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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, www.idiotsregistry.info, 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