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General NewsNational

TX: Proposed law would force sex offenders to list crimes on social media profiles

SAN ANTONIO — Texas Voices, a group dedicated to supporting registered sex offenders and their families, estimates 111 new names hit the sex offenders registry every week in the Lone Star State.

“We’ve already put their names and their faces and all of their information on the public registry for the world to see,” said Mary Sue Molnar, who serves as president of Texas Voices. Full Article

Join the discussion

  1. mike

    Facebook Terms Of Service
    Registration and Account Security
    6. You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender.

    This is why I don’t have a Facebook account. I’m completely out of the circle when it comes to goings on with my friends and family. When I go to a family get together, like at Christmas, I feel left out when I have to ask about a particular relative and everyone can give me a run down on their activities based on their profile or postings. The other thing I’m becoming increasingly frustrated about is that I feel ‘Chilled’ by not being allowed to comment on so many websites that are only available to Facebook subscribers. I imagine a lot of people use an alias, but I’m on parole and don’t want to take that chance. A member of the S.A.F.E. team has made it clear that I’m not allowed that privilege, though my crime had nothing to do with the internet. Actually most of the conditions of my parole have nothing to do with my original conviction and more to do with myths about registrants. I do look forward to the day of reckoning when all this abuse will be abolished. Likely long after I’m off parole, but it will be a blessed day.

    • cool rso guy

      Facebook is breaking the STATE LAW where it is clear
      Except as authorized under paragraph (1) or any other
      provision of law, use of any information that is disclosed pursuant
      to this section for purposes relating to any of the following is
      prohibited:
      (A) Health insurance.
      (B) Insurance.
      (C) Loans.
      (D) Credit.
      (E) Employment.
      (F) Education, scholarships, or fellowships.
      (G) Housing or accommodations.
      (H) Benefits, privileges, or services provided by any business
      establishment.

      Im not sure what CARSOL have planned for this

  2. Tired of hiding

    Yes, clearly laws are unnecessary as we are already unwanted in the Facebook online community. We have already been told that simply being sex offenders that we are not permitted to enter the site, we are not welcome, go away! F – Facebook and the sheep who use it. It’s a club I wouldn’t want to join even if I could. BUT the point is that I have not been given a choice.

    The simple truth is that every person on this planet is a “sex offender” depending on who you ask. Everyone has done something of a sexual nature that someone somewhere disapproves of. To me the term is meaningless.

  3. DZ

    I never had any interest in Facebook, but it isn’t relevant.

    I don’t see how this Texas law, or Facebook’s TOS are legal.

    The Texas law clearly is a form of punishment, and the registry isn’t ‘supposed’ to be punishment: or so it is claimed. Having an identifier on a social media site is not the same thing as being registered. Seems they are trying to claim that it is, but it definitely is not. The registry (which I also think is wrong) is limited to name, address (in some cases) and nature of the crime. Someone has to go to the site- seek the info. It is not a sign on your home or worn around your neck: which would be more like what this law is proposing. It is the cyber version of wearing a yellow star of david on your clothes in nazi germany. I know the nazi-comparison gets over used, but it is appropriate here, since it is what they are proposing.

    If this is excepted electronically it will be easy to take it into the physical world and force registrants to put signs on their home, vehicle licence plates, and even their body.

    As for Facebook’s TOS that strikes me as obviously discriminatory. The Meagan’s Law site states that the info can not be used to discriminate, so how is banning someone from your service because of a past crime not discrimination? Would it be alright for a Supermarket chain to say ‘no sex offenders’?

    The law gets complicated when dealing with the rights of a company to discriminate- such as the Boy Scouts and their anti-gay stance. But I think there is a giant class action lawsuit in the making here.

    • DZ

      *accepted*, not excepted. sheesh. I’m tired 😉

      I would love to see a company like this face such a lawsuit. It’s about time people stop having free reign to discriminate.

    • Joe

      If this is accepted electronically it will be easy to take it into the physical world and force registrants to put signs on their home, vehicle licence plates, and even their body.

      This is not far fetched… several California Cities require registrants to put a sign on the door at Halloween. City of Orange, Simi Valley (CA RSOL got a TRO about the sign portion).

      Several States have the words “SEX OFFENDER” in big letters on the drivers license (OK, LA, ??).

      Can a forehead tattoo be that far off? A colored patch on your sleeve?

  4. Bill (with a capital G)

    Well I just can’t wait.

    All my online friends are just chomping at the bit to hear something more interesting than what I had for breakfast.

    So now I volunteer to detail in exquisite 3D-perspective every illicit sexual exploit I have had the pleasure of enjoying for all my “Social Media Collaborators” to individually or collectively freak-out over.

    HA!

  5. JM

    Mike @ “feels left out”
    There are many of us who could have a ga-zillion social accounts, but choose not to.
    For me, maybe it’s because I am older, but can not figure out what the big deal is, or why anyone would want to communicate that way, unless it is for business purposes.
    I wouldn’t want to share “with the world” pictures of my family, grandkids etc.
    Facebook seems like an invasion on my privacy.
    Yes, many publications now require a “facebook account” to be able to post a comment. So screw them!
    But that doesn’t stop me from writing to the author or editor, which is more effective.
    P.S. I know that parole restrictions have absolutely nothing to do with your offense. It is for the most part, the same blanket nonsense for everyone. I know how frustrating and hard it is, but follow it, and before you know it, it will be over.

    • mike

      @ JM et al.
      Thank you for joining in on my pity party. I really don’t have a desire to parade myself or personal life on the net. I guess I think It would feel like a normality. I’m almost fifty, My parents are in their seventies and my mom will whip out her laptop and go to Facebook and show me my old friends that have “Friend-ed” her. It’s fun to see faces that I haven’t seen in 20yrs. or more. That’s where I feel left out. That and the ability to defend my honor against all those ‘Facebook only’ commenting bigots out there that don’t know the difference between a ‘Law Abiding Registrant’ vs. a pedophile. That always ruffles my feathers.

  6. Nicole

    I am not a sex offender, but my fiance is, and I see what he has to go through everyday. He went to prison at 18 for a girl lying about her age and then again at 26 for downloading bit torrents of movies, software, games and music but got a secret file sent with one of the software files he downloaded without knowing it. He went to prison for 5 years the first time at 18 and then 3 years for the one at 26. He served his time like everyone else but yet his crime “sex crime” makes you never move on. What happened to this countries constitution? Murderers, thieves, and arsonists etc don’t have their crimes sitting over their heads like a cloud. They do better, never do it again and they can move on. Why do sex offenders have to deal with being isolated. They served their time now let them live a NORMAL life. No more registering or telling them they can’t go anywhere or do anything. Hey someone revive George Washington, we need him to knock out the government for taking away what he worked hard to put in place.

    • DZ

      It is staggering isn’t it?
      Not only do ‘ex-cons’ of other types of crimes get to move on, but often they are admired and applauded after they have done their time. How many ex-gang members have been on shows like Oprah and people clap and cheer at the reformed person who’s dedicated to not making the same mistakes and going back to prison? Yet if the crime has any sexual overtones then the person is assumed to be an uncontrollable Mr. Hyde who at any moment is going to steal & eat your baby. People use the label ‘sex-offender’ as if it means something, as if it defines the person, which I categorically reject.

      Thank you for seeing past the nonsense and being strong for your fiance.
      Really, the more non-offenders who stand up and call b.s. on the current cultural tow-line the better chance to dispel this myth and gain some sanity back in this country.

      • Tired of hiding

        Unfortunately Americans are the most sexually repressed country on earth. Americans would rather eat than have sex and anyone who has sex is clearly an evil deviant who must be punished for eternity (RSO here on earth until you die and then straight to hell for the rest of your punishment for eternity).

        Yes, you can murder someone and be forgiven. That seems like a bit more of serious matter than looking at some porn in the privacy of your own home or pissing in a public…BUT who am I to say…I am a RSO so I have no right to even have an opinion (they are working on taking that away as well)!

  7. MM

    @Tired of hiding … Yes, that is what it is with one exception, on this planet anyway. For those who know Christ, have asked for forgiveness … There will be NO eternity in hell, there is NO registry. The hell will be here on earth … Sad, but true. I’m living it every day with my fiancé. Think about the condemnation our Savior went through, for us. To those who have accepted Christ, asked for forgiveness … This pain, as much as it is unfair, is only temporary … Long that it may be. But in the end … For all eternity is where I know those who are truly repentful will find peace for all time … Believe me … I don’t diminish for one moment how hard this is for all of us … But, I KNOW …. Eternity is soooo much longer than the here and now. Besides, the ones who judge today on this earth will be held accountable to Christ when they stand in front of Him with the Book of their lives … They will have to answer on being judge & jury to the almighty Judge. That’s good for us …

    • Joe

      @MM – please do not lose sight of the fact that this is NOT true for the planet. The only place where any and all of these transgressions are deemed unforgivable until the end of days is the ‘Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave’. NO OTHER COUNTRY on the planet takes this approach. Only this, the very country, in response to @Tired of hiding, that is not only the most sexually repressed on earth – ok, the ‘free’ world – but also the most prolific producer of sexually explicit content on earth.

      Aaaah, the hypocrisy….

  8. MM

    @Joe … Agreed.

  9. USA

    This is truly disturbing. I mean, lets face it. Truly. You make a mistake in your life, required to attend court to address your mistake, pay your debt to society and later put on probation to hopefully fulfill any court imposed requirements. In essence, you’ve already been punished and rehabilitated and yet they want you to continue paying for the rest of your life? This law will clearly be struck down? How about murderers? Assaulters? Wife beaters? Or, think about this. Facebook page: Tom Jones 1985: DUI, 1987: Public Intoxication 1991: Asault/ What a joke? This is crossing the line and I can guarantee you, this wont stick. Its honestly a very disturbing law. Furthermore, whoever thought about it clearly isn’t thinking clearly as well. From my perspective, the objective with any judicial process is to rehabilitate, release and the person goes on to become a decent law abiding citizen unless they have murdered/ect someone.

    • DZ

      I become ever more convinced that the creation of these ridiculous laws is to create more criminals.

      The fact is that RSOs do not pose a high probability of re-offending.
      But that isn’t good for the supporting the social paradigm the political & legal authority want to put forth.

      Solution? Make unreasonable laws so that RSOs are incapable of not violating these laws if following everyday life activities. That way they can arrest RSOs for ‘violating’ these laws and registration requirements, which will boost the recidivism rates and can give such statistics to the public to further a campaign of fear mongering which will grant them more power, control and money.

      Hitler did this using fear of Jews, McCarthy did this using fear of Communism, the KKK did this with the fear of African Americans and Catholics. Now our Politicians do this with the fear of Sex Offenders.

      It is the essence of evil.

      • Bert L. Friedman

        Indeed what you say is so true.

        I committed a sex crime once in the late 80s. I paid my dues as ordered by the court.
        I changed my life and grew-up. I was completely out of the system and had moved on with my life. I was productive and made even more changes as I progressed forward. Then after all the years of progress and learning new skills, changing careers, I was suddenly required to register (2004). Now it is 2013 and all but the last little murmors of hope exist in my life. Oh I keep a good face up, but I am tired of registering. My rights are trampled. I am in effect on lifetime probation. To say this is not punishment is INSANE. It is way beyond punishment. The state DA here said that all SO are anti social, yet these laws FORCE one into further and further isolation making you appear anti social. The mental humiliation every 90 days having my money taken and my picture taken is/has mostly destroyed all my self esteem and confidence. If you wanted to build someone dangerous and angry you are succeeding. Anyone given enough HATE and OPPRESSION will crack. Of course this is what these shallow minded Christian Imposters want. Lord hear my prayer. Let misery 1000 fold befell those whom have condemned me and misled me. Let those whom sit in power and abuse the public, the citizens know your wrath and endless suffering. For I have certainly felt the hate and closed minds of evil doers. Let him that has ears hear.

  10. J

    My thoughts are that this violates a person’s rights against self incrimination. I don’t know enough about law to determine if this only applies in the pre-conviction phase. Exactly what are the guidelines? What if the person is barely literate; or does not posses proper grammar or usage. What then? Will the state step in and post something damaging on that person’s page? Will the company interject verbiage about danger – even if the registrant has been found to pose no risk to others beyond the initial case? I guess I believe in the adage that ‘there is no right way to do the wrong thing’. This seems to apply up and down in and out in the knee-jerk laws that apply to countless registrants. If these laws are intended to protect the public, I would feel more at ease if they included anyone who has taken the life of a human being under any circumstances whether it be dui or with the use of a weapon; or any circumstance other than an accident. What about anyone who has kidnapped or discharged a weapon in public; or committed mayhem; or harmed anyone with a weapon; carjacking?

