Free-Range Kids

Fix the Sex Offender Registry: This 19-Year-Old Is Not a Threat to Children

Public shaming, not public safety

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Teen
Dreamstime

Sunday New York Times readers just heard about the case of Zach Anderson, the 19-year-old who met a young woman he believed to be 17 via an online dating app, had sex with her once, and now sits in jail. After he gets out this week, he will spend the rest of his life as a registered sex offender. He will also endure five years of court-mandated internet deprivation. He won't even be allowed to have an email address.

Why? His date lied about her age: she was actually 14. Our sex offender laws fail to distinguish between child rapists and teens having sex with other teens.

I wrote about Zach's case here at Reason about three weeks ago. As NYT's Julie Bosman reports:

As an Indiana resident, Mr. Anderson will most likely be listed on a sex offender registry for life, a sanction that requires him to be in regular contact with the authorities, to allow searches of his home every 90 days and to live far from schools, parks and other public places. His probation will also require him to stay off the Internet, though he needs it to study computer science.

Some advocates and legal authorities are holding up Mr. Anderson's case as the latest example of the overreach of sex offender registries, which gained favor in the 1990s as a tool for monitoring pedophiles and other people who committed sexual crimes. In the decades since, the registries have grown in number and scope; the nearly 800,000 people on registries in the United States go beyond adults who have sexually assaulted other adults or minors. Also listed are people found guilty of lesser offenses that run the gamut from urinating publicly to swapping lewd texts.

Bosman interviewed Brenda V. Jones, executive director of Reform Sex Offender Laws, who pointed out that even in cases when judges wish to grant leniency (Zach's judge, the irascible Denis Wiley, did not), the mandates of the registry are draconian. And the registry is public, ostensibly to alert us to the "fiends" preying on minors nearby.

But Zach is not a fiend. He's also not alone. In fact, a quarter of the people on the registry were actually added to it as minors—minors who had sex with other minors. That doesn't make them predators. It makes them like most of us: people who have sex with other people in their age bracket. That's 200,000 young lives decimated, and 200,000 dots on sex offender maps, scaring parents from ever sending their kids outside again. (That's how I originally became interested in this issue. It's hard to go "free-range" when we're told that every dot on the map represents another threat to children.)

I would add that even the people who have committed heinous acts do not deserve to be on a public registry once they have served their time. Contrary to popular belief, sex offenders have the lowest recidivism rate of any criminals aside from murderers. But we don't have a public drug dealer registry, or arson registry, or assault registry.

That's because the sex offender registry is about public shaming, not public safety. Zach is just one fish caught up in this net of fear, grandstanding, a media devoted to scaring us, and good old American hypocrisy when it comes to sex: We love it as much as any species, but only allow ourselves to talk about it in terms of crime and danger.

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88 responses to “Fix the Sex Offender Registry: This 19-Year-Old Is Not a Threat to Children

  1. ” Contrary to popular belief, sex offenders have the lowest recidivism rate of any criminals aside from murderers.”

    Minor quibble, I think sex offenders generally have a low recidivism rate because a large number of them weren’t actually doing anything wrong to begin with. Sub groups within that category( real no-shit pedophiles) can have very high rates of recidivism.

    1. This^^. I read the whole fucking report she cited and they didn’t break out sex offenders except as “rape” and “other sexual offenses”. So if I get arrested for peeing in the park, you can be damn sure I wouildn’t do that again. However, a guy gets arrested diddling little boys, something tells me he will be back at it after he gets out of prison (assuming he isn’t killed IN prison). While I have no studies I can point to at the moment, it is my understanding in the literature that true pedophiles have incredible difficulty in stopping themselves.

      1. Interesting. I have no studies to point to, but I watched Law and Order SVU enough to know that Olivia once had a penis close to her face and that’s the same as rape.

        1. More than that. She saw his ding-dong up close and personal for an extended period of time. She could’ve picked it out of a lineup no problem.

