Sex offenders sue over personal info posted online

Sex offenders sue over personal info posted online
SEATTLE -- A group of convicted sex offenders is suing three websites for posting their photos and personal information and then allegedly charging them to take the information down.

In their federal lawsuit, the sex offenders claim that is extortion.

"I was shocked and at the same time I was almost devastated," said one of the sex offenders, who has asked to be referred to as John Doe.

Doe is a level 1 sex offender. A year ago he searched the web to see where his real name popped up and found a privately owned website called Offendex that listed his address, home phone number, cell phone number and photo.

"I'm constantly wondering, 'Gosh, is someone going to look up my name and see me up there," he said.

When he asked the company to take the information down, he claims they said they would erase everything if he paid them $500.

"It is extortion. That's exactly what it is," he said.

This week, Doe and nine others from five different states filed suit against Offendex and two other websites in federal court. The sites claim everything they post is public information and they're just trying to protect the public from sex offenders like John Doe.

Doe was convicted of molesting a 13-year-old boy 17-years ago. He said he spent a year behind bars and has paid his debt to society.

He claims the websites are not only violating his right to privacy, but actually making money off his likeness by selling advertisements.

Doe knows he won't get much sympathy in his fight, but he said he just wants the sites to leave him alone.

"We don't have a lot of people who are going to support us," he said.

State and local governments post the photos of all level II and level II sex offenders.