Man Fights to Get Off Sex Offender Registry for Consensual Teen Sex with Woman He Since Married

Justice is supposed to be blind, not stupid.Credit: walknboston / Foter.com / CC BYWhen Lonny Leon Rivera was 19, in 1989, he had sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend in California. He got busted, pleaded guilty to “oral copulation with a minor,” and that required him to register as a sex offender forever in the state.

Subsequently, Rivera married the woman and they remain together to this day. However, California treats him as though he’s a danger to his community. Attorney General Kamala Harris is going after him for failing to keep his sex offender information up to date. He is petitioning to get off the list. From Courthouse News:

In his petition for writ of mandate, Rivera claims that the state's demand is unconstitutional.

"Rivera's inclusion in the sex offender registry under the mandatory provisions of the California Sex Offender Registration Act violates his right to equal protection of the laws, as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section 7 of the California Constitution," Rivera says in the petition, citing a 2006 ruling by the California Supreme Court in People v. Hofsheier.

"He is entitled to this court vacating its order of July 25, 1989 ordering Rivera to register as a sex offender. He is further entitled to an order directing the California Department of Justice to terminate him from the Sex Offender Tracking Program."

In the ruling cited, Courthouse News notes, a judge determined that California’s sexual registry guidelines didn’t operate consistently. If Rivera had been convicted of statutory rape instead, he wouldn’t have been required to register. The judge ruled this was a constitutional violation, but the state took years to figure out what to do about it. Ultimately the state decided that guys who want to get off the list have to petition the court themselves to be removed. Rivera said he expects Harris to fight his removal from the list regardless of the foolishness of putting him on it in the first place.

Below, Reason TV reported on a similar case in California in 2012:

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  • Bramblyspam||

    A little linguistic tidbit: "Kamala" is the Finnish word for "terrible". Never fails to amuse me when I see her name.

  • robc||

    On a somewhat related topic, it appears than Im engaged. Somehow.

    Not sure how that happened.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    As we mentioned the other day, millions and millions of dollars. She's getting in on the ground floor of the next big brewery. Congrats!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Congratulations and Merry Christmas/Festivus!

  • kinnath||

    Congratulations.

  • SIV||

    Congratulations and best wishes to your betrothed.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Congratulations! Oh, and My Sympathies.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Congrats, rob. Keep us up-to-date on the brewery progress.

  • BakedPenguin||

    There should probably be an "and" somewhere in that previous post.

  • robc||

    Took measurements of the primary target space last Thursday. Waiting to hear on financial details from the owner, probably wont be any more updates until January. Midweek holidays are screwing up schedules.

  • robc||

    Goal is to get a lease signed in Jan and then rapid movement to get everything in place as soon as possible.

    The location mentioned above wont need much work, which is nice.

  • kinnath||

    Good luck on the business.

  • ||

    Congrats!!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Congratulations.

  • Scotticus Finch||

    Congratulations!

  • Brett L||

    Congratulations. These things happen to the best of us.

  • robc||

    I ended up in this state without knocking her up first. Weird, huh?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    So what you're saying is that you successfully convinced her to take the money shot.

    Good job, my man!

  • Brett L||

    Just because I had to trap my wife...

    Kidding. There's no weird to these things for me. They happen as they will, and often without any distinct plan.

  • tarran||

    Did you catch if from a doorknob?

  • Swiss Servator, Pikes Forward!||

    Excellent - we expect you to challenge sloopy and banjos in the libetarian breeding stakes!

  • robc||

    Speaking of which, has there been an update on #2 and a final name?

  • 2ndClassProle||

    Liberty

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Wear a condom next time. If there is a next time, that is.

  • robc||

    See above. It wouldnt have helped.

  • Rasilio||

    It's a trap

    Save yourself while you still can.

    Unless she's a redhead in which case you're probably already doomed

  • Zeb||

    Careful she doesn't rope you into one of those government marriages.

  • SIV||

    lol!

    THREADWINNER

  • JW||

    Congrats?

  • ||

    Do not get married in California. Trust me on that. Otherwise... take pix of the wedding night for all your friends and supporters on HnR.

  • ||

    Hey, congrats!

  • Killaz||

    Most capital, robc!

  • DEG||

    Congratulations!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    He's been married to the woman for almost a quarter of a century...it looks like she's forgiven him for exploiting her.

    Is tgere anything Governor Moonbeam can do? Like, you know, pardon him?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    When Lonny Leon Rivera was 19, in 1989, he had sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend in California.

    At great personal risk, I am going to admit that, except for the year and state in which it occurred, I committed this same act. Roughly 100 times.

