A Swannanoa, North Carolina woman was arrested earlier this month and charged with two counts of using social networking sites as a registered sex offender. A Buncombe County judge set her bail at $5,000.The Swannanoa woman had been convicted of participating in the prostitution of a minor in North Carolina back in 1996. The charge and conviction in Randolph County led to a two-month stint in prison, after which she was released and forced to register as a sex offender.As we've discussed previously, North Carolina's General Assembly passed a law that went into effect in 2009 prohibiting all registered sex offenders from maintaining a personal profile with any social networking site. Offenders are still allowed to use the internet for legitimate business purposes and for social email communication, but sites such as Facebook, Myspace and Twitter are off-limits.
In the last blog post, we discussed the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). All states were ordered to adopt a new sex offender registry system that includes juvenile offenders by July 2011. Iowa has already moved towards compliance with the federally mandated system and is known for its strict registry laws.
Under federal law, a 14-year-old boy who has consensual sexual relations with a 13-year-old girl can be branded for life as a sex offender.