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CALIFORNIA NONSTOP

Sex Offenders Should Be On Facebook?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    James Emery
    A young girl looks at a photo of herself she just uploaded onto Facebook.

    Two North Carolina lawyers are arguing that sex offenders should have the right to use Facebook and are also trying to strike down a 2008 state law that bars them from using social networking sites.

    About 75 sex offenders were charged in North Carolina last year, and eight had accounts on Facebook and MySpace. Two of those men, Christian Martin Johnson and Lester Gerard Packingham, hired lawyers to fight the law they believe violates their freedom of speech, according to All Facebook.

    Johnson's lawyer, Glenn Gerding, said the law is too  broad and would prevent registered sex offenders from using Google or Amazon.com, because these sites allow a user to create a profile and to share information with other members, the Raleigh News and Observer reported.

    "That could include sharing a recipe on BettyCrocker.com, exchanging information about heart disease on MedHelp.com, or speculating about the University of North Carolina Tar Heels sports teams on (sports website) www.Scout.com," Gerding told the News and Observer. "JesusKlub.com and GodTube.com would be off-limits to a registered sex offender."

    Despite the alleged infringing on the online religious freedom of sex offenders, there may be reason to be concerned about sexual predators on Facebook.

    Jason Turner, 29, was charged with using his Facebook account to proposition underage girls. Turner already had a past history of at least one sexual offense, according to the The Star. From the story:

    A woman who wouldn’t give her name but said she was Turner’s mother answered the phone number listed for him in court documents Friday.

    “All he did was have a Facebook account,” she said. “He is a human being and not an animal. I think it’s cruel to treat sex offenders like that while every fool in the county has a Facebook.”