Ten-year-old Leah pretended to have sex with her younger step-siblings. She said it happened a few times and that she was just acting out scenes from the movies. A couple years later, Leah’s conduct was discovered by law enforcement.
Leah was 12 when she was convicted of criminal sexual conduct in juvenile court and labeled a sex offender. The law required her to remain on the sex offender registry for 25 years. She says she lost jobs and internships as a result. When she was about to enter her freshman year of college, an old friend called her up to tell her she’d seen Leah’s name and photograph on the state’s online public registry. Even though her friend knew the circumstances of Leah’s conviction, it seemed all anyone would see when they searched her name was “sex offender.”