  • ||

    Join the club. Well, join the club of those who were never busted for anything. You don't want to join Lonny's club.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I really don't want to read the story of you getting a BJ during The Lion King.

  • ||

    The Lion King, Tin Cup, Angel Heart, the list goes on.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Did I ever tell you guys about the time Rather and I watched Baby Geniuses 2?

  • ||

    No, but she did. She told everyone. Were you not on that thread? You should really get that rash and those growths looked at if you haven't already. She said she was--and I use her words here--"virulently contagious".

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Well that's a relief. All this time I thought it was the cat.

  • ||

    You can no longer smell cat pee, can you. That's how she's going to sneak up on you again.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Man, you were 19 for a long time.

  • Zeb||

    What state were you in? Lots of places that wouldn't have been against the law.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Lots of places that wouldn't have been against the law.

    It wasn't. Though I later did have to refrain from banging a 17 year old girl when I was 21 due to the fact that she had traveled across state lines to come see me.

  • wareagle||

    more proof of well-intentioned ideas. These offender registries ultimately serve no one. Except for maybe the elected class that gets to puff its collective chest about being tuff on the criminalz and molesters, whether they actually molested anyone or not.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    At risk of getting flamed, I'm not sure I think this should be an exception. Don't get me wrong. I think the registries are asinine and should be done away with. But, if you're going to have the registry, why should what happens after the conviction be a mitigating factor. He wasn't married to her at the time. So, by the perverse logic of the rules, he's a sex offender and is someone who should be on the registry. This is an argument to do away with the registry, not an argument for an exception.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Whether they got married or not shouldn't matter. But the fact that she was into it and within 2 years of his age should.

  • Irish||

    I agree. I just think that the fact that they got married adds a layer of absurdity to the whole thing.

    He never should have been put on the registry in the first place because sex between a 19 year old and a 17 year old shouldn't even be illegal. There should be some sort of grace period in age of consent laws so that this type of situation doesn't happen.

  • Acosmist||

    The saner states do have that. It's 4 years in PA, for instance.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Logically it shouldn't be an exception, but this is a case where people's lives are being destroyed by being "logical". The registry isn't going away.

  • wwhorton||

    Well, I think there's a sound argument for the strategy of eliminating bad law by enforcing it to the letter, but I have a hard time as a person reconciling that with the real, immediate harm done to this guy.

    I think the registry is stupid, frankly. If a person is a legitimate threat to rape or to abuse children again, why was he/she released? And if not, then why brand them with the list?

  • Zeb||

    If the purpose of the registry is to protect people, I think it would make perfect sense to have a mechanism to get removed from it if you can demonstrate you are not a danger to anyone.
    But best to get rid of the whole thing. If someone is so dangerous, keep them locked up. Otherwise let them get on with life.

  • ||

    The purpose of the registry has nothing to do with protecting people. Having a pervert's name in a registry protects no one except the politicians who can point at the registry and say they did something.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Well, I'd think parents have a legitimate interest in avoiding putting their kids in the custody of a neighbor who's a known pedophile (eg, if they're late coming home from work or the kids are going on a camping trip).

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Well, I'd think parents have a legitimate interest in avoiding putting their kids in the custody of a neighbor who's a known pedophile (eg, if they're late coming home from work or the kids are going on a camping trip).

  • ||

    If you're leaving your kids with a neighbor you know nothing about other than he/she is not on a government list, you have bigger problems than the minuscule chance they'll be molested.

  • ||

    Tulpa doesn't believe in using your own brain and intuition to determine if your neighbor is too pervy to watch your kids. He wants the government to set up a registry so that you don't have to think; they'll do it for you.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    You can know a person pretty well without finding out they have a criminal record.

  • Zeb||

    The purpose of the registry has nothing to do with protecting people.

    That's why I said "if".

  • ||

    Yeah, I just felt compelled to pile on with some extra snark.

  • 2ndClassProle||

    What pisses me off, when you are on the list for urinating outside.

  • Rasilio||

    I see what you did there, now stop it before you go blind

  • Zeb||

    The fact that nudity is so often assumed to always be sexual is a big problem. Taking a piss in public may be something that should be illegal, but it is not, as a rule, anything to do with sex.

  • 2ndClassProle||

    I have no problem with being fined or it being illegal, but when it gets me on the registry is when I have problem. When someone is on the registry, their first question is never " I wonder if he got caught pissing in public".

  • Zeb||

    I think most people just assume that it is for violent rapists and child molesters and don't realize that it also includes lots of consensual and non-sexual things.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    At risk of getting flamed

    I think I see where you're going, and I probably agree. "When everyone is a sex criminal, no one is a sex criminal" has some merit as an argument.

