Terry Cullen, 62, allegedly assaulted a 26 year-old Illinois woman at his south side home after she had come to Milwaukee about an internship with his reptile organization. While investigating her complaint, authorities discovered more than 200 animals, mostly exotic reptiles, they claimed were stored improperly at Cullen’s home and a second location.
Cullen’s attorney asked that the entire case against him be dismissed, citing two occasions when prosecutors have made offers to resolve the case, then rescinded them, once causing the delay of rulings on key defense motions, and once leading the attorney to, in his words, “out” Cullen to authorities in Florida, where he runs a reptile compound and lives part of the year. Furthermore, Cullen has asked that he not be required to register as a sex offender.
Sex offender registration is a system in the United States administered in different capacities through each state, designed to allow government authorities to keep track of the current residence and activities of sex offenders, including those who have completed their criminal sentences. In most locations, including Florida, if one is convicted of and is required to register as a sex offender, that information is made available in the registry to the general public via a website or other means.
Some registered sex offenders in Jacksonville are subject to additional restrictions, including housing. Sometimes these include (or have been proposed to include) restrictions on being in the presence of minors, living in proximity to a school or day care center, owning toys or other items of interest to minors, or using the Internet.
Megan’s law requires the state of Florida to make information available to the public on persons convicted of sex crimes living in our communities. Sex offenders are required to register with law enforcement and have their addresses and mug shots appear online. This information can prove vital to parents seeking to protect their children from potential danger. I was shocked to find that there are 79 registered offenders living within 5 miles of my Miami home.
The registry allows anyone to search for anyone listed on the Florida Sex Offender registry, Simply by enter their address and ZIP code. The registry then gives a full list of sex offenders in that person’s area. Information provided includes:
– Current Address and Map
– Current Offender Status
– Source of the Information
More in depth options for viewing each individual offender allow people to also view more particular features of the offender, including date of Birth, race, sex and physical appearances, even as specific as scars and birth marks.
The Florida database contains information on all sexual offenders released since 1997 as well as those individuals designated sexual predators by the courts after October 1993.
One in a situation such as this should obtain an experienced Jacksonville sex crimes defense attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights, defenses, and options are known and protected. One cannot fight this battle alone. With the help of an experienced attorney, one can be sure that this mistake will be whited out of one’s life and become a thing of the past.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Source: Case pairing sexual assault, reptile abuse takes new twist, Bruce Vielmetti, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel