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Sex Offender Law Reformers Sue Websites That Post Personal Details, Demand Cash to Remove

California Reform Sex Offender Laws (RSOL), which has been part of lawsuits against the County of Orange and Orange County cities over controversial laws that ban registered sex offenders from public parks, now has a new target. A lawsuit filed by RSOL in federal court Wednesday challenges websites that identify people as sex offenders, include their names, photos, home addresses and personal information, and demand up to $500 to have individual listings removed from the sites. “It is time to stop the extortion of more than 750,000 individuals in this country,” explains Janice Bellucci, the nonprofit’s president. Full Article

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  1. Bluewall

    Take them down!

  2. USA

    Wow, this is a no brainer. I would take these people to the cleaners. Very disturbing

  3. Bill (with a capital G)

    It’s not just the extortionists.
    It’s also the States that allow the SOR files to be hijacked.

    This lies at the heart of what’s wrong with Megan’s Law. It enfranchises extortion.

    With so many studies completed on the recidivism rate of the majority of Sex Offenders now in existence and the information being what it is, what exactly is the problem these people are enduring?

    The problem is that people generally don’t understand that there is a difference between criticizing the methodology of a study and criticizing the result. It doesn’t help that Sex Offence is a topic which makes any semblance of rationality go out the window.

    The extortionist sites take advantage of, and pander to, the basest fear and loathing we Registrants endure. If there was ever a good reason to support RSOL and Ms. Bellucci, this is it.

    Thank you, Janice.
    Good luck and godspeed.

  4. AnanymousNobody

    I certainly hope you go after this a private attorney general, so the state can pay, rather than cut into CA RSOL resources. This is a criminal matter that the state should heave prosecuted already — if you must instead, you should be able to qualify as private attorney general. While this is something important to be cracked down on, I would rather reserve CA RSOL resources for matters central to the SOR laws, which will remain regardless of what happens to these Websites.

  5. J

    The laws that were hastily enacted in an emotional frenzy are at the root of the private enterprise proliferation and misuse of this information. There are very weak clauses in the laws against using this information to harass or discriminate against offenders but there are essentially no teeth in them as we see very few cases of prosecution for discrimination etc. This is evidenced by how this information is used downstream as in these cases which clearly manifest abuse against registrants by the inference that everyone by virtue of placement on states’ registries present some type of imminent danger at large. The only way to begin is to get lawmakers to correct the implied general threat levels in the preambles of these laws, with new and accurate data revealed by recent studies. It is anyone’s guess if lawmakers can be more compelled by the reality of these statistics rather than basking in the safety net that these statutes afford politicians. Keeping Politicians Safe is the number one result of these laws in essence. That is the green light that sets the stage for others to act without redress against this besieged populace.
    While the courts are the place for checks and balances, it would be nice to see the lawmakers take some time, get ALL the facts, stop using fear, and get down to the understandably difficult job of properly crafting laws that serve the people in the manner afforded to them by the constitution. Americans deserve nothing less as these precedents of erosion of constitutionally protected rights will ultimately affect freedoms that all Americans deserve, expect and enjoy.

  6. anon

    I hope mugshots.com and bustedoffenders.com can be added to this lawsuit.

    • Janice Bellucci

      We are focusing our efforts on one group of individuals responsible for three websites. Once we close them down, we will focus on the next group. In the meantime, there are other attorneys and groups suing other websites. For example, Scott Ciolek in Ohio is suing MugShots.

  7. Bluewall

    What is the legalities of The Megan Website.. What information about a sex offender should only be access on that website?.. or can other pages use it? There are few pages out there that don’t even give a option of removing, nor do they ask for any money.. its just there… I was told long time ago that no one is allowed to print up the info or take it from Megan Website (but in reality you can print and copy paste all you want, trust me, I have woken up many times with the Megan Website print out taped my door)…

  8. Joe

    I am under the impression that the other web sites that display ML data are, or at least attempt to be, mirroring CURRENT registry data, which is indeed in the public domain. Like familywatchdog.us, city-data.com, homefacts.com, etc

    The web sites sued (offendex, sorarchives) are different in that they display profiles over and above what is currently on the ML or official state registry web sites. When a person is no longer to required to register (after expiration in some states, or Certificate of Rehabilitation or death in California) and is removed from the official state web site, typically the web sites like familywatchdog will follow suit (after some time and prodding).

