Convicted sex offender fights for rights
OKLAHOMA CITY — Convicted sex offenders are prohibited from using Facebook, Linkedin in and other social media outlets.
Law makers say the goal is to deter predators from easily finding new victims but others say it’s unconstitutional.
Denishio Cook is a convicted sex offender.
That’s not the label this former OSU football player thought he would wear the rest of his life.
Instead of the “OS” on his letterman jacket, he’s now bearing the scarlet letters “SO” after pleading guilty to raping a teen more than a decade ago.
Freshman year he had sex with a girl at a campus party who told him she was 18, it turns out she was only 13.
But Cook said people have the wrong idea about his situation.
“People think I saw a little girl with some pigtails, jumping rope or walking down the street and I snatched her up in the car and raped her while she was crying for mama the whole time. That’s not the case at all,” Cook said.
Now, he along with other sex offenders are calling for social media sites like Facebook and Linkedin to lift the ban restricting them from use.
He’s now a father of three and the injunction prevents him from monitoring his own children’s online activities.
“I know some of these things are set up because there are predators out there and I understand that, I have children of my own. I have a daughter and I would never want anyone to hurt her. But you have a lot of people in my shoes who are not but they are on the list,” Cook said.
Attorney David Slane now represents Cook and his fighting to restore his liberties.
“People have rights and the First Amendment right to speak or be on Facebook or anything else that’s part of communication. We can’t just take those rights away,” Slane said.
Cook said although he is not a monster who preys on children, he’s treated like one every time he has to use his license.
Sex offender in bold red letters banners over his name.
“If they are going to do this, I don’t understand why murderers don’t have murderer on his license and I don’t understand why a convicted drug dealer doesn’t have drug dealer on his license,” Cook said.
Nebraska and Louisiana are some of the first states to suspend the social media ban for sex offenders.
The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging similar laws around the country they say strip people of their first amendments rights.
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