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Home > Supervision > Facebook: Sex Offenders Need Not Apply!

Facebook: Sex Offenders Need Not Apply!

February 9th, 2011

Two articles dealing with Facebook caught my attention recently. The first by DeConto described a North Carolina lawsuit challenging state statute §14-202.5 as unconstitutional. This law prohibits registered sex offenders, …. “to access a commercial social networking Web site where the sex offender knows that the site permits minor children to become members or to create or maintain personal Web pages on the commercial social networking Web site.” Violations are a Class I felony (punishable but up to 5 years or fine or both). The arguments appear to be centered on freedom of speech and the law is too broad.

At about the same time an article was written by Brennan describing how difficult it was for a New York police department to keep sex offenders off of Facebook. The article noted:

“But local law enforcement is almost powerless to monitor sex offenders allowed to use websites such as Facebook. ‘We have our hands tied, unless they’re supposed to refrain (from using social networking),’ said Steuben County Sheriff Joel Ordway. Ted Murray, Hornell police chief, agreed with Ordway. ‘Unless they’re on probation or parole, there are no restrictions prohibiting them from being on a site like that (Facebook),’ he said.” 1

So we have articles noting a legal challenge against a law restricting sex offenders from Facebook and another noting a different state’s law enforcement being practically powerless to remove sex offenders from social networking sites (SNS). What is the story? Are sex offenders allowed on Facebook?

Drum roll please… the answer is… sex offenders are prohibited from using Facebook. Take a look at their user agreement. Specifically: Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, 4. Registration and Account Security, Item 6, reflects: You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender.”Facebook goes a step further and provides a method for notifying them of convicted sex offenders on their site.

Why would Facebook have such a policy? They are a private concern and have a right to set their policy as long as it doesn’t discriminate. Sex offenders, last time I checked are not a protected class. So they can set their policy to not exclude them. Some users may actually join Facebook or at least feel some comfort in joining because of this policy. They join with the belief that sex offenders aren’t allowed on the website, a belief that is enforced by Facebook’s policy on reporting sex offenders for action. That is what is called “freedom of association,” another one of those constitutional rights we have. So a private company sets up a rule excluding a non-protected group from joining, a group that represents a risk to minors. I am sure the courts will decide whose rights are more compelling, the sex offender’s first amendment right or the general public’s to associate with whom they chose.

During the discussion we need not forget that SNS are fundamentally different from other communicationvenues in the real world. A sex offender can be anyone they want to be on a SNS. They can be kid or the opposite sex. They can pretend to be several different people, all in an attempt to entice or mislead a minor. They can’t easily accomplish these tricks in the real world. Additionally, in those public places in the real world there are police walking around…parents…other kids….folks that can stop them or at least identify them. A sex offender on a SNS can hide, manipulate, and prey, without much concern about someone seeing them and/or identifying them before they strike. It is different than the real world and the danger can be much higher indeed!

So what does all this mean for a community supervision officer with a sex offender who has a Facebook profile? Consider the following suggestions:

  1. Know what your state laws and/or supervision conditions are pertaining to sex offenders having a SNS. If a sex offender has a profile against a state statute this is obviously a new law violation.  It may also be a violation of supervision conditions. 
  2. Check to see if the sex offender is reporting all Internet accounts and identifiers when they registered.2If the Facebook profile is not being reported, depending upon state law, they might not be maintaining their sex offender registration. This can be either a new law violation or a technical violation.
  3. Even sex offenders who are not registered are violating the Facebook’s user agreement. A case can be made that they are gaining unauthorized access to Facebook’s website by maintaining the profile. This may be a violation of a state law regarding exceeding computer access or trespass. Think in the real world. Would law enforcement allow an offender to loiter or trespassing in a location they have been told they are not suppose to be at?
  4. Use common sense. It could be the offender didn’t know about the prohibitions and the matter might be resolved by the offender deleting the account, with a follow up to Facebook. Or it might require you to ratchet up the supervision or get law enforcement involved. For instance, what would a sex offender be up to with a Facebook profile with 50 minors as “Friends”? Why conceal such a profile from their sex offender registration or supervision officer if it was innocence conduct? Investigate and follow where the evidence leads!

Now some of you maybe wondering how do I find out if my sex offenders have a Facebook profile? Well, develop your skills. Seek training on it. The High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA.org) is a great place to start. Join and get to their conference, which by the way usually has excellent sessions on social networking investigations.

If you don’t think it is important to be concerned about a supervised sex offender on a SNS check out Burton’s article below. It is about a law suit filed against Cook County Probation Department regarding a sex offender case. The suit was filed by a mother who found a sex offender, not online through MySpace® like her daughter…but in act of raping her in her own bedroom. For now remember, convicted sex offenders are not authorized to use Facebook!

