Only a week after the state of Texas used MySpace to track down sex offenders on MySpace, authorities in Michigan have followed the lead and done the same. On Friday, Michigan attorney general Mike Cox produced a list of 200 registered sex offenders on MySpace, which will be supplied to local authorities and made public for parents.
Although all of the Texas offenders were violating the terms of their parole by using the Internet, a vast majority of the people on the Michigan list are legally in the clear. Out of the 200 sex offenders, only 28 are currently on parole, and of them, only four were violating their parole by creating profiles on MySpace. Charges will be filed against them soon.
Not everyone is happy about the list. Gail Benson, a lawyer who has represented sex offenders in the past, told The Detroit News that the list was outrageous. “Not everybody on the registry who is on MySpace is there to do anything illegal or intended to be immoral or criminal,” Benson told the paper. “There are 40,000 registered offenders and they’re not all out trying to have sex with 13-year-olds. Some were juvenile offenders engaged in misbehavior more than 10 years ago. Many of them may be on MySpace because they’re just interested in relationships or they want to express themselves through blogging.”