    Unfortunately, I think we all recognize the ugly truth. There is, and will always be, a protected class whose names will never appear on the list.

    A Senator who gets caught fucking the babysitter will never suffer the same consequences as a plumber.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    A Senator who gets caught fucking the babysitter will never suffer the same consequences as a plumber.

    Let's not be coy. We can say "A Robert Mendenez who got caught fucking a child prostitute in the Third World will never suffer any consequences..."

  • Acosmist||

    If you're 18 and she's 17, and she has a bad day/you piss her off/whatever, she can ruin your entire life. For something that was perfectly consensual when it happened.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Unfortunately, the way things work in our political system this makes total sense for the prosecutor to do. If she just stands idly by and lets him get off the list, her opponent in the next election will flood mailboxes with postcards reminding voters that she is letting sex criminals drop off the radar so they can more easily victimize their children, a misrepresentation that pearl-clutching suburban parents will swallow whole.

    Of course, it wouldn't make sense for someone who's less concerned with getting reelected than not destroying other people's lives, but it takes a special sort of sociopathy to make a prosecutor.

  • John||

    The problem here is not the list it was that he was convicted at all. Suppose he had been convicted of having sex with an 11 year old girl and now wanted off? His case would not be very strong even if he had later married her.

    These are an abomination for a lot of reasons. But one of the reasons why they do so much harm is our insanely high age of consent. It is absurd to claim that a 17 year old person cannot meaningfully consent to sex the same way an 8 year old cannot. I know you have to draw the line somewhere. But 18 is clearly too high. It should be lowered to at least 16 or maybe 15.

  • tarran||

    I am in favor of lowering it to 15 for people I am not related to.

    For my daughter, though, even 17 is too low. I demand it be raised to 35!

  • John||

    This is one of the better Onion articles in a while

    http://www.theonion.com/articl.....rai,32989/

    My neighbor is Brazilian and has a 15 year old daughter that looks exactly like you would imagine a 15 year old high end Brazilian girl would look like. I honestly feel sorry for the guy. His daughter seems to be a really sweet and nice girl. But if she were my daughter, I would have PTSD by now.

  • Rasilio||

    Eh as the father of a soon to be teenaged girl (she's 11 now) I don't worry too much about it.

    She's going to have sex, probably before I would want her to and likely with guys I don't approve of but you know what, I'm much more worried that she end up with someone who is emotionally or physically abusive than I am about her doing the nasty with her eventual boyfriend(s) so my take on it is "you want to have sex with my daughter, you damn well better treat her like a princess and I'll turn a blind eye to it but if I ever catch you raising a hand to her or putting her down and they are never going to find your body"

  • John||

    True. But there is something about having a daughter and knowing first hand what incredible lustful pigs all men and especially teenage boys are and knowing all of the men out there dreaming of screwing her that would weird me out. But as you say, there is nothing you can do about it and yes, every woman has sex and every woman has a father who doesn't want to think about it.

  • Zeb||

    And some teenage girls are lustful pigs themselves. Too many people think of sex as something that boys do to girls.

    Good for you Rasilio. Too many men lose their fucking minds when they have teenage daughters.

  • John||

    Of course they are. probably more so. But again, if it is your daughter, you don't like to think about it.

  • Rasilio||

    Actually not all teenaged boys are lustful pigs. I certainly wasn't.

    When I was 16 there was a girl I was into and wanted to date, she wasn't interested and tried to set me up with a friend who lived in the next town. Lets just say this girl was obsessed. She met me once when the 3 of us went to see a movie together and decided she was in love with me. I however was not at all interested in her.

    Over the course of the next few years she made it abundantly clear that she'd happily sleep with me just to be able to spend time with me.

    Given that I was a virgin who had been on exactly 1 date at that point in my life if all boys were lustful pigs I should have jumped at the chance to take advantage of her to get laid but I didn't because I knew no matter how much she said it didn't have to mean anything it would mean something to her and I just couldn't use someone like that.

    I should add, I was not the only one of my friends who thought similarly.

    Like Zeb says below, sometimes it is the teen girls who are the lustful pigs and the boys the ones with restraint and contrary to what the Jezzies think sex is not something boys do to girls

  • ||

    You were young and not sure what you wanted. There's nothing overly unusual about that (*cough* FAG *cough*). However, fast-forward to you being 18 or 19 and I think all hesitation would go out the window. Teenagers are retarded and do retarded things, but by the end of the teens the drive to just hump everything you can comes into play a lot more. You may be thinking it when you're 15, but you're much more ready to act on it a little later.

