Posted Jun 21, 2012 01:31 pm CDT
Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace already bar sex offenders from using their services, but one Louisiana lawmaker feared that the online companies aren’t able to weed out all of them.
State Rep. Jeff Thompson, a lawyer and father, backed a new law requiring sex offenders to state their criminal convictions on their social networking pages, CNN reports. The law, scheduled to take effect in August, is the first of its kind in the nation, the Republican lawmaker says. The law also requires the offenders to disclose their addresses and describe their physical characteristics.
“This is another tool for prosecutors,” Thompson told CNN. He believes the law is constitutional because it expands registration laws that require sex offenders to notify neighbors and nearby schools.
A different Louisiana law that banned sex offenders and child predators from using the Internet ran into constitutional difficulties. A federal judge struck it down last year. Lawmakers passed a revised version of the law that bars sex offenders from intentionally using a social networking website; Thompson fears it will also be struck down.