United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington
Sex Offenders Who Failed to Register get Federal Prison Time
U.S. Attorney’s Office Enforces Federal Sex Offender Registration Law
Two convicted felons who failed to register as sex offenders when they moved to Washington State were sentenced to prison terms this week. GARY JOE CLARK, 41, of Vancouver, Washington was sentenced September 12, 2011, in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to three years in prison and ten years of supervised release for failure to register and update sex offender registration. Today, MARTY DONALD MEZICK, 52, of Opelika, Alabama, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Seattle to a year and a day in prison and five years of supervised release for failure to register and update sex offender registration.
CLARK was convicted of rape in Oklahoma in 1992. He was released from prison in 1998. In 2005 and 2007, he was convicted of failing to register as a sex offender in Oklahoma. Records from Oklahoma indicate that he last registered as a sex offender in March 2010. In April 2010, he moved to Vancouver, Washington. CLARK moved in to the residence of a woman he had met over the internet. The woman had a young daughter. CLARK did not reveal to them that he was a convicted sex offender. CLARK did not register as a sex offender. In September 2010, CLARK assaulted his girlfriend in front of her daughter, causing serious injuries. CLARK was arrested by Vancouver Police. CLARK passed into federal custody in April 2011. He pleaded guilty in June 2011. CLARK was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle.
MEZICK was arrested February 4, 2011, and was indicted in March 2011, for failing to register as a sex offender and update sex offender registration. In May 2000, MEZICK was convicted in Florida of lewd and lascivious assault for sexually molesting 12 and 14-year-old girls. In 2009, MEZICK registered in Alabama as a sex offender saying he was employed in Alabama working construction. In fact, at that time MEZICK was employed and living in Everett, Washington working as an airplane mechanic. Despite an encounter with law enforcement in September 2009, he still failed to register as a sex offender. Throughout the time he lived in Everett, MEZICK returned periodically to Alabama where he submitted false registration forms claiming he was employed in Alabama. MEZICK was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik who called the conduct a serious violation of the Sex Offender Registration Act.
The statutes regarding sex offender registration are part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection Safety Act of 2006. The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) aims to close potential gaps and loopholes that existed under prior law and generally strengthens the nationwide network of sex offender registration and notification programs.
In asking for a significant prison sentence for CLARK, prosecutors wrote to the court, “Like other felons who lose the right to vote and to keep and possess firearms, those convicted of serious sex offenses lose certain freedoms… From the day they are convicted, sex offenders are shouldered with the responsibility of keeping law enforcement and the general public aware of where they live, where they move, and where they have come from. The sacrifice of personal privacy… from this special category of felons is a fair price in exchange for the safety and well-being it brings to the general public and to potential new victims.”
The CLARK case was investigated by the Vancouver Police Department and U.S. Marshal Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Reese Jennings.
The MEZICK case was investigated by the U.S. Marshal Service and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Scoville.