LC sex offender registration law blocked for now

Published: Aug. 8, 2011 at 3:18 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 8, 2011 at 6:50 PM CDT
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Earlier this year Lake Charles City Council passed what some suggested might be the strictest sex offender law anywhere. But that law has yet to be implemented due to a lawsuit.

The sex offender registration ordinance would increase registration fees to  six hundred dollars and created more restrictions on where sex offenders can live.

Probably nobody wants a sex offender living next door, yet the Constitution protects everyone and some attorneys have speculated Lake Charles sex offender registration ordinance won't stand up to a constitutional challenge...

Convicted sex offender Clinton Fruge sued because he says it amounts to dishing out more punishment for those who have already served their time.  "My issue is my constitutional rights and that of others has continuously been trampled upon over the past two decades. And it's time that society in general, not just here in Lake Charles, but throughout the nation, it's time that they start distinguishing between a case by case basis."

Fruge says he made a mistake when he was sixteen years old and is not,  say,  in the same league as someone who is a child predator.  He's married and is the stepfather of a small child.

So far, with his lawsuit, Fruge has managed to block the city from going forward with the ordinance which would increase registration fees to $600 and create more restrictions on where they can live. Says Rugged, "It would be pretty difficult for a convicted sex offender to find a residence that is outside of twelve hundred feet from a school bus stop which is in the city. So, in essence, what it would cause is every sex offender in the city would have to uproot and move."

A temporary restraining order has been replaced with a preliminary injunction preventing the city from moving forward with the ordinance which is stricter than the state law. The city is still researching whether amendments to the ordinance are needed and did not oppose the preliminary injunction.

Fruge doubts the ordinance can be amended in a way that would cause him to drop the suit.

So, the preliminary injunction will prevent the city from moving forward with the ordinance for now.  At this point no trial date has been set.

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