Suspect arrested on 5th warrant issued for failing to register as sex offender

2019 stock image | File photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Hurricane man was arrested on a warrant for failing to register as a sex offender – the fifth arrest warrant issued for non-compliance on a 2014 lewdness case.

Bernard Sheron Campbell, 28, of Hurricane, is listed as non-compliant on Utah Sex Offender Registry, date of photo not specified | Photo courtesy of the Utah Department of Corrections, St. George News

On Wednesday, 28-year-old Bernard Sheron Campbell of Hurricane, was arrested and booked into jail shortly after 9 p.m. on one misdemeanor count of failing to register as a sex offender.

According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest, Campbell reported that he had moved out of state, so he was no longer registered in Utah, which flagged the system that he was non-compliant.

Once investigators learned the defendant was living in Hurricane, Campbell was arrested and booked into jail.

The registry requirement stems from a case filed in October 2014 following an investigation into a report alleging Campbell, who was 21 at the time, reportedly had sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 14 who was in foster care at the time.

The following year, Campbell pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of lewdness with a child, amended to replace a first-degree felony rape of a child charge under the terms of the plea agreement.

From there, a series of warrants were issued for failing to register as a sex offender, a charge that can also be filed if a defendant fails register annually, or is not where he states he is.

Three warrants for failing to register were issued in 2017, the first was in February, followed by a second warrant issued the following month, and again officers submitted a warrant less than two months later. In October of that same year, Campbell was sentenced to serve one year in jail for violating the terms of probation by being non-compliant with the sex offender registry.

Last year, two warrants were filed for Campbell’s arrest on three charges of failing to register, one filed in March and the second warrant was issued in October.  It was these two warrants that Campbell was arrested for on Wednesday. The warrant issued in March was filed after he failed to appear for a hearing because he failed to provide updated information for the sex offender registry.

The defendant remains in custody and three cases remain open.

Sex Offender Registry in Utah and beyond

Campbell is one of roughly 7,600 offenders listed on the Utah Sex Offender Registry, according to the Registered Offender List, and more than 780,400 offenders are registered nationwide – an increase of 32,000 offenders since 2019, Safe Home says.

In 2020, roughly 20% of registered sex offenders in Utah were deemed non-compliant, which prompted a massive statewide compliance operation dubbed “Operation Reboot.” 

In fact, it was the largest sex offender enforcement operation in Utah’s history, according to the Department of Justice.

During the first two weeks in August of that year, federal, state and local law enforcement went door to door in a surprise check of registration compliance of people convicted of sex crimes. After checking in with more than 1,000 offenders, officers found that 20% were in violation of the conditions required for registered sex offenders  – or non-compliant.

According to the analysis by Safe Home, Texas has the highest number of people listed on its sex offender registry, which is nearly 100,000, with California following close behind with 83,000. In fact, by sheer volume, nearly one in four registered sex offenders in the U.S. are registered in either Texas or California.

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

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