Louisiana lawsuit could get some taken off sex offender list

There are 493 people on the Louisiana sex offender list that have been convicted of crimes against nature and solicitation. These people, who have been previously found guilty of certain sex crimes in our state, are the subject of a class-action lawsuit that asks the court to remove their names from the state sex offender list. The lawsuit comes on the heels of a federal court ruling concerning a 200-year-old law that states that anyone found soliciting oral or anal sex for money is a sex offender.

Earlier this year, a federal court in Louisiana ruled that those who were convicted of these sex crimes would no longer be listed on the offender list. However, those already on the list as a result of past convictions were not removed. This left the 493 people technically classified as sex offenders, even though they would not have been had they been convicted after the federal court ruling.

The court held that the state had no rational basis for placing those who have been convicted of these sex crimes on the offender list. This ruling essentially states that the placement on this offender list was a violation of the convicted Louisiana person's constitutional rights. Now the new lawsuit seeks to make those convicted in the past on equal ground with current law.

Some in Louisiana expected the state legislature to make changes for those already on the list as a result of the sex crimes. Because that has not happened in the first three months after the court ruling, the class-action suit was filed. Though the numbers affected by being placed on the list may be small in comparison to our state population, for those unfairly classified as a sex offender, the lawsuit is of great interest.

Source: The Times-Picayune, "Lawsuit seeks to remove 'crime against nature' offenders from sex registry," June 27, 2012

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