Some sex offenders could get around GPS monitoring with ruling

COLUMBIA, SC (RNN) - The South Carolina Supreme Court is working on a ruling that could allow some sex offenders to get around mandatory lifetime GPS monitoring.

State law requires people convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct or lewd act on a child to fall under lifetime monitoring if they violate parole or probation. A Greenville County woman's challenging that law after a probation violation forced her into wearing an ankle monitor for the rest of her life.

A jury convicted then 26-year-old Jennifer Dykes of performing lewd acts on a 14-year-old girl.

Dykes admits to carrying on an 8-month relationship with the girl. Because of a probation violation, she now wears a GPS monitor, a device she will wear for the rest of her life.

Dykes went to the supreme court last week to ask the state's justices to give her a shot at losing her GPS ankle monitor. Her attorney asked the court to allow sex offenders an opportunity for a hearing, so a judge can decide whether they pose the threat that would require lifetime monitoring.

The justices' comments from the bench recognized that not all offenders pose equal threats to children.

State probation attorney John Aplin admitted flaws with the law, but says his agency has no choice but to enforce the mandatory lifetime monitoring law.

Dykes' attorneys want either a chance for a hearing or a review at some point. But for those who live as victims of sex offenders, any change in the law, they say is going easy on all sex offenders.

Veronica Kunz heads the state's victims assistance network and is out spoken about the sexual abuse she says she suffered at the hands of her father.

Kunz says lifetime monitoring of all sex offenders gives their victims the peace they need to carry on.

"If they're out walking around trying to live their life, they owe crime victims the duty to be accountable to law enforcement for their whereabouts," Kunz said.

A ruling could allow offenders a chance to have a judge decide whether they fit the case for someone who needs constant monitoring.

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