Notes

1 I am not sure what to make of Brennan’s article. In 2008, New York passed the Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP) which requires sex offenders register all of their Internet accounts and identifiers; authorizes the release of state sex offender Internet identifiers to social networking sites; and requires, as a condition of probation or parole, mandatory restrictions on a sex offender’s access to the Internet where the offender’s victim was a minor, the Internet was used to commit the offense, or the offender was designated a level 3 (highest level) offender. As such it would appear New York’s law would be rather conducive to removing sex offenders from social networking sites, including Facebook.

2 It is a federal requirement under the Adam Walsh Act of 2006 and the Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act of 2008 (the KIDS Act of 2008) that sex offenders are to disclose all Internet identifiers. However, not all states are up to speed with the federal sex offender registration requirements. Make sure you know your state’s sex offender registeration requirements.

References

Brennan, Lynn, “The Ugly Side of Facebook”, The Evening Tribune Retrieved from http://www.eveningtribune.com/features/x286167677/The-ugly-side-of-Facebook

Burton, Cherly, “Mother files suit for alleged rape victim, 13″ Retrieved from http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=7922281

DeConto, Jesse, “Pol Defends Keeping Pervs off Facebook” The Raleigh, N.C. News & Observer Retrieved from http://news.bostonherald.com/news/national/south/view/20110129pol_defends_keeping_pervs_off_facebook/srvc=home&position=recent

Facebook User Agreement, Dated October 4, 2010,Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, 4.Registration and Account Security, Item 6, Retrieved from http://www.facebook.com/terms.php.

North Carolina Revised General Statutes, Chapter 14, Criminal Law. Retreived from http://www.ncsu.edu/police/Information/NCLaw.html

North Carolina § 14-202.5. Ban Use of Commercial Social Networking Web Sites by Sex Offenders. Retrieved from http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/enactedlegislation/statutes/html/bysection/chapter_14/gs_14-202.5.html

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Art Supervision

  1. ringsgeek
    February 23rd, 2011 at 23:04 | #1

    I think this is absolutely ridiculous. Gone are the days of rehabilitation and societal comradery. Instead, we tar-and-feather, we lambaste, we crucify, we lock people away in scorn. Does anyone even know how a volcano works? Bottle it up, tuck it away, load it up with restrictions and you’ll see. The ground is level: the people you SHOULD fear are the people who have NOT committed their offenses yet. The people who HAVE committed their crimes, who have served their time, who are accountable either to the state (by means of probationary requirements) or to family and friends (by means of honesty and transparency, though that’s employed with the state as well), and who are taking strides to rebuild their lives, are the ones who should not be ostracized and scarlet-lettered.

    I myself am a registered sex offender for a single crime I committed nearly ELEVEN years ago. I did my time. Since that time I have built a successful business, I’ve maintained accountability, I’ve successfully reintegrated back into society, I’ve contributed generously to the needs of others, I’ve completed all probationary requirements, I’ve been honest and changed. Nonetheless, because of the media-amplified two words that have been stamped on my life resume: “sex offender”, I cannot reconnect with beloved family and friends through one of the most successful and connective social networks ever. Family and friends who are both local and international, the latter of which is much more difficult to keep in touch with.

    Give me a break. I’m an intelligent, articulate, humorous, confident, loving, generous, successful, goal-driven individual. It doesn’t matter if my crime was peeing in public or if it was rape. It all seems to fall under the same two words, and therefore, people (and the media, and Facebook, in particular), assume that I’m naturally predatory by nature, I have no desire for successful reintegration, and that my recidivism is just around the corner. Apparently I’m just as bad as a serial murderer, or worse. How narcissistic and arms-lengthing have we become as people? Not as just a society, but as HUMANS. I understand there is a certain amount of fear and trepidation about someone with a record, but look to the guy or gal on your left or right. Someday, THEY could be registered. Or even worse, YOU. You have no idea of the darkness of which you’re capable. I too once thought I was impervious to crime. I was wrong.

    Have we slidden so far down as a society so as to be goverened by the “plank-in-YOUR-eye” modus operandus? Are we really that mundane and judgmental? I am a Christian. I have Christian friends who have intentionally chosen NEVER to have contact with me ever again. Christians. Those called to forgive. Those called to encourage. Those called to love. Those called to reach out to others. If Christians will not even lift a finger to encourage and to exhort and build up, then it is no surprise that secular media and social network policies like those Facebook enforces operate on a blanket-approach to condemn not just one, but ALL. “Send ‘em all to an island,” they say. Isn’t it bad enough that my information is out there on the web, free for all finders and vigilantes? This alone is cause for accountability and right living, and I know I’m living in accountability, and rightly. Now Facebook has to expel me, when all I was ever on there for was to socialize with my friends and family.

    Don’t lump me in the same group as a murderer. Don’t call me a sex offender. If anything, I’m a sex-offendED. 11 years ago. One time. One victim. Give me a break. Sex offendER implies that I’m doing this all the time. For God’s sake, I’m an oxygen breathER. I’m a workER. I’m a business ownER. I’m not a sex offendER. Get it straight. This one crime, marked for life approach simply contributes to a more frenzied society hellbent on self-righteous persecution and ostracism, which only leads to more unfortunate incidents. Start giving people a chance again, Facebook and America.