    2. Public shaming is exactly what’s needed for all those who spread their insidious predatorial tentacles across the Internet, trolling in search of sex with young ladies or stirring up controversy with twisted words and fake confessions. It’s due to such rascals that America is losing its backbone. Prosecutors in New York have made some progress in their quest to stamp out inappropriate conduct–see the documentation of America’s leading criminal satire case at:

      http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

      and hopefully the Indiana court’s decision is a sign of a new judicial will to shame and punish where shame and punishment is due.

    3. The name of the game is “Lets feel morally superior today” after all it is more important to feel morally superior and release that icky uncomfort that comes with having to deal with teenage and preteen sexual expression. Better to declare all people under the age of fifteen completely incompetent than to accept that kids can and are sexual beings and may choose to act sexually whether we like it or not and are often”responsible” for initiating sexual acts.
      Government of course has to stick its big ugly face into a matter that that it shouldn’t and make everything worse which is what it does best.

    4. It’s about time we do something about these registries. It is just more government bull, designed to micro manage peoples lives. Most people are on it for urinating in public or for looking at adult porn. Not violent rapists or child molesters. We can thank the corrupt lawyers, politicians, judges, prosecutors, police, and law and order nuts for this. The only registry we need are ones to keep tract of these thuggish fools. We have way too many laws and people locked up or on probation or parole in this nation. And way too many lawsuits designed to benefit only the personal injury lawyers. Personal injury crooks cost every person an extra several thousand dollars a year extra for goods and services.

  2. If he couldn’t do the time he shouldn’t have unknowingly done the crime.

    1. +1 Mens Rea

      1. Male chauvinist pig; you’re supposed to say ‘womens rea’ now.

        1. “Womyns Rea”, please.

          Also, I was thinking the other day, shouldn’t it be “womynstruation”?

        2. Aren’t we supposed to be gender-neutral, and call it “Persons Rea?”

          1. Um, that’s Perdaughters Rea!

  3. This type of stuff disgusts me.

    Is there even a discussion about letter vs spirit of the law anymore?

    Does the state not need a victim to press charges to prosecute?

    1. The “victim” in this case is probably the 14 year old girl’s parents whose precious snowflake turns out to be not so precious. They probably pressed charges or no one would have ever known to arrest Mr. … Anderson. o.O

      Whoa.

      1. NO. “the mom told a reporter that she didn’t just ask the judge for leniency, “we asked him to drop the case.”

        1. Calling the cops is kind of like Woody Hayes’ take on passing, three bad things can happen, and only one good one can.

        2. And I believe she only called the police because her daughter didn’t come home when she was supposed to and she feared for her safety. She did not turn the kid in.

          1. Her daughter is an epileptic, and she was afraid she had seizured somewhere. That is why she phoned the police.

            (Guy: “You’re kidding. She’s an epileptic? Wow, I wondered why she kept having so many orgasms.”)

      2. All crimes have the state as victim (see: War on Vice and why its fought the way it is). *Sometimes* there’s a private party who has been victimized also.

        1. And for statutory rape, there are only a few states where this is not a strict liability crime – where you had to know (or at least fail to exercise due diligence) that your partner was under age.

          1. This sounds horrible but I am almost ready to agree to get rid of statutory rape for anything above some really young age like 10 or something. I would keep incest as a crime and certainly forcible rape. But tell parents to take some responsibility to safeguarding their kids. If some guy has consensual sex with your daughter, tell your daughter to close her legs and kick yourself for not keeping better track of her. The whole thing has become no longer worth the trouble it takes to prosecute it.

            1. I’d make incest perfectly legal as along as it were consensual and between parties of a certain minimum age, although what that age should be is up for debate.

              1. It would have to be a high age. The problem with saying it is okay with anyone not over 18 is that parents have so much control over their kids that they could easily coerce sex out of them.

                But if some twenty something weirdo wants to have sex with their siblings or parents, that should not be a criminal matter. Nor should it of course be something the government should be sanctioning (i.e. no marriage license) but not a crime.

              2. The entire taboo RE: incest is the risk of hemophilia or flipper feet or other defects, should the too-close relatives breed.

                Nowadays, with birth control and contraception being so ubiquitous and affordable, the rationale for the taboo evaporates.

                1. Reverend, please sir. Both my sister and I already have flipper feet. Would it be alright if we have sex? We’re also both in our sixties, too.

