11 Aug

A Carteret County registered sex offender is charged with having a social networking site. A citizen notified the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office that Newport resident Timothy Howard Newman, 35, had an online profile on Facebook, the popular social networking site.

According to Sheriff Asa Buck, a follow-up investigation was conducted after the sheriff’s office received the lead from the concerned citizen. The sheriff’s office sex offender registry is monitored by Detective Harold Pendergrass. Pendergrass conducted an investigation and discovered that Newman was operating a Facebook page and had created an online profile. Newman’s Facebook account has since been deleted.

It is a Class I felony under North Carolina law for a registered sex offender to create or access an account with a commercial social networking site like Facebook.

Newman was charged with use of a social networking site by a sex offender. Newman’s bond for the social network violation was $1,000. Newman was further charged for violation of his parole. He is currently being held in jail under no bond for the violation of probation charge.

In a press release, Sheriff Buck stated that this case is another example of how citizens can assist law enforcement in their day-to-day activities in order to improve the community, promote safety and ensure that the law is being upheld. He referred to citizens as law enforcement’s “eyes and ears in the community.”

Sheriff Buck asked that anyone who knows or suspects that a registered sex offender has online accounts to notify law enforcement.

Source: jdnews.com “Sex offender charged with social network violation” 8/10/10