    I should not be excluded from connecting with those who WANT to connect with me because Facebook chooses this one-and-all tar-and-feather take on governance.

  2. JohnDoeUtah
    March 23rd, 2011 at 22:37 | #2

    Seeing that Facebook has a signed agreement with U.S. General Services Agency (GSA), too allow government to have pages on thier site for communicating with the public, posting jobs, etc; they should not be allowed to ban minorities (even criminals) from thier services. Seeing that they have a written agreement with GSA, they are therefore a government contractor (an agent working in concert with the government), and constitutional protections should apply.

    • Art
      March 26th, 2011 at 18:00 | #3

      Interesting argument. I wonder though what GSA agreement reflects on this. As I have said before sex offenders are not a protected class. So barring sex offenders is not a discrimination claim. I also think you are on slipperry ground to imply that every company that has a government contract becomes a government agent in all endeavors. If that were the case, Facebook or any other ISP that signed an agreement with the govt would make getting Internet records a lot easier. I mean under your logic, Facebook becomes part of the Govt. As such, they would simply be handing over ISP records to itself.

    • Art
      March 26th, 2011 at 19:14 | #4

      By the way, this privacy concern are an interesting argument in this whole thing. As if there is privacy involved in using the Internet. For instance, John, when you respond to these posts, your ISP address is captured, as well as you provide a valid email address. These bits of information are not collected by the Govt but my private sector websites. So, I pretty certain could locate where you are posting from, you real name, etc.. Not hard really. Disclosing…that would be a problem though as there are laws against that kind of thing. The point is if someone wants to find out who is posting what…they can…without getting the Govt involved.

  3. DavidK
    March 27th, 2011 at 23:06 | #5

    @ringsgeek I could not have said it better myself. Great job and I totally agree.

  4. Keith
    July 24th, 2011 at 17:23 | #6

    Wow, your simple one act got you in trouble? Rehabilitated? Business Owner? Your life is great since you paid your debt to society?
    How about your victim? Can you say LIFE SENTENCE! THAT IS WHAT HE/SHE HAS GOT! You people amaze me. The victim does not ever get over the crime. Why do they have to suffer the rest of their lives while people like you can
    “claim” to be cured and want to go on and live a normal life! Can you tell me how that is fair? The victim is just left to suffer the emotional and fear for the rest of their life.

  5. Jason McEvoy
    July 30th, 2011 at 19:17 | #7

    Felons are NOT a protected class… thus, a criminal is not a minority… a criminal is nothing. I should know. I am one…
    As for the term “sex offender,” theRingsGeek statement is perfect. He once was guilty of committing a sex offense, but the word “offender” is present tense. It is so sad how that terminology vilifies. Forever. It’s time for sex offenders to come out of hiding and actually tell the public.
    BUT MOSTLY? 98 PERCENT OF AMERICANS ARE SEX OFFENDERS! EVER PEE IN PUBLIC? SEND A SEXY TEXT? PINCH A GIRL’S OR GUY’S BUTT? HAVE CONSENSUAL SEX ANYWHERE IN PUBLIC?
    I hate Americans and their “Holier than Thou” attitude. Bunch of f&%^ing hypocrites.
    @JohnDoeUtah

  6. Laura
    September 7th, 2011 at 00:49 | #8

    I completely agree with Ringsgeek on this. My boyfriend is a sex offender for giving consensual happy endings while he was a massage therapist and was crucified for it. Its ridiculous. Now, today, he had to delete his Facebook account because his probation officer decided he wasn’t allowed to have an account because Facebook doesn’t permit it. I personally thought she was trying to enforce the law, not a Facebook rule. These women were no victims, they got exactly what they wanted and asked for. They didn’t say no, they didn’t yell and scream, and they tipped him extra for it too. He only got in trouble because he got caught. How many women give happy endings and don’t get in trouble for it? Those two words are ridiculous. Sex offender. 90% of the people in this country believe that a sex offender is a pedophile or a rapist. I actually had a friend come up to me after we started dating and ask me “Aren’t you afraid he’s going to molest your kids?” Are you kidding me??? He was involved with adult females!! Not children!!! Regardless, pedophile or not, this is no way for people to be able to integrate themselves back into society.

    • Art
      September 7th, 2011 at 19:19 | #9

      Interesting. Laura couple questions…. does your BF have to register as a sex offender? Was he convicted of prostitution? I know some states do make certain prostitution offenses reg. Facebook does not define what a sex offender is. Your BF might what to ask the PO the rationale, depending upon the conviction, for making him delete the account. Maybe he has something in his prior record. Maybe there is another explaination. Maybe because he has to reg as SO is enough. It doesn’t hurt to ask. It could also be your BF is not telling you the complete sorry.