            2. Your point is well taken about the unique nature of parent-child relationships, but I’d say the coercion effect – being convinced to do something that gives you pause because of the influence another person has over you and/or your being emotionally weak – is an unavoidable part of all possible human relationships. It’s very difficult for courts to assess exactly when influence rises to the level of force, short of the kind of force that’s just obviously violent. And in general, we probably wouldn’t apply these standards of ‘coercion,’ which is just really a way of saying very strong persuasion or influence, in other situations. It’s problematic to start carving out exceptions even when we can all understand intuitively that parent-child incest can be problematic.

              So I’d say that I don’t think it needs to be as high as you do. 18 is high enough, perhaps a little younger. Age consent laws are always somewhat arbitrary, as there’s not a lot of empirical or scientific evidence to suggest 18 bestows any greater reasoning powers on a person than 17 or 19.

              1. I think it has to be 18 because it is virtually impossible to get a job or be fully emancipated before you are 18. So that means kids under 18 really have no way of telling their parents no. That fact vitiates their consent in those situations. But after 18, I don’t think the government has a role anymore.

            3. And besides, Congress has already culturally appropriated Statutory Rape.

            4. Wouldn’t age of consent laws already defend against coercive parent-child relationships. As I understand it, while state laws vary, the age of consent iirc in the U.S. is no lower than 16 at the moment, and most if not all states have rules. In my state, the age of consent is 16, but anybody older than 20 would be running afoul of the law as there are romeo and juliet laws (that are really more about protecting the adult in this case somebody older by no more than 4 years of the minor. Time travel would need to be available for the parent was less than four years older than their child, either the child goes back in time to when their parents were younger or the parent goes forward in time to after they had children.

              And the whole inbreed scare has been blown way out of proportion. A child is much more at danger of having problems if their parents being old than they if they are being related. Where’s the prison sentences for grannies and grandpa’s who choose to have sex and possibly a child? The real issues with inbreeding is when it is forced or through some sort of tradition (be it familial or cultural) for many generations (since relatives usually are averse to incest, it would need to be some sort of tradition or force.

    2. Strict liability, baby. Intended to be unthinking.

    3. The letter of the law is for when they want to punish you or find someone to punish.

      The spirit of the law is when government wants to expand scope by delve deeper into the “gray area”.

      1. The supreme court has already made it perfectly clear that the letter of the law is irrelevant. The correct policy is all that matters.

    4. Most states never needed a victim to press charges, take Massachusetts for example, here all crimes are crimes against the state. The victim is irrelivant

  4. The reason why prosecutors love making these lists so expansive and the effects of being on one so horrible is that they are an enormous weapon for obtaining guilty pleas. I don’t care how weak the government case is against you, the risk of being placed on one of these lists for life is terrifying. You can go to jail and get out and start a new life. You can never start a new life if you are on one of these lists. So all sorts of innocent people plead guilty to lessor charges in return for not being placed on one of these lists or having the length of time they are on the list being limited.

    Good luck getting the cops and the DAs to give up such a weapon.

    1. That doesn’t really track – most of the time you can cop to a lesser crime *but* the plea still requires sex offender registry.

      Its not (IMO) a means of getting an easy guilty plea – the plea deal alone can get that – but a way for prosecutors (and the whole CJ system, from the judge on down) to be able to point to a ‘tough-on-crime’ metric.

      1. No. Those lists are reserved for a certain list of crimes defined as “sexual offenses”. You can cop to all sorts of crime like assault or depending on the state “misdemeanor” sexual offenses and not be on those lists. Also, in many states the judge can as part of a plea deal limit someone’s time on the list.

        Only certain crimes get you on the list. So the government just offers a plea to a crime that doesn’t get you on the list and you really have no choice but to take the deal.

      2. I think the offer of lighter sentencing on lesser crimes serves as the bait to plead guilty. ‘Here’s the deal of the century, you dirty pervert, and all you have to do is serve a small amount of jail time and be on the sex offender registry for the rest of your natural life.’ If you don’t know much about the registry, that might seem okay until you get out of jail and try to resume your normal life.

