See also Hall of Shame: journalists, politicians, and others
who fuel the fire of fear and hatred for children who violate sex laws
Montana teen must register as sex offender
KTVQ, Billings, MT
Dec. 18, 2007
A judge has rejected a request by the lawyer for a 14 year old convicted sex offender to have his name removed from the state registry. The teen's parents, junior high school principal and treatment counselor all testified that the teen posed no harm to the community.
Sex offenders in school: What are the rules?
Tacoma News-Tribune, WA
December 8, 2007
Gig Harbor High School suspended four students this week for posting fliers warning peers about two juvenile sex offenders who attend classes there. Schellenberg said there are details of a person’s conviction that the “sex offender” label might not adequately explain.
Rape charges recall notorious Chicago case
December 2, 2007
"It's outrageous," said Pincham, who's been following the case involving three Acworth boys, ages 8 and 9, charged with raping an 11-year-old playmate. "Everybody knows a boy that age can't rape a girl. The prosecutor should know better." Considering the ages of the children involved, Zimring said the alleged assault was not sexual in nature and shouldn't be treated as rape. Nor should it be viewed as criminal in nature, said state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver.
Sex "abuse" crimes with juvenile perpetrators a trend
Intermountain Catholic News
November 28, 2007
While some attorneys don’t want to prosecute sex cases (because often the acts can be seen as consensual, non-victim crimes), Lorha Miller wants to see sex “crimes” with juveniles prosecuted with seriousness. “I was astounded at how sexually engaged students were in the hallways when I was teaching,” Beas-Nordell said. “I tried to uphold some moral standards for my dance students.”
A fairer approach to teen sex sentencing
November 29, 2007
Widner was 18 when he had sex with a 14-year-old he met in a Griffin bar. When the jury convicted Widner of aggravated child "molestation," the judge had no choice but to sentence him to 10 years. The girl testified that she lied and said she was of legal age, 16; she said she willingly engaged in sex with Widner, whom she considered her boyfriend. Widner will be on the state's sex offender registry. The registry is another example of the Legislature's abandoning common sense and fairness, putting consensual sexual activity between teens on the same level as violent rape or child molestation.
Sex In The Time Of Hysteria
Cleveland Free Times
November 21, 2007
The new law won unanimous approval in the Ohio Senate. Perhaps its most pernicious aspect is that children are now subject to the same classification system as adults. So a 14 year old who inappropriately touches a younger child could be forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of his or her life. That's the opposite of progress, says the Ohio Associations of Child Caring Agencies (OACCA). Housing restrictions are just the beginning of a lifetime of punishment. The new law requires more information to be publicly posted: the names and addresses of offenders' jobs and/or the schools they attend.
Three boys, 8 and 9, charged with "raping" 11-year-old girl
November 19, 2007
The father of one of the boys told The Associated Press that no force was used against the girl. But Wilkie said children that young cannot legally consent to sex, "so we have to go with the charges we have."
Boys focus of sex-"abuse" inquiry
Los Angeles Daily News
November 14, 2007
Deputies concluded that fewer than 10 children, all between the ages of 5 and 8, were involved, sheriff's Sgt. Dan Scott said. At least one of the accused boys was cited for investigation of sodomy, but Scott said prosecutors will decide what, if any, charges will be pursued. There was substantial sexual contact between the children."
Genarlow Wilson supporters nominated for award
November 10, 2007
Two men involved in the fight to free Genarlow Wilson were nominated for the prestigious Profile in Courage Award by former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young. Wilson was freed from prison when the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that his 10-year sentence for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17 was "cruel and unusual punishment." Wilson was convicted of felony aggravated child "molestation."
State must alter system for juvenile sex offenders
Louisville Courier-Journal, KY
November 7, 2007
Calling some of the department's arguments "baffling," Judge Phillip J. Shepherd reaffirmed his earlier decision to strike down the department's practice of housing minor offenders in a treatment program along with older youths who commit serious sex crimes. The practice violates state law and was not intended by lawmakers.
Many Teens Don't Know the Law About Sex
October 29, 2007
Lawyers and health educators say most teens — and even many parents — are unaware that even consensual teenage sex is often a crime. "We do a disgraceful job of educating kids about the very real consequences that they face," said J. Tom Morgan, a former DeKalb County district attorney.
Student sex-offender cases could change policies statewide
Bozeman Daily Chronicle, MT
October 28, 2007
The case is the first of its kind in Montana, officials said, and school districts and government officials across the state are watching closely. The Belgrade board expelled Albert Brown, 19, and suspended Tanner Smith, 15, after learning a week ago that both students were listed on the state's sex-offender registry. Since Brown's case became public, he said, he has been fired from his job at a Belgrade restaurant.
Genarlow Wilson rejoices over his release
October 26, 2007
The Georgia Supreme Court had ordered his release, calling his 10-year prison sentence "cruel and unusual punishment." He was ultimately found guilty of felony aggravated child "molestation" for receiving oral sex from the 15-year-old girl. Four other male youths at the party pleaded guilty to child "molestation" of the 15-year-old and sexual "battery" of the 17-year-old. The 15-year-old's mother said the sex between her daughter, Wilson and the four other teens was consensual.
