexual offender or sexual predator in special circumstances."
Under Florida Statute Section 943.04354 - An individual who may qualify for the the removal of his or her requirement to register and update their registration as a sexual predator or sexual offender must meet the following requirements:
(a). The sexual predator or sexual offender was or will be convicted or adjudicated delinquent in violation of Statute 794.011, Statute 800.04, or Statute 847.0135(5) or the individual committed violations of Statute 794.011, Statute 800.04, or Statute 847.0135(5) had an adjudication of guilt witheld or the adjudication will be withheld, and the individual does not have other convictions, an adjudication of delinquency, or withhold of adjudication of guilt for committing an offense under Statutes 794.011, 800.04, or 847.0135(5);
(b) Who is also required to register as a sexual predator or sexual offender solely on the basis of the afformentioned violations; and
(c) Who's age was not more than 4 years older than the sex crime victim of this violation who was also 14 years old or older but not more than 17 years old at the time the perpetrator committed the violation.
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Stuart, FL 34994
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