98 percent of registered sex offenders left off Oregon's public offender registry

KATU file

TUALATIN, Ore. -- Does a registered sex offender live in your neighborhood?

After reporting several recent sex offender arrests, KATU's On Your Side Investigators decided to put Oregon's public sex offender registry to the test.

We found out 98 percent of the state's sex offenders are not listed in the public database, making it extremely difficult to know how many offenders live in your community.

On and around Southwest Joshua Street in Tualatin, three neighbors told KATU they had no idea they were living near Marcus Tong, a registered sex offender.

"That's pretty scary that someone like this lives so close," said Monica Rogers, a mother of five who lives around the corner from Tong and next to Bridgeport Elementary School.

Tong is facing eight new charges ranging from sexual abuse to online sexual corruption of a child. He was previously convicted of third degree rape in 2009 and 2010.

When we typed Tong's name and address into Oregon's public sex offender registry, he didn't show up.

In fact, when we looked up the names of four other recently arrested sex offenders they didn't come up either.

The registry is managed by Oregon State Police.

Lt. Bill Fugate, a spokesman for the agency, told KATU only 575 of the state's 28,790 registered sex offenders are listed on the site - just two percent.

Right now, only offenders labeled as predatory, the worst of the worst, show up.

But of the state's 2,164 predatory offenders - only about 27 percent are listed.

By comparison, Idaho lists all of its actively registered offenders on its public database.

California listed 75 percent and Washington about 30 percent as of 2013.

Fugate said OSP's hands are tied because the agency must follow strict regulations dictated by state law.

In an email, Fugate wrote:

We are not allowed to post those that do not meet the criteria below:

- Predators off of supervision who have been designated as predatory prior to 01/01/2014, AND for whom public notification of their predatory status was made to persons other than family members while they were under supervision, AND who were on a high level of supervision at the termination of their most recent supervision period;

- Predators on supervision who were designated as predatory prior to 01/01/2014, and whose supervising agency gives OSP the authority to do so;

- Sexually Violent Dangerous Offenders; and

- Level 3 Offenders

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