May 25, 2012

Convicted sex offender challenges lifetime Facebook ban

2-20-2012 Indiana:

Federal lawsuit seeks access to social media for sex offenders

An Indianapolis sex offender has filed a federal lawsuit challenging his lifetime ban from social media sites like Facebook.

The offender, named anonymously as John Doe, was convicted of two counts of child exploitation in 2002. He was incarcerated through 2003 and released in 2004.

The suit claims John Doe is suffering socially and professionally because of the ban.

"He is a businessperson and as a businessperson he would like to participate in the business networks that allow you to get your name out and network with other people," said Ken Falk, American Civil Liberties Union. "Is that person going to be bared from communicating in the 21st Century? That seems to be a significant price to pay to violate the First Amendment."

Marion County Sheriff John Layton is charged with maintaining the sex offender registry.

"This is an extension of an incarceration. If the judge has ruled that this is a lifetime report, that this person is on here for life, this is an extension of that jail time itself in one way or another taking freedoms away from people who decided to violate and go against society," said Layton.

On Tuesday, a federal magistrate will hear a motion for John Doe to keep his identity secret while fighting the First Amendment access case. The suit also seeks class action status to represent more than 1,100 registered sex offenders in Marion County. ..Source.. by Russ McQuaid

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