Coalition for Juvenile Justice Objects to The Adam Walsh Act
Sex Offender Research by a Voice of Reason
October 23, 2007
Research does not support the application of SORNA to children. SORNA as applied to juveniles flies in the face of some of the core purposes, functions and objectives of our nation’s juvenile justice systems in that it strips away the confidentiality and the overall rehabilitative emphasis. SORNA as applied to children and youth will disrupt families and communities across the nation because SORNA does not just stigmatize the child; it stigmatizes the entire family.
A sex law gone awry
October 21, 2007
Half of teens ages 15 to 19 have had oral sex, according to a 2005 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. That does not mean that half of teens belong on a sex-offender registry. Jeffery York was convicted of sodomy for having oral sex with a 15-year-old when he was 17... When it turned out that he lived within the 1,000-feet limit of a child-care center, York was forced to move again. He now lives in a camper van in the woods without running water or electricity.
Is That 4-Year-Old Really a Sex Offender?
October 21, 2007
Could my son be accused of sexual harassment? Like many 3-year-olds, he's very affectionate. Unfortunately, hugging his teacher may get him suspended from nursery school. I recently learned that children nationwide, some of preschool age, have been suspended from school or taken to jail after being accused of sexual harassment.
Family of jailed teen hopes for quick resolution
October 20, 2007
Campton was charged with lascivious acts with a child after having two sexual encounters with his girlfriend. At the time she was 13 and he was 16 years old. He had been charged with more serious felonies, but pleaded down in a deal reached with the prosecutor. “It was in the report that it was consensual and as a matter of fact she snuck into our house when we were asleep,” Chris Spidell said.
Turning Kids into Sex Offenders
October 17, 2007
Imagine how DeMarcus Blackwell felt when he was told that his son Chris had engaged in "sexual contact and/or sexual harassment" at school. Well, before you can imagine this father's reaction, you need to know one other fact: His son was 4 years old when the "sexual" incident occurred.
Trial Nov. 26 for boy, 9, in bus sex case
October 17, 2007
The 9-year-old boy, along with an 11-year-old co-defendant, is charged with first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct and gross indecency between males. The boys could be sentenced to juvenile detention facilities until age 21 and listed on the state's sex offender registry until age 30. Sociologists, child psychologists and juvenile court workers say victims' rights laws enacted over the past decade to protect children may now be hurting children accused of sex crimes.
8 boys charged with sex assault at school
Oct. 5, 2007
Eight students at Smithfield Middle School in Rexdale have been charged with sexual assault after allegedly restraining and groping four girls on school property after class. The boys are all 12 and 13, and the girls are all 13.
2 boys accused of groping at Sugg Middle
Southwest Florida Herald-Tribune
September 25. 2007
Two middle school boys were charged with felonies that could land them on a sexual offender registry after police say they pinched and groped girls' breasts in class. The boys said they grabbed and pinched the girls because users of the popular social networking Web site MySpace.com had declared it "National Grab a Boob Day," according to a heavily redacted arrest report. It was not immediately clear if prosecutors planned to charge them as adults.
Attorney questions court's treatment of suspect, 11
Livingston Daily, MI
September 19, 2007
On Friday, referee Margaret Gillis Ayalp authorized first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct charges against the 11-year-old. She also ordered the 11-year-old to participate in sex offender risk assessment — where he would discuss the allegations. "It was child abuse," Henry said about Ayalp's actions. Henry said the referee's decision forces her client to be labeled as a sex offender before he's convicted. "(Ayalp) basically treated my client as a monster."
Boy, 7, says pair forced sex while on bus
Livingston Press, MI
September 18, 2007
Two Howell elementary school boys — ages 9 and 11 — have been charged with criminal sexual conduct for allegedly making a 7-year-old boy perform oral sex while on a school bus last May. The 9- and 11-year-old boys are each charged with first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct. First-degree CSC, which means penetration, is a felony that for adults carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. If convicted as charged, both boys also would have to register as sex offenders for life.
Examining sex offender laws, Part 2
East Valley Tribune, Phoenix, AZ
September 14, 2007
Arizona is one of 29 states that require people to register as sex offenders if, while they were teenagers, they were convicted of having consensual sex with another teen.
End Registration of Juveniles, Residency Restrictions and Online Registries
Human Rights Watch
September 12, 2007
Because registration requirements are overbroad in scope and overlong in duration, there are more than 600,000 registered sex offenders in the US, including individuals convicted of non-violent crimes such as consensual sex between teenagers, prostitution, and public urination, as well as those who committed their only offenses decades ago.
Report hits laws aimed at sex offenders
September 12, 2007
Illinois legislators recently tried to curb the state's law mandating juvenile sex offender registration, giving judges discretion over which juveniles should be placed on public lists. But Gov. Rod Blagojevich vetoed the law in late August, the second time he has done so in two years.
