October 6, 2006 12:52 PM PDT

Police blotter: Sex offender demands Playboy on PC

"Police blotter" is a weekly CNET News.com report on the intersection of technology and the law.

What: Murderer, rapist and sex offender, civilly committed in Minnesota, challenges his laptop being confiscated after Playboy photos are discovered on it.

When: U.S. District Judge John Tunheim rules on Sept. 26.

Outcome: Court permits sex offender's lawsuit to proceed.

What happened, according to court documents:

Christopher Ivey is a convicted rapist and murderer who has been civilly committed as a "sexually psychopathic personality and a sexually dangerous person." Ivey has been committed to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program in St. Peter, Minn., a secure treatment facility for sex offenders.

And Ivey wants Playboy on his PC.

He filed a lawsuit, representing himself, against the Minnesota state government challenging a 2004 ban denying committed sex offenders any sexually explicit, obscene or pornographic materials.

According to Ivey, his computer was confiscated because it contained "nudity," including a collection of Playboy magazine covers from the magazine's first 50 years. As a result of violating the ban, he lost access to his privately owned computer for at least one year and was precluded from using a fellow patient's computer during that time as well.

Ivey claimed in his lawsuit that the ban--and the laptop confiscation--violated his First Amendment rights to free expression because the ban was overly broad and vague. He also invoked his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process.

Some background is in order. As described in a 2005 court opinion, Ivey is in his mid-30s and has been in custody since 1993 for sexually assaulting multiple women and for murdering one woman. He admitted to repeatedly breaking into homes and touching women sexually, often while they were sleeping, and sometimes masturbating at the same time.

Ivey would later describe his clandestine breaking-and-entering as: "I don't know, that was my social life, that was my hobby, my way of interacting with other people without having to interact."

A psychologist who interviewed him concluded: "Ivey has rather limited tools and treatment construct with which to develop better control regarding his behavior and sexual acting out. It is my opinion his paraphilic behaviors are highly engrained and would demand a very positive discharge prognosis before placement into the community."

After Ivey completed his prison sentences, the Minnesota Department of Corrections successfully got him civilly committed as a sexual psychopathic personality and a sexually dangerous person. A Minnesota appeals court upheld his commitment.

Which brings us back to Ivey's current lawsuit over his purloined laptop. The state law in question says that "any patient who has used his computer--or any other media source and/or equipment--to store, view, disseminate or copy sexually explicit, obscene or pornographic materials, will lose access to that computer, media source and equipment for a minimum of one year." It also says: "During the one-year time period and subsequent review period, any media item deemed to be critical contraband cannot be replaced with an alternate similar item. For example, a computer cannot be replaced with a different computer."

U.S. District Judge John Tunheim said that Ivey's lawsuit could proceed. He dismissed some of Ivey's Fourteenth Amendment and First Amendment claims, but let others stand.

Excerpt from Judge Tunheim's opinion:

Defendants argue that, in the present case, plaintiff has other avenues available to him because "he can 'still receive a broad range of non-pornographic books, magazines and other printed materials.'" Defendants further argue that "the statute and (ban) do not ban all publications that include content of a sexual nature. Thus, (plaintiff's) right to receive other publications constitutes a meaningful alternative to receiving materials prohibited under the statute or (ban)."

The court disagrees with defendants' assertion that the statute and the ban do not prohibit all publications that include content of a sexual nature. The statute prohibits plaintiff from "having or receiving material that...depicts sexual conduct as defined under section 617.241, subdivision 1."

"Material" is defined by the ban as including, but not limited to, pictures, personal or published photographs, drawings, magazines, books, periodicals, publications, pamphlets, newsletters, newspapers, papers, writings, cards, advertisements, circulars, movies, sound recordings, videotapes, videodiscs, scripts, slides, statues, negatives, images, video games and computer media, including software, documents, computer-generated images or pictures, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means and in any form or format.

The ban states that "sexually explicit materials includes materials depicting" any act of sexual conduct as described in Minn.Stat. Section 617.241 subd. 1(b), as well as "published materials featuring nudity or non-published materials depicting nudity." "Featuring" is defined by the ban as "containing depictions of nudity on a routine or regular basis (in the case of magazines or other periodicals) or promotes itself based upon such a depiction (in the case of one-time publications)." "Depict" is defined in the American Heritage Dictionary as "1. To represent in a picture or sculpture. 2. To represent in words; describe."

