By Holly Campbell
LAFAYETTE (WLFI) - An Indiana law banning registered sex offenders from using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter was found unconstitutional by a federal judge.
"I think a lot of that falls into the parents responsibilities, but then what do you do for those children that don't have parents involved. I think it is wise for the community to try and protect them," Rochelle Jones of Lafayette said.
Last June U.S.. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt upheld the law saying the state has a strong interest in doing just that, protecting children. Pratt said social networking provides sexual predators the ability to prey on children.
- It also provides a way for scammers to target victims and ruin their lives as well, or gang members to recruit new children into their gangs, or thieves to find when you are or aren't home, but we don't see you passing laws to prevent that.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the class-action lawsuit on behalf of a man who served three years for child exploitation. They appealed the June ruling and agree with the most recent ruling that the law was too broad.
"Indiana has already made it a crime to engage in, as I said, not only solicitation just sort of succeeding in doing something horrible but even inappropriate communication with children that's already illegal, so what you're asking is that we are going to make any contact with social media illegal and that's just too broad," Indiana ACLU Legal Director Ken Faulk said.
Just last week a Crawfordsville man was arrested for seven felony counts of sexual misconduct with a minor after using social media to make contact with the minor. According to court documents, 53-year-old [name withheld] met a 15-year-old boy on Facebook. He committed sexual acts at least 6 times with the boy over a span of 18 months. [name withheld] was not a registered sex offender.
- So punish the individual not an entire group!