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NY: Sex Offender With Secret Facebook Wins Appeal

A New York appeals court dismissed the indictment Thursday of a one-legged sex offender who did not register his Facebook account with the state. Full Article

Decision

Join the discussion

  1. AJ

    How does his being one-legged have ANYthing to do with the story!?!? I swear, these “journalists” toss in anything and everything to fill whitespace and degrade people (not just RCs).

    • PK

      One-legged Sex Offender kind of conjures-up things doesn’t it?
      Sensationalism- that’s why the do it.

    • Tim Moore

      Two stereotypes, the sexual offender and the pirate, I guess. I haven’t seen these combined before but they do anything to have their article noticed in the sea of digitalia. Maybe things are improving because the term sex offender in itself does not attract as much as a passing glance now, Metoo-ed onto the third page of people’s shock searches. Its old and worn news. Maybe in future we will see such headlines as “Offender With Eye Patch Concealed Instagram Account,” or “Predator With Buried Treasure, Posts Images of Booty on Pinterest.”

      • AJ

        @Tim Moore:
        Two stereotypes, the sexual offender and the pirate, I guess.
        —–
        Thanks for the early morning laugh! I think you should have adopted your old moniker for this post, though. “Timmr” seems more pirate-like. 🙂

      • E

        “Sea of digitalia.” That’s hilarious!

  2. JW

    The misleading headline is also an issue. The court ruled he didn’t have to disclose he was on FB, so it is no more secret than anybody else’s.

    • AJ

      @JW:
      Very good point. I just sent the following email to the journalist:
      *****
      Mr. Russell,

      I just read your article from May 31, 2018, regarding a gentleman who won a case regarding his Facebook account (https://www.courthousenews.com/sex-offender-with-secret-facebook-wins-appeal/). I’m disturbed by a few elements of your piece. First, what relevance is there that the man has only one leg? How does mentioning this disability do anything besides introduce possible scorn and aspersion? Second, I find it odd that you list the five justices who agreed the decision but failed to point out that it was 5-0 unanimity. Without that piece of data, one could be left to think the panel has more than 5 members and some dissented. Finally, the title of the article is outright wrong, based on the decision. The justices all found the man’s Facebook account is no more “secret” than yours or mine. It’s not secret, it just is.

      These details may seem minor or trivial, but to me they sensationalized an otherwise objective and factual article. I feel amending the article to remove the handicap and “secret” details, and adding the 5-0 indication, would be helpful to all.

      Thank you for your time,
      [My name]
      *****
      Based on the guy’s Muck Rack profile (https://muckrack.com/josh-russell), I don’t expect a positive reply or action.

      • AJ

        I stand corrected, and have been reminded not to judge a book by its cover–something we all wish for as well.
        *****
        Hi [my name],
        Thanks for getting in touch, my draft that I filed yesterday was strictly the facts from court records and included that it was a unanimous decision and did not the party’s disability; both of those changes were made by an editor who I have forwarded your comments to.

        I completely understand where you’re coming from, and I’ll get back to you with anything I hear from my editors.
        *****

        • AJ

          Success! I just checked the one-legged RC article, and all three of my problems with it have been corrected. “Secret” is now “Undisclosed”, “one-legged” is gone, and “a five-judge appellate panel” has been added. The URL, though, does still mention “secret”…but I’ll take it.

        • CR

          That’s a win, AJ. A win for truth in reporting. Good job!

  3. SCOTUS SAVE US NOW

    and now they will try to pass a law making you required to turn over actual sites that you use… FML

  4. totally against public registry

    I want to stay positive and say thank God some justices have a good head on their shoulders!

    I also thought the one legged part was such a cheap shot… and irrelevant….

  5. TS

    New York law requires sex offenders to register any “internet identifiers” that they use, but Justice Stan Pritzker wrote for the Third Judicial Department that “an internet identifier is not the social networking website or application itself.”

    “Rather, it is how someone identifies himself or herself when accessing a social networking account, whether it be with an electronic mail address or some other name or title, such as a screen name or user name,” Pritzker added. “Defendant’s failure to disclose his use of Facebook is not a crime, rendering the indictment jurisdictionally defective.”

    BRAVO!!!

    Note this case for future reference!

  6. mike r

    Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act.

    What is this and is it law? I looked it up and it appears to have failed. Is this that new bill that was not retroactive now? They mention it in the article.