It is hard to determine exactly how defendants can claim that the statute and ban do not ban all publications that include content of a sexual nature. The ban does provide two exemptions to this policy, that is, the exemption for "motion picture movies rates 'G,' 'PG,' and PG-13,' " and the exemption for "[p]ublished materials that contain nudity illustrating medical or educational content, such as medical textbooks or medical journals and the National Geographic magazine;" however, these exemptions are not valid if the exempted materials are deemed "programmatically contraindicated for a specific patient as determined by the patient's treatment team."

Therefore, viewing the pleadings in the light most favorable to plaintiff, plaintiff has stated a claim that he does not have an alternative means of exercising his First Amendment rights under the statute and ban in effect in the present case.

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Police Blotter, Minnesota, ban, lawsuit, U.S. District Judge

25 comments

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First off&
This guy should be happy he is still alive and out of prison (he is
in a "secure treatment facility for sex offenders" not a prison). If
he were in my state I would have pushed for the Death Penalty.
And for those of you who are willing to say that is to harsh
because he is mentally ill, well screw that, mental illness should
not be an excuse for murder. A case in point would be the
woman who killed her 3 (I think it was 3) small children and got
out of the death penalty on an insanity plea is complete BS. And
to answer everyones question, yes I believe so strongly in the
death penalty that I would be willing to "pull the switch" myself.
Back to the Playboy stuff, he was in violation of the law so he
deserved to lose his computer. After all once your a convicted
criminal you only have limited rights until you are off parole so
the rights he is claiming were never violated.
Posted by jones_8099 (177 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Limited Rights during parole?
How about limited rights for the rest of his life? Even after completing treatment he will have to register for the rest of his life. He will have to stay in contact with the police, he will be monitored, he will not be able to live anywhere he wants. Don't worry, he will probably wish he was dead.
Posted by Amigoid (12 comments )
Link Flag
Catering to Criminals
It's so amazing that law-abiding Americans have to pay ridiculous amounts of money for healthcare,
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.teckmagazine.com/content/view/631/43/" target="_newWindow">http://www.teckmagazine.com/content/view/631/43/</a>
cable tv and even game rentals while prisoners get FREE access to all of the above as well as housing and meals. Stop catering to these thugs. No wonder most criminals are repeat offenders.
Posted by cnutsucks (25 comments )
Link Flag
Transfer him to the Airzona desert prison
He would always be stylish in the hot pink garb. HE gets to eat beans and franks every day, breakfast, lucnh and dinner. No computers, no problems. All the reading material you want as lond as it is the bible. Same goes for the TV only Disney is all that is available.
Posted by jsh123 (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
He's not in prison
Remember, he's not in prison. He has completed his prison
sentence. He is in a medical facility to treat his issues.
(Actually, he's being held beyond his prison sentence which has
not always held up to constitutional muster.) He no longer has a
legal debt to pay to society.

So, this issue has nothing to do with whether he "deserves"
these luxuries or not. It's whether the need to keep peace within
the wards and and keep him from being a danger to himself or
others is greater than the reduction of the right to read what
they choose. It's going to be a tough call for the judges.
Posted by GadgetDon (760 comments )
Link Flag
Lock Them All Up!
Treat them like animals! But don't be surprised at the way they behave when they do get out.

The American prison system produces the finest sociopaths in the world! What we need is more and harsher prisons. That will fix the problem. Look how well it has worked so far!
Posted by Mister C (423 comments )
Reply Link Flag
At whose EX$PEN$E???.....THINK about that...
Quite a few years ago it co$t taxpayers an average of $35,000 a year to house just ONE prisoner.

I say we should be very $elective as to who and why we "lock up" people!!!
Posted by btljooz (401 comments )
Link Flag
Slay, Kill, Destroy!
That's a good idea, jones_8099. Slay these people. Toss another
body upon the pile.
Posted by CBSTV (780 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No better than criminals......
jones_8099, CBSTV and those like them.

ALL of YOU belong on that very same "pile"!!!
Posted by btljooz (401 comments )
Link Flag
Well...
If you're in a drug rehab facility and get busted with dope, I'm sure the dope is going to get confiscated. Dope is illegal though, while porn isn't. But if he were an alcoholic... and he was busted dead drunk... I'm sure the remaining alcohol would get confiscated.

Pornography is this is Sex Offender's dope.

