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Lawsuit Filed Against NC Sex Registry Laws

A lawsuit filed in federal court in Greensboro Monday challenges North Carolina’s sex offender registration laws, saying they are unconstitutional.

The North Carolina-based National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws is suing the state on behalf of two unidentified men from Alamance and Wake counties. They contend that the sex offender registry laws violate their rights because in addition to being in the database, for 30 years to life, the laws restrict where offenders can work. The laws prevent them from working in places frequented by minors, such as libraries, schools and arcades.

In the suit, the plaintiffs argue that they the men are not threats to children, but that state laws make no distinction between sexual offenses committed against adults and children. According to court documents, one plaintiff was sentenced to 30 days in jail for two counts of misdemeanor sexual battery against a 30-year-old woman. The other received a 60-day-suspended sentence for having consensual sex with a 16-year-old when he was her coach.

The lawsuit maintains the men’s freedom of speech and religion are also violated by state laws because they are prevented from attending church and using social media. In a separate case, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear oral arguments on the legality of the state banning convicted sex offenders from social media.