        The registry probably has a lot of purposes – to paranoid suburbanites, to law-and-order types, to politicians, to cops – but I’d say its main value, like the parole and probation systems, is to monitor criminals and extend their punishment long after they’ve actually committed any crime.

        Considering how easily a non-violent so-called sex offender is put on the registry, no one with a scrap of intellectual honesty can really think it’s to “protect the community” from bands of lecherous, drooling sex monsters.

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  6. “His date lied about her age: she was actually 14.”

    Regardless of what they do about the sex offender registry, they need to fix their mens rea problem.

    1. The only problem they have with mens rea is that some laws still *require* it and the courts still have a bias for it.

  7. He needs to just shut up. Explaining that she deceived him about her age usually doesn’t end well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIzw6KKZLgA

  8. In fact, a quarter of the people on the registry were actually added to it as minors?minors who had sex with other minors. That doesn’t make them predators. It makes them like most of us: people who have sex with other people in their age bracket.

    While this could be (and I’m inclined to believe it to be) true — e.g., 199,000 of the cases being along the lines of “17-year-old has sex with 14-year-old” — the logic of this statement doesn’t quite pan out. A 16-year-old is just as capable of molesting a kindergartner as a 35-year-old. That’s land a minor on the sex offender registry, and that’d be pretty damn predatory.

    This may be a “curse of knowledge” situation, where you, as someone who writes on the subject frequently, know what proportion of minor-on-minor “sex crime” is harmless, age-appropriate activity and what is legit predation, but forget that we don’t have that information.

    1. Something still isn’t right about labeling a 16 year old as a predator without some really convincing proof that the 16 year old isn’t an abused kid as well. I wonder how many kids are actual bona fide predators as compared with completely messed up victims of abuse themselves.

      1. It has been my experience after reading many cases of child sexual predators that virtually all were once victims themselves. Something about coping with the trauma of their own victimization causes them to normalize the sexual activity between an adult and a child. As they get older their sexual preference tends to stay near the age they were when they were abused.

        1. No that’s a lie. It’s patriarchy rape culture that makes them do it. my gender studies prof and Law and Order SVU told me so.

        2. That is nonsense.

          A typical hard core sexual offender can assault 20 or 30 people. If each of these went on to assault even five or ten people within about 10 generations the entire world’s population is composed entirely of sex offenders.

          Very few get fixated on sex with children if they were assaulted as children.

          1. You have committed a rather common logical fallacy. I didn’t claim that all victims became offenders but that (virtually) all offenders were once victims. It’s as if I had claimed that all whales are mammals and you responded that such an assertion was nonsense because most mammals are not whales.

  9. Remember this story?
    https://reason.com/blog/2015/05…..mecr4:iHLF

    Sex on the beach: It’s a delicious beverage, and also a crime. A Florida man convicted of having it (sex, not the drink), is expected to get 15 years in prison, while his girlfriend will serve jail time. Both must register as sex offenders.

    Mens rea is not even a factor in most of these cases, since AFAIK sex offender statues are strict liability.

    1. Hasn’t there also been cases of people who urinated and public being convicted of “sex offenses”?

      1. my friend was threatened with it (ohio), but it didn’t go through. came back from a bachelor party, peed on the tree of the neighbor of the guy we were staying with, sadly that guy was a cop and not happy. i think he wound up with just the night in jail and a fine.

  10. Maybe it isn’t such a great idea to have sex with strangers on a playground?

  11. I know a lawyer who is doing a case for a twenty-something… who got put on the sex offender list for something he did when he was 14. Not exactly a time of high personal responsibility.

    This, of course, has had a huge impact on his job possibilities and life in general.

    I told this lawyer that they might as well start branding people because the effect is the same.

  12. What’s scary to me is that there are people, like the judge in this story, that find this sentence to be reasonable and serving justice.

    My experience in life is people like that are petty fucks, and feel that being self-righteous makes up for that gapping hole inside of them where their soul should be.

  13. I find it hard to scrape up any sympathy for this kid. If you bang total strangers you get what happens. I would be just as unsympathetic if she was a legal age and he learned the hard way that she lied about not having Gonorrhea, Herpes and Syphilis.

