Juvenile Offender Status Can Be Set Before Release

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court says judges can hold hearings to determine the offender status of juveniles convicted of sex crimes at the time they are found guilty or when they’re released from detention.

The court’s unanimous decision Tuesday came in a 2011 Clark County case involving a juvenile found delinquent for a rape committed when he was 14 years old.

Lawyers for the boy, who was sentenced to at least one year in detention, challenged the fact he was also classified as a sex offender, saying that determination should be made when he is released.

The appeals court for Clark County ruled against the boy, but the Supreme Court took the case because the appeals court for Canton came to a different conclusion in another case.

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