NC Sex Offender Arrested After She Joined Facebook

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on June 14, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A registered sex offender in North Carolina was arrested for having a Facebook account, which the woman knew was against state law, authorities said.

Kimberly Watkins, 47, of Fayetteville, N.C., was convicted of several child sex crimes in 2007, the Associated Press reports. Watkins signed up for Facebook, purportedly to keep in touch with friends and play games, according to a sheriff's press release.

But that's not allowed under a 2008 North Carolina law that prohibits anyone with "registered sex offender" status from accessing most social networking websites.

Social networking sites that permit minor children to become members fall under North Carolina's sex offender prohibition, according to the law. Facebook allows anyone 13 and older to become a member.

But not all social sites are off-limits to registered sex offenders in North Carolina. Websites that provide just one "discrete service" such as photo-sharing, email, or online chats are not prohibited. Nor are sites like eBay that mainly deal with online commerce.

It's not clear who found out about sex offender Kimberly Watkins' Facebook account. It's also not clear if she tried to contact any children.

But authorities say Watkins knew she could be arrested for creating and maintaining her Facebook page. She even used a fake name, "K.T. Heath."

Registered sex offender Kimberly Watkins was booked and released after posting $10,000 bond, the AP reports. If convicted of using a social networking website, a Class I felony (the lowest level of felony in North Carolina) for registered sex offenders, she could face possible prison time.

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