The Texas Crackdown on Sex Offenders on MySpace: What's Happening in Lubbock? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/18/07

The Texas Crackdown on Sex Offenders on MySpace: What's Happening in Lubbock?

Registered sex offenders who don't know any better may think there is nothing illegal to having a MySpace profile, but the state says it is a crime, and people are going to jail for it.  It has been seven months since we did our own checking. You may be interested to see what we found the second time around.  

NewsChannel 11 is keeping tabs on Lubbock sex offenders a second time, searching through the Lubbock Police data base of 260 registered sex offenders.

We took those names and searched for them on MySpace and found two new profiles we had not found before, but it was hard to identify these guys. Even though the names were the same, their ages were different than what is in the police database.

One profile picture was not there, the other was hard to see. To make sure, we contacted the probation folks in Lubbock who say only one offender was caught earlier this month with a MySpace profile. He is 19-year-old Adam Gutierrez. Last year, in the San Antonio area, he was convicted for indecency with a child by contact and was ordered to stay off the Internet.

The state is seriously cracking down on people like Gutierrez. Last month, the Texas Attorney General sent a subpoena to MySpace that forced them to give up subscriber information of all registered sex offenders with user profiles. 

"We got that information and tracked down those in the state of Texas," said Greg Abbott, Texas Attorney General.

The cyber crimes unit arrested seven convicted sex offenders with active MySpace accounts. Four were from Houston, two from Austin and one in Dallas. All but one committed sex crimes against children under the age of 15. They were arrested because it was a violation of their parole and probation to have an account.

"These predators are incorrigible. They will stop at nothing to find their next victim. That's the platform the Internet is providing," Abbott said.

A Texas Attorney General spokesperson says they are still combing through their list that MySpace provided them. The Attorney General's Office would not say if they have a list of Lubbock sex offenders or when they're next big crackdown is going to be. 

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