City Desk

Dennis Sobin Has a Registery for People Who Register Sex Offenders (and He Included His Son on It)

Dennis Sobin, the former pornographer and registered sex offender whom Washington City Paper dubbed D.C.'s oldest living smut kingpin in a 2010 profile, has started a database to register people who register, or promote the registration of, sex offenders.

Sobin, 70, served more than 10 years in prison after he was convicted in 1992 of sexual performance with a minor. He's since run a gallery in D.C. featuring prison art and run for mayor. But by law he's still a sex offender, and his photo still appears on the D.C. public registry.

Sobin doesn't think this is fair, which is why he started his own registry,, which "finds the names of politicians and public figures who have encouraged the creation of, or have refused to denounce, government registration websites that target citizens for harassment.” The Washington Post reported yesterday on the website, which lists the names of many members of Congress as well as Mayor Vince Gray, his predecessor Adrian Fenty, and numerous employees of the D.C. court system.

One of the names included in the registry: Darrin Sobin, the director of government ethics for the D.C. Board of Ethics and Government Accountability—and Dennis Sobin's son. In the registry, the elder Sobin doesn't identify him as his son, only with a photo accompanied by the caption, "DC Government Attorney Darrin Sobin tried unsuccessfully to evict a sex registrant from public housing."

Sobin and his son have long been estranged, and the younger Sobin had a restraining order against his father for more than a decade. (The elder has been arrested for breaking the restraining order, including once when he attempted to go to a hearing at the Wilson Building, where his son works.) Although now an attorney, the younger Sobin was once employed in the family business and, in 1999,  President Bill Clinton pardoned him after he was sentenced in the '80s for conspiracy to grow pot.

"It is an absolute falsehood that I ever had him or anyone else evicted from public housing," Darrin Sobin told City Desk today.

Another person listed on the registry, Stephanie Gray of D.C.’s Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, is asking the court to force Sobin to remove her picture from the registry, according to the Post. A D.C. Superior Court judge will determine tomorrow whether an employee can file a civil protection to stop Sobin from putting her picture on his anti-registry registry site.

Correction: Due to a reporting error, this post originally said a judge would rule on whether a court employee could stop Sobin from putting her picture on site. In fact, CSOSA is not a part of the courts.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • Janet

    I'm not surprised sex offenders are pushing back. No one is reforming the registry, which is getting bigger and filling up with people who are not dangerous. Politicians all over the country look for more ways to make the registry harsher. These are mostly people trying to get on with their lives. Mr.Sobin is as frustrated as every other sex offender on the registry -who is not a threat and just wants to move forward. Maybe his effort will get people's attention to this "not a punishment" sex offender registry.

  • Fima Estrin

    I sent this E-mail to Minnesota Senator. Any suggestions?

    I would like to send you this article from Washington Post

    'Sex offender fights registry by registering his registerers'

    What is interesting about this article, they wrote this:

    '“In the tradition of Nazi registration of Jews and Gypsies and the Salem lists of alleged witches, modern government registries are unfair and un-American.”

    As you know my parents and almost all relatives are Holocaust survivors
    I think many people here enjoy my situation here in US, me being on sex offender registry. My 10 years registration term ended on January 4, 2014, but Minnesota BCA did not care yet to confirm this. I am a good example of how bad Jews are, i think. And I think these people willl never get me out, even my term is passed. Could you please help. My term on sex offenders registry is ended and I need to be removed.

    Thank you

  • Typical DC BS

    Easy solution - don't rape or sexually assault people or have sex of ANY KIND with minors. Solves the problem of winding up on a sexual offender registry.

  • http://none J. Townsend

    God be with you Mr. Sobin: This United states has a harden heart and it is Not God centered. People make mistakes and all have sinned. Is the United States playing God with these cover up to make the public that one person is no different from the other but we are gonna make it harsher for that group and keep him in bondage with this Man Made Sex offender Registry.
    Wo to the people of America as they never had the love of God in their hearts to start with and error in that respect. A murderer would look better in the eyes of the public than a sex offender so what would be the difference? I'm sure man in his wisdom understanding and knowledge could come up with the answer. The word of the Lord holds the key to everything. It tells us with man it is impossible but with God all things are possible. I am a sex offender, who did I offend I wonder about that myself and if porn offends it only offends that person and that person needs to correct himself or herself. These sex offender laws are overactions and underlined by public safety and greedy politicians that do need to get there hearts right with God.

  • http://Www.OregonActionCommittee.Org Tom Madison

    Thank you Mr. Sobin and your IdiotsRegistry.Info website. As an Oregon registrant-activist, I am thinking seriously of following in your footsteps. It is time to challenge the fascists (both Democrats and Republicans) by going after their henchmen. The Sex Offender Registry laws are built not on relevant facts but on political tough-on-crime hot air and political ladder climbing. The SOR laws's cornerstone is based on sex offender "high re-offense rates" but are refuted by a decade of solid federal and state studies showing very LOW rates instead.

    Want to run for public office in your area and win? Just say that you'll be tough on registered sex offenders and you will be a shoe-in.