What kind of alcohol treatment program would want their patients loaded on alcohol.

In God become Flesh, Jesus The Christ's Name,
Wiley Tuten
www.wileytuten.com
Posted by wileytuten-2058916206091124595 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Pornography is this is Sex Offender's dope? No.
While I have no problem with castration of serial rapists (a
compromise to those who think we should keep them alive), I
can't accept your assumption that "Pornography is this is Sex
Offender's dope."

His crime was B&#38;E, serial rape, and murder. I saw no mention of
pornography being a part of his crime, or his reason for
becoming a rapist.

The theory that porn causes men to rape women is as old as
"she was asking for it by dressing like that", and is just as
wrong.
If you can't quite get your head around that, then consider that
we are talking about Playboy covers, not bondage or S&#38;M
photos.

If the idea is to punish him some more by taking away his
computer, I think it's a really lame idea, and shows a lack of
conviction. However, if taking things away from him is the only
punishment option, may I suggest food, air, or reproductive
organs as a more suitable choice?

If Playboy covers are pornography, then I like pornography.
I like women, and you have to admit, some of them are really
easy on the eyes. Thank you God. More please. Amen.

Please don't turn something that simple into something
complicated and evil by linking it to this guy's crimes.

Lampie
Posted by lampietheclown (73 comments )
Link Flag
How do you spell castrate?
:)
Posted by wtortorici (102 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why is he still breathing?
I get everything else......but, why is this guy still breathing?
Posted by Jim Hubbard (326 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why is he breathing?
Because he, like you, live in the United States, where he has some rights. Perhaps if he lived in Iran you could stone him. They are very liberal in their punishment options.
Posted by Amigoid (12 comments )
Link Flag
Las vegas is now an accomplice??
I was very unpleased to read that Las Vegas has recently <a href="http://news.777.com/2006-10/new-playboy-club-in-las-vegas">opened its first Playboy club</a> in the last twenty years, since the last one was closed in 1988. I think it's a very wrong decision! Do those Sex offenders need more temptations?? What will be next???
Posted by dt3012 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Vegas == Sin City
I'm a bit surprised at the last posting. Were you not aware that there are numerous strip bars and gentlemens clubs already in operation? That Nevada legalized prostitution in several locations? That even the biggest and best casinos offer adult entertainment? That any cabbie/bellman/concierge in the city with any time under his belt can direct you to escort services? To suggest that a new Playboy club in Vegas is going to lead to the collapse of moral society is akin to complaining that a fish market moving in next to the oil refinery and stockyards might stink up the neighborhood.
Posted by Amigoid (12 comments )
Link Flag
Another frivilous lawsuit?
But at least he lives in a country where he has that right. Just because he can file the complaint does not mean it will carry over in court. And as he is in treatment and in a situation where someone else is responsible for his care, they have to take the PC to help him work through his problems.
Posted by Amigoid (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Maybe, maybe not. The only reason this is
"NEWS" is that it concerns a "Sex Offender". Otherwise no one would even blink at it!
Posted by btljooz (401 comments )
Link Flag
Sexual Predator Hystrionics
OK, yes, what this PARTICULAR individual did was heinous to the first degree and he deserves PRISON and not the "country club" he is in! BUT why don't they simply LET him have his computer with CONTOLS and FILTERS on it? The technology DOES exist!!! That way he can learn RESPONSIBLE online behavior. He'll never learn a thing by being bullied like this!!!

Second, rape, per se, is generally NOT about SEX!!! It IS, however, about POWER! It just so happens that the p-e-n-i-s is used as the weapon of choice in stead of, say: a gun, knife, &water pistol, WHATEVER! I know by first hand experience about this as a rape victim. I didn't get paranoid from the experience, but instead it made me curious enough to LEARN the FACTS about people who commit these atrocities so that I could learn how to protect MYSELF!!!

Now, how many of you Death Penalty supporters are Right-to-Lifers???????????? EH??????????? That's a bit oxymoronic and hypocritical, is it not??????????????

I suggest you do as I did. LEARN about the subject you speak about so that you can speak about it in an INTELLIGENT manner?!?!?!?!?

