Duck Valley Man Gets 21 Months for Failing to Register as Sex Offender
BOISE – Martin Daniel Atkins, Jr., 28, of Owyhee, Nevada, was sentenced today to 21 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for failure to register as a sex offender, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Atkins to participate in a sex offender treatment program. He pled guilty on August 24, 2011.
According to court documents, Atkins was required to register as a sex offender following his guilty plea in 2005 to two counts of sexually abusing a minor, involving children from the Duck Valley Indian reservation. Upon his release from prison in 2007, Atkins began the registration process and reported that he was living at his stepmother's home on the Idaho side of the Duck Valley reservation. Investigators learned that Atkins had moved to Nevada and was later employed in Arizona. Atkins failed to notify authorities that he had moved.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service.
Atkins was prosecuted for violating the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), which was passed by Congress in 2006. The Act requires sex offenders to register and keep their registration current in each jurisdiction where they reside, are employed or are students. Violations of SORNA can be prosecuted in federal court. Through the cooperative efforts of the United States Attorney’s Office and the Idaho Sex Offender Watch Task Force, more than 30 sex offenders have been charged in state or federal court over the last 12 months with violating sex offender registration laws. The Idaho Sex Offender Watch Task Force operates through a federal grant obtained by the Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in October 2010. The Task Force includes law enforcement officers from Ada, Bannock and Canyon counties, as well as a specially assigned investigator and prosecutor. In addition to investigating and prosecuting those who fail to register, the Task Force conducts compliance checks to ensure that sex offenders actually reside at the address provided when they register. The Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office received a similar grant in September 2011 to form a sex offender registration and enforcement task force for Idaho’s northern counties.
“Those who have been convicted of crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children must register as sex offenders,” said Olson. “Through the Idaho Sex Offender Watch Task Force and Project Safe Childhood, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies work cooperatively to ensure that these convicted criminals follow the steps required by SORNA to register with law enforcement each time they change residences. Vigilant enforcement of the sex offender registration laws protects our communities and our children.”
This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006, by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent and deter gun violence.