Monday, February 22, 2010

ID: Man Files Lawsuit over Sex Offender Label Boise man files suit over sex offender label

Twin Falls, Idaho (AP) - A Boise man has filed a $5 million lawsuit against the state over a suspended policy that led to him being labeled a violent sexual predator.

In court papers, 56-year-old Mark S. Wicklund claims he was damaged by the designation, which is no longer being applied to sex offenders in Idaho.

The Idaho Department of Correction is no longer using the designation after the Idaho Supreme Court determined it had severe constitutional flaws. Department Spokesman Jeff Ray tells the Times-News a new proposal may be ready for the 2011 Legislature. The violent sexual predator designation was intended to identify high-risk offenders.

A 4th District Judge has vacated the designation for Wicklund, who was convicted of sexual battery of a minor in Ada County in 2001.

This is good news and bad news both. This man is suing because an unconstitutional law was applied to label him as a "violent sexual predator". After the law was defeated in court, he rightly filed suit against the State for damages. Hopefully, as we see these laws defeated in courts across the nation, we will see enormous numbers of lawsuits filed against the States for damages incurred upon individuals by labeling them publicly as dangerous predators online. However, this could also be a reason for unscrupulous courts to become reluctant to find these laws unconstitutional, knowing that their ruling could result in historic liability of the State.