    I would imagine that at heart of this lawsuit is the fact the operators of offendex type sites that are being sued are deriving a financial benefit from it. First by displaying information and generating advertising revenue from people not listed on the state registries, and second, and more importantly, the removal fee demanded.

    Their claim that the stated goal of these sites (offendex, sorarchives, etc) is public safety can easily be voided by the argument that much of their data is outdated (in comparison with the ML site – which one can only assume to be accurate to within 5 days. We all know that this is not the case, but this has to be the standard). Also by the fact that removal for payment is an option.

    I see this going the plaintiff’s way.

  9. anon

    Here’s an interesting article from Wired.com. It’s about Florida, but it’s the same type of scam. http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/08/mugshots/

  10. none

    follow up on this ?

  11. vince

    This is just a shining example as to why the online registry needs to be abolished. If you want info on your local sex offenders, we should be using the same tactics as England does. You go in person to your local police station present your personal information to the police so they can monitor who is accessing it then you are allowed to view who is in that town/city only. The other thing that needs to be done is a separation of misdemeanor convics to felony convicts. The people caught urinating in an alley or streaking across a football field are luped into the same ball of wax as the child molesters and rapists.

  12. vince

    Oh and furthermore, only government affiliated websites should be able to post such listings. Seeing that there are so many problems with this scarlet letter system, it might be about time to remove it completely. This is a violation of privacy in it’s purest form.

  13. A FRIEND

    The so called ‘goal public safety’ is a whitewash sham of these
    registry sites…..financial gain is the more goal…………sure isn’t free
    as cost…….where is the public safety from wife beaters…kidnappers …
    assaults…robbery…stalkers…spousal abusers…drunk drivers listing ..???
    ……..just the facts ma’am ….you are 98 % safer from a person forced
    on registry to future crime than those who are Not…..that’s the
    awareness the public needs to know ……they want you to keep buying
    and looking at a registry sham whitewash deception …all the while
    your new crime today tomorrow was from someone NOT on list.

    • td777

      In preparation for my initial case, I was evaluated by a respected forensic psychologist and after the evaluation he stated 99% of the general public would be more likely to commit a sex crime than I was. Unfortunately, that did help me get probation but it did not carry much weight with the probation officer who collaborated to get a bogus new charge against me because she wasn’t happy that I didn’t get jail time.

  14. A FRIEND

    This current registry is used and presented to the public with
    malice discrimination harassment and further punishment ….
    massive waste of public funds fraud put forth to deceive people…
    ….fellow Americans are actually safer with a person forced to
    registry list than those people who are Not in registry list…..
    you are 98 % or more likely to have a new crime today / tomorrow
    from someone NOT on registry list……………….it is in the best public
    interest to welcome and include fellow Americans in business and
    housing ……inclusion can work …..the Constitution demands it.

  15. Parent

    Homefacts published my 16 year old son as a sex offender. My son is not on a sex offender list publicly in any state. I contacted them and they have finally removed him from their actual site but his full name and address still shows as a registered sex offender in the search list. How can I get this fixed and is there any legal action to pursue? He is an honor student and this has been damaging.

    • wonderin

      Yeah! Call your local police or sheriff and tell them that they are abusing and endangering your minor child by listing him as a sexual predator. Then press charges.
      If they don’t act to protect your child then call the local news and tell them you have a problem with the police not helping you to protect your child from possible vigilantes who might find him on the LIST.

    • td777

      Homefacts is one of the worst sites out there, because the truth is that they are another extortion site not really about real estate like they claim. I would love to see someone go after them, and it sounds to me like you have the best case!

