A former D.C. teacher was sentenced to seven months in jail after failing to register as a sex offender.
Anthony Ross was a teacher, attendance counselor and assistant coach at H.D. Woodson High School when he was accused of having sex with a 15-year-old student in 1999. After his conviction he was ordered to spend 120 days in a work release program, serve 18 months of probation and register as a sex offender for 10 years.
Under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act and under D.C. law, Ross was required to register as a sex offender in Washington, D.C., and was to report any changes in his residence and employment. Ross signed a document in December 2009 stating, “I understand that I have a duty to report … any changes of home, work, or school addresses.”
Ross moved to Ohio from D.C. sometime between January and July of 2009 and failed to report the move to D.C. authorities. He also failed to register as a sex offender in Ohio and used a fake date of birth and Social Security number to avoid detection in his new state of residence, authorities said.
The U.S. Marshals Service launched a nationwide operation in 2010 targeting sex offenders who knowingly failed to comply with their sex offender registration requirements. Marshals tracked Ross down in Gahanna, Ohio, and arrested him Oct. 9, 2010. According to 10TV in central Ohio, Ross was engaged to get married the very next day.
According to U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and U.S. Marshal Michael Hughes, Ross, who pleaded guilty in June in U.S. District Court in D.C., was sentenced Tuesday to seven months in prison followed by seven months of home confinement. After his release, Ross will be placed on five years of supervised release.
Ross is the first defendant to be indicted and convicted in the District of Columbia under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, which requires anyone convicted of sex crimes under federal law, or anyone convicted in state court and traveling in interstate commerce, to register with law enforcement agencies where they live, work or are a student. Ross is challenging the constitutionality of the law in court and remains free pending his appeal.