The judgement of a child versus the judgement of an adult is totally different. That is indisputable. Punishment for what might be classified as criminal acts, therefore, should treat a child offender differently — with more forgiveness.
Following is a list of some incidents that some argue wrongly punish children for sex-related acts:
- In Colorado, a 13-year-old was treated as a sex offender for reportedly trying to hug a girl “too much.” He is a registered sex offender, though is fighting the Colorado law that landed him in the life-limiting registry.
- Various states will require teens (even when both are legally minors) to register as sex offenders if they have sex. Those laws vary from state to state. Kids not knowing the law (and most wouldn’t know the law) isn’t going to save them from legal consequences.
- Several states see peeing in public as a sexual crime that requires an offender to be part of the sex offender registry. Though most parents would like to think that their kids know better than to pee in public, kids do the darndest things. Sadly, sometimes those darned things get kids in trouble with the law in a serious way.
Parents’ and communities’ tendencies should be to protect kids and their futures. Critics of the sex offender registry argue that the laws treat children too harshly. Allegations of sexual offenses are a major threat to the well-being and future opportunities of anyone — a child in particular. Seeking the protection of a sex crimes defense lawyer cannot happen soon enough when a child is accused of a sexual offense.
Source: Business Insider, “7 Surprising Things That Could Make You A Sex Offender,” Erin Fuchs, Oct. 9, 2013