Baker County Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Charge Of Failure To Register As Sex Offender
Jacksonville, Florida - United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces today that James A. Gallagher, Jr. (38, Glen St. Mary) pled guilty to a federal charge of failure to register as a sex offender in the state of Florida, after traveling from the state of Ohio. Gallagher faces up to 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, and a potential lifetime term of supervised release. Gallagher has been in custody since his arrest on January 25, 2012. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to court documents, on March 15, 2002, Gallagher pled guilty to gross sexual imposition in the Court of Common Pleas, in Hocking County, Ohio. Because of this conviction, Gallagher was required to register as a sex offender under Ohio law for a period of 10 years. He registered for the first time, in Ohio, on December 31, 2002.
On June 29, 2011, Gallagher received an updated official notice form indicating that he had a duty to register as a sex offender and keep his registration current in Ohio and in any other state in which he resides, is employed, or is a student. The form also specifically advised that failure to register or provide notice of a change in residence in Ohio or any other state will result in criminal prosecution. At that time, Gallagher was registered as a sex offender living in Columbus, Ohio.
In November 2011, Gallagher moved from Ohio to Florida without notifying or registering with authorities in either state. On January 25, 2012, Gallagher was contacted, at his Florida residence, by two deputies from the Baker County Sheriff’s Office. Gallagher stated that he had been there for approximately three months.
Under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), after Gallagher established residence in Florida in November 2011, he was required to register and keep his registration current with the State of Florida. Gallagher also failed to notify the Ohio authorities that he was leaving Ohio as required by the Act.
This case was investigated by the United States Marshals Service, the Baker County Sheriff’s Office, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
It is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visitwww.usdoj.gov/psc.