  7. mike r

    Nevermind, it is a New York law apparently.

    • NY Level1

      Your comment ‘Never mind’ helps prove why we fail at challenging laws
      Selfish

  8. courage!!

    It won’t make any difference because FB STILL BAN RSO FROM THEIR WEBSITE ILLEGALLY

    • CR

      It isn’t illegal for FB to ban registrants or deny them an account. The FB sites and services are the corporation’s own property.

      Everyone, meaning natural people and corporations and businesses, are allowed to control access to their property, with the exception of public access that is otherwise mandated under law. In the case of businesses, especially those that are engaged in commerce, the exceptions mostly take the form of public accommodation laws. In other cases, private property has been designated a public forum, but that is rare.

      Whether and to what extent online web sites are subject to public accommodation laws, non-discrimination laws, or the ADA and so forth, is still unsettled law.

      • courage!!

        YES IT IS !!

        read…
        http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?chapter=5.5.&part=1.&lawCode=PEN&title=9.
        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.

        • CR

          You may be right, at least for registrants in California. But it will take someone with deep pockets to sue them, I guess. As it stands, there is no similar federal law that makes it illegal for FB to ban classes of people from its site.

        • read on

          There’s even a provision for 25 thousand dollars in damages for this illegal discrimination.

        • read on

          I think that even non-California RC’s are being illegally banned. Facebook is a California company. That establishs jurisdiction. Any non-Californian RC doing business with a California company is not to be discriminated against. Non-Californian RC’s have standing in California courts on this. Non-Californian RC’s can register in California if they like. Stay over 5 days and register. Non -Californian RC’s may have equal protection claims of equality with california RC’s as similarly situated. So Not just California RC’s may be protected. All RC’s.

          To illustrate a similar jurisdictional matter, currently , California Atty General Beccera is looking into going after Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney because of his involvement with First Republic Bank, alleging Cohen had taken money from an account there to pay off Stormy Daniels. Even though he was in New York, he used a California bank allegedly. As long as there is sufficient contacts ( and there is because FB is in California ) , then jurisdiction is established. Whether it’s “in res”, which means the thing happened in California, or it’s “in personam” jurisdiction ( this is the case here with the company existing in California ), then jurisdiction is established. RC’s of any state arguably have jurisdiction and equal protection, to maybe collect some damages from these illegal bannings.

          An example of where someone does not have jurisdiction in California courts and therefore no case, would be the 1980’s case of Islamic Republic of Iran vs. Pahlavi. That’s the Iranian Government suing the shahs sister. It got thrown out of California court in the 80’s as the case was challenged by the shahs sister saying successfully that there was no jurisdiction. No one, at the time, lived in Califrnia or was connected to California. the reason the Iranian governemt sued in California was because the shah’s sister. only later, lived in California at the time of the lawsuit. Unike, FB, which is in California now, and as long as the illegal bannings have been going on.

          As discussed before, gays are a protected class in California (and some other states NY, HI, etc). But not federally. Same with RC’s. Protected in California, but not federally. In California, Gays are protected by an amendment to the FEHA, written by Terry Friedman, signed by Pete Wilson. That is the anti-discrimination law written to protect gays. Part of PC 290 is what protects RC’s from discrimination in business services. The law states RC’s are not to be discriminated against in business services, as well as several other areas, and I see no reason this would not apply to on-line companies.

        • Tim Moore

          Why don’t registrants form a private corporation for the mutual financial benefit of registrants. Then we can sue as one person, the corporation, for denying us access to advertising on facebook, or for other things were class action is not recommended. Frankly I want to stay off facebook. My information becomes their property once I join, and I supposedly benefit by being able to thumbs up or down things, and receive all sorts of tailored ads.

        • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

          Why Tim, you’re overlooking the obvious benefits of a richly-individualized “user experience.” That’s what we’re all looking for, right? A ubiquitous, personalized and creepily resonant ‘always-there’ backdrop to our quotidian existence that can anticipate our highly idiosyncratic needs before even we can identify them? Like a butler or a finely-tuned civil servant who can provide everything we need and block everything we don’t whether we know it or not? Let’s not be a Luddite. we wouldn’t want to be thought unsophisticated.

        • Tim Moore

          Alexa, bring me my pillow and tuck me in, then tell me the news I like to hear and then tell me who is naughty and who is nice. Alexa, dear. Good night, Alexa, good night, sweet Alexa, good night, good night.

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