21 registered sex offenders charged for using social media

The Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations reportedly took 21 registered sex offenders into custody in Calcasieu Parish on accusation of improperly creating social networking profiles. According to the report, the authorities investigated the Internet activities of those who had registered as sex offenders for certain offenses involving minors to see if they were following rules involving social networking sites.

The investigation was named "Operation Off Limits" and was conducted over the course of the summer. Warrants for arrest were served on Sept. 3 by authorities to the 21 accused individuals. Twenty of the individuals were charged with unlawful use of social media in addition to failure to provide a notification on their social media page that they were a sex offender. The individuals were described as having ages that ranged from 21 to 45. One individual, a 34-year-old woman, was only charged with failing to provide sex offender notification.

The report stated that the investigation was still ongoing, and others may be charged for unlawfully using social networking sites. It was noted specifically that the authorities were targeting individuals who failed to follow the stipulations regarding online sites after registering as a sex offender.

The consequences for those who were accused of sex crimes can be extremely severe if they are convicted. In addition to a potential jail sentence, someone convicted of a sex crime may be required to register as a sex offender, which limits where the person can live and work. However, an attorney for an accused person may be able to provide a strong defense for their accused client depending upon the evidence available. If the evidence is weak, they may be able to have the charges dismissed or successfully argue that the client is not guilty.

Source: 12 News, "Twenty-One Sex Offenders Arrested in Calcasieu Parish", David Ingram, September 04, 2014

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