Cleveland man accused of raping 14-year-old was already on juvenile sex offender registry

WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, Ohio - A Cleveland man accused of kidnapping and raping a 14-year-old in Warrensville Heights was already listed on a juvenile sex offender registry.

Now neighbors who lived near the suspect, Uriel Daniels, 19, are upset that they weren’t notified.

According to court records, Daniels was charged with two counts of rape and one count of kidnapping for grabbing the girl, taking her behind the Warrensville Heights middle school building and sexually assaulting her while holding her against her will on May 30. The incident did not occur during school hours. 

Juvenile court records reveal that these are not the first rape charges against Daniels. He was charged with three counts of rape and one count of kidnapping in connection to a 2014 incident when he was 16.

Daniels was required to register on a juvenile sex offender registry, which by law is not posted online.

“I had no idea he had a past,” said his neighbor Promize Mason, who has checked for a adult sex offenders in the past. “I am mad.”

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court records show that Daniels failed to verify his registration in February. He was jailed and arraigned for that offense after the alleged rape in Warrensville Heights.

At least 15 states — including Indiana and Texas — publish juvenile offenders’ names addresses and photos on public websites.

Criminal law expert and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Professor Jonathan Witmer-Rich said the advantage is public awareness, but there are also severe disadvantages to the juveniles.

“The juvenile system is premised on the idea that juveniles should have a shot at rehabilitation,” Witmer-Rich said. “Putting them on public website makes that difficult.”

Juvenile registration in Ohio is technically available to the public because they are subject to public records requests.

But Witmer-Rich explained that the likelihood of a community member requesting that information — or knowing to request that information — is low.

“If you don't have any reason to look for it, you’re not going to find it,” he explained. “And you’re not going to find it on the online registry.”

There are no residency restrictions that would prohibit juvenile sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school or daycare. It is possible to petition the court for removal. 

Daniels is being held on a $50,000 bond. His next court appearance is set for Aug. 3. 

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