Groups favor scrutiny of repeat sex offenders, want to protect identities of juvenile offenders
September 9, 2007
Voices for Ohio's Children claims the strict federal law makes youth sex offenders "unable" to turn their lives around, and that Ohio Senate Bill 10 "goes too far...SB 10 mandates expanding both kinds of youth included in the registry and the number of years - in many cases for life - that the registration is required."
Part of juvenile system quashed
The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY
September 6, 2007
A Franklin Circuit judge has struck down Kentucky's system for classifying and housing juveniles who commit sex offenses. Judge Phillip Shepherd found the state Juvenile Justice Department has exceeded its authority in creating a system where youths who commit even minor offenses are required to undergo long-term treatment at residential centers. In some cases, youths with mental retardation are being forced to participate in programs even though it is impossible for them to benefit, Shepherd wrote.
Stringent sex laws criticized by some
Argus Leader, SD
September 3, 2007
Her 8-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son had touched and looked at each other naked. Her son got the juvenile equivalent of a felony conviction, which placed him on the sex offender registry as an adult and ultimately lengthened his Iowa prison sentence when, at age 21, he had sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend. His actions with his sister were deemed a "sexually predatory offense" under Iowa law and brought the penalty in his second offense from a maximum of 10 years to a 25-year prison term.
Governor nixes juvenile registry plan
Daily Herald, Chicago
August 25, 2007
Gov. Rod Blagojevich vetoed a bill that would have allowed a judge's discretion to eventually remove juveniles guilty of sex crimes from state's Sex Offender registry if they pose no further danger. Defense attorney D.J. Tegeler argues juveniles shouldn't be branded forever as adults. He represents a boy who was accused of a sex crime when he was 13. The boy took part in a ding-dong ditch prank in which he grabbed the breasts of a girl who also was 13 and then ran away.
Police: Teens Had Sex In School Bathroom
Local 6 News, Orlando, FL
August 24, 2007
A 16-year-old Marion County high school student was arrested on lewd and lascivious battery charges after police said she had sex with her 14-year-old boyfriend in a school bathroom.
Boy, 5, in sex assault suit
New York Daily News
August 21, 2007
A kindergartner at Mother Hale Academy in the Bronx was "sexually assaulted" in December by a classmate, a new lawsuit claims. Betsy Torres says her 5-year-old son was touched in an "inappropriate manner" by at least one other 5-year-old boy in his class, and there was "sexual activity" in a bathroom.
Absurdity breakout: Laws end up targeting not-so-dangerous 'sex offenders'
GateHouse News Service
August 20, 2007
In Missouri, registration lasts for life, whether the offender is a rapist or a teenager having consensual sex with an underage partner. In Pennsylvania, a 13-year-old girl who took pictures of her naked self will be a sex offender for life. Two Virginia girls in their teens who took topless photos of each other also must register for life. In Wisconsin, a young woman will register for years to come because as a 9-year-old, her mother made her and her 6-year-old sister perform sex acts.
Offender list requirement not fair for young teens
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
August 15, 2007
A 14-year-old experimenting with sex would now find his name inscribed for perpetuity on the state's public registry of sex offenders. That's the lunacy behind a particularly troublesome state law that went into effect July 1. Passed unanimously by the Florida Legislature, it is required in large measure for compliance under the Adam Walsh Act.
Next Comes Burning at the Stake
Cincinatti City Beat, OH
August 15, 2007
Perhaps the most pernicious aspect of the new law is that an entire population of children are now subject to the same classification system as adults. A 14-year-old who inappropriately touches a younger child could end up having to register as a sex offender for the rest of his or her life. "So what's going to happen when we have this whole population of teenage sex offenders on public registries who are not going to be able to live within 2,500 feet of schools, parks and playgrounds? They're not going to be able to live with their parents, who live in residential neighborhoods. Where are they going to go?"
Racism, Justice and Age-of-Consent Laws in America
August 14, 2007
The case of Genarlow Wilson reveals not only how interracial sexual relations remain an exposed nerve in American society, but also how age-of-consent laws serve to regulate sex, especially sex among consenting young people.
Penalty widens for youth sex 'coercion'
Palm Beach Post, FL
August 13, 2007
Fourteen-year-old boys who "coerce" sex from their girlfriends soon will join adult rapists and child molesters with their names, addresses and photographs on the state's Web site list of sex offenders. And most will remain on the list for life, required to reregister every 90 days or face a new felony charge, because of a law the state legislature passed in the spring to comply with the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection Act. "The legislation is pretty draconian," said Miami-Dade Chief Assistant Public Defender Carlos Martinez. "Parents have no idea the impact this will have on their children."