  • Rasilio||

    Actually the 2 year period that was covered here was from just prior to my 17th birthday until just prior to my 19th birthday when I was home on Leave following Basic Training and she had called and left a message with my mother a couple of weeks before I got home saying how she'd love to see me when I was home on leave.

  • ||

    I commend you for your early appreciation of "don't stick it in crazy."

  • Rasilio||

    Yeah but then I went and undid it all with my first wife

  • Zeb||

    I was a lustful teenager, but not a pig. Though I would have jumped at the opportunity Rasilio described. My problem is that I didn't feel comfortable doing and saying the things you do to get girls at that age and was somewhat terrified of rejection. What I needed was the girls who made it completely obvious that they wanted me.

  • Rasilio||

    lol she wasn't the only one either.

    I was in AFJROTC all 4 years in High School, in Junior year I was the Cadet Commander of one of the Freshman classes and one girl basically offered to sleep with me if I made her First Sgt of the class.

    Turned her down too.

  • Killaz||

    But there is something about having a daughter and knowing first hand what incredible lustful pigs all men and especially teenage boys

    You see, the problem is right there, you have adapted the thinking of feminist who demonize every aspect of the male. Most young guys are nothing like that; if anything, they tend to have overly romanticized ideas about copulation. For every genuine pig, there are four who put women on pedestals. If there was one movie from the 80's high school sex comedies genre that got it right it would be The Last American Virgin.

  • kinnath||

    Our daughter was on birth control by the time she was 16.

    It was an interesting conversation explaining that risk management is not permission.

  • Azathoth!!||

    We called it 'stupid insurance'.

  • Rasilio||

    No you don't need age of consent laws for that, a shotgun will do nicely

  • John||

    You mean leave such things up to the control and discretion of the parents rather than the state? That is heresy!!

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I suspect Rasilio was speaking of a coercive act, which libertarians did not think should be left to the discretion of parents or any other person.

  • kinnath||

    Arizona is 18. My son was 15 when we left. It was a contributing factor in the decision to move.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    It's not as logically coherent as that. Two 16 year olds having sex is not considered rape, so the law does recognize that consent is possible at that age (while it would probably be a very different story for two 11 year olds). Add that to the states mentioned above that have exceptions for couples with less than two years of age difference.

    The statutory rape laws are more about preventing older adults from taking advantage of immature and hormone-addled teenagers.

  • John||

    But taking advantage of each other is perfectly okay. The bottom line is that you are either old enough to know what you are doing or you are not. Once you are, it really makes no difference who you are doing it with.

    If you say that an older person taking advantage of a immature hormone addled teenager is rape, then I don't see how you can say that sleeping with a drunk and horny adult who later regrets doing it isn't rape too.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Well I think the point is that it's far more likely that a 30 year old man is able to psychologically manipulate a 16 year old girl than a 16 year old boy manipulating her. We're talking about a hideous and destructive crime here; the state has a responsibility to do something to prevent it. And it's going to be damn hard to prove psychological manipulation beyond a reasonable doubt, so the age difference has to suffice.

  • Rasilio||

    Um, what makes you think that the hot 16 year old hormone addled teenage girl isn't able to manipulate the 30 year old for her own reasons, even if that reason is just that she thinks her friends dad is hot or just likes the feeling of being able to seduce older men.

    I'm not saying that is common but I've known a few cases where it happened(alas not to me) and it is common enough that there is a trope for it

  • John||

    We're talking about a hideous and destructive crime here; the state has a responsibility to do something to prevent it.

    A teenager having sex with anyone over 21 is a "hideous destructive crime"? I know at least four girls I went to high school with who have personal experience and would disagree with that. That is just not true Tulpa. Having sex when you are 16 is not same as having some pervert molest you when you are ten.

    Maybe you never had sex as a teenager or were a particularly stunted one. I am all for protecting those who have an extra chromosome from predators. But for the rest of us, there was nothing uniquely damaging about having sex at 16 than there was at 25 or 40. Do people sometimes have sex because they are drunk, horny, angry or otherwise have their judgement compromised and later regret it. But getting drunk and cheating on your husband at age 25 can be just as or more damaging as falling for the wrong guy and having sex at age 16. Such is life.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    A teenager having sex with anyone over 21 is a "hideous destructive crime"?

    That's not what I said. I was talking about psychologically manipulating a vulnerable person into having sex. That goes for people who are clearly drunk or drugged too.

    If you don't think that teenagers are particularly vulnerable to bad decision making, I suppose there's no reason to prevent the enforcement of contracts made between adults and 15 year olds, too. And there usually aren't hormones involved in those.

  • John||

    That's not what I said. I was talking about psychologically manipulating a vulnerable person into having sex. That goes for people who are clearly drunk or drugged too.

