Thursday, January 30, 2014

Donna Zink loses her battle to collect Washington Tier 1 Registrant info

 Donna Zink was rejected in court today as the judge saw right through her get-rich-quick scheme. Zink is using sex offender information to set up a lawsuit over public records, as she had won a suit over a municipality in the past over public records. Now, she will have to go through the appeals process to have any shot of obtaining this info.

Judge rules sex offender data in Benton County not public information

Tyler Richardson
Tri-City Herald

KENNEWICK, Wash. — A Tri-City judge ruled Wednesday the personal information of low-level sex offenders in Benton County is not public information and shouldn’t be released to a Mesa woman.

Judge Bruce Spanner’s ruling comes after more than a month of deliberation about whether the data should be released to Donna Zink.

Zink has no “legitimate interest” in it, Spanner wrote in his 13-page decision. The information, if released, would cause irreparable harm to more than 400 Level 1 sex offenders.

An attorney has sought to block a similar request in Yakima County.

Spanner said the information is considered confidential under other state and federal statutes and therefore is exempt from release.

“There is no showing that the information requested is either relevant or necessary,” Spanner wrote. “Our Supreme Court has determined that Level 1 sex offender registration is in most instances ‘confidential’ and that the public has ‘no legitimate’ interest therein because those offenders do not pose any threat to the community.”

Zink — the former mayor of Mesa who sued the city in 2003 for withholding other kinds of public documents — in July requested the names, birthdates, addresses, pictures and other information of the Level 1 offenders.

She requested the same information from Franklin County, and it has been released.

Zink has been in a legal fight with several Tri-City lawyers since making her request. She has said she plans to create an online database of the offenders because she believes people should know where someone convicted of any type of sex offense is living. She has said in court that Level 1 offenders can be dangerous, citing a recent Richland case in which a low-level offender is charged with raping and killing an infant.

Registration information for Level 2 and 3 offenders is routinely posted on sheriff department websites. But Level 1 offenders are considered the least likely to reoffend, and their information is not made public unless they fail to register.

The Benton County Superior Court ruling, however, only blocks the release of the personal information of 14 sex offenders.

Richland attorney John Ziobro, who represents those offenders, was the first to have his case for a permanent injunction heard.

Spanner granted the injunction, but it can be appealed to a higher court.

“For my clients, it’s great,” Ziobro said. “I haven’t spoken to any of them, but I am sure they are ecstatic.”

Lawyers for other clients told the Herald they are optimistic Spanner’s ruling will be applied to their cases.

A temporary injunction was in place to prevent the county from releasing any low-level sex offender’s personal information.

Benton County prosecutors do not agree with Spanner’s ruling, saying the information should be released to Zink.

“There’s still a whole lot left up in the air,” said Ryan Lukson.

Richland attorney Greg Dow represents 20 other Level 1 offenders and is trying to form a class-action lawsuit to provide the majority of Level 1 offenders legal representation so they also can try to prevent the release of their personal information.

Spanner previously denied Dow’s request, but he’s filed an appeal.

“There’s a lot of cleanup work left,” said Dow, who praised Spanner’s decision. “We need to find out what impact the judge thinks this has on the people who are not named as plaintiffs. There’s 390 guys out there wondering, ‘Am I protected or not?’ “

Zink, who has been representing herself, could not be reached about the decision but took to social media Wednesday to blast the ruling. She said she is frustrated the court system is protecting sex offenders.

Zink wrote that Spanner’s ruling will not stop her attempts to get the information.

“After all this they would serious(ly) think I was going to roll over,” Zink wrote. “Let me give you a clue, when someone works this hard they are not going to quit. At least not till the Supreme Court weighs in. That is what appeals are for.”

Zink has requested offender information from the Washington State Patrol database and from Yakima County. Temporary injunctions are in place in King County and Yakima County preventing the information from being released.

The state American Civil Liberties Union has gotten involved in the case with the state patrol. ACLU spokesman Doug Honig said attorneys are reviewing Spanner’s decision.

Zink also requested around 80,000 emails from Benton County. The emails contain sex offender information and other sensitive police information. Spanner ruled information in the emails not pertaining to sex offenders can be released to Zink.

Zink’s county requests for sex offender information could slow down a potential appeal, Lukson said.

Zink can’t appeal a decision in her case until the county is done reviewing the emails. Lukson said it could take several years to do that.

If Zink withdraws the email request, it could speed up her potential appeal, Lukson said.

Dennis Sobin can continue posting his "Idiots Registry," rules DC judge

Vigilantes, crooked politicians, and corrupt cops, take notice, YOU can be included on the "Idiots Registry." I was in DC Tuesday supporting Sobin, who vows to greatly expand the registry.

