Sex Offenders Say Oklahoma Park Ban Goes Too Far

Tuesday, April 15th 2014, 8:06 pm
By: Karl Torp

A bill that would ban aggravated or habitual sex offenders from Oklahoma parks passed overwhelmingly in the house.

The bill was written after Park Rangers reported running into several repeat sex offenders at State Parks, but all parks in Oklahoma have been included in the bill.

"This doesn't apply to those who made a really bad decision when they were young," State Representative Josh Cockraft (R) District 27, who helped write the legislation, said.

"I feel like I'm being persecuted," a sex offender, who didn't want News 9 to use his name for the story, said.

The man takes his 5-year-old son to the park now.

"It's the highlight of his week," the man, who was convicted of statutory rape more than a decade ago, said.

The conviction automatically means the "aggravated" distinction, so he would be included in the park ban.

"Somebody may have had something happen 20 years ago," said Oklahoma City attorney David Slane. "Does that mean they don't have any rights today?" 

Sex offenders have failed to persuade lawmakers that House Bill 1364 goes too far.

It passed in the house 93-1.