START here:

Test your Sexual Offender Intelligence Quotient here:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.soab.state.pa.us/soab/cwp/browse.asp?a=3&#38;bc=0&#38;c=39615&#38;soabNav=" target="_newWindow">http://www.soab.state.pa.us/soab/cwp/browse.asp?a=3&#38;bc=0&#38;c=39615&#38;soabNav=</a>

As an educator and/or parent Start YOUR education here:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.geocities.com/eadvocate/issues/?20064" target="_newWindow">http://www.geocities.com/eadvocate/issues/?20064</a>

Move along to these quotes from:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://portlandme.wpadmin.about.com/?comments_popup=257612:" target="_newWindow">http://portlandme.wpadmin.about.com/?comments_popup=257612:</a>

&gt;According to data compiled by the U.S. Justice Department (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/crimoff.htm#sex" target="_newWindow">http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/crimoff.htm#sex</a> ), the high recidivism rate of sex offenders is a myth. Sex offenders have an overall recidivism rate of less than 6 percent over three years, and 40 percent of those who do re-offend do so in the first year after their release. More detailed analysis confirms that a sex offenders likelihood of committing a new crime decreases the longer he or she remains free; in other words, if theyre going to commit another crime, it will probably happen in the first few years after their release.

Of course, this sort of data doesnt make for good sound bytes for politicians seeking to foster a get tough image to bolster their chances for election or re-election; but its the truth, as much as they may deny it.

Nonetheless, the supposedly high sex offender recidivism rates that politicians seem to pull out of thin air (when was the last time you heard one cite an actual study to validate the numbers they quote?) have created an environment where the mere presence of an individual who committed a sex crime five, ten, or twenty years ago is enough to cast a community into a state of panic. Given the misinformation and lies of the politicians (and the medias dutiful reporting of same), its no wonder that some, at least, feel that vigilante justice is an appropriate response.

In the end, it all comes down to a simple question: Should our government be in the business of facilitating vigilantism? Certainly the legislators who wrote these laws will argue that that was not their intention, but the effect is the same.

These laws remind me of the attractive nuisance concept in liability law. People who work with potentially dangerous equipment (circular saws, pesticides, chemicals, and so forth) are required to safeguard those items to prevent curious children (and others) from hurting themselves. If a carpenter leaves his circular saw unattended and a child picks it up and cuts himself, the carpenter is liable for costs and damages related to the childs injuries. The argument that it wasnt the carpenters intent that a child pick up and play with his circular saw is irrelevant. By leaving it unattended, he created an attractive nuisance; and he is therefore liable.

Creating a public hysteria about sex offenders, and then publishing their names and addresses on the Web, where anyone can access that information without so much as providing identification, is akin to leaving a power saw unattended. Anyone  stable or unstable, honorable or malicious  can access that information and use it in any way they like. This opens the door not only to vigilantism, but also to innocent people being killed because of mistaken identity.

If this information is to be made public at all (personally, I think it should only be available to law enforcement professionals), then the only safe balance between the publics right to know and the concept of the rule of law is to release the information only to adults who physically walk into a police station, present identification, and make an inquiry about a particular individual. This creates accountability and helps safeguard against random vigilantism.

In other words, if the neighbor down the street seems to be a bit too friendly towards your children and you want to check him out, that seems to me a legitimate use of sex offender registration information. But to simply publish all of this data on the Web, with no safeguards to prevent it from being used irresponsibly or criminally, is unconscionable in a society whose conduct supposedly is based upon the rule of law.

Comment by Bugsy  May 4, 2006 @ 10:01 am

Anyone who values their liberties and who has studied history should be afraid - very afraid  of these laws.

Long before Hitler killed the first Jew in Nazi Germany, he paved the way for the wholesale disenfranchisement of human beings by  you guessed it  attacking the rights of sex offenders. From 1933 through 1936, a series of amendments were passed to Paragraphs 173 through 188 of the German Penal Law specifically targeting homosexuals and others determined to be sexual deviants.

The sex offender laws created under the Nazi Third Reich may as well have been the model for Megans Law. They established the first sex offender registry, required sex offenders to register their whereabouts and to wear pink triangles, and established draconian punishments for sex crimes that included long prison terms, loss of voting rights, confinement in concentration camps, and (sometimes) the death penalty. All of these laws were justified by the Nazis in the same way that our present-day politicians justify Megans Law: to protect the children from sexual predators.

Of course, Hitler had other things in mind, as history shows us; and targeting sex offenders was just a way to establish the precedent of wholesale deprivation of human rights in preparation for his later attacks against the people he truly hated.