Sex offender can continue to post photos, judge says
By Justin Moyer, Published: January 28 E-mail the writer

A D.C. Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday that a convicted sex offender can distribute and post photos of court employees online to protest the city’s sex offender registry.

Dennis Sobin, a former pornographer who served more than a decade in prison for a sexual performance using a minor, posted the photos of employees from D.C.’s Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) on saying that sex-offender registries are unfair. A court employee filed for a civil protection order, accused him of stalking and asked the court to have Sobin to remove her photo.

But Judge Todd E. Edelman said that Sobin’s actions were protected by the First Amendment.

“Mr. Sobin’s conduct could be criticized,” said Edelman. “I think it’s unlikely to be effective. I think that criticizing lower-level court employees is puzzling. But that’s not my place to say.”

The unusual case garnered the attention of the ACLU, which filed a brief on Sobin’s behalf. Tuesday’s hearing also drew interest from other sex offenders and anti-registry activists.

“I’m very happy the judge understood and abided by the U.S. Constitution that gives citizens the right to protest, even in a personal sort of way,” Sobin said.

Sobin, 70, thought the decision could inspire similar protests elsewhere.

“The judge’s opinion will be used as ammunition around the country,” he said.

Stephanie Gray, the CSOSA employee who sought the protection order, and her attorneys declined comment.

Vicki L. Henry, president of Indiana’s Women Against Registry, welcomed the decision, saying people are not aware how much sex offender registries damage families.

“There’s no empirical evidence supporting these registries,” said Henry, whose son is a sex offender, outside the courtroom. “We need to promote prevention.”

Derek W. Logue, a sex offender from Ohio who was there to support Sobin, said that registries prevent criminals from moving forward.

“I’m 37,” Logue said. “They’re still judging me on what I did when I was 22.”

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Heroic registrant creates a website to register his registrants

Dennis Sobin has created his own website,, to register those who humiliate him at his registration office. One of his targets, a US Attorney who happens to be his brother

I think it is awesome!

Sex offender fights registry by registering his registerers
Stephanie Grey

By Justin Moyer, Published: January 22 | Updated: Thursday, January 23, 6:00 AM

If nothing else, Dennis Sobin is not your typical ex-con.

At first glance, he looks like the model returning citizen: After serving more than a decade in prison, Sobin, 70, returned to the District, started a gallery for prison art and ran for mayor.

His nonprofit organizations have received grants from George Soros’s Open Society Institute and the National Endowment for the Arts and, in 2010, he appeared on the cover of the Washington City Paper .

But Sobin is also sex offender. A former pornographer who’s appeared on “The Sally Jesse Raphael Show” and “Geraldo,” Sobin was convicted of sexual performance using a minor in 1992 in Florida.

So, every 90 days, Sobin must report to D.C.’s Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA), and his photo appears on D.C.’s public registry.

Sobin thinks it’s unfair. So, for his latest act, Sobin has decided to protest his treatment by creating his own online data base and registering the people who monitor him at the sex offender registry.

US Attorney Darren Sobin
Now, in an unusual case that will be heard on Tuesday, a D.C. Superior Court judge will decide whether a court employee can file a civil protection order to prevent Sobin from posting her photo on his anti-registry registry, , and distributing her photograph on fliers.

“Here at you will find the names of politicians and public figures who have encouraged the creation of, or have refused to denounce, government registration websites that target citizens for harassment,” Sobin’s site reads. “In the tradition of Nazi registration of Jews and Gypsies and the Salem lists of alleged witches, modern government registries are unfair and un-American.”

Stephanie Gray, who works for CSOSA, is asking the court to force Sobin to remove her picture from the site.

Sobin, who was under Gray’s supervision until she got another position at the agency, did not mince words when criticizing Gray.

“Face of Evil: ‘Registry Specialist’ Stephanie Gray shoots icy stare,” Sobin posted under a photo of Gray. “Gray requested and received a transfer due to the guilt she felt in her loathsome job.”

Sobin said his action was inspired by Supreme Court rulings which hold that sex offender registries are not punitive and do not constitute double jeopardy.

“If it’s not punishment to be on a list, we thought we’d put the people who do the registering on a list,” he said.

Gray took another view.

“He writes derogatory information about me,” Gray wrote in her request for a protection order. “I have been move[d] from the Sex Offender Registry and he continues to trash the bldg. where I am with pictures he has taken of me without me knowing.”