  • Pingback: Sex offender fights registry by registering his registerers [updated] | CA RSOL

  • Larry Q

    Good job Mr Sobin, I hope many people read this and take my suggestion to do a Google search on the Nuremberg laws; these laws were passed by the Nazi government and enacted against the Jews, and many of these laws are being imposed on registrants. Members of my family fought and died fighting against this type of tyranny and many other Americans did so too.
    Empirical evidence shows that these kind of laws do nothing to protect anyone, what they do is cost $ cost $ cost $$. They are panic/prejudice fueled feel-good laws invariably passed without much thought to the long term effects. These people have already had too many of their basic human rights unconstitutionally removed.
    I would just once like to hear someone talk of and recognize the children of this oppressed 3rd class of citizen. They are harmed in ways that last for many years, if not a lifetime.
    These laws harm the economy and more importantly, every time some one adds another sanction to the plethora of existing laws against these people children are being harmed.

    If I stole a candy bar at age 6, does that mean I am a thief for the rest of my life? This is the logic of these laws; people change. There is a 99.9995% of 1% chance of these people re-offending. Do your homework people!

    This study uses government statistics which prove these laws are not necessary and never were. In fact the numbers show that a police officer is more likely to commit a sex crime.

  • Krychek_2

    @Typical DC BS, Comment No. 3, I might agree with you if rape, assault, and pedophilia were the only way to land on a sex offenders registry. But it isn't. There are people on it who got drunk and urinated in public. There are teenagers on it who got there by taking nude selfies of themselves and emailing them to their friends. There's a woman on it who got there by allowing her 16-year-old daughter's 18-year-old boyfriend to move into her spare bedroom. (Her daughter was pregnant and the mother decided boyfriend may as well live under their roof since mother was supporting all of them.) A lot of people have been put on the registry for stuff that nobody seriously thinks makes them a threat to other people, and once you're on it, there's no getting off.

  • Joe the Voter

    This is an institutional sickness that, sadly, is all to typical of our political system which traditionally ignores facts. We must have some of the stupidest politicians possible because they continue to do and say what best suits their own re-election with no regard for facts or what is actually best for our nation.

    The new Farm Bill, among other provisions, not banishes former sex offenders from food stamps. Not sure how that is supposed to either rehabilitate or reduce crime?

    They can't get work, find shelter and now they can't eat?

    I suppose that cutting out $1,596 average food stamp per person is worth risking these people going back to prison for theft in order to survive. After all prison costs us "only" around $30,000 per inmate per year. I real bargain to save $1,596 in food stamps.

    I cannot repeat STUPID too many times here.

  • The man who wants to get on with his life

    The fact of the matter is that the public is being led to believe that former sex offenders are committing new sex crimes at unprecedented rates, when in fact the recidivism rate for former sex offenders is far lower than almost every other category of crime. You politicians can shove that statistic up your rears; perhaps then it will sink in.

  • James Townsend

    Mr. Sobin: It takes guts to do anything and while I commend you for your efforts I would also like to introduce you to something new that you might ponder on.

    While sex offenses are all different yet all the same according to law enforcement the registry is a list of offenders from the least to the worst and has flaw's in itself,and one needs to take a look at it in a biblical perspective also.
    Its just sins, moral sins... weather you are got into pornography or entrapped in a sting operation, or whatever you exposed yourself in public during a key party or maybe even shooting someone the bird in public and they did not like that. ( finger jesting will probably be a sex offense soon)

    I think a more precise and creative approach would be the sins of all the politicians that are in office all across the US that you the people have voted in office and have not beaconed to the voters for change.

    See we all have sins. If the United States wants to play God with these ordinances or this Sex registry and make it public and dehumanize that persons right from seeking employment or, life, liberty, or Justice and being stigmatized by others than that's not right

    What sins do the thinkers of the Sex Registry have?
    God is in control of man and He forgives us our sins if we ask Him but man doesn't. He is more wiser than God and is actually playing God with this Sex registry
    Any politician that has the death penalty in their state and has promoted it ... they do not know God.....any politician that thought up this sex registry to hold a bondage over man, to be accountable for man, they don't know God......and any politician that would bow down to their God doesn't know the true God of understanding which is Jesus Christ. When you vote have a God believing and God centered person in office as it seems we don't have a lot of them in office today. The forefathers wanted that in the beginning.

    Man has been polluting man since the 60's and earlier, so look around and see. Pray was taken out of school, TV has been a bad influence in this decade, education has been lacking, technology has been advancing and a lot of its no good. Even when they started harnessing atomic energy and nuclear weapons. Yet man knows what's best.

    You see were all accountable to God and not to man. This Sex registry, is man's attempt to compound the wise under the (guise of safety). Don't you know we are all slaves to man in some form or another.

    The law back in Moses time was fleshy and sinful.
    Under the new convent law we are to love thy neighbor and how is the sex registry loving thy neighbor?
    You may look at the internet as a tower of babble?

    Need I say more about these stupid sex registry laws. Do this registry show any love, understanding, and kindness.
    or is it just a black list of American people and are still being held in bondage.

    Now Megan's law and this Adam Walsh law may be impressive to them like their are somebody crying out for justice, but these were random acts and all should not be punished for others because of one other person's sin.

    We have 700,000 people on the sex registry. I don't know the figure of those busted in sting operations so one has to think about in the equation. So should we just list the sins' of everybody in America? or just the one's without sin (forgive me in my folly).

    God knows the sins of each and everyone of us. We are not perfect like the Government of the United States with their law's and bills and taxes and moral issues.....

    We are just "We the People"