Newspaper National Network Guidelines for ads identifying sex offenders p. 31

By: Editorial Staff OREGON NEWSPAPERS HAVE been advised that they face only a slim possibility of liability by publishing ads advising readers that a "predatory sex offender" lives in the community.
In answer to a question on the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association Legal Hotline, Portland lawyer Jack Orchard noted that under a 1993 state statute, correction officials can issue a notice that a sex offender is living in a particular community. The notice can include a newspaper advertisement.
Because a predatory sex offender must be convicted of a sex crime and must undergo an ex-offender risk assessment, Orchard explained, a newspaper's liability for publishing a notice of his whereabouts "will be extremely remote."
However, he recommended that the paper identify the source of the ad with a disclaimer that says something like this: "This advertisement has been prepared by (name of relevant corrections agency) and is published under state law. The (relevant corrections agency) is solely responsible for the content of this notice and the designation of the predatory sex offender."
Orchard said that unless there is a "grievous misidentification" of the person, the ad constitutes neither an invasion of privacy nor defamation.


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