Should Sobin prevail,“It would send a message to all sex offenders in the District of Columbia,” according to a petition filed by Gray’s attorneys which accused Sobin of stalking. “Convicted criminals required to report to CSOSA could harass them with impunity under the guise of protected political speech.” Gray, through her attorneys, declined comment, as did CSOSA.

Sobin has found an ally: the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed an amicus brief on his behalf.

“We think there are some significant First Amendment issues,” said Art Spitzer, legal director of ACLU’s D.C. office, who pointed out that Gray is not alleging physical harm. “Domestic violence laws are supposed to protect people from crimes, but not hurt feelings. . . . People are allowed to embarrass each other and make each other feel bad when making a political point.”
Yolanda Stokes

Though Sobin’s legal strategy is new, sex offender registries have been around for a long time.

Though California became the first state to establish a sex offender registry in 1947, many states followed suit after Megan Kanka, a 7-year-old living in New Jersey, was murdered by her neighbor, a serial sex offender, in 1994. D.C. created its registry in 1999.

Experts in the field said Sobin’s approach was unusual.

Katie Gotch, a spokesperson for the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, estimated that there are 700,000 sex offenders on registries in America, but wasn’t aware of any who had mounted protests like Sobin’s.

“That’s actually very novel,” said Gotch. “I have not heard of that and I’m not surprised he’s getting sued.”

Should Sobin win, Gray’s civil protection request will be denied, but D.C.’s sex offender registry will not be affected.

But, Sobin said, he’ll have struck a blow for free speech and shown the flawed logic behind the registry — even if there’s collateral damage.

“Ms. Gray happens to be a very sensitive, compassionate individual who is on the registration list,” Sobin said. “It’s a war. . . . They’re involved in this registration thing and unless they move themselves out, we’re going to oppose them.”

Monday, January 6, 2014

ANNOUNCEMENT: Voting for the 2013 Shiitake Awards has begun!

The finalists have been announced and it is time to start voting for the 2013 Shiitake Awards.

For those unfamiliar with the Shiitake Awards, this is a Once Fallen project that spotlights the dumbest and worst sex offender-related stories of the year, and each year I host an awards show in the spirit of the "Razzies" to showcase the worst news story, journalist, politician, law, and state of the year. It is a fun project, voting only takes a minute, and it showcases the worst 2013 had to offer.

To cast your vote for the 2013 Shiitake Awards, go here:

If you want to see the list of candidates for the 2013 Shiitake Awards before you vote, go here:

To listen to or download the podcast of the Selection Show from ReFORM-Radio, go here:

Voting ends January 31, 2014.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Real or fake? Alleged vigilante beating video going viral

The thing about the internet is anything can be posted at any time. A video claims to be of a set-up of a would be "pedophile," where he is attacked by a couple of thugs. It is interesting this happens right in front of children, so if this is real, it is disturbing that people would put little kids in danger for the sake of a viral video. Either these wannabe thugs are stupid, or they staged the whole thing. I have posted stories here in the past where people were set up and falsely accused. If we have learned anything from the idiots at Perverted-Justice, it is that private citizens have no business running sting operations.

I'm not surprised that the online thugs like Valerie Parkhurst approve of this. I hope these two punks serve prison time for this.

Georgia Vigilantes Beat Up Potential Sex Predator At Their House (Video)

By Jonathan Wolfe, Thu, December 26, 2013
A group of young Georgia men are attracting some attention after posting a video of themselves beating up a potential sexual predator. The video, titled “To Catch a Predator with VillainPros” was posted yesterday and has been viewed over 13,000 times as of this writing.

The video starts with a message from the self-described VillainPros.

“The other night our homie hit us up and said that his 13 year old sister came to him and said that this grown ass man that had already been talking to her friend hit her up on [Facebook] and wanted to bring over some beer and ‘hang out.’ He was under the impression that she was home alone and made it very clear in his messages what he tryna do...the Villains had other plans for him.”

On the video, the 28-year-old man who had been messaging a young girl walks through the door of the house. Immediately, a man comes from the corner of the room and lands a punch to the his head. He is knocked to the ground and several of the other ‘Villains’ kick and punch him as he lays on the ground.

The video ends with a message from the poster saying they cut the camera off before having a “real talk” with him.

While it’s easy to get riled up and applaud the young men for stopping a potential sexual predator, there is a problem with this video. The entire attack is not only filmed, but also illegal. Regardless of the 28-year-old man’s intentions, he can now press charges against his assailants with hard evidence to back up his claims.

If these men were smart, they would have detained the man and called police. He would have been investigated and likely landed himself a lifelong spot on the sex offenders registry if he were really up to what he seemed to be. But instead, these vigilantes may now find themselves in jail in his place.