September 8, 2011, New York – Plaintiffs challenging the discriminatory requirement that they must register as sex offenders because of a Crime Against Nature by Solicitation (CANS) conviction were vindicated yesterday when the District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana refused to dismiss their lawsuit against a number of Louisiana state officials. Plaintiffs in Doe v. Jindal who were charged, prosecuted, and convicted of offering oral sex for compensation have been forced to register as sex offenders under a provision of Louisiana’s 205-year-old Crime Against Nature statute, rather than under its prostitution statute, which punishes the same conduct but does not require sex offender registration.
Deon Haywood, Executive Director of Women with a Vision, said, “The women and transgender women of our NO Justice Project have been living with the scarlet letter of ‘sex offender’ status for years. Our clients are mothers, daughters, and veterans. Yet, because of this law, they have been forced to live on the fringes of the community, disconnected from many support systems. It’s time for the State of Louisiana to give them justice, and we are deeply gratified that the court will hear their case.”
The Louisiana legislature recently equalized the penalties between CANS and prostitution, and will no longer require sex offender registration for those convicted of CANS in future cases. But those with old convictions must still register.
Police misconduct attorney Andrea J. Ritchie, Esq., the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, Law Clinic, and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP are co-counsel in the case.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.