New Jersey parents may have read the reports of a case has brought attention to the arbitrary application of sex offender status to someone who had consensual sex with a young woman who lied about her age. The judge plans to reconsider the sentence and possibly remove the 19-year-old man from the sex offender registry
The defendant met a young woman through a dating app, and she claimed to be 17 when she was actually 14. The encounter resulted in him receiving a 90-day jail sentence, five years probation, and 25 years on a sex offender registry. This status bars him from using the Internet and being near schools or playgrounds.
The man's lawyer maintains that the prosecutor violated the plea bargain deal by failing to remain neutral during sentencing. The lawyer also said that sex crimes registries do not indicate the severity of a person's crime. In its current form, such registries lump together sexually active teenagers who got caught with pedophiles and child rapists. He hopes the judge grants a new sentence or dismisses the case.
When a person is arrested for a sex crime, the stakes could be high, considering the long-term consequences of placement on a registry. Seeking legal representation could be an advisable choice for such a person. An attorney might get a judge to grant bail. Additionally, an attorney could evaluate the evidence. If the charges are overreaching or the gathering of evidence violated the person's constitutional rights, then an attorney could ask the prosecutor to reduce or drop charges.
Source: CNN, "Judge reconsidering case of teen on sex offender registry", Kyra Phillips, Aug. 6, 2015