Sex-offender magazine at gas station

April 2, 2010
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The next time you go into a Speedway gas station, you can pick up a candy bar, giant fountain drink, and possibly a sex-offender registry magazine.An Indiana man who was abused wants convicted sex-offenders names and pictures to be more accessible to residents. He told an Indianapolis television station that he doesn’t think the online registry is “in your face enough” and a lot of people “turn a blind eye” to it.For $1.25, you can pick up a copy in Indianapolis or Fort Wayne, but he wants to expand to other cities. Ideally, the man would like to make the publication free. He charges to cover printing costs and says he’ll donate any profits to a counseling service for child abuse victims.

The publication offers safety tips, and he publishes it in hopes of preventing abuse to children.

But can he even publish this magazine in the first place? On that, I’m unclear. An online search yielded a Web site or two claiming under the Adam Walsh Act that only authorized agencies could collect and publish that data. The argument is if someone is removed or needs information corrected, the agency could do it quickly on the online database. (That’s if they even know how to go about fixing errors. There’s a lawsuit pending on that issue in federal court.) I checked in with the ACLU of Indiana and they didn’t know offhand of any laws preventing this type of publication.

Anyone more familiar with the laws and can say whether this is allowed? Is the idea behind it really any different than local newspapers publishing “Most Wanted” mug shots?

I’d prefer to log on to the sheriff’s Web site and check things out for free, but there may be people out there who are willing to spend the money to have a hard copy of this information. Next time I’m at a Speedway, I’ll have to pop in and see if I can find a copy.
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