  7. October 20th, 2011 at 15:23 | #10

    This is to Ringsgeek. I commend you for the way you turned your life around. You, though, are an exception when it comes to sex offenders. Most reoffend, especially level 2 and 3 offenders. They use social websites to lure their victims, which is why the ban on all registered sex offenders. I was a victim as a child and even though the perpetrator was never convicted due to my silence nor reoffended, I bear the physical and emotional scars of what happened to me decades ago. So you tell me, has your one victim been able to move on successfully in life, like you have?

  8. Rudy101
    October 26th, 2011 at 21:50 | #12

    THEY THEM THOSE! Sorry Facebook! You can’t choose whom can speak and who cannot. Have you looked at yourself lately? You are over 800 million. You are bigger than all but 2 countries in the world.

    Facebook NOR government, without court oversight can strip ANYONE of their free speech rights, especially in a forum as vast and comprehensive as Facebook.

    If Facebook is using a list given by government OR the government is making criminal actions from simply existing on Facebook, the registry ceases to have any credibility and therefore does NOT have to be followed.

    The registry was supposed to only be an informational tool. NOT a tool to systematically banish a person from every segment of society. You people have way stepped over the line.

  9. jay
    December 10th, 2011 at 12:11 | #13

    DeLee, It is sad what happened to you in your past, but you are incorrect about the recidvism rate among sex offenders,most once convicted infact do not reoffend, most offenses are among family members and acquaintances. While on probation some states require anually of by anual polygraph tests for offenders, and I agree once one has done their time that is their debt paid and paid in full, the reason sex offenders are gone after so much is simple, politicians find it an easy thing to make lawas against and gain favor with the public because no other politician will stick their neck out for a convicted sex offenders rights. but yet a murderer, theif, convicted dui offender, none have to register the same as a sex offender, this makes no sense,I believe i would want to know if a murderer is down the street or know if i should turn on my alarm system because i have a theif down the street that wll break in, my whole point is, how can you descrimate against one crime vs another? people are human they make mistakes, some are worse then others, but they are mistakes. a famous saying goes as this: ” A society can be judged by its prisoners”

  10. jon
    December 21st, 2011 at 02:54 | #14

    @DeLee
    most reoffend!!!! check your statistics,, maybe a murderer registry, thief registry,, 80 years ago , adultery garnered the same stigma ,, educate yourself before you become so opinionated,, Read the words of JESUS!

  11. jon
    December 21st, 2011 at 02:57 | #15

    @jay
    amen,,, it is time for reformation of this sickening law!

  12. Brian
    December 22nd, 2011 at 08:03 | #16

    @ringsgeek
    I want to tag onto ringsgeek’s Feb. 23, 2011 comment…I am also a registered sex offender for something that I did nearly 10 years ago when I was in high school. I made a poor decision that cost me nearly 5 years in prison and 10 years worth of this registry stuff created by the leading activist, John Walsh, who has decided to focus on sex offenders due to what happened to his son but allow me to bring something to your attention, John Walsh’s son was NOT even sexually assault in any way. Allow me to bring another point to light that no one seems to be intelligent enough to notice on their own, including the media, including John Walsh, including the parents who allow themselves to be falsely reassure by the national database for sex offenders, it is a joke. If a predator WANTS to offend he or she WILL offend. Its called a car ladies and gentlemen…if a registered sex offender decides that he or she wants to go find a child to molest or rape, what internet database is going to keep them from crossing state or even county lines into a neighborhood where no one knows their face and in the blink of an eye your child is gone. My point is that everyone thinks this system is useful when in reality it is no more than a way to make it easier for those who want to offend to do so. As a parent, where are you going to look to live, most likely in a neighborhood when no registered sex offenders live but how far are you going to extend your search? You cannot be completely rid of these individuals. So now you live in a community with no sex offenders within a 25 mile radius, you think its safe to let you child play in your back yard with your picket fence, well, its not, if one of the sicker of the pediphiles you fears wants your child, they will get them. All this registry does do, is stigmatize those people like myself who made a bad choice and had sex with a 15 year old girl when I was 18. Now, as I have served my time in prison, rebuilt my life, gotten married and have a family of my own people look at my wife cross eyed like how dare she be with someone like me. Well I have a question for all of you…are you religious like so many people CLAIM to be? Who are you to cast the first stone? Who are you to judge me? Only God can judge me and I believe when the time to stand in front of him come for me, the LAST thing he choses to punish or judge me for is what I did when I was 18 years old.

  13. Concerned
    April 10th, 2012 at 15:09 | #17

    All of this is so out of control. This witch hunt is ramping up the stress and hate that was already barely controllable. Our laws were fine the way they were. The population has grown and reports are much more plentiful due to more avenues of reporting and efficiency. We as a society should not promote sex as much as we do but we can’t get past the freedom of speech protecting the pornography industry. We have to be more responsible by simply not putting out bad information for potential misuse in the best way possible without this neo-nazi martial law that is happening. That is wrong. It looks wrong. It feels wrong. Wrong. This type of thing is scaring the general public unnecessarily and scaring them to death as if they didn’t already have enough terrorists. This is terrorist law enforcement that is attempting to create a sub-caste of human being that has no rights and that is so very wrong. We go out of our way as a society to protect even animals from this type of treatment. There has to be a better way for everyone. There just has to be.

