State lawmakers increase registration requirements for sex offenders

Published: Updated:
FILE: Cyber security

FORT MYERS, Fla. Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill into law Tuesday increasing registration requirements for sex offenders in order to protect Florida’s most vulnerable.

Law enforcement officers are now able to monitor sex offenders’ use on social media sites, any time they change them and the corresponding website or software application they’re on.

“(Being) online, specifically within social media, gives predators a huge selection of victims they can potentially go after,” said Jamie Walton, founder of the Wayne Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to¬†spreading awareness about human trafficking. “We’ve see adults pretending to be children, we’ve seen adults engaging with children and saying, ‘I’m from your school.'”

The problem was first uncovered last year when 13¬†sex offenders in Lee County¬†didn’t report their social media accounts to law enforcement.

“I¬†do think this law helps protect children and helps to protect any person who can be victimized online,” Walton¬†said.

Sex offenders who don’t report this information face third-degree felony charges.

If you want to find out if sex offenders are living in your neighborhood, you can search on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s website.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.