    However the Sex Offender Registry is being so watered down with so many non-threatening “sex offenders” that people are starting not to take it seriously. If this trend continues being a “registered sex offender” will only mean you weren’t one of the pimply fat kids in high school (not that there’s anything wrong with that, I hear they all have great personalities). The problem is that having too many registered sex offenders will give the really dangerous guys a crowd to hide in. This fact will resonate more with the folks at large than trying to get them to feel sympathetic for practitioners of the hook-up culture.

    1. I find it hard to scrape up any sympathy for this kid. If you bang total strangers you get what happens.

      I guess he deserves the fucking he’s getting for the fucking he got?

      1. I never said he deserved it, I just don’t really feel that sorry for him. If he had contracted a VD as a result of a hook up I wouldn’t think he “deserved it.” I do think that there are sound policy reasons to refrain from imposing sentencing terms such as those described in this case that have nothing to do with sympathy for him.

        1. So no mens rea, no victim that wants prosecution, yet you don’t feel sorry for a person who’s being persecuted by the government. You’re an odd libertarian.

          1. I believe in personal responsibility. This kid knowingly engaged in conduct that included this risk. And I prefer to argue points that will actually accomplish my stated goal instead of just making myself feel more magnanimous.

            This is a case where sympathy for the convict is unnecessary and potentially counterproductive in urging reform of these laws. Over-inclusive mandatory sentencing schemes are usually more detrimental than beneficial to the public, particularly those that claim to provide public notice of dangerous individuals yet are consistently applied in cases where the circumstances do not merit it.

            Just feeling sorry for someone who could have checked more closely before acting might resonate with the more impulsive 18-24yo crowd, but they are vastly outnumbered by the 25-65+ group and vote at a much lower frequency. To get the law actually changed you need to explain why everyone else should care.

            1. “I believe in personal responsibility. This kid knowingly engaged in conduct that included this risk”

              So? The fact that this was a hypothetically possible outcome doesn’t mean he deserves the punishment he got. Prison time is also a hypothetical consequence of smoking marijuana, but that doesn’t mean people who go to jail for that deserve it. Believing in personal responsibility doesn’t mean you can’t have sympathy for anyone who broke a law.

              1. Your analogy is flawed. This is not like smoking pot. This is like having a headache and asking a stranger for an aspirin, only to be given ecstasy.

                When arrested for possession of an illegal substance, you are told that this was the risk you took.

                1. This is like having a headache and asking a stranger for an aspirin, only to be given ecstasy.

                  Ecstasy looks nothing like aspirin and if you really had a headache you would have consumed it immediately and recognized the different effect once it kicked in, but I understand what you’re trying to get at. A more accurate analogy would be: A stranger hands you a pill and says you’ll enjoy the effect and not to worry it’s completely legal. You save it for later and when arrested for possession of an illegal substance your claim that you were told it was legal will fall on deaf ears. To avoid prosecution in such situations we have a duty to engage in some inquiry to confirm that information rather than simply rely on unsubstantiated claims of strangers just to get what we want.

        2. You’re going with an STD as the comparison? A (in most cases) completely curable/manageable disease or imprisonment, a lifetime of lost ability to find employment, etc. The two situations are not remotely equivalent.

          1. Is it your claim that registered sex offenders can never ever find employment EVER again? I don’t think that is the case. Being on the registry will probably eliminate some forms of employment (early childhood education comes to mind), but future employment should otherwise be manageable.

            Many STDs are not completely curable and severe cases can make you impotent or sterile. The situations are more comparable than you know.

        3. He was 19 and a cute 17 year old wanted to have sex with him. Would you not have? Are you a sex offender? Are you particularly undeserving of sympathy?

          1. He was 19 and a cute 17 year old wanted to have sex with him.

            If that were true we wouldn’t be having this discussion. The actual case was: “He was 19 and a cute 14 year old wanted to have sex with him.” We have absolutely no facts that we can use to determine if her false statement that she was 17 was in any way believable. Where did they do the deed? It wasn’t at her home so they must have met up somewhere. How did she arrive? How was she dressed? Does she look substantially older than your average 14 year old? Since none of these facts have been reported in any of the favorable press reports I have read I must presume that they weigh against his claim that he really believed she was 17.

