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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Charges were dismissed against two sex offenders accused of failing to register in Utah because the allegations preceded a tough federal law.
Under the Adam Walsh Act, signed into law in July 2006, the maximum punishment for failing to register in a new state was increased to 10 years in prison. It formerly was a misdemeanor.
U.S. District Judge Paul Cassell last week dismissed a charge against John Henry Gill, who moved to Utah from Idaho in 2006.
The next day, Oct. 16, U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell dismissed a case against Keith David Wilson, who moved from South Dakota.
"While the federal law may not have applied at that time, state criminal statutes may still cover many of these offenders if they failed to follow state registration requirement," Cassell wrote.
U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman said his office is considering whether to appeal.
"While there may be some initial issues litigated as a new law comes into use, we will continue to aggressively pursue these cases in the future," he said.
Gill was convicted in Idaho in 2003 of possession of sexually exploitative material. He remains in federal custody in an unrelated case.
Wilson was released from a South Dakota prison in 1999 after serving a sentence for raping a child.
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)