    So you think having sex with a drunk person is rape? Or telling them "sure I love you" is rape too?

    You do realize that is insane and essentially robs the crime of any requirement for mens rea?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    So you think having sex with a drunk person is rape?

    If you know they're drunk and their drunkenness is affecting the decision, then yes.

    Or telling them "sure I love you" is rape too?

    Not sure what you mean by this. That doesn't sound like manipulation.

    You do realize that is insane and essentially robs the crime of any requirement for mens rea?

    There's plenty of mens rea if you're intentionally manipulating someone.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    If you know they're drunk and their drunkenness is affecting the decision, then yes.

    Okay, and what if you're drunk, too. Does that make it mutual rape?

  • Rasilio||

    "That's not what I said. I was talking about psychologically manipulating a vulnerable person into having sex. That goes for people who are clearly drunk or drugged too."

    So you're saying that manipulating a 45 year olds daddy issues to get her to sleep with you is the same thing as rape?

    If you want to go with the 16 year olds are predisposed to making bad decisions based on short sighted thinking you know where you need to put the age of consent?

    23, that's right, 23 fucking years old which is according to researchers when we our brains finally start being able to fully perform long term thinking calculations. Anyone younger than that is potentially vulnerable to being psychologically manipulated by evil mean nasty perverted 30 year olds.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Sigh.

    It's a balancing act. You have to balance the protection of vulnerable persons from illegitimate sexual contact against the unnecessary prevention of legitimate sexual contact.

    Not sure where that 23 number comes from. I'd imagine everyone's different and that seems a bit high if we're talking about "on average". 23 seems too high and 15 too low.

  • Rasilio||

    It comes from research related to that described here...

    http://www.npr.org/templates/s.....=141164708

  • ||

    Tulpa's still bitter about the time a 30 year old man hideously and destructively talked him into giving up his nubile 16-year-old female body. That's why he got the sex change.

  • JW||

    What have we told you about your rampant jailbaiting? THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT.

  • ||

    I admit it! It was me! But you should have seen his her body back then! I apologize for nothing!

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I try to have some healthy clean fun in the comments and you have to get all dirty and perverse about it.

  • ||

    Yes. Yes I do. You can thank me later.

  • kinnath||

    a misrepresentation that pearl-clutching suburban parents moms will swallow whole.

    Better

  • JW||

    "pearl-clutching suburban parents moms"

    Edited redundant terms out for brevity.

  • kinnath||

    I like the "pearl-clutching" part though ;-)

  • JW||

    OK, but only as long as they're anti-bacterial, BPA/GMO/DDT/WWE/GTA/cage-free pearls.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • 2ndClassProle||

    She is hot!! Something about a women in uniform or power, gets the blood going.

  • John||

    She looks fantastic in the pictures from overseas. In the cheerleader outfit she just looks like another hot dancer. But there is something about the ones with her wearing the head scarf that make her look epically hot.

    I feel very bad for the married men who were trapped living and working with her for a year. That had to have been torture.

  • 2ndClassProle||

    and the gun. I have the same fetish for women who play guitar or drums. It is also the reason Voyager is superior to Deep Space Nine.

  • Curtisls87||

  • 2ndClassProle||

    That is nice!!!!

  • Rasilio||

    Wait, wasn't getting off what got him on the sex offender registry in the first place?

    On a more serious note, how the hell do states with AOC laws set at 18 handle the fact that more than a few states allow those under the age of 18 to get married?

    I mean when I was in Highschool my best friend at the time knocked up his girlfriend and they got married. He was 18 and she was 16 at the time. what would have happened had they moved to California within the next 2 years? He would have been committing statutory rape every time he had sex with his wife

  • ||

    I think most of those laws have a marriage exception. Not that it affects me, I just use the lure of my candy van and the story of a lost puppy.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    On a somewhat related topic, it appears than Im engaged. Somehow.

    Not sure how that happened.

    Sounds like a clear case of non compos mentis, to me.

    "That's in every contract, that's what you call a sanity clause."

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    You can't fool me...

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Can anyone tell me whether a pardon would get hin off the registry? If so, what'Moonbeam waiting for?

  • sixhoursoflucy||

    This story displayed on my phone as "Man Fights to Get Off Sex Offender Registry for Consensual Teen Sex with Scott Shackford." Thought it was worth sharing for a laugh.

    http://i667.photobucket.com/al.....f7f21e.jpg

  • Scott S.||

    Awww, I'll always remember that guy. Though not his name.

  • Scott S.||

    Also, technically I was an adult, but Florida still had sodomy laws at the time, I think.

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