Monday, February 21, 2005

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On the Abrams Report

Sitting in bed watching MSNBC the Abrams Report just ran a story about a 15 year old girl giving consensual oral sex to five hockey players in the locker room. The hockey players have been suspended from the elite prep school. The law in Massachusetts is that because she is 15 she is too young to consent to sex, so the police department is investigating the incident and deciding if they should pursue charges against the young men.

This really isn't what I wanted to write about but it is a good lead in, the registration of juvenile sex offenders for consensual sex. The case above isn't the best scenario, but say you have a high school sophomore dating a high school senior and they are having consensual sex. If the sophomore gets pregnant, and her parents get angry, they report sexual assault of a child to the police, who take the case to the prosecutor, who prosecutes this 17 as a minor, but he will still have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, for a consensual sex act. It seems like a high price to pay for a joint decision, and one that girls rarely have to pay. Because in all honesty how many 16 and 17 year old girls are prosecuted for having sex with 13 and 14 year old boys? It is time that states revisit mandatory registration for consensual sex offenses. Yes, we do need to protect society, but not from kids making irresponsible decisions by making them pay for the rest of their lives. It is too punitive, too harsh and in the end serves no purpose in protecting society.