CHARLESTON – A man convicted of a misdemeanor sexual offense in Clay County wants a judge to block the West Virginia State Police's attempt to require him to register as a sex offender.

Donald D. Dawson filed a lawsuit March 20 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Lt. Michael Corsaro, who oversees records for the State Police.

Dawson was convicted in 1992 of third degree attempted sexual abuse, the complaint says. The judge sentenced him to three years of probation.

The sentencing order couldn't have included a requirement that he register as a sex offender because the registry wasn't created until 1993.

Dawson argues that state law either requires an offender to register for life or for 10 years after release from a sentence. He says he doesn't meet either criterion.

Dawson said he is a lay minister and works at a funeral home and if he had to register as a sex offender, he would lose his job and the trust he's gained in his community.

He asked a Clay County judge to file an emergency injunction against Corsaro, but the judge transferred the case to Kanawha County, the proper venue.

Dawson says time is of the essence since he was required to register as a sex offender as of 4:30 p.m. March 17.

He's requesting a bench trial on the matter.

Barbara Schamberger is representing Dawson. The case is before Kanawha Circuit Judge Louis Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-502

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