CHARLESTON - A man convicted of abduction with intent to defile in Virginia more than 20 years ago has relocated to West Virginia and is trying avoid lifetime registration on the sex offenders list.

Jerry Michael Collins of Cabell County says in a lawsuit filed Feb. 24 in Kanawha Circuit Court that his conviction of a crime in Prince William County, Va., is the equivalent of a crime in West Virginia that would require only 10 years of registration on the list.

He claims that West Virginia has a similar statute to the one he was convicted by in Virginia, and it reads: "Any person who takes away another person, or detains another person against such person's will, with intent to marry or defile the person, or to cause the person to be married or defiled by another person .. shall be guilty of a felony."

This crime would mean Collins needs to register for 10 years. However, the state of West Virginia told him that he was guilty of attempt to commit first-degree sexual abuse.

Colonel H.E. Hill Jr., in his capacity as Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police, is listed as the defendant in the case.

On Feb. 12, 1982, Collins was convicted. He was released Aug. 1, 2003, and placed on five years parole.

He relocated to West Virginia in November 2003, and the Virginia State Police sent his information to the West Virginia State Police so it could be determined if he was required to register as a sex offender.

After being informed that he would be required to register for the rest of his life, Collins filed the suit and seeks only to win his court costs and a 10-year registration.

The crime Collins was convicted of did not involve a minor.

Five situations require a convicted person to a lifetime registration: One or more prior convictions of any qualifying offense; qualifying offense involves multiple victims or multiple violations; sexually violent offense; the convicted has been determined to be a sexually violent predator; and the offense contained a minor.

"Plaintiff does not fall under any of the categories requiring lifetime registration unless West Virginia is somehow allowed to unilaterally transmute a conviction in Virginia for abduction with intent to defile into attempted first degree sexual assault, a crime for which the plaintiff was never convicted by any court," the complaint states.

Peggy Collins will represent Jerry Collins. Judge Tod Kaufman has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-373

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