House Representative

Stephenson, Phil

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 01/28/2013

Stephenson files House Bill 1257; addressing Sex Offenders and Social Media

Representative Phil Stephenson (South Ft. Bend, Wharton and Jackson counties) has filed his first bill in the Texas 83rd Legislature, HB 1257; a bill that imposes a criminal penalty on sex offenders who access social media without identifying themselves as such.

"Social Media has revolutionized how we, as a culture, interact with one another; and as an unintended consequence has the potential to put our citizens, particularly our children, at risk. To prohibit registered sex offenders from accessing social media entirely would be a violation of the First Amendment. House Bill 1257, I believe, is an effective way to monitor sexual predators without running afoul of the Constitution. The bill does not invade basic privacies, as it does not require the offender to specify a particular crime or any other personal information." Stephenson commented.

House Bill 1257 applies to all sex offenders, regardless of whether the offense for which the person is subject to registration was committed before or on, the effective date.

For more information on HB 1257, please contact Matt Minor at matt.minor@house.state.tx.us or 512-463-0604