TALLAHASSEE — A Pennsylvania man has filed a challenge to a Florida law that has kept him on a sexual-offender registry after a 10-day family vacation to Disney World in 2015.
The man, identified in court documents as John Doe, reported to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office when he came to Florida because he was on a Pennsylvania registry at the time as a result of a child-pornography conviction in 2002. Doe was removed from the Pennsylvania registry in 2016 but has remained registered as a sex offender in Florida, according to a lawsuit filed last week in Leon County circuit court.
The lawsuit, which names Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen as a defendant, contends that the Florida law violates his constitutional privacy and due-process rights. In part, he pointed to information that FDLE posts online about registered sex offenders.
“Mr. Doe does not live here, has no family here, does no business here and would never again vacation with his family here,” the lawsuit said. “Although registrants who reside in Florida are required to update law enforcement when they change residences, cars, appearance, email addresses, cell phone numbers and internet identifiers, registrants residing elsewhere are not. If he changes his appearance and address, no one here would know. Therefore, keeping Mr. Doe on the registry does nothing to solve sex crimes against Floridians or to help them protect themselves from being victimized by sex crimes. The state therefore has no conceivable interest in continuing to publish his identity, physical description, address or crime details on its website. Alternatively, any interest the state has in continuing to publish increasingly stale information about Mr. Doe does not suffice to subject him to the above-described impacts.”