Charles Rodrick Arraigned Today in Arizona Court

[ACSOL] Charles Rodrick, who charged registrants up to $500 to have their personal information removed from websites he created, was arraigned today in Arizona.  During today’s arraignment, Rodrick entered a plea of not guilty to all charges for which he has been indicted.  Rodrick is scheduled to return to court on June 8 for a pretrial conference.  Because Rodrick posted bond, he is living in the community and wearing a GPS tracking device. In addition to Rodrick, two of his colleagues — Brent Oesterblad and Sarah Shea — have also been…

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MyLife.com Faces Class Action for Falsely Implying Man Was a Sex Offender

[floridaactioncommittee.org – 3/24/21] A website that offers to show you someone’s “reputation” and criminal history for a fee must face class action claims, after it allegedly suggested a Minnesota man was a sex offender when he only has traffic tickets. In a Tuesday ruling, Minnesota federal Judge Susan Nelson rejected MyLife.com’s motion to dismiss Plaintiff Brion Finlay’s proposed class action against the public information company. Nelson said MyLife’s profiles and “Reputation Scores” amount to a consumer report, while MyLife operates as a consumer reporting agency, so it can also be…

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Haunted by a mugshot: how predatory websites exploit the shame of arrest

[theguardian.com – 6/12/18] Gregory Rakoczy was asleep in his van at a Maryland campsite when six police officers knocked on his door. A fellow camper had Googled his name and found a mugshot indicating he was a felon on the run. He was not. Rakoczy was arrested and held for 20 hours. Afterward he immediately Googled his own name and found that his picture had recently gone up on Mugshots.com for criminal charges he had faced 15 years ago. At that time Rakoczy ran a company that installed audiovisual equipment…

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SC: Charleston sheriff unplugs mugshot websites

postandcourier.com – 5/26/18] Once upon a time, we named and shamed by putting the accused in stocks on the town square. Now we put them on the internet. I am omitting the names because it is impossible to sort the innocent from the guilty. “South Carolina Hottie Bookings,” on a website called Arrests.org, isn’t troubled by such details. On this one website, there are mugshots of 1,000 women arrested in South Carolina over the past two years, many on nothing-burger charges. Mind you, not one of them was convicted of…

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CA: All of Mugshots.com’s alleged co-owners arrested on extortion charges

[UPDATED LINKS 5/20/18] [arstechnica.com 5/17/18] Two alleged owners of Mugshots.com—Sahar Sarid and Thomas Keesee—have been arrested in south Florida on a recently issued California warrant. The notorious website publishes mugshots and then demands payment for their removal. On Wednesday, the attorney general of California brought criminal charges against not only Sarid and Keesee, but also Kishore Vidya Bhavnanie and David Usdan. The quartet has been charged with extortion, money laundering, and identity theft. Bhavnanie was arraigned by a Pennsylvania state judge also on Wednesday—his bail was reportedly set at $1.86…

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Use copyright law to battle mugshot extortion

[abajournal.com 3/27/18] After her DUI charge was dropped, Julie Cantu thought her nightmare was over. Then, she went on a date. Over dinner, Cantu’s would-be-suitor was asking questions anyone asks on a first date. Then he asked about her criminal record. Caught off-guard by the question, she thought about the dropped charge. Her blood alcohol had been 0.021, well below the legal limit of 0.08, and she had no other contact with the law. How did her date know? After getting home, the Florida resident and retired nurse went online…

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CA: Posting mugshots on internet draws criminal charges from California attorney general

[sacbee.com 5/16/18] California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Thursday filed extortion and money laundering charges against the owners of a website that publishes mugshot photos and charges a fee to remove them. His office is targeting Mugshots.com, which pulls photos and identifying information about criminal suspects from law enforcement departments around the country. The site charges a “de-publishing fee” to remove someone from its archives, according to Becerra’s office. Becerra said it has frustrated people who were accused of crimes they did not commit. “This pay-for-removal scheme attempts to profit…

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OffenderWatch, the Largest Sex Offender Registry Network in the U.S., Awarded Contract with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

[watchsystems.com 5/4/18] COVINGTON, La.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–OffenderWatch, the leading public safety sex offender registry network in the United States, is pleased to announce that it will be working with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to modernize the Canadian National Sex Offender Registry. This marks the first time that OffenderWatch, headquartered in Covington, La., has worked with a law enforcement agency outside of the U.S. OffenderWatch was awarded the contract to modernize the RCMP’s National Sex Offender Registry, following a Government of Canada procurement process. The contract between the RCMP and OffenderWatch…

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FL: ClearMyCase suit DISMISSED!

[floridaactioncommittee.org] We are pleased to have learned that Judge Dimitrouleas DISMISSED the lawsuit filed against us by ClearMyCase. For some time we’d been receiving complaints from FAC members and registrants from other states about a company out of Texas called ClearMyCase.com. The company had been using the State Sex Offender registries as a mailing list to solicit “fees” to help “de-register” people from the Sex Offender Registry. Read more  

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Fight Against Mugshot Sites Brings Little Success

[pewtrusts.org] Mike Anderson was an 18-year-old freshman at Texas State University when he was busted with less than a gram of weed. Police arrested him, took his mugshot, and he spent the night in jail. The legal consequences for being caught with such a small amount of marijuana — just enough for a joint or two — were minimal, but expensive. Prosecutors offered to drop the charges if he attended a drug program and did community service, and he could later get the record of his arrest expunged for about…

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