            As for your questions:
            1) What I would or would not have done when I was 19 (which was quite a while ago) is irrelevant.
            2) no
            3) no

            1. Ok, having just read the articles actually linked here (NYT, South Bend Trib.), I have learned the following additional information: They met in the over-18 portion of Hot or Not. Anderson picked her up at her home without getting out of the car. She is described as “all made up and her hair looking especially nice.” They proceeded to a local school playground where they had sex (presumably in the car since it was December). Afterwards she sent him a message that “we’re in a lot of trouble” and he responds with “Why” and “How old are you really?”

              The first point I noticed, though minor, is that her profile was in the over-18 part of the app and she said she was 17, which indicates in the very least that honesty is not a priority for her. Then they go to a school playground. Presumably not a HS as they don’t typically have playgrounds, so it was middle school or lower. Finally when she messages him that “we’re in trouble” he responds with “how old are you really.” This tells me that there were plenty of flags that he simply ignored at the time.

    2. “If this trend continues being a “registered sex offender” will only mean you weren’t one of the pimply fat kids in high school…”

      So…badge of honor.

    3. You could just send a cake.

      http://www.cakewrecks.com/disp…..7670524414

  14. If they can show the defendant knew, or should have known, the victim’s age, then I say a term in prison or on probation may be called for. But as for a lifetime scarlet letter, that makes to provision for reform, and frankly it’s a wee bit excessive.

    I think I know what’s going on here. The age thing is one of the few taboos left after the sexual revolution (another example: polygamy, but we’ll see what happens with *that* once the Muslims and the Big Love people start filing their lawsuits).

    As the number of sexual taboos decreases, the more people double down on enforcing the ones which still exist.

    1. *no* provision for reform

  15. This is one kind of reform that will never happen, imo. No serious person (politician, that is) is going to get in line behind this. They’ll be crucified as a ‘rape apologist’ and the public will buy it wholesale, especially the moment a single person who was spared by the reform introduced does something wrong.

  16. “That’s because the sex offender registry is about public shaming, not public safety.”

    Wrong, the sex offender registry is about instilling fear in the rest of the populace and encouraging them to call for ever more draconian laws in the name of safety. You even noticed the effect yourself without realizing that it was the real goal of laws like this…

    “scaring parents from ever sending their kids outside again. (That’s how I originally became interested in this issue. It’s hard to go “free-range” when we’re told that every dot on the map represents another threat to children.)”

    They want people scared, believing there are threats around every corner and that the government is the only one who can save them from the bogeymen and sex offender registries are just one way of achieving that.

  17. He could not tell the difference between a 14 y/o and 17 y/o? That’s a bit of a stretch…

    1. Look, VeryOldMan, we get it that all the girls wore those prairie dresses when you were in school, but some of us recall that one girl in middle school who looked like she was 19, let alone merely 17.

      1. Seriously…. My buddy’s very pretty daughter developed young and was wearing a C cup by age ten. Yes, ten. She was being hit on by high schoolers before she was out of elementary school. With the right attire she easily passed for 25 by the time she was 13.

        You might have been able to pick her out as not yet being a high school graduate after an extended conversation, but there is no way you would have pegged her as a middle schooler at 13.

  18. I got arrested for nearly the same thing when I was 19. I moved to Texas (of all places) and used a dating website because I was a horny teenager and wanted to get laid. I messaged this woman who claimed to be 18 and talked to her for a while. She told me she was 14 eventually, I thought since I was 19 this was not a big deal since we were only 5 years apart and I’ve never heard of any 19 year old sex offenders. I also justified it thinking back a year ago in high school how all the freshmen girls were dating older guys 18+ as well as the 16 year olds, I grew up in that environment thinking it was alright completely ignorant to the punishment and effects of such a crime. So I scheduled a time to meet her and when I arrived at her house like 4 police cars came out of no where and I was arrested on the charge of “online solicitation of a minor.” Worst day of my life, had to look my dad in the eyes as he bailed me out of jail and I could see the disappointment, he had to spend thousands of dollars on me to get a lawyer and when the lawyer explained to me the severity of the crime I nearly fainted, I knew I was very suicidal at the time and that’s how this kid probably thinks. After two years of being in what I call the “unknown” as they were working out my case, I didn’t even meet the judge until the sentencing, there is no