  14. Jerr
    April 24th, 2012 at 19:52 | #18

    Totally agree with you rings. Stupid law that affects good guys like us who made one stupid mistake. Let’s hope one day society will change their ignorant and paranoid ways. @ringsgeek

  15. Steve
    May 4th, 2012 at 19:08 | #19

    ringsgeek, very well written – Bravo! I too am a RSO, as well as a business owner. I was recently booted from FB, after having had an account for 4 years. You make some excellent points. No one will advocate for SO’s – NOBODY. It’s a life sentence. We have so many hoops to jump through and obstacles to overcome for the rest of our lives. We did our time, and it sounds like you and I are among many who own a business, are loved by many, and kiss babies, without most people even knowing our past.

    Personally, I downloaded some pictures – but I’m thrown in with the same lot who raped children. There needs to be a tier system (I believe California has one).

    Instead of blackballing the whole lot, why can’t FB’s brilliant programmers write a code to look into account activity to see if users are “seeking out minors”?

    Forget about friends, It’s not easy to do business without a FB account.

    Again, very well written – thank you.
    @ringsgeek

  16. Sam Roberts
    June 25th, 2012 at 05:12 | #20

    @Brian i commited a sex crime. attempt rape of my spouse. in my own home against someone my own age. it was horrible. i was high at the time & feel terrible about it. why the hell should i be restricted from any internet or social media activities. there is no logic to these restrictions. i am being punished as a class of people, not based on individual crime. that is in effect, legalized predjuduce.

  17. July 13th, 2012 at 17:43 | #21

    hi i went out with this guy and i met him on face book but i didn’t know that his sex offender but he got face book and myspace and some dating websites i found out when we were going out for a month and i search his name and came out sex offender and now he got a job and i don’t know how he got the job and i didn’t get a job but i don’t have a record and i have more experience than him and i ask all my supervisor i use to work and they said maybe they didnt background check on him and his on house arrest

  18. sharks
    July 18th, 2012 at 09:16 | #22

    @Laura
    this is to laura it’s seems to me your bf should have been professional about it. he should have said no.

  19. Maxx
    July 20th, 2012 at 12:29 | #23

    Facebook WANTS an email address of the “sex offender”…And how is it you get that when Facebook has privacy options?

    @Sam Roberts : You feel terrible about it, huh? Look at how quickly you went from I feel terrible to complaining about being punished for YOUR crime. You never even gave the VICTIM any empathy in your statements. “I” feel terrible. Why should “I” have to give up my social life?
    How about for your VICTIMS sake, you stay out of their view, so they can live a more bearable, peaceful life??????

  20. July 24th, 2012 at 00:20 | #24

    I know of a registered sex offender in san diego county on facebook. Is this allowed? I was under impression its a violation. People post pics of their children and perv maybe able to see if their settings are not set to private. How does one report this? I do not believe a registered offender should be social networking site.

    • Art
      July 24th, 2012 at 13:02 | #25

      It is again Facebook’s user policy for sex offenders to use their site. You can report violations see http://www.facebook.com/help/search/?q=sex+offenders

      As far as CA goes, I don’t thing there is a state law that specifically prohibits a sex offender on Facebook per se. It may be a violation of criminal treaspassing. If the sex offender is on probation or parole it might be a violation of the terms of their supervision. You might go to contact the San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force at http://sdicac.org/contact-us/, particularly if this sex offender is friending minors.

  21. July 28th, 2012 at 10:56 | #26

    Facebook can do whatever they want. Restaurants had a sign that we can refuse service to anyone. They saw blacks as homogeneous also. All black males were considered predatorial in Baltimore until 1950.

    Nothing has changed except the group.

    Former offenders are extremely heterogeneous as far as the crime and some did nothing different that many of the individuals own parents and the hypocrites that push fear based laws for filthy lucre.

    • Art
      July 30th, 2012 at 01:50 | #27

      Fred,

      Try to educate yourself. Don’t compare racism to sex offenders having to register. Sex offenders committed a crime. They did something that was illegal. Discrimination on race or something that one is born with can’t be compared to someone willful chosing to disregard society’s rules. You can argue that they did their time and therefore should not have to be on the reg. You can argue that it doesn’t work. But don’t argue that requiring someone who broke the law to reg is the same as what was done to black, Jews, etc. They are not the same. Doing so minimizes racisim and what was done in past. A sex offender is not a minority. They are someone who broke the law. They are someone who created a victim or provided a market for victimiziations. Minorities don’t have victims. They were victims. Not the same no matter how you try to claim that society is being a hypocritic.

