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Two jailed for failing to register as sex offenders

James Cornelius, left, and Emmett Thigpen.
James Cornelius, left, and Emmett Thigpen.(Washoe County jail)
Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 4:30 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -Two convicted sex offenders are in jail after failing to register as sex offenders with authorities, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office reported Wednesday.

Emmett Thigpen 52, was booked on felony charges of failing to register as a sex offender and for failing a 90-day compliance check.

James Cornelius, 54, was originally arrested Sept. 14 by the Reno Police Department on a robbery charge, but records show he was a sex offender who was out of compliance since 2018.

The Regional Sex Offender Notification unit began looking to arrest Thigpen in May but could not find him. Thigpen is a Tier II sex offender convicted of crimes against children and Reno police arrested him Sept. 20.

Cornelius is a Tier III offender and was convicted of sexual assault by force.

The RSONU was formed in 1998 to comply with a federal law passed in 1997.  It operates as a regional, multi-jurisdictional and collaborative entity to carry out the requirements of community notifications.

Currently, there are about 1400 registered sex offenders in the Reno, Sparks and Washoe County areas.  Each investigator has more than 400 offenders to monitor.

The RSONU is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding holidays, and can be reached at 775-325-6483.

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