Homeless man fails to register as a sex offender and is arrested

CHARLOTTE AMALIE— A homeless man was arrested on St. Thomas for failing to register as a sex offender in St. John, authorities said.

Ivan J. Chinnery, 63, of St. John, was arrested by Virgin Islands Department of Justice special agents and the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) unit on St. Thomas, Attorney General Ariel Smith said.

Chinnery was arrested for failure to comply with registration requirements for sex offenders in the Virgin Islands.

Chinnery, who is homeless, is a registered offender who failed to appear in person for registration at the
Leander Jurgen Command Police Station on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.

He has no fixed address and is therefore required to register weekly as required by law. VIDOJ agents arrested Chinnery on February 1 at the Leander Jurgen Command Police Station in Cruz Bay “without incident,” according to AG Smith.

Chinnery appeared for his Advice of Rights hearing in Superior Court on February 2 before Magistrate Judge Paula D. Norkaitis.

Judge Norkaitis found probable cause to charge Chinnery with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender V.I.C. § 1722 and he was released on $10,000.00 Unsecured Bond.

Judge Norkaitis ordered that Chinnery must not leave the islands of St. Thomas/St. John/Water Island
without the court’s written permission.

Judge Norkaitis also stated that Chinnery must report to the Office of Probation at the Leander Jurgen Command once per week and he must also register as a sex offender every week on Wednesdays at the Leander Jurgen Command Police Station.

Chinnery was convicted in the Superior Court in February 2012 for the crime of first-degree unlawful sexual contact. Pursuant to Chapter 86, Section 1724(d) of Title 14 of the V.I. Code, Chinnery is
required to appear once every week at the Virgin Islands Department of Justice to keep his registration
current, until he declares a permanent residence.

He is registered as a Tier 3 sex offender and therefore required to appear once every 90 days from his initial registration date throughout his lifetime.

A team of Special Agents from the VIDOJ and Sexual Offender Registry (SORNA) unit, with the assistance of U.S. Marshals and other local and federal agencies, routinely conducts unannounced inspections of registered sexual offenders to verify their locations and other personal information, such as their work and home addresses.

The Attorney General/VIDOJ is legally mandated to administer and enforce the sex offender registration laws.

A registered sexual offender must notify the VIDOJ of his/her name, residence, temporary lodging information, vehicle information, Internet identifiers, telephone numbers, school information, and employment status.

Registered sexual offenders in the territory are prosecuted by the Attorney General for either failing to register or not keeping their registration current, as required by this law, and if convicted, the penalty is a fine of not less than $3,000.00 or more than $5,000.00, or imprisonment for not less than three months nor more than two years, or both.

The law also provides that it is an offense to assist a sex offender to evade the registration requirements, which carries a fine of not less than $1,000.00 or more than $2,000.00, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.

The sex offender registry is available for public view at https://usvi.nsopw.gov.