Sex offender free to post online registry of sex offender law enforcers (and former enforcers)

January 29, 2014

From a Washington Post story:

A former pornographer who’s appeared on “The Sally Jesse Raphael Show” and “Geraldo,” [Dennis] Sobin was convicted of sexual performance using a minor in 1992 in Florida.

So, every 90 days, Sobin must report to D.C.’s Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA), and his photo appears on D.C.’s public registry.

Sobin thinks it’s unfair. So, for his latest act, Sobin has decided to protest his treatment by creating his own online data base and registering the people who monitor him at the sex offender registry.

One of those people, Stephanie Gray, sought a restraining order that would require Sobin to take her — or at least the photos of her — off his registry site. (One of her arguments was that the photos of her were taken by Sobin in her office, which she claims violated the law, and thus made the posting of the photos improper, too.) Yesterday, D.C. Superior Court Judge Todd E. Edelman rejected that request, at least partly on First Amendment grounds.

Art Spitzer of the D.C. ACLU (which filed a friend of the court brief supporting Sobin) tells me that there’ll be a written opinion soon, which I’ll link to when it becomes available.

Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy.
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