Sex Offender Registration shouldn't be for all sex crimes

I saw this program on TV last night where this 18 year old got convicted of statutory rape and child molestation because he had sex with a girl that was 15 and she was 3 months shy of her 16th birthday which would have made the sex legal in their state and I heard a person call into a radio show a while back saying that he had to register as a sex offender because when he was 22 he had sex with his 17 year old girl friend…I think cases like these the guilty should not have to register as sex offenders because of the circumstances.
Megan’s law was designed to protect people from potentially harmful sexual predators and neither case above in my opinion fits the description of harmful predators. These are not people who are likely to go to a park and grab a kid and if I had kids I would even let one of these so called sex offenders baby sit because they are not a threat to children and shouldn’t be treated that way.

Is there a debate here?

FWIW, I’ve always considered current statutory rape laws to be fairly ludicrous, given how sexually active teens are. If people insist on having them, I think the oldest the age of consent should be is 16, since by about that time, most high school kids that are going to be sexually active before reaching “adulthood” are sexually active. For practical purposes, it really should be 15, but I just can’t see Middle America accepting the reality enough to swallow that.

I agree. I’ve known guys who have had their lives ruined at age 18 or 19 because some girl’s dad didn’t like him.

I don’t think a guy fucking a girl 3 or 4 years younger than him and getting sent up the creek for life is in the spirit of that law.

Okay, since nobody wants to play Devil’s Advocate, I guess I’ll put on the red tights.

Who’s going to determine which crimes are egregious enough to warrant mandatory registration? You? Local law enforcement? State legislation? Federal legislation? Should age be the only factor involved? How about mental state and capacity at the time of the crime?

Sex crimes being what they are, who’s going to tell the woman that was nearly raped that her attacker won’t be forced to register as an offender?

Pretty slippery slope, if you ask me. I certainly wouldn’t want to be on a jury that determined a man did not have to register as a sex offender because of a youthful indiscretion, only to read later that said pre-vert raped a little girl whose family was unaware that a criminal with sexual tendencies lived in their neighborhood.

FWIW, I agree that it sucks that people who committed lesser crimes are forced to register. That’s messed up. But damn, where do you draw the line? And who gets to draw it?

There was a great line at one point: no registration. This crap is ridiculous. If they are such a real danger, they shouldn’t be released. If they are a likely danger, or a potential danger, but not enough to warrant further incarceration or medical treatment, then put them on the list we already have in place for such people: the list of those on parole. Surely it is not beyond the minds of our legislators to use existing mechanisms for monitoring ex-cons.

Sex offender registries need to go period.

Well, I don’t know about that. I think sex offender registries are perfectly acceptable for kiddie-rapists and violent rapes, etc. But I do have trouble with some of the other people who “qualify”. I knew a guy who had sex with a 15 y.o. girl, who later got angry at him for some 15 y.o. girl reason and went and tattled to her daddy. He ended up in jail and had to register as a sex offender for the rest of life. This girl had sex with him very willingly, she just got mad at him and ruined his life. That’s just wrong. (Disclaimer: I am not saying that sex with underage people is OK. It is illegal.)

Their shouldn’t be sex offender registrations. You do the crime and do your time. Child molestation and rape should however be crimes punishable by life in prison without parole.

As far as sex with minors, statutory rape laws need to focus on older and younger relationships. A 45 year old fucking a 15 yr old should clearly be illegal while an 18 year old fucking a 17 year old probably shouldn’t. Where to have the cutoffs is the question?

At the very least there should be more information available as to the nature of the crime. In any given well-populated square mile there are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of registered sex offenders (I know, I’ve looked on online registries.)

So many as a matter of fact, that not even the most cynical among us would automatically believe there were that many kiddie rapists around. So basically the information achieved by putting someone on the offender registry is useless.

Sort of like calling someone a racist or sexist because they passively benefit from inherent flaws in the system. If you expand a term too much it loses its original power.

I’m for the registry laws, but again, seeing teens winding up on sex offender registries because they had sex with their underage girlfriends is crazy. I was a statutory rapist by legal definition for almost a year, and my g.f. and I were still quite close in age. We also were both very willing participants. Actually, at first, we weren’t even aware that I was breaking the law. I only found that out after my mom caught on the the hanky panky and advised me to be careful. It didn’t stop us, anyhow, nor did statutory rape laws stop any of our peers. I had two friends when I was a junior, one a senior, one a freshman, and they screwed like bunnies. While they had to fight some “cradle-robber” stigma in the halways, there was never any question that the sex was consensual. They were not, in my estimation, participating in anything remotely resembling “rape”. Society does not need protection from such people. Obviously, the rules regarding registries need to be changed. I see no slippery slope, just a need to be willing to use common sense when putting people on sex-offender registries.

The judge could determine it. It would be better than nothing.

Introducing these laws too was a slippery slope. So slippery that apparently people actually fell in it.

Since what these people were sentenced for (sleeping with a 3 years younger girlfriend) actually had nothing to do with raping little girls, you could as well said that you would feel bad if you were on a jury for a shoplifting case, didn’t determine that the shoplifter should be registered as a sex offender and latter read that he raped a little girl.

