New Louisiana Law Requires Sex Offenders to List Status on Social Media Websites Starting August 1

New Louisiana legislation authored by State Representative Jeff Thompson (R-Bossier City) and signed into law by Governor Bobby Jindal – House Bill No. 249 – will expand sex offender registration requirements by requiring sex offenders and child predators to state their criminal status on social media websites such as Facebook starting on August 1, 2012. The full text of the new law is available at: http://legiscan.com/gaits/text/637699/Louisiana-2012-HB249-Engrossed.pdf.

While social media sites have removed sex offenders from their web pages before, House Bill No. 249, builds upon existing sex offender registration laws where sex offenders must notify immediate neighbors and a school district of their residency near them and is designed to cover any lapses by social networking administrators.

Specifically, House Bill No. 249 states that R.S. 15:542.1(D) relative to sex offender registration and notification will add new language including the following:

  • Any person who is required to register pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter, who is otherwise not prohibited from using a networking website, and who creates a profile or who uses the functionality of a networking website to contact or attempt to contact other networking website users shall include in his profile for the networking website an indication that he is a sex offender or child predator and shall include notice of the crime for which he was convicted, the jurisdiction of conviction, a description of his physical characteristics as required by this Section, and his residential address.  The person shall ensure that this information is displayed in his profile for the networking website and that such information is visible to, or is able to be viewed by, other users and visitors of the networking website.

Violators of the new Louisiana law could face imprisonment with hard labor for a term between two and 10 years without parole and a fine up to $1,000. A second conviction carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment with hard labor for between five and 20 years without parole and a fine up to $3,000.
House Bill No. 249 is the latest addition to statutes requiring public notice by sex offenders.

The ‘Sex Offender Enactments Database’ on the National Conference of State Legislatures website at http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/justice/sex-offender-enactments-database.aspx indicates that sex offender policies have been high on state legislative agendas and that several U.S. states have passed laws requiring sex offenders and child predators to register their online information with authorities.

According to the ‘National and Statewide Sexual Offender Searches’ page on the Employment Screening Resources (ESR) website at http://www.esrcheck.com/sex_offender.php, each state has different procedures in maintaining sexual offender databases and vary in terms of start dates, information released, and frequency of updates. Since databases may contain errors, name matches should be confirmed by onsite searches of relevant county courts.

For more information about sex offender searches and background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority’ and nationwide background screening firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) – at http://www.esrcheck.com/, call 415.898.0044, or email customerservice@esrcheck.com.

Source:
http://legiscan.com/gaits/text/637699/Louisiana-2012-HB249-Engrossed.pdf
http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/justice/sex-offender-enactments-database.aspx

About Employment Screening Resources (ESR):

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – ‘The Background Check AuthoritySM’– provides accurate and actionable information, empowering employers to make informed safe hiring decisions for the benefit for our clients, their employees, and the public. ESR literally wrote the book on background screening with “The Safe Hiring Manual” by Founder and CEO Lester Rosen. ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction held by a small percentage of screening firms. By choosing an accredited screening firm like ESR, employers know they have selected an agency that meets the highest industry standards. For more information about Employment Screening Resources (ESR), visit http://www.esrcheck.com/, call 415.898.0044 or 888.999.4474 (Toll Free), or email customerservice@esrcheck.com.

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The Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News blog – ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at tahearn@esrcheck.com.