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Clayton-based attorney says, previous sex offender monitoring requirements are unconstitutional

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JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KPLR) – A new law designed to keep track of registered sex offenders in Missouri is now on hold. A recent court ruling requires the state to at least temporarily remove GPS monitoring device from those offenders.

Clayton-based attorney Matt Fry said that this is a necessary change since the previous security requirements that went into effect back in January of this year were unconstitutional.

His clients and several hundred other registered Missouri sex offenders had been wearing the device in compliance with the new law requiring lifetime GPS monitoring as part of their sentence.

Fry said when they were initially sentenced, that law was never part of their sentence.

"The problem with the new law was that they were applying it backwards to people all the way back to 2006 to thousands of individuals," Fry said.

"Many of my clients chose to go to prison for seven years to get a benefit of not having to wear the bracelet," Fry said. “And now they're being told, 'You did your seven years, but we're still going to put the bracelet on you.’ That's a problem."

Fry is currently representing a south St. Louis County registered sex offender who had his monitoring device taken off on Tuesday. He asked us to refer to him as “Bob” to conceal his identity.

"I was never prepared for this life sentence," Bob said.

He went on to say that he understands there is no sympathy for sex offenders but he doesn't want to be treated the same way as someone who has committed a more serious crime than the one he served time for.

"It makes you feel like a terrible person," said Bob. “And part of getting better and getting rehabilitated is knowing that you are a good person and capable of good things. That doesn't do anything for yourself worth."

"There's plenty of offenders out there who are rightfully wearing them," said Fry. “Meaning the law said, ‘The day they were found guilty they knew it was a consequence they had to abide by it.’"

In a statement to FOX 2, communications director David Owen with The Missouri Department of Corrections said that the department will abide by the court's preliminary injunction and has 30 days to remove the GPS monitoring devices.

Meanwhile, a St. Louis County prosecutor recently told our news partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that sex offenses are a public health issue and should be handled like a contagious disease – with a quarantine.

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