Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Stumbo Identifies An Additional 22 Kentucky Sex Offenders on MySpace

Press Release Date:  Monday, June 04, 2007  
Contact Information:  Vicki Glass, 502-696-5643 Office  

Attorney General Greg Stumbo today announced that his office has identified 22 Kentucky Sex Offenders who are users – this in addition to the 68 convicted sex offenders from Kentucky that MySpace identified and provided to the state on May 24th (link to release).

“We are targeting sex offenders who roam freely in Internet chat rooms,” Stumbo said. “This is cutting edge law enforcement designed to combat emerging threats to our children.”

Attorney General Stumbo’s Office received the original 68 names and other identifying information including their email and IP addresses, in response to a letter sent by state attorneys general to MySpace on May 14 demanding that the company turn over information about sex offenders. MySpace had confirmed that Sentinel Tech Holdings had identified thousands of registered sex offenders as members of the popular social networking site. MySpace deleted the users from its site but preserved the information about them in order to provide it to Stumbo and other attorneys general.

Attorney General Stumbo launched his own investigation to ensure that all registered sex offenders had been identified and, with the assistance of KBI investigators and the watchdog group Perverted Justice, identified 22 additional registered sex offenders using MySpace. Of those, 20 have violations that include offenses against minors.

“We used good old-fashioned elbow grease and compared registered sex offenders with MySpace profiles,” said Attorney General Stumbo. “Sometimes strong detective work is more effective in sniffing out criminals than the expensive equipment used by MySpace. Although we appreciate its work at identifying some offenders, we need to ensure that Kentucky law enforcement officials have a full and complete list of registered sex offenders using MySpace.”

Attorney General Stumbo has turned over the newly uncovered names to Kentucky State Police, county probation departments and the State Department of Corrections to determine if the offenders violated terms of their probation or parole by having a MySpace profile. The Attorney General will also provide the names and identifying information to MySpace so that it can take action to remove the offenders from its site.

Kentucky’s new law requiring the state’s 6,245 registered sex offenders to register their “electronic mail addresses and any instant messaging, chat, or other Internet communication name identities” with the Kentucky State Police Sex Offender Registry takes effect this month. The new law allows online companies, including social networking sites, to cross-check its members against the KSP Sex Offender Registry.

Last year, the nationwide media reported almost 100 criminal incidents across the country involving adults who used MySpace to prey or to attempt to prey on children.