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Level 3 sex offender jailed

SLAYTON -- One year after being released from prison and moving to Murray County, level III sex offender Jason Ryan Bitker is back in jail after being arrested for failing to register a new address.

Bitker, who was released from prison in March 2009, is required by law to give authorities five days notice before he moves to a new residence, but according to the criminal complaint filed Friday in Murray County District Court, Bitker moved several months ago.

He had been living with a girlfriend in an apartment on Juniper Avenue, but moved into an apartment on Broadway Avenue in September or October, he eventually admitted.

The complaint states the Slayton police chief advised an officer Bitker had failed to register, and the jail administrator had been in contact with Bitker's girlfriend, who said they had moved a week prior.

The officer had personal knowledge that the couple had moved earlier than a week before. In an attempt to locate Bitker, the officer spoke with his girlfriend, who stated again they had moved about a week ago.

As requested, Bitker came to the sheriff's office after receiving the message from the officer. When asked how long ago he had moved, he stated he had been going back and forth between the two apartments, sometimes staying with "Brittany." When asked if Brittany would confirm this, Bitker admitted she would not. He then stated he was not going to lie any longer, and admitted he had moved in the fall of 2009, right around the time his father had died.

He said he didn't register his new address because his father was dying, he was trying to help his mother and the days just "slipped away" from him.

When Bitker, 34, was released from prison a year ago, he originally moved into the city of Avoca. Within several months he moved to Slayton.

He was convicted in 1993 of second-degree criminal sexual conduct after engaging in sexual conduct with a 13-year-old. At the time, he was accused of using force and threats to gain compliance. He received a probationary sentence for the offense. In 2001, he was convicted of third-degree criminal sexual conduct against a 14-year-old victim, reportedly taking advantage of a sleeping state and using force to gain compliance.

Initially he received another probationary sentence, but that was later revoked because of registration issues and a 23-month sentence was executed. In March 2004, he was released from prison as a Level II offender, but within a few months that release was revoked due to registration issues. He was released in October 2004 and back in prison by June 2005.

His current registration violation could result in a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine, along with a commitment to the custody of the Commissioner of Corrections for not less than a year and a day.