Convicted Sex Offender Gets Computer Ban Tossed

By Kamika Dunlap on April 13, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A judge tossed a 30-year computer ban for a convicted sex offender and engineer. The judge ruled the computer ban was overly aggressive and interfered with the goal of rehabilitation.

A federal appeals court sided with a convicted sex offender saying the ban was too harsh, given that the computer is used for Mark Wayne Russell to make a living, the Associated Press reports.

An Internet predator, Russell was caught during a 2006 sex sting while trying to meet a 13-year-old girl on line, who turned out to be an undercover police officer.

A three-judge panel agreed that Russell, who worked for 10 years as an applied systems engineer required him to use a computer. In addition, computer use is required for filling out most job applications for white-collar jobs and some blue-collar work too.

The court upheld the 30-year parole term, but vacated and the computer ban and remanded for resentencing.

The debate around registered sex offenders and their computer use has been a hot button issue.

As previously discussed, several states already have laws on the books to keep sexual predators off MySpace and Facebook. Currently, CA sex offenders could get banned from social networking sites too under new proposed legislation (AB 2208).

John Gardner, a registered sex offender who is charged with murdering a 17-year-old Chelsea King was the latest person removed MySpace. MySpace has a zero tolerance policy against registered sex offenders.

In New York, the Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act "e-STOP" has been rolled out, as previously discussed.

E-STOP requires convicted sex offenders to register all their e-mail addresses, screen names and other Internet identifiers with the state. New York makes the data available to social-network sites and certain other online services, which match the names with the users and make the purges, or use it to screen users.

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