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Sex Offender Charged with Taking Too Long to Register

March 17, 2009 — Andrew D. Easton of Atlanta was arrested Saturday for not registering as a convicted sex offender until after the legal time limit had passed.
Easton, a convicted sex offender in Fulton County, Ga., was apprehended about 6:30 a.m. Saturday at his residence in the Smith Bay area of St. Thomas. Agents of the Special Investigations Division of the V.I. Department of Justice, working together with the U.S. Marshal Service, executed the federal warrant for the 42-year-old Easton.
District Court Judge George Cannon issued the arrest warrant March 13, charging Easton with "failure to register under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) in St. Thomas United States Virgin Islands …."
Easton moved to St. Thomas in December but registered March 5, according to a Justice Department statement.
"By failing to notify the state of Georgia of his intent to move to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Virgin Islands, in addition to failing to register his name on the Virgin Islands Sexual Registry maintained by the V.I. Department of Justice, Easton is in direct violation of SORNA, a major component of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006," Attorney General Vincent F. Frazer said in the Justice Department statement.
Under SORNA, a sex offender is required to register within three business days after changing his or her place of residence. V.I. law requires a person moving to the territory to register within five days of first residing in the territory.
Easton's travel across state lines triggered the application of the federal statute, SORNA, and the jurisdiction of the U.S. Marshal Service, according to Justice.
Easton was convicted of child molestation in Georgia in February 1996 and was first entered onto the sex offender registry in Georgia upon his release from prison in July 1998.
V.I. District Court Magistrate Judge Geoffrey Barnard advised Easton of his rights on Monday. Bail was set at $10,000. Easton was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service.
Frazer wants to remind convicted sexual offenders they are required to register with the Sexual Offender Registrar at the Department of Justice.
"It only takes a few minutes to come into our office and register your name on the sexual registry," he said. "By voluntarily complying with the law, you may avoid future arrests or additional jail time."
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