Boys avoid sex abuse charges
August 11, 2007
A Yamhill County judge dismissed all the sex abuse charges Friday against two Patton Middle School boys accused of repeatedly slapping girls on the buttocks in a school hallway and with touching two of them on the breast. They still face misdemeanor harassment charges but are no longer at risk of lifetime registration as sex offenders. One of the girls who was initially named as a victim but who declined to participate in the case, attended the hearing with her father, Tim. "This whole thing is crazy," Tim Gephart said. "These kids were just doing kid stuff."
Florida man sheds sex offender status
August 5, 2007
Underage sex is still a crime in Florida. But the law which went into effect in July allows a judge to remove the sex offender designation in certain cases.
St. Paul / Pre-kindergarten sex on bus alleged
July 31, 2007
St. Paul police have forwarded a case involving alleged sexual contact among several 5-year-old boys on a school bus to Ramsey County Child Protection. "I have taken immediate steps to ensure the safety of the students riding that bus through Thursday, the end of this school year," Principal Howard Wilson wrote.
Defining a sex predator, for life
July 25, 2007
The night Matthew Shettles graduated from high school, he had sex with his girlfriend. He became a sex offender. His name will be on a registry of sex offenders for life. Once on a public registry, he says, a teen's future can change dramatically. A new federal law, the Adam Walsh Act, requires states to put on public registries anyone 14 or older who has sex with someone 12 or younger.
States ease laws that punish teens for sex with minors
July 25, 2007
More states are bucking the national crackdown on sex offenders by paring back punishment for teens who have consensual sex with underage partners. As many states pass tougher laws on sex offenders that include long minimum sentences, lifetime electronic monitoring and even the death penalty, some lawmakers are reluctant to ease punishment. Sen. Don Betzold of Minnesota pushed a bill that would remove the sex-registry requirement for some kids under 16. It died in the House of Representatives. Similar measures failed to pass this year in Maine and New Hampshire.
How Can You Distinguish a Budding Pedophile From a Kid With Real Boundary Problems?
New York Times Magazine
July 22, 2007
In dozens of interviews, therapists, lawyers, teenagers and their parents told me similar stories of juveniles who, after being discovered on a sex-offender registry, have been ostracized by their peers and neighbors, kicked out of extracurricular activities or physically threatened by classmates. Johnnie's first suicide attempt was two weeks after his sex offense became known at school. Texas lists more than 3,400 people for offenses committed when they were juveniles. Meanwhile, in South Carolina, anyone — whether adult or child — who is placed on its Internet registry is there for life. Most have not committed violent assaults. Some are what therapists call “naïve experimenters,” others are generally delinquent juveniles. There are also a number of children who are adjudicated for “playing doctor” or normative “sexual experimentation.” Similarly, there are the so-called Romeo and Juliet cases. Under the Adam Walsh Act, a 14-year-old boy who touches an 11-year-old girl’s vagina will remain on the national registry for life. The law is retroactive: hundreds of juveniles who are on probation for sex offenses that preceded the law could be eligible for the nationwide registry. Another unintended consequence may be that some families will remain silent to protect their children from decades on an Internet registry rather than seek intervention that would benefit both the victim and the offender. Last year, a 20-year-old Canadian man with a list of 29 names and addresses from the Maine Sex Offender Registry killed an offender convicted for statutory rape; he was 19 when he had sex with his girlfriend, who was two weeks shy of her 16th birthday...In a Newton, Kan., juvenile sex offender program, teenagers keep logs of their masturbation habits, some programs require them to undergo polygraphs. Mark Chaffin, co-director of an Oklahoma program for adolescents, said that teenagers there told counselors that in previous programs they felt pressured to confess to sex offenses they didn’t commit. “It’s not an uncommon occurrence; it’s part of the culture of some facilities.” Some programs place a band around a boy’s genitals to measure his erectile response to audio or visual stimuli.
Unruly schoolboys or sex offenders?
July 22, 2007
The two boys tore down the hall of Patton Middle School after lunch, swatting the bottoms of girls as they ran -- what some kids later said was a common form of greeting. Now, Cory Mashburn and Ryan Cornelison, both 13, face the prospect of 10 years in juvenile detention and a lifetime on the sex offender registry. If the McMinnville boys are convicted of any of the counts of sex abuse, "It's basically the end of their lives," McFarlane said.
13-year-old facing felony sex charges
WINK-TV, Fort Myers, FL
July 18, 2007
The charges are serious--lewd and lascivious molestation which is a felony and she's just 13-years-old. The Charlotte County Sheriffs' Office report says the sexual encounters between the five children, ranging from age 5 to 13 started when one of the children found an adult magazine.
Hundreds march for Genarlow Wilson's release
July 14, 2007
Led by the NAACP, about 2,000 marchers took to the streets in Douglas County today in support of Genarlow Wilson's release from state prison. The case of Wilson, serving a 10-year sentence for receiving oral sex from a 15-year-old girl when he was 17, will be heard by the Georgia Supreme Court July 20.
