This week, the Daily Advertiser revealed details regarding a four-month investigation they conducted on sex offenders being present on social media.
In particular, 24 offenders or 10% were active online in Lafayette parish.
The reason for it could well be the lack of attention for those who are supposed to be watching.
“Our victims, we want to protect them as well as their families. We don’t want another person to be a victim,” says Jeff Davis Sheriff Ivy Woods.
While the sheriff’s intentions are good, a lot of offenders are flying under the radar.
The investigation revealed that around 350 sex offenders in the parish and about 80% of them fell under the category of dangerous child predators.
24 offenders found were convicted after Louisiana’s ban of sex offenders on social media.
This went against the requirements that officer Michael Soileau, of the Sex Offender Unit in St. Landry Parish, says exist.
“In his profile of the networking website, an indication that he is a sex offender or child predator,” says Soileau.
The profile also must include their conviction details.
Fake names or unknown accounts are a large factor but so is the role of those patrolling.
Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office Spokesman John Mowell acknowledged the office is responsible for enforcement but that law is “not currently being enforced.”
The issue is that the policy tip-toes on breaking constitutional rights primarily freedom of speech.
This became evident last summer when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a sex offender with a similar law in North Carolina saying the law was “a prohibition unprecedented in the scope of first amendment speech it burdens.”
According to the report, one of the most frequently used sites by offenders is Facebook.