Its doubtful that the German people would have acquiesced to Hitlers rounding up Jews, Gypsies, Communists, Socialists, trade unionists, and so forth, and sending them off to death camps in 1933 when he first ascended to power. Hitler had to first establish a precedent that some people were subhuman and unworthy of human rights  and he started with the most universally despised group he could find.

Anyone who thinks that this couldnt happen again is delusional. The simple fact is that history shows that you cant single out one group for deprivation of civil rights without weakening those rights for everyone else.

Comment by Liberty Lover  May 7, 2006 @ 8:54 am&lt;

And while you're at it take a long hard look at these and THINK about the consequences of the afore mentioned Hysteria created by online 'S-exual O-ffender L-ists':

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=1855771&#38;page=1" target="_newWindow">http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=1855771&#38;page=1</a>

After you have read that one just think; If some vigilante found their next victim and instead found someone else at home, what would happen then???

And THINK about this one while you're at it:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://saltlakecity.about.com/b/a/257300.htm" target="_newWindow">http://saltlakecity.about.com/b/a/257300.htm</a>

Take this Poll on SOLs:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://saltlakecity.about.com/library/blsub/blpoll/blpollsexoffender2.htm" target="_newWindow">http://saltlakecity.about.com/library/blsub/blpoll/blpollsexoffender2.htm</a>

Or just view the Results:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://saltlakecity.about.com/gi/pages/poll.htm?linkback=http%3A%2F%2Fsaltlakecity.about.com%2Flibrary%2Fblsub%2Fblpoll%2Fblpollsexoffender2.htm&#38;poll_id=5911059616&#38;poll=3&#38;submit1=Submit+Vote" target="_newWindow">http://saltlakecity.about.com/gi/pages/poll.htm?linkback=http%3A%2F%2Fsaltlakecity.about.com%2Flibrary%2Fblsub%2Fblpoll%2Fblpollsexoffender2.htm&#38;poll_id=5911059616&#38;poll=3&#38;submit1=Submit+Vote</a>

At the time I took this poll a whopping 60% of us felt these lists did more harm than good!!!

Now for FBI info:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cid/cac/registry.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cid/cac/registry.htm</a>

First it was Deadbeat Dads, Then Sexual Offenders Now this list making is on the increaser:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://government.zdnet.com/?p=2532" target="_newWindow">http://government.zdnet.com/?p=2532</a>

AND its going to get to be an even BIGGER PROBLEM! I watched a Council Meeting in Washington, D.C. on CNBC yesterday about ISPs tracking in REAL time every single move you make on-line and keeping those records for an indefinite period of time. They were discussing existing laws and possible future laws pertaining to this subject.

All of this flies directly in the face of our Founding Fathers and the Constitution/Bill of Rights they forged for our country to begin with.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://findlaw.com/casecode/constitution/" target="_newWindow">http://findlaw.com/casecode/constitution/</a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.billofrights.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.billofrights.html</a>

Giving up your rights that millions have fought for just so you can 'feel safe' is the very definition of cowardice.

If the gov continues to make lists of people, we ALL will find ourselves on at least ONE of them!!! Which list will YOU be on???

BTW: A No Brainer: Predators Prefer Dimwitted Prey

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/060802_brain_prey.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/060802_brain_prey.html</a>
Posted by btljooz (401 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well reasoned and thorough. Bravo
Very well put.
I'd say that the reason they took the laptop is because the people looking after him were not sophisticated enough to know what filters to put in place. They also may have had him sign an agreement saying that he would have nothing like that on the computer.
Posted by Amigoid (12 comments )
Link Flag
To answer your question&
I am pro-life and pro-choice depending on the situation. A rape
victim has every right to have a choice but a woman who had
sex willingly should not get a choice, she knew what could
happen when she chose to have sex therefore by default
accepting any consequences to her actions (examples being, an
STD or pregnancy). However, that is not the true subject of this
discussion. The death penalty is good for two main reasons: one
it effectively punishes those who commit terrible crimes (such as
violent rape or murder) and two it relieves economic pressure so
we can effectively punish lesser criminals with jail time and I
personally believe it to be a good deterrent. On a side note if we
got rid of all the comforts in prison (cable, gym, soft beds and
forced them to eat only MREs) then that would help our housing
cost also. And on another side note Porn is a degrading and
disgusting way to treat women and should be illegal anyway.
Posted by jones_8099 (177 comments )
Link Flag
 

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