Residency restriction on sexual offenders fails in Sanbornton
The Citizen, NH
July 13, 2007
The news came as welcome relief to Knox Mountain Road resident Cynthia Huber who has steadfastly opposed the residency restrictions until the state determines a more equitable definition of who should be registering for life. Huber's son, Nathan, is a registered sex offender after being convicted of felonious sexual assault for having consensual sex with a 15-year-old when he was two months past his 18th birthday.
Advocates want DA prosecuted for releasing Wilson video
July 12, 2007
Two state senators, a state representative, a civil rights veteran, and the pastor of historic Ebenezer Baptist Church all criticized Douglas District Attorney David McDade at a Thursday afternoon press conference for what they characterized as his "overzealous" prosecution and subsequent mishandling of the Genarlow Wilson case. They suggested McDade should be prosecuted criminally for distributing a tape of Wilson which the federal prosecutors' office in Atlanta said constituted child porn.
It's Time to Reform Sex Offender Laws
July 10, 2007
The youngest person now required to register as a sex offender is six years old and 4-year olds are being charged with sexual harassment. Juveniles whose feelings or actions are considered deviant have been subjected to the same aversive therapies once used to "cure" gay men, as well as public humiliation.
'Romeo and Juliet' law starts
July 9, 2007
The change in the law decriminalizes consensual sex among teenagers in a dating relationship if they are within four years age difference. Sex with a person younger than 14 is still considered child molesting, regardless of the age of the "perpetrator." Some teens in consensual, dating relationships wound up with criminal convictions that required lifetime sex offender registration.
Defending youth sex offenders’ rights; Woman advocates for fair punishment
June 19, 2007
The effects on families of accused youthful sexual offenders going through the state’s justice system are rarely considered, said Edna Haws, a support advocate for those families. All crimes cannot be considered the same, she said, but the legal remedy is the same for every offender. “Especially for some of the things they’ve done; touching, showing, but no penetration or violence or evil intent, it’s appalling.”
Sex offender laws have unintended consequences
Minnesota Public Radio
June 18, 2007
"She told me she was 16," says Ricky. "So we started dating. And we ended up having sex twice." A few months later, Ricky was arrested and charged with two counts of felony sexual abuse. He faced up to 20 years in prison. Ricky pled guilty to a lesser charge and was ordered to get sex offender treatment and register as a sex offender. Ricky was kicked out of school, and must stay away from schools and parks.
Mothers talk about their sons
Minnesota Public Radio
June 12, 2007
Two mothers of teenage boys who were convicted for having consensual sex with an underage girlfriend share their thoughts about the treatment of their sons. Ohio: My son will be on the S.O.R. (sex offender registry) for 10 years. His act was not a violent one against a child. It was ALL consensual! Texas: My son will register as a sex offender for life. He was required to move out of our home immediately because of younger family members. He has been required to attend weekly therapy with much older offenders whose crimes involved forced, violent offenses...
Last minute appeal in teen sex case sparks outrage
June 11, 2007
Jubilation turned quickly to anger Monday after Georgia's top prosecutor vowed he would fight a judge's order that would have set free Genarlow Wilson, a Georgia man serving a 10-year prison sentence for a consensual sexual encounter he had as a teenager. Joseph Lowery, former president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, called Baker's decision "unnecessary, unjust and unfounded."
US court system sees rise in juvenile sex offender cases
June 10, 2007
US courts have seen the number of sex offense cases involving juvenile offenders rise dramatically in recent years. However, Robert Prentky, a psychologist and nationally renowned expert on sex offenders, thinks the statistics are misleading. "There aren't more kids, there are more laws," he said. "We now have fairly draconian laws with very harsh sanctions that apply to juveniles." Franklin Zimring, a juvenile justice expert at the University of California, Berkeley, thinks many children are unnecessarily treated as sex offenders.
Appeals court upholds Winona County ruling regarding juvenile sex offenders
Winona Daily News, MN
June 7, 2007
The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed a decision Tuesday that requires juveniles convicted of felony sex offenses to register as predatory offenders but are not entitled to a jury trial in juvenile court. The decision arose from a Winona County case involving a 15-year-old boy accused of having sex with a 13-year-old.
State considers taking juveniles off sex offender registry
WJBZ Radio, Bloomington, IL
June 7, 2007
The General Assembly passed a bill that would allow younger offenders who are taking part in a consenting sexual relationship to ask a judge to take him or her off the registry.
State OKs bill to aid young sex offenders
May 30, 2007
A bill keeping juvenile sex offenders off the state's adult sex offender registry -- effectively repealing a 2005 act -- was passed by the Illinois legislature Tuesday.
Experts: Juvenile Sex Offenders Often Not Tracked
WAPT-TV, Jackson, MS
May 20, 2007
If a child is found guilty twice for any sex crime or attempted sex offense, the information can be made public. A new law requires juvenile sex offenders ages 15 and up to register with the state's Adult Sex Offender Registry. But the mother whose child was molested wants all juvenile sex offenders on the Adult Sex Offender Registry.