  16. Storm Shadow

    There is going to be a time all those that are profiting from thiings like will ultimately make the whole country pay. I see sites like homefacts try an act like their trying to help the public when in fact all their doing is profiting from the fear they like spreading. Well here is a real fact for you sites like homefacts, when the time comes, when it’s up to me to talk to certain relatives from starting a nuclear war against the this country, because of you and the corrupted justice system, I will rather encourage them to wipe the country off the face of the earth. You laugh but for you that actually read the bible and are so self righteous, Unite States doesn’t exist in Revelation, which means, it’s part of the 1/4 of the earth that gets killed off. Time is running out for everyone. And here’s a hint both Russia and China have a serious beef with country not to mention a lot of the quote on quote terrorist groups. Should I even mention North Korea? Like I said you all drove me to the point, and I was kidnapped here!

    • Rob

      I don’t think we have to worry about the revelation, which I don’t believe in.
      When we run out of natural resources or they become more scarce and only the elite hold the keys to these resources or if climate change happens first. or the more likely scenario is these two factors play out at the same time. There will be mass starvations, and wars for control of resources. If capitalism doesn’t change it’s ways then in the next 100 years they will 1/4 of the earths population that will disappear. Capitalism needs continuous growth and it uses finite resources, they cannot be sustained.
      Mankind is digging its own grave and will catch up to everyone, we just happen to be having ours dug sooner.

      • Timmr

        Right on –and squandering human resources by putting people on shaming lists, where they can no longer contribute to the economy or help re-build the nation to one that is more humane and sustainable.
        The only ones being employed will be the security squads who will try to quell the riots resulting from human induced natural and economic disasters.

  17. Steveo

    Storm Shadow,

    I do not come to sites like this to get ultra-speculative Revelation interpretations. Ultimately as American culture declines into more moral relativism, it will probably serve to help us on the registry, as opposed to the often graceless “cultural Christianity” that was prevalent when these schemes were hatched. The thing that I have found is that both liberals and conservative politicians and judges both seem to pursue their own version of moral or righteous laws and society, but their standards and assumptions about what is moral and righteous are very different, and it seems like other things like votes and power sway them more than anything.

    America is a kind of scary country, because it’s very powerful, liberals and conservatives are very confident that they are right and good, and that people who are against them or the “bad-people” like us on the registry, are often worthy of death, or that we are getting what we deserve if bad things happen to us.

    On the positive side of things, I think this International Meagan’s Law thing has turned a lot more people into activists for the side of people who are on these registries.

  18. Storm Shadow

    Steveo, let me make this more clear, my brother is Kim Jong Un, our blood relative is Vladimir Putin. The state department verified that but after they grossly handed me misjustice. They are so proud and arrogant, they rather have nuclear annihilation then to correct the serious mistakes of misjustice they caused and continue not caring their about to trigger something that will undoubtedly ruin the mass majority of this continent. They actually had real evidence that the things were seriously false accusations but because all that matters to them is getting a conviction at all costs, even squashing the evidence because they have railroaded everyone that ever was accused automatically. Well this is for everyone reading this, the hipercritical law makers oviously doesn’t truly care anyone but themselves even to the point of nuclear annihilation as long as their pride isn’t hurt.

    • Louis

      Storm Shadow and others like you are one big reason why I stay away from this site. Not worth reading.

  19. Anonymous

    I committed a crime when I was 12 was given probation and had to register as a sex offender for 10 years. I’m finally free and clear since 2012 and have basically a clean record (save for the conviction from when I was a kid) only to have to pay some company money to get my name off of THEIR list? How is that even legal? I’m no longer required to register yet when someone does a google search on my name that pops up. How am I supposed to live my life? Am I going to be demonized for the rest of my life because when I was 12 I looked at a vagina? Yes that was the extent of my crime I asked my cousin to see her vagina when I was 12 and now I’m basically a child rapist for ever. Glad to know the justice system is doing everything they can to protect children…

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