Social networking ban for sex offenders remains in effect
Release date: 8/30/2013
NC Supreme Court grants AG Cooper’s request for a stay of Court of Appeals ruling
Raleigh: A state law that bans convicted sex offenders from using social networking websites where children are members remains in effect thanks to a stay granted by the North Carolina Supreme Court, Attorney General Roy Cooper said Friday.
Cooper requested the stay following a Court of Appeals ruling that struck down the law last week in the case of State v. Packingham. The stay granted Tuesday will remain in place while the Attorney General’s Office files a petition within the next few weeks to have the NC Supreme Court hear the case.
“We plan to ask the Supreme Court to review the case and uphold this tool that law enforcement and prosecutors can use to protect children,” Cooper said.
Cooper pushed for the social networking ban for convicted sex offenders as part of a comprehensive legislative package in 2008 that included stricter sentences for child predators and pornographers who use the Internet to find their victims.
“Instead of lurking around playgrounds, today’s child predators go online where they can groom multiple victims at once,” Cooper said. “Along with tough laws, strong law enforcement, and education efforts, keeping known sex abusers off of social networking sites helps protect children.”
Cooper encourages parents to talk to their children about how to stay safe from strangers online, and recommends that parents consider their kids’ age and maturity carefully before agreeing to let them use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
“Parents are the most important line of defense when it comes to keeping kids safe and helping them make smart choices,” Cooper said.
Tools for parents, such as sample ground rules for Internet use and tips for safer social networking, are available at www.ncdoj.gov.
Media contact: Noelle Talley (919) 716-6413