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A Grandma Reflects on Sex Offender Laws: “My Husband Would Have Gone to Jail”

Following up on the Zach Anderson case — the 19 year old on the Sex Offender Registry for 25 years for having consensual sex with a girl who said she was 17 (but was really 14) — comes this grandma’s letter. The Sex Offender Registry is a Free-Range issue because it grows out of the belief our kids are in constant danger and it perpetuates that belief, by making many non-threatening people like Zach into scary dots on the “maps of local sex offenders.” Full Article (FreeRangeKids)

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  1. Someone who cares

    What a great great article, and so true. When people say it was different back then, what do they really mean by that? Why would it be different? My first boyfriend was 21 and I was 17. Everybody involved was happy for us. We had a great relationship and planned on moving in together. Yes, moving in together. You heard right. My parents, his parents, and all my friends were excited for us. He died in a car accident, but today, he would be remembered only a sex offender. How could times have changed so much? Is it because parents don’t educate enough these days and are busy working rather than raising their children? I think so. So, maybe that would be a good start to get out of this mess. Start educating more rather tham imprisoning. Thanks for sharing this article, which I am sure is just one of million similar stories. The US, the Sex Offender country…..really?

  2. JM

    Someone who cares…

    I wrote that letter. It was written as a simple comment on the “Free Range Kids” website.

    My hope was that those parents who have been brainwashed into thinking that there is danger in every park, on Halloween etc. and all the myths, might read it and hopefully start thinking in terms of their own children and how our laws could someday effect them. Most of Lenore’s readers are parents. Parents who might be easily swayed by all the myths, media and politicians.

    Letting them know that sometimes a young person could have their life ruined over even a “touch” or sex with someone they considered a girlfriend over the “legal” age, and have it turn out that she had not yet reached the “magic” number and she had lied.

    I wonder how many of those on our registry wouldn’t be if California’s age of consent was the same as it is Nationally, 16. On one side of “Lake Tahoe” the age of consent is 16 (Nevada)and on the other side it is 18 (California).

  3. someone who cares

    I agree. How can one state or country say it is ok to have sex with a minor, and one doesn’t? Who decides at what age your child is ready? In Europe the average age of consent is around 14 I believe, and I don’t think there are many sex offenders. I can only speak for myself, but I was mature enough to make my own decision at the age of 15. My parents educated me about birth control, and that is all that was needed. We had the “talk”. Why do they legalize over the counter “the day after pills” for teenagers if having sex at that age is illegal? Teenagers are the same everywhere, be it in Europe, California, or any other place. So why do some states want to make this a crime and put people in prison in one state but not in another? You can get your driver’s license at the age of 16, yet you are not ready to have sex? But, you are mature enough to drive in the LA traffic. It is absolutely hypocritical.

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