  22. Jacen
    August 27th, 2012 at 17:01 | #28

    @DeLee

    That is actually untrue. The recidivism rate for sex offenders is 5% and that number drops to 3 in states with treatment programs that offenders must attend.

    That “most” reoffend is a myth perpetrated by a lack of education on the issue, and a general acceptance that because a lot of people believe it, it must be true. Go take a look at actual criminal records stats. Drug users and violent offenders are up to 5 times more likely to re-offend than sex offenders.

    Education.

  23. Lila
    September 30th, 2012 at 01:59 | #29

    @Art
    So Art, because my son fell in love at 17, with a girl who claimed she was 16, it means he ‘chose” to break the law? BTW my son is now 27 years old, does NOT have a FB or any other internet accounts, and refuses to develop a relationship with any woman at least until he is released from the registry when he will be in his mid 40′s. Why? Not because he committed a crime, but because he refuses to put another person through all of the harassment, stigmatization and the death threats he has been through because of being on the registry.

    • Art
      October 2nd, 2012 at 16:06 | #30

      @Lila For some reason something doesn’t seem right here. He was 17 when he committed the crime, but will not be off the registry until he in his 40′s. I am not sure of what state we are talking about and whether they follow the federal levels. But this is about at Tier II level offender. It would also appear so called Romeo and Juliet exception doesn’t apply (Where both participants are at least 13 years old and neither participant is more than 4 years older than the other)…So it is likely that we are not discussing a 17 yr old say even with a 15 or 14 yr old) This girl who pretended to be 16 was really how old? 12? 11? Did he just agree to meet or was there actual acts involved? You don’t need to answer these questions but I raise them here so folks understand this may be more than what is being portrayed. Your son’s situation seems to be a 17 yr old involved with someone younger than 13…. That is like a senior dating someone in or below the 7th grade. I guess my next question, which you don’t have to answer is where were you when you 17 yr was “dating” a 7th grader? Again, a lot of questions but lets not try to blame the victim, who “pretended” to be 16 on line. I really don’t like that kind of dialogue. It is like almost saying a rape victim desired it. We after all are talking about a minor. If this resulted in sexual contact, your 17 yr should have stopped way before. Is it right he is on the reg for so long? Hard to say without the facts of the case. What sentence did he receive? Did he receive counseling? Did he cooperate with supervision? More questions, but no answers.

  24. RGarrod
    December 31st, 2012 at 02:02 | #31

    I am wondering why is it that the abuser that helped make the sex offender since it is a learned pattern are not on the sex offender registry. I see that by law their are so many favors given to people for doing nothing

  25. Jim
    February 20th, 2013 at 03:53 | #32

    What most who push for the victims forget: most sex offenders WERE VICTIMS THEMSELVES AS CHILDREN. I know I was. And where were YOU? Now you are just here to continually make our lives hell for your own self-righteousness.

    Since you “righteous” people dont want us, buy us an island where we can all live in peace. Just remember… just like in nazi Germany, it was us first back then too. Next, it will be you too. I’ll save a seat for you. It wont be long.

    • Art
      February 20th, 2013 at 21:47 | #33

      Okay Jim but is the converse true? That most victims become sex offenders? Of course not. Also, it is a bit lame to be comparing what was done to folks in Nazi Germany to what occurs with sex offenders. There is no comparison.

  26. Jim
    February 20th, 2013 at 04:04 | #34

    So… sex offenders can not have.. a job, a wife, a home, a phone, a church, friends, a life, food, water, forgiveness?

    Fine. But dont cry when we take yours…

    We are people too. We arent predators… its the ones that are not on the list that are.

    • Art
      February 20th, 2013 at 21:48 | #35

      No one said sex offenders can’t have all those things.

    • Art
      February 20th, 2013 at 22:18 | #36

      Okay Jim, you can’t get on Facebook…. but apparently you have no problem getting on Gaming sites? (Did you read my piece on that?). Anyway, please try to stay out of trouble will you.

  27. Jim
    February 20th, 2013 at 04:14 | #37

    Jesus became the thief, the murderer, the sex offender on the cross… guess they will cancel his account too.

    • Art
      February 20th, 2013 at 21:50 | #38

      I would no persume to guess if the Lord as has Facebook account (I know that “God” has one) or that he needs one for that matter. The point is having a Facebook account is not like having air, water, food.

  28. Cb
    March 1st, 2013 at 12:21 | #39

    The problem is when the sex offender is continually stalking one of his victims or their family via Facebook. The family and one of the victims for whom he went to jail. Why should he be allowed on Facebook, Twitter, etc? Why is he to be given the same rights as the child or children he abused? He is not rehabilitated! Should those children not be able to live a normal life because he wants a Facebook. So is it right for them to not have one because of him?