The only “use” they serve in the first place is to make the transition back into society more difficult. We already have a method in place that stops people from integrating back into society if we don’t want them to. It is prison, or mental health institutions. A sex offender registry, to the extent that it serves any purpose at all, seems only to beg for street justice and difficult reintegration.

You cannot protect your child by reading a piece of paper, and every sex offender on that list had to be caught, which is to say, they did something to get on that list, so it didn’t help those victims.

If they are suited to reintegrate, we should let them, as normal people. If they are not, then we shouldn’t let them reintegrate, or we should monitor their integration like we would any potentially dangerous felon out of prison.

This is a power I don’t believe we should have. Public executions might do more to discourage violent crime than private ones, but I don’t see that the problem with public executions is that they would desensitize people. Criminals give up many rights when they go to prison, and they should get them all back when they come out, unless the state finds a pressing reason to continue monitoring them, in which case the state should monitor them, not any random person in their neighborhood. If you want to know about your neighbors, hire a private detective like everyone else. :smiley:

BTW the program I saw on TV last night was OPRAH but it gets into some other issues aside from the one I wanted to bring up about registration like racism and all that because the boy was black and the girl was white.

There is always the option of passing"Romeo and Juliet" laws - I know Kansas has one (which has its own problems)… are there any others?

Of course this has its problems (the whole “well what about gay sex, then?” thing came up in the case referenced above…

So maybe that’s the solution, at least for statutory rape where we’re dealing with teenagers rather than a Lolita-like relationship…



Singling out sex crimes for this registry doesn’t make sense. If anything, I would prefer a violent crimes registry - leaving out statutory “rape” while including assault, murder, arson, etc. But even that has the same problem; either those criminals have served their time or they haven’t, and if they have, they shouldn’t be legally stigmatized for the rest of their lives.

That’s not the biggest problem: even heterosexuals may still go to jail for over a year under that law.

I agree, I was just conjecturing since nobody felt like posting a dissenting opinion.

And “little girl” could mean anyone of a less-than-legal age, I suppose. Let’s say the “youthful indiscretion” was an 18 year-old sleeping with a 14 year-old girl. Jury thinks the man was close enough to the limit to be acceptable and slaps his wrist. Turns out his love for 14 year-old girls is actually a predilection that carries over into his adult life, and he rapes a 12 year-old later.
I’d say that would qualify.

Just keepin’ the thread interesting.

Chastain86, I understand you don’t hold these views, but they are just silly. Would we want to real screw over 18yo shop lifters because they might become 35yo car thieves?

The registry in itself is wrong, and non-consensual sex offenders should not be let out until it is judged that it is unlikely they would commit the crime again. Ask the Mercotan and he’ll tell you all about the high recidivism rates for these sorts of crimes. Near as I know, though, the recidivism for statutory rape among closely aged individuals is no more than for any other crimes (and probably less).

Thus, though the registry should be eliminated all together, a midpoint could be to restrict it to non-consensual acts. As I mentioned in GQ thread, I would not want to be labeled a sex offender for the rest of my life if a cop had pulled me over last Saturday to find I was driving down the highway getting a BJ from my girlfriend.

If Qadgop did say that, he’d be quite wrong, because the recidivism rate for sex offenders (not just the ones who commit statuatory rape) is among the lowest of all classes of offenders. Furthermore, the recidivism rate for child molesters is even lower then that for sex offenders has a whole!

No need to ask a prison doctor–the Bureau of Justice Statistics publishes all the reports you need to reach your own conclusions. For example, Table 9 in this report lists recidivism rates for various classes of offenders. The reconviction (for any crime) rate for rape is 27.4 and the reconviction rate for “other sexual assault” is 22.3. Of the 20 classes listed, the only class with a lower reconviction rate is homocide, which comes in at 20.5. Compare those numbers to the larceny rate of 55.7, the burglary rate of 54.2, and the robbery rate of 46.5, for example.

I agree. Once you have served your time you should be given another chance. Making you sign a registery basically dooms you to a realy crappy life. Under those circumstances how can you ever really make yourself a better person? They might as well just keep you in prison.

Sure it is. In fact, I think ALL sex offenders should be shot directly in the forehead with a large caliber weapon, five seconds after conviction. And I don’t particularly care which sex-crime they’ve committed.

If you’re an 18 year old guy, FIND AN 18 YEAR OLD GIRL TO HAVE SEX WITH. Holy geeze, is it really that hard of a concept to understand? Don’t have sex with underaged girls. It’s not like it’s freaking Rocket Science.

Over the course of my life, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to have sex with a lot of different women (and men, had I so chosen), yet due to this wonderful thing called “self-control”, I managed to only have sex with legal partners.

I have no sympathy at ALL for stupidity. If your girlfriend is six months away from the Age of Consent in your State, the FLIPPIN’ WAIT THE SIX MONTHS TO HAVE SEX. If you’re such an uncontrollable animal that you find yourself incapable of either waiting until your girlfriend is Legal or finding a new one that is, then you really need to be taken out of the genepool entirely.

A registry which does not make distinctions between harmless offenses and genuine predators is of little use to parents in protecting their children. A couple of teenagers fooling around make one of them “a criminal with sexual tendencies” in the eyes of the law, but in terms of common sense and actual, real danger, it’s ridiculous.