Judge rules in favor of sex offenders' privacy

Judge rules in favor of sex offenders' privacy »Play Video
KENNEWICK, Wash -- It looks like the end of Donna Zink's battle for sex offender records. The former mayor of Mesa has been fighting tooth and nail for the personal records of Level I sex offenders living in Benton County. But after a long-awaited court ruling, it seems the database she's been trying to create, won't get uploaded.

We've seen her time and time again at the Benton County Courthouse pursuing what she calls a public interest. Donna Zink wants to create a searchable and public database of all Level I sex offenders living in Benton County.

So far, Zink has only received the information of those living in Franklin County. She’s uploaded their personal information files to her public Gmail account. It contains names, date of births, addresses, employers and more of offenders living in Franklin County. KEPR even found some of the information she has decided to upload, is the personal information of those with juvenile convictions.

Level I sex offenders are determined to be the least likely to reoffend. Therefore, the justice system hasn't made their information public, like it does with Level II and III. Donna argues we all have the right to know if they're our next door neighbor.

Wednesday a judge told her she doesn't have the right. Judge Bruce Spanner took a month to make his final decision and says in very basic terms, the personal information of Level I sex offenders can only be given out at certain times to certain people and Donna Zink doesn't qualify.

But Spanner’s ruling doesn't protect all 400 Level I offenders living in Benton County, just 14. He has yet to rule on other similar cases, but this sets the precedent.

Donna Zink has not responded to my request for comment, but she has openly posted her feelings on Facebook. She has said she will appeal, and that she's glad Spanner finally made a decision because the appeal process takes years.