State moving to list juvenile sex offender data on Web
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
May 20, 2007
Two years ago, state lawmakers passed "Amie's Law" to give law enforcement officials discretion to notify the public about "sex offenders" living in the community whose crimes occurred when they were juveniles. Now, state officials are taking steps to expand the public's Internet access to information on those "offenders."
Teen arrest spurs warning to parents
News 14, Raleigh, NC
May 16, 2007
A 15-year-old boy was charged Tuesday with 21 felony counts of sexually "exploiting" a minor because he allegedly had photos of several girls on his cell phone. Authorities pointed out that it does not matter if both parties are minors or if both kids agreed to it. The 15-year-old boy might have to register as a "sex offender."
Teens: Watch what you post
May 1, 2007
All a teen needs is his or her computer and a cell-phone camera to commit crimes that carry a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison. When he takes a photo of his naked buddy, he's committing a felony of the third degree, creating "child pornography." And, with the recent passage of the federal Adam Walsh Act, a Megan's Law-like listing of "juvenile sex offenders" will be created.
Teen sex offender bill goes to governor’s desk
East Valley Tribune, Phoenix
May 1, 2007
SB1628 allows teens prosecuted as adults to have their cases sent back to juvenile court and their lifetime probation lifted. Lawmakers had been hearing from constituents for years who said their children were required to register as "sex offenders" and serve lifetime probation for fondling a family member or having sex with a younger girlfriend. They were opposed, however, by county prosecutors.
Court asked to spare teen from sex offender registry
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
April 27, 2007
The case involves a 16-year-old boy who videotaped himself having consensual sex with his 14-year-old girlfriend, then later played the tape for some friends. He was not convicted for the sexual act itself but pleaded guilty to the crime of "public display of explicit sexual material" involving the videotape. Three months later, a state law took effect adding that crime to a list of other offenses for which people are required to register as sex offenders.
Mo. Bill Could Add Juvenile Sex Offenders To National Database
KSDK-TV, St. Louis
April 25, 2007
Davis is sponsoring a bill that would add the names of adjudicated juveniles to the National Sex Offender registry. Dr. Matthew Collins, the sex offender therapist for the St. Louis City Family Court, said the proposal is much too broad, adding juvenile "offenders" should not be classified with adults.
Texas Juvenile Detention Centers Cope With Charges of Rape, Abuse
April 16, 2007
Arrested at 15 for inappropriate sexual contact with a sibling, he expected to spend nine months in a secure facility or halfway house run by the Texas Youth Commission (TYC); instead, he remained incarcerated for four years. During that period, he claims that guards deliberately placed him in a cell with a larger boy who raped him and encouraged gang members to break his jaw. He also said he was molested by a female staff member. "If your parents complain, you get your sentence extended," Genger insists. Genger focuses on the psychological wounds sustained by one-time juvenile offenders forced to endure beatings and rapes.
Authorities: Fifth-graders posted lookout, had sex in class
April 4, 2007
Five fifth-grade students face criminal charges after authorities said four of them had sex in front of other students in an unsupervised classroom. Two 11-year-old girls, a 12-year-old boy and a 13-year old boy were charged with obscenity, a felony. An 11-year-old boy, the alleged lookout, was charged with being an accessory.
8-Year-Old Charged For Sexual Conduct With Sitter
March 25, 2007
A mother is upset after a 14-year-old babysitter engaged in sexual conduct with her eight-year-old boy, and the eight-year-old was charged with lewd conduct. Prosecutors say that, while the babysitter initiated the contact, the young boy was a willing participant. “She dared my son to touch her breasts,” says Michelle Grosbeck, the boy’s mother.
Young Sex Offenders Might Join Registry
March 14, 2007
The bill would require juveniles to be listed in Maryland's sex offender registry if they were at least 13 when they committed their crime. In a departure from the judicial practice of guarding the confidentiality of young offenders, judges would be allowed to unseal the juvenile's criminal record for police and other law enforcement authorities with the goal of disclosure to the community.
Boy linked to schoolhouse "spanking" speaks out
March 3, 2007
Corey Mashburn, 12, said about half of his seventh grade class at Patton Middle School was spanking each other's bottoms, part of a game a lot of his friends were playing. But authorities took it seriously. Mashburn and a 13-year-old classmate are facing the equivalent of felony sex abuse charges.
Boy, 15, faces child porn charge
Bangor Daily News, ME
March 2, 2007
"A large number of teens have said they have downloaded child porn. Many do not realize it’s criminal. [To them] it’s sexual exploration. "We also know many kids are taking sexual photos of themselves and friends and sending them to people," Finkelhor said. "That is child pornography production and that’s criminal as well."
Durham teen charged with soliciting sex
Foster's Online, NH
Feb. 26, 2007
A 17-year-old high school student was arrested this weekend on accusations he contacted a person he believed was a 14-year-old boy for sex. He has been charged with attempted felonious "sexual assault" and certain uses of a computer prohibited, both Class B felonies.
