Online Sex Offender Registry Back and So is Criticism; Five Westporters Listed
The states controversial sex offender registry is public again, almost two years after it was ruled unconstitutional and pulled from the Internet. And so is the criticism of it.
Residents can now access the registry at local police departments and online at the state Department of Public Safety’s Web site.
A search of WestportҒs 06880 zip code shows five registered sex offenders who have been convicted of crimes ranging from first-degree sexual assault to risk of injury to, or impairing morals of, children
Federal courts shut down the public registry in May 2001 after sex offenders filed suit. They said they were denied the opportunity to prove they were not a danger to society before their names and addresses were made public.
But last month the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the earlier rulings and the registry went back online Monday.
Critics, including longtime Westporter Emanuel Margolis, called the site a “serious invasion of privacy rights,” according to The Advocate of Stamford.
“Without the finding of present dangerousness, this is just a form of humiliation that is unnecessary and unfair,” said Margolis, a legal adviser to the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union.