  19. Continuing from my previous message:

    feeling worse than not knowing what is going to happen to you and that is how it felt for two years. When I met the judge on that day (when I turned 20, nearly 21). My charge was reduced (thank the Lord) from online solicitation of a minor to injury to a child felony 2, and was put on deferred adjudication for 5 years. In these 5 years I cannot mess up, go to a child zone, I need to be mindful of where children are at all times, I need to pass a polygraph every year (I had to take three the first year) and four more left now. I need to visit a probation officer twice a month who is very rude (brought me to tears once), I have to attend a sex offender therapy group once a week for at least 3 years (I’m in it now). Some long term effects are I was studying for pharmacy school, and finished all the pre-reqs, received about a 3.7 gpa in all my classes and did a lot of other work, and now I’m in this “unknown” again wondering if I’m even going to get accepted (most likely not) as I still have a felony deferred adjudication on my record and still on probation. So essentially I lost my entire future as well and will most likely struggle to make a

  20. Continuing from previous message:

    living for the rest of my life, all because of that idiotic mistake I made when I was 19. I also understand that I most likely ruined this girls life as well as she will grow up believing she is a victim (and she is) and will think of herself as someone who was used (I was not the only man she was talking to). I know the parents didn’t want me to register as a sex offender and I didn’t because the charge was reduced but this ruined my life. Hopefully something changes in which there is no long term damage and I can be able to go to pharmacy school and get a job in the future.

    1. Do not make public comments about your situation especially with this much detail. Many people in the judicial system are very petty and vindictive and it would not be difficult to figure out who you are by people familiar with your case. You are still in dangerous waters – keep a low profile until the deferred adjudication is done. Do not antagonize your probation officer – and don’t let on that you consider that you were treated unjustly (even if you were) – the judicial system often treats it as “not taking responsibility” for your actions. Talk to your lawyer about your concerns. Find out from your lawyer how much you have to disclose in your college application about this charge and do not volunteer anything more than necessary. Good luck.

  21. How about they lock up the stupid bitch who lied about her age?

  22. As a critical component of the ongoing effort to criminalize men and maleness, the system is working exactly as designed.

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  24. I have to laugh at the headline that this 19 year old is not a threat to children.

    No court or legislature has ever passed a law or ruled that a person has to pose any danger to be listed.

    What you all want to do is play politics with whether a person poses a danger to the community or not. Everyone here thinks they know who poses a danger and who belongs on a list of sex offenders.

    The problem is, none of you are qualified to make a determination upon ANYONE whether they pose a danger to the community or not. THAT determination belongs in a court of law.

    You all don’t like that answer. That answer makes you feel small minded, ignorant and no all-knowing about everything.

    BUT UNTIL I GET DUE PROCESS in a court of law under fair standards I will NEVER go back upon your registry and I will do whatever I can to avoid your illegal registry.

    You all don’t want ridiculous outcomes to your laws? Then put the determinations of danger IN a court of law. Making the registry political only makes YOU look like ignorant despots.

  25. At the very least there should be a civil cause of action so that the young lady can share in his misery. Something along the lines of her having to reimburse him for all legal costs, plus all lost wages, and all opportunity costs. A judgment on the order of $10 million ought to do the trick – and wake up some parents who think their little whores are angels.

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  27. Its just another case of trying to criminalize sexual behavior without caring about the consequences of their actions
    Once again society has broadened the definition of something to the point that almost all sexual conduct involving teens or pre- teens is “rape”. At the same time teens are fully capable of making all sorts of adult decisions that can and do result in adult crimes – murder assault etc… As well, most states allow children as young as fifteen or sixteen to drive.
    Furthermore while it might feel”icky” to older people and parents, children are sexual beings who are going to act on their desires whether we like it or not. With the way society is now, there isn’t alot we can do to control it. Ruining a person’s who life certainly accomplished nothing except making some government busy body feel morality superior which seems to be the most important thing in society today.

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