  11. Kevin M Ponthier

    One would think being born poor, living way below the poverty level would be one of the toughest challenges that one would ever survive. And salt to the wound, figure out, know, and be openly proud (not sure if “proud” is the right word when one accepts him/herself as they are) to be gay. Overcoming 50 yrs of being labeled a sissy, fag, queer, etc isn’t an easy task. At mid life being told that your body is being “attacked” from within. Yes, GRID (Gay Related Infectios Disease), ARC (AIDS Related Complex)…to what we now know as HIV/AIDS. I just turned 50. I’ve lived in and out of closets to survive, and lived openly with HIV/AIDS for over 25 yrs. But NOTHING compares to the HELL I’ve been through over the past 5 yrs for being a RSO. One would think staying healthy, fighting to stay alive would be my priority. Not a chance. The happiness that is just right out of reach is someone to share my life with. The biggest challenge is meeting that someone. Get past that, then comes the HIV POZ conversation. Survive that…then the RSO bs. Even if the “someone” is open minded then comes the restrictions. I can’t have a simple social drink, can’t dance the night away, can’t take a romantic walk through the park or zoo, can’t share a funnel cake or feed each other cotton candy at the local carnival, God forbid enjoy halloween together, and the simple idea of chatting with each other is another risk of breaking probation. Honestly there are way more things that a RSO can’t do then he/she can do. This is America. I am an American. And I will die defending and fighting this bs called Registred Sex Offender.

    • Tired of hiding

      Hey Kevin, I am totally with you. Being gay I also have overcome a lot of **** society dumped on me. Get threw your probation…jump threw the hops they ask and know that after that it gets slightly better.

      “This is America. I am an American. And I will die defending and fighting this bs called Registred Sex Offender.”

      You are totally right! We are part of a new minority that it is perfectly social acceptable to opening abuse and discriminate against. Well, guess what America…you might NOT like it BUT we are still JUST AS AMERICAN AS YOU ARE!

      We have the SAME RIGHTS AS TAX PAYING AMERICAN CITIZENS AS YOU DO and until you strip us of our citizenship we will NOT BE STAND FOR THIS ILLEGAL DISCRIMINATION!

  12. noname

    So I’m still not informed. I live in Austin TX. Am I allowed or not allowed to use Facebook instagram or Google + I want to use for business. Does anyone know the facts or where do I get them?

    • J

      My guess is to read the Terms Of Service for each and every provider you want to do business with. In one state, and I can’t remember which one – they called out Face Book on their well published policy of denying access to registrants. In California that restriction is against the law but politics as usual has everyone running away from the rich as though they are going to ruin the party for MZ and he will somehow retaliate and provide less tax revenue. I am only imagining what keeps California from taking Face Book on for violating the law by denying usage of their business facilities to registrants.

      The other companies you mentioned may well have followed suit and have restrictions against registrants using their web site. We are clearly victims of a state sponsored propaganda war. If you find anything helpful, please share. You may call the Texas DPS and simply ask if there are restrictions.

  13. Steven L. K...

    While I am not entirely against some restrictions for those of us who are RSO’s, I am against a Total ban on RSO’s. Although the State of Texas lists me as a ‘ High Risk Predator’. I don’t consider myself as such. As a Predator is like a Lion, Tiger, or other wild beast that STALKS it’s prey. I have made many mistakes in my life, including sex offences, for which I truly regret, and am still paying for. But I have never even once been a Predator. By being denied access to sites like Facebook, I am being denied my right to communicate with long lost and distant relatives, and to participate in conversations on Politics, etc. I have absolutely no intention or desire to ‘stalk’ or ‘prey’ on anyone. Despite my past misdeeds, I am still a Proud Marine, and just as American as many others. And I feel it is a despicable and Un-Constitutional disgrace that I am being denied my right to communicate with others, and express my opinions etc., on things that have absolutely nothing to do with stalking or preying on others.

  14. Steven L. K...

    As an addendum to my previous comment: Concerning listing my offenses, Although I have no real objection to it, I don’t find it necessary, as anyone who wishes to do so, who may wish to know about such things about me, can easily already easily find me on the Internet, merely by Googleing my name.

  15. BurnedWitch

    I understand perfectly what everyone is saying,but it is really all in vain. Nobody really gives a shit what any of us think or how we feel. To the general public we are all child molesters and rapists. My own family is no different. My wife divorced me my son has disowned me. Even they could care less. My life is over and I see only one way out and that is suicide. I can’t take the chance of breaking some law that would land me in prison. I never touched anyone and I pose no threat whatsoever. But I am still forced to register for 25 years. It is also stated that I am not a court determined sexual predator. I am 54 years old too old to start over. I have lost everything that ever meant anything to me. Not trying to whine, just stating the facts. I would ask everyone to band together if there are to be any changes on our behalf. Please log onto a website called Women Against The Registry. They are fighting to get the laws changed and need all of the support we can give them. I have recently joined. We can talk or fight, but it will take all of us!

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