  29. Gary
    March 29th, 2013 at 21:56 | #40

    Now that Facebook is a publically traded company, those “private business” rules should no longer apply. I,for one, say that us sex offenders should take back our rights. Things like withholding our taxes, massively refusing to register, and not taking any plea bargain deals for the ensuing charges, thus clogging the already strained judicial system to a total standstill.Also, we need to group-back SO friendly political candidates, or even get some SO’s elected to office. Get our friends and families to back us. We would have a large enough voting block to make a difference.

    • Art
      April 3rd, 2013 at 01:27 | #41

      Now there is a smart move Gary…. refuse to reg and get a new criminal case…don’t take plea bargains and go to prison for a lot longer. Have sex offenders run for public office. Yeah, that will get them elected. The only change of that happening is all sex offenders moved to one area….not to mention many states prohibit convicted felons from holding public office and in some cases voting. By the way, a public traded company doesn’t mean it is the same as the Govt…it is not owned by the public. It answers to stock holders. It is still a private business. As such, like any private business, it can have rules that apply as long as it doesn’t discriminate against race, gender, religion, and age. Sex offenders status doesn’t follow into one of those protected groups…

  30. Nina
    April 1st, 2013 at 07:20 | #42

    This is so ridiculous. my husbands facebook was deleted last year and we could never figure out why. Now I know. My husband is 25 now and was convicted at the age of 20. He was 19 dating a 16 year old(almost 17) in Illinois. He was not harming the girl. They had their little puppy love. She got his name tattooed across her chest, so please, how was she a victim. Even while he was in the county jail awaiting trial, she was writing him letters telling him she was waiting for him to get out. Also, why is it when we lived in Illinois, he only had to register for 10 years and we moved to Texas 3 years ago and here, they tell him he has to register for the rest of his life. For what, a misdemeanor sex offense which he pled guilty to because he didn’t want to put his “then” girlfriend through a trial. Oh, and the icing on the cake. Both of the girlfriends parents worked at the county jail and knew all the right people to talk to to make sure that he was convicted of at least something. My husband is not a criminal of any sort. He was just an idiot who thought he was in love with this girl who acted well above her age. And my husband and I knew each other and were friends before this happened to him and after it happened to him. So there is no more to the story since I see people picking the sex offenders apart on here. Another great thing, he was a senior (he started school a year later than he was supposed to) when this happened and she was a sophmore. How is it normal for a high school student to become a sex offender for dating someone IN HIGH SCHOOL! Something has to be done about the system for sex offenders and what kind of people get put on a sex offender registry. Currently, this means when my husband and I have children, he wont even be able to pick them up from school or go to their plays or anything that a normal father would do. The system sucks. point. blank. period. Rant Over!!!

    • Art
      April 3rd, 2013 at 01:21 | #43

      Nina, I would suggest seeing an attorney. The Adam Walsh Act, the federal statute that mandates min standards has provision kind of nicknamed Romeo and Julliet for cases where there was “consensual sex” and the age was not greater than 4 years and the victim was at least 13 years of age.

      SORNA § 111(5)(C) qualifies the foregoing definition of “sex offense” to exclude “[a]n offense involving consensual sexual conduct . . . if the victim was an adult, unless the adult was
      under the custodial authority of the offender at the time of the offense, or if the victim was at least 13 years old and the offender was not more than 4 years older than the victim.” The general exclusion with respect to consensual sexual offenses involving adult victims means, for example, that a jurisdiction does not have to require registration based on prostitution offenses that consist of the offender paying or receiving payment from an adult for a sexual act between them (unless the victim is under the custodial authority of the offender). The exclusion for certain cases involving child victims based on victim age and age difference means that a jurisdiction may not have to require registration in some cases based on convictions under provisions that prohibit sexual acts or contact (even if consensual) with underage persons. For example, under the laws of some jurisdictions, an 18-year-old may be criminally liable for engaging in consensual sex with a 15-year-old. The jurisdiction would not have to require registration in such a case to comply with the SORNA standards, since the victim was at least 13 and the offender was not more than four years older. http://www.smart.gov/pdfs/final_sornaguidelines.pdf

      TX may have standards which are greater than Adam Walsh. However, if he goes to an state that minors the federal statute, he may not have to reg at all. Again, he needs to speak with an attorney about this but the fact pattern you provide is consistent with this exception. As for not picking kids up at a school or going to plays, those kind of rules usually are reserved for those under supervision. However, is there are specific state laws that apply to all sex offender attending events at schools then I would like to know about it.

      All that said and done, upon reading your post a bit closer the math doesn’t end up. He was 20 when he was convicted and head to reg for 10 years. You moved to TX three years ago, when he was 22 years old…and you were told he had to register for life…why didn’t you just move back to IL. He would have been off the reg by age 30…five year from now. Why remain in a state with life time reg when had you returned and completed your registration that would have been then end of it. (Usually when someone’s reg is up in one state they are not restarting if over again when they move…but we are talking about TX…. Again speak with an attorney.