Underage sex: Authorities grapple with consequences
Feb. 25, 2007
Sheboygan Press, WI
There are thousands of sexually active high school students in Sheboygan County, but many are unaware their consensual sexual encounters are prosecutable offenses. Cases involving rape and those involving consensual sexual contact are often charged identically. Last year, 31 people in Sheboygan County were charged with sexual assault of a child between the ages of 13 and 15, DeCecco said. Nearly all of those were for consensual encounters. An additional 10 people were charged with sexual assault of a child age 16 or 17, and again, the vast majority involved consensual contact, DeCecco said.
Prosecutor: Sex Crime Bill Makes 'Bad Law'
FOX-61, Hartford, CT
Feb. 24, 2007
State Rep. Toni Walker, D-New Haven, said she was concerned about the law's impact on young teenagers who may commit sex offenses as part of their natural sex drive or a consensual romantic relationship with someone several years younger.
Sex offenders: Fights over death penalty ahead
Texas Politics Blog
Feb. 21, 2007
David Gonzalez, lobbyist for the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, said by redefining what constitutes a sexually violent offense against a child to include indecency with a child by contact, a 14-year-old could become a first degree felon by touching the chest, even over clothing, of a 13-year-old.
Panel rejects bills on youth sex offenders
Feb. 13, 2007
With prosecutors mounting an aggressive defense of the status quo and one lawmaker absent, both bills died in committee. Under current state law, sexual contact, from touching to intercourse, with anyone younger than 15 is a felony, even if the youths are close in age and the contact is consensual.
Boy, 16, sentenced in "rape" of girl, 12
Dayton Daily News, OH
Feb. 13, 2007
He is one of three boys accused of "raping" the girl. None of the boys was charged with forcible encounters. One of the defendants, a 14-year-old Dayton boy who had been the victim's boyfriend, is accused of convincing the girl to engage in sexual acts with himself and his friends. Capizzi sentenced him to three years in a juvenile facility and designated him a sexual predator, requiring him to notify law enforcement every 90 days for life.
Tracking teenage sex offenders
WMC-TV, Memphis, TN
Feb 13, 2007
Lawmakers recently considered a bill that would require states to list juvenile sex offenders like their adult counterparts, in public registries.
Legislators try to ease laws for sex crimes by youths
East Valley Tribune, AZ
Feb. 11, 2007
A group of conservative Republican lawmakers, responding to years of tearful appeals from the teens’ families, wants to ease the laws governing young sex offenders. "I think we’re creating a crime that really doesn’t exist. We’ve labeled a 15-year-old for a relationship. And we’ve basically taken his future," said Chris Phillis, juvenile division chief for the county public defender’s office. In addition to dozens of families, supporters include adult and juvenile probation officers, judges, treatment providers and police. But not the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
Teens charged with statutory rape
Winona Times, MS
Feb. 11, 2007
Two Elliot teenagers have been charged with felony statutory rape of a 12-year-old girl. The girl admitted to inviting the boys, a 17-year-old and a 14-year-old, over to the house around 2 a.m. Amason said, "as we got into the investigation, we discovered she was a willing participant in the act."
Police blotter: Teens prosecuted for racy photos
Feb. 9, 2007
16-year-old Amber and 17-year-old Jeremy, her boyfriend, took digital photos of themselves naked and engaged in unspecified "sexual behavior." The two sent the photos from a computer at Amber's house to Jeremy's personal e-mail address. Each was charged with producing, directing or promoting child pornography.
Boy, 17, faces sex assault charges
Sheboygan Press, WI
Feb. 9, 2007
A 17-year-old Cedar Grove boy was charged Thursday with two counts of felony sex assault for having consensual sex with two underage girls at his apartment. He faces up to 50 years in prison and fines of up to $200,000 if convicted.
Northern MontCo residents discuss ideas with officials
Frederick News Post, MD
Feb. 8, 2007
End the confidentiality that shields juvenile sex offenders...These were some of the suggestions residents of Clarksburg, Poolesville and Germantown conveyed to their state representatives Saturday at a town meeting...
Juvenile Sex Offenders Require Comprehensive Treatment, Study Finds
Research at Missouri University
Feb. 7, 2007
Juvenile sex offenders are very likely no different than other serious offenders in the juvenile justice system; nor do they require special treatment, which is generally too narrow in scope and delivered in institutional settings. Borduin said the usual treatment approaches aim primarily to change how sex offenders think about their crime or its impact on their victims. There is little evidence these approaches are effective.
Authorities nab Wisconsin sex offender
Idaho Mountain Express
Feb. 7, 2007
Information on Wisconsin's juvenile sex offenders can only be provided to law enforcement agencies. Convicted juvenile sex offenders in Idaho are not afforded such privacy. The Idaho Sex Offender Registry, which is maintained by the Idaho State Police, lists juvenile offenders complete with photographs. Addresses and dates of birth are also provided.
Butler now lists sex offenders of all ages
Middletown Journal, OH
Feb. 4, 2007
The county Prosecutor's Office stated certain juvenile offenders, depending on their crimes, are fair game for Web site posting. "Some were and some weren't eligible to be posted and they are all public record," Dwyer said.
