Originally Posted by Michael Storac
Let me identify myself. My name is Michael Storac. I am the webmaster and one of the managing directors of SO Clear Media Productions, Inc., a non-profit organization located in Clackamas, Oregon. It is a site that advocates the rationalization of laws with regard to registered sex offenders. While many people would call such an organization such as ourselves as a "sex offenders' rights" organization, in reality we call to task many of unintended consequences of such laws. The example that has perpetuated itself through this forum is EXACTLY the unintended consequences that have resulted in 4 people being terrorized-not an exaggeration-in their home and neighborhood due to the zeal of several people. Let that sink in for a few moments.
Of course, I'm talking about Nick Sitko.
First, let me address his actions. They were WRONG. Period. He should have been banned immediately. In fact, if he had done the same in any of my 63 forums that I host (unrelated to SO CLEAR), he not only would have been banned, his ISP would have been notified. But that is my policy, and written in no uncertain terms in my TOS agreement.
But I'm not excusing his behavior, nor the lack of the administrators for not banning him because of said behavior. In fact, I agree to a certain amount of "forum justice" myself, including identification of his name and even of his criminal past.
Nick did make several mistakes in trying to "justify" his actions. I don't without a doubt suspect that escalation in part because he was trying to make light of his exposure. But this is where the actions and statements of some of the forum members began to diverge from the righteous, to the abusive, to the criminal. Yes, criminal.
Once Nick was outed, that should have been it. Frankly, the board should have instantly nipped the thread in the bud and permanently banned Sitko, according to TOS of your site. But they didn't.
What happened, is an escalation of exposing Sitko's past. Someone posted information from the South Carolina Megan's Law website, either here in this thread or in other similar threads, which can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor, according to the South Carolina website. Others took to creating Wikipedia pages. Still others created a fake BBC documentary. There was bragging...BRAGGING!...that over 60 other threads were celebrating the "outing" of a sex offender because he broke forum rules.
And as such is to happen, there were real world consequences.
You see, Nick Sitko has a family. He has a fiancee and two children. And the harassment was limited NOT JUST to Nick Sitko, but to the rest of his family as well. Including a 6 month baby.
I talked to his fiancee. Indeed, her name is Kim Williford. You, along with billions of other people around the world, know her address. She is fighting mad, as she should be. But it is not her I speak of now...it is her older child.
Nursing a 6 month old baby is hard enough, but trying to explain to a toddler why a bunch of people are driving by the house, yelling bad things, is a terrible burden to deal with. Having to deal with a father who is suddenly scared and sullen. Having to deal with the phone ringing with people hanging up all the time. Have any of YOU ever dealt with this type of terror? Have you?
"But he's a sex offender...he DESERVES every bit of agony, of terror that he has given his victim!"
Really. Tell that to his toddler, happy as a lark around Christmas, who is suddenly afraid and anxious, cries at all hours, and is scared. Not just scared...scared out of his WITS.
Would ANY of you want that for any of YOUR children?
Would any of you want that for ANY child, no matter who they belong to?
Big men. Drive expensive cars and are responsible for the terror of a five year old child. Hmmph.
Frankly, I don't know what Nick and Kim have in mind from a legal standpoint. They have the IMMEDIATE concern of dealing with their children, and in fact their immediate circumstances from an employment standpoint.
I will be very clear: What Nick did when this thread started was inexcusable. But NOT criminal. I want to emphasize that point.
The escalation has resulted in many crimes being committed, however. Yes, crimes. I have had a bit of experience in law myself, and several people have opined that just because they pulled the public court record from the court, not from the registry, they are well within their rights to post it on a forum. However, they fail to realize that it was the REGISTRY that triggered the action to obtain the records, and the MANNER in which the court record were disseminated was the result of an illegal posting of the registry information in the first place. Tread lightly with that argument; it's been successfully prosecuted in similar circumstances.
As I said before the sheer volume and intensity of interest has predictably triggered the harassment of Nick and Kim. The fact that people here are celebrating the fact that someone's been outed, that it has made this forum the most popular car forum in history, is frankly beyond the pale in my book. Yes, deal harshly with someone who spams you. But don't use the excuse that "Nick kept showing up and lying, again and again, so we are justified in doing what we did." Fine.
I will state this: Nick will never show his face around this forum again. I have talked to his fiancee about the inadvisability of using forum signatures for affiliate marketing; I'm sure their lawyer will advise him more succinctly. The fact that he did what he did is, again, inexcusable, but not criminally illegal. The threats his family have received IS criminally illegal. And the threats would not have occurred without the escalation that was, in fact, encouraged.
But keep in mind, the real victim of Nick's stupidity, and many members depravity: his child. For God's sake, let's cut the cord NOW, and go back to talking about cars. Leave his family alone by stopping the perpetuation of this terroristic nonsense.
I do not plan on replying within this thread, as I believe in more transparent communication. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
, and the organization is on the web at http://www.soclear.org
. NOTE: This is not a promotion, but an identification of who I am, including our business address and phone number, for the purpose of transparency. I will respond to any reasonable email, no matter your position on sex offender issues and Internet law.