  31. James
    April 18th, 2013 at 02:26 | #44

    I am a reg sex offender I do feel empathy for my victim who was my 11 yr old step sis. That being said I was 12 at the time I’m now 30 because she was under 12 I am considerd a Tier 3 sex offender. I have to reg for life I feel for my victim and will never forget it but this was 18 yrs ago. Since I haven’t even gotten a speeding ticket, I work hard, live a clean life, and go out of my way to respect society’s sensabilities to the point of restricting my own RIGHTS. When is enough enough? Why not just shoot all us S.O. In the back of the head? Sound crazy??? Well think about living your life with the same restrictions imposed by not only our selfs to make every one else’s life puppy’s and rainbows. But also by society. I don’t want special treatment or for some one to say you poor thing I want to live a MEANINGFUL life with out threats and discrimination! I have a 13 yr old daughter who’s amazing and now she can’t talk to her daddy on fb. Absurd she lives in a different state! I had no other minors on my page. Not a protected class you say? Well be honest how about no class, sub human, worthless, don’t deserve to live. When’s the last time any one seen a post saying sex offenders deserve death? See them all the time! Point is the scary “sex offender” is under a false name not someone they can identify and boot! If you think other wise your foolish

    • Art
      April 19th, 2013 at 18:54 | #45

      No sure what the rules are in your state, but your were a juvenile when this happened. Have you talked to an attorney about getting the adjudication “expunged”. If the adjudication is removed, your reg requirement would likely go away as you no longer have conviction, but I am not an attorney. Also, if you committed any offenses after this one, you might not be eligible to have an expungement. Again, you need to discuss with an attorney.

  32. lisa
    August 6th, 2013 at 05:54 | #46

    @Keith
    Yes, the man deserves to live his life. Why do other people who have committed crimes not have the same regulations as offenders? The person did his time and has suffered, and still has to live and provide for his family HELLO? What about men who beat their wife, children, whoever? are they on a list? Can they find a good job? I know that not every “offender” is the same and therefore should not all be treated as shit. Oh yeah, should the offenders children have to suffer that others are pointing at their father mother whatever and acting as if the one they love are a boogie man uhh NO!!! It hurts the children, it hurts the wife, the law is not GOD, so they need to step down. Burn the damn list already, or leave it for the high risk offenders. Goodbye have a good happy life. Your the type who looks down at offenders as if your better your not. Maybe you have not made the huge mistake they may have done, but the way your judging makes me sick from my stomach.

  33. JP
    December 6th, 2013 at 08:13 | #47

    You are absolutely correct. Very well said. @ringsgeek

  34. melony tounsi
    December 30th, 2013 at 03:20 | #48

    Well my good people, I lived with my ex BF for 3 yrs in an offender housing community. I can say from experience from what I saw and heard while attending mandatory offender classes tells me sex offender can NEVER be cured. And treatment will only help if it’s life long and the offender is honest with the therapist.

  35. Valigator
    January 1st, 2014 at 12:22 | #49

    @ringsgeek
    You can express your outrage all you want but the fact of the matter is that to many offenders use social networking sites for very nefarious motives.. What about that you DONT GET. The Internet is literally and statistically a Candy Store for sex offenders. If you think local LE is going to tell you at your required registration times that “Gee Ringsgeek, we know YOU wouldnt troll for kids on Facebook so we will allow you to have an account” then you must still believe in the tooth fairy. It is what it is and you can thank your brotherhood of sex offenders and quit blaming the legislators and or the public you percieve as the catalyst for all your woes.

  36. Valigator
    January 1st, 2014 at 12:25 | #50

    @Lila
    Lila dont you have a husband and a son on the registry?

  37. lee
    January 16th, 2014 at 08:34 | #51

    @Steve
    I totally agree with you im an rso I made one mistake years didn’t even involve a victim and I was recently booted off fb after having it for 5 years something needs to change

  38. Gerald
    March 19th, 2014 at 19:03 | #52

    @Art
    ???
    you clearly show a gross misunderstanding of the laws… and why the registry is such a misguided and horrible thing… he’s a tier 3 offender, by law he can’t get it expunged….

    • Art
      April 10th, 2014 at 17:05 | #53

      Gerald if you had read the post fully you would have seen I noted I was not an attorney. Additionally, we were talking about a juvenile adjudication, which occurred at the age of 11 or 12. Adam Walsh does not require reg for juvenile offense prior to the age of 14. The juvenile rules for getting an expungment, even for serious offenses is quite different then for adults. This varies by each and every state. It is also not determined by Tier level but by the specific statute involved. I noted they needed to speak to an attorney about this. Some states still have requirements to register if expungement, likely because the expungement merely seals the record, it does not remove the conviction. However, some states have laws that make expungement more like a pardon. Regardless of an expungement there is also the ability to get a pardon. These issues are fact and state specific. Again, I stressed they needed to speak with an attorney…. How is suggesting to seeking an attorney’s advice when you are not one a “gross misunderstanding of the law?” No need to answer.

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