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Mon May 31, 2010
Supreme Court will decide homeless sex offender case
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – The state Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether a homeless man who has been convicted of sex crimes broke the law by failing to register an address with the state.
Prosecutors say Randall Dowdy failed to comply with the Michigan law that says convicted sex offenders must register their address with the state within 10 days of whenever they move. Dowdy's last registered address was a homeless shelter in Lansing that kicked him out after learning of his convictions. Prosecutors say, though, that Dowdy never regularly slept at the shelter, and once he was ordered not to return, never changed his address - which he must do even if that address was a cardboard box under a bridge or at an intersection. Dowdy's defenders say that's not a real address under the law, and that placed him in an impossible situation.
In a separate decision, the state's highest court also agreed to decide whether a parent's whose rights have been terminated can still be ordered to pay child support.