A Camden County woman convicted of sexual crimes involving a minor is suing for her rights, and the rights of other sex offenders in New Jersey, to access social media and adult pornography.

In a new lawsuit, Carmen Ann Loniewski said the restrictions imposed on her by the New Jersey State Parole Board violated her First Amendment rights.

The lawsuit names the NJSPB, the state, and several state officials and employees as defendants. It was filed in Mercer County Superior Court last Friday.

Court records show Loniewski, 38, was sentenced in 2005 to a suspended five-year prison sentence and lifetime parole for endangering the welfare of a child. She was 21 years old at the time.

Get our free mobile app

Her offense did not involve social media or the use of pornography, according to the lawsuit.

In 2007, the state parole board voted unanimously to impose a social media and chat room ban on offenders who were under parole supervision for life. As Loniewski was sentenced to parole for life, she was subjected to this ban.

Then in 2009, the parole board added another condition to Loniewski's parole, the lawsuit states. She was prohibited from viewing "sexually-oriented material," including pornography.

The new condition followed a search of Loniewski's residence by a parole officer, who reported finding "excessive amounts" of pornography. Along with nude photos of herself, the parole officer determined that Loniewski was displaying "inappropriate sexual behavior."

But in 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a case out of North Carolina and found that overbroad bans on social media use were a violation of the First Amendment.

James Maynard, Loniewski's attorney, told the New Jersey Monitor that this should have been the end of the matter.

“Those cases were quite clear, and those cases were binding on New Jersey’s courts and institutions,” Maynard said.

Despite the Supreme Court ruling, Loniewski was arrested in 2018 for violating both aforementioned conditions of her parole. She was sentenced to one year in prison and served her full sentence despite objections raised by her attorney.

The lawsuit argues that since the bans on social media use and viewing of sexually-oriented material were unconstitutional, Loniewski suffered "false arrest and false imprisonment."

In May 2021, Loniewski was removed from parole supervision for life. She is also no longer listed on the state's sex offender registry.

A spokesman for the NJSPB said that the board "suspended the enforcement and imposition of the general social networking condition on Jan. 29, 2020."

NJ teachers and educators caught in sex crime busts

Over the past few years, state lawmakers have taken on the challenge of dealing with accused child predators among the ranks of teachers and educators.

In 2018, the so-called “pass the trash” law went into effect, requiring stricter New Jersey school background checks related to child abuse and sexual misconduct.

The follow individuals were arrested over the past several years. Some have been convicted and sentenced to prison, while others have accepted plea deals for probation.

Others cases are still pending, including some court delays amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here's where NJ legal weed is sold

The number of recreational cannabis dispensaries continues to grow, with close to two dozen state approvals given since the first adult recreational sales in the state back in April. Here is where the open sites are located.