Police investigating school sex incidents
Jacksonville Times-Union, FL
Feb. 3, 2007
On Thursday, sex-crimes investigators were dispatched to the Kinder Care Learning Center near St. Augustine Road about a report of oral sex between students. On Wednesday, a school resource officer at Oceanway Middle School reported two students were found having intercourse in the stairwell.
Prosecutor warns of legal consequences of teen sex
Leavenworth Times, TX
Feb. 2, 2007
Both teens involved in a sexual relationship can be prosecuted under this law if they are 14 or 15 years of age, Assistant County Attorney Todd Thompson said. The felony unlawful voluntary sexual relations law addresses consensual sexual intercourse, sodomy or lewd fondling or touching with a child who is 14 or 15 and an offender who is less than 19 years of age and less than four years older than the child.
Many juvenile sex offenders face registration requirements
Crescent News, Defiance, OH
Jan. 31, 2007
Since 2002, Ohio has authorized registration by juvenile "sex offenders" who are classified in one of the categories and are ordered to do so by a judge. These juveniles are not added to the public sex offender lists, but they are required to register. One state that has a much stricter law is Illinois, which requires juveniles who commit any sex offense at any age to register for the public registry when they turn 17. Teen consensual sex is not an exception.
Boy Allegedly Performs Sex Act On Another Boy
NewsNet5, Cleveland, OH
Jan. 29, 2007
Police said they are investigating a sexual act one third-grade boy performed on another boy in a school hallway. Police said the incident was consensual. Family services has been notified, and letters are being sent home to inform students about the incident.
Ga. Bill Takes Aim at Sentencing That Resulted in 10-Year Term for Teen Sex
Fulton County Daily Report, GA
Jan. 29, 2007
Georgia's highest court gave no explanation when it refused to hear the appeal of Genarlow Wilson, a young man whose case made headlines after he was convicted of "aggravated child molestation" for having what he says was unforced oral sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17.
Phoenix New Times
Jan. 25, 2007
Matt Bandy was a 16-year-old kid looking at 90 years in prison for 10 images of child pornography. But what makes this case so shocking is what the record now shows: Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas had an appalling lack of evidence. His investigators had never even checked out the most basic facts that would ultimately vindicate Matt. Prosecutors hadn't done their homework, yet seemed intent on keeping the defense from doing it for them. "They don't have to prove you're guilty -- you have to prove yourself innocent," Gregory Bandy says, and the disbelief is clear on his face.
Overzealous Porn Prosecution Tramples Accused's Rights
Jan. 23, 2007
Matt Bandy is a reminder of why the Bill of Rights championed due process as a shield against abusive prosecution by the State. "There were about ten police. They made me and my kids go outside where we huddled together, frightened. They pulled Greg (an emergency room physician) out of bed at gunpoint," said Mrs. Bandy. Upon being charged, Matt was required to wear an electronic bracelet on his ankle to track him 24 hours a day.
Do young sex offenders belong on adult register?
Jan. 16, 2007
When he was 13, he grabbed the breasts of a 13-year-old girl. If a state law enacted last year is upheld, he will be required to register publicly as an adult sex offender. Under the law, some juveniles could be placed on the public lists for the rest of their lives. The Illinois law requires juveniles who commit any "sex offense" at any age to register for the public registry when they turn 17. It does not allow for cases of teen consensual sex to be excluded. To date, 36 states have passed laws requiring juvenile "sex offenders" to register as adults.
I Fell for a Man Who Wore an Electronic Ankle Bracelet
New York Times
Jan. 14, 2007
He and the girl had mingled at a party and drifted off drunk together before winding up back in her room, where, several hours later, they had sex. In "treatment," he was shown lewd images of various kinds, including those of prepubescent girls, with his state of arousal at each image being measured, judged, dissected. Desire became a source of stress, something dangerous and potentially ugly that needed to be suppressed, an urge of apologetic shame.
Measure targets child molesters in youth organizations
The Star-Ledger, NJ
Jan. 9, 2007
A spokesman for the Public Defender's Office said the wording of the bill could have the unintended consequence of barring juveniles who "molested" other youngsters from playing in a Little League or joining the Boy Scouts.
School districts ready for Texas Legislature to meet
The American-Statesman, Austin, TX
Jan. 9, 2007
Other issues that will likely garner local interest include efforts to keep juvenile "sex offenders" out of regular classrooms and to more quickly inform teachers and others when "sex offenders" enroll in school.
Lawmakers respond to concerns about student sex offenders
Jan. 3, 2007
The American-Statesman, Austin, TX
House Bill 138 would require schools to place registered juvenile "sex offenders" in disciplinary alternative education programs.
[Note: Although this bill is a reaction to a student who threated a teacher with a scissors and groped her, the law would do nothing about violent (non-sex-offending) students, but would ban from regular schools those students who engage in consensual but illegal sexual behavior.]