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Sex Offender Registration Doesn’t Help Victims, Hurts Young Offenders

Jason was 14 years old when he met his first girlfriend, a 13-year-old neighbor of the foster family with whom he lived. After a few months of dating, his girlfriend’s mother walked in on the teenagers engaging in consensual oral sex and called the police. Jason was arrested and charged with child molestation. He was adjudicated delinquent in juvenile court and placed on the California Sex Offender Registry. Before he was old enough to drive, Jason was branded a sex offender on a public, searchable website. Full Opinion Piece

Join the discussion

  1. Dustin

    Excellent article, though I slightly disagree with the overall conclusion that juveniles shouldn’t be registered. Every single point made is equally applicable to adult offenders as well, therefore I would argue that the registry should be abolished en totem.

    • New Person

      Those draconian laws and lingering stigma doesn’t just affect juveniles. Adults would like to re-integrate back into society, but still face those same problems as juveniles as those juveniles on the registry go onto their adult life.

  2. David⚜️

    Excellent article!! A “must read” for all! 👍

  3. Resident

    The fact that California does not allow the use of the registry as a reason to deny employment/housing, but a lot of background checks still pull it up, is horrendous and a massive oversight.

    There are remedies for this, but they take time. There needs to be a push for 1203.4 to relieve/ reduce registration, if not an off ramp for life. Abolition would be the dream however.

    • jeff

      Even the CA GOVERNMENT violates the LAW by not allowing 290’s to have section 8 !! Same as violating housing !!!!!

      • Resident

        That’s federal. They can deny that.

        Not defending it however. Housing should be a right.

  4. AERO1

    i was a junior in high school at the time i took my plea deal i was young and really didn’t comprehend how serious my situation was.
    One morning before court my public defender comes up all happy and says i have good news the DA is offering you 3years probation no jail time oh and you have to register as sex offender mind you at the time nobody had internet access like they do now days so i really didn’t care if my name and face would be posted on the internet boy was i wrong.
    He also let me know that if i took it to trial there’s a 50% chance i could lose and windup
    dong 7years in prison with 5 year parole so i just took the deal

    Good luck

  5. mike r

    No one even mentions the fact that the girl got nothing. What about the 1 year younger girl? And here is the main reason the registry still exist, “in 2017 California spent $140 million to register and monitor 3,500 youth registrants” $40,000 apiece.
    Still, what about the girl? If that is not blatant discrimination and equal protection issue what the hell is?

    • Ed C

      Yeah, under the law they were both sexually assaulted. It is amazing how this boy could be both a victim and a perpetrator. I’ve read other such cases where prosecutors will simply choose which child is the victim in order to get a notch on their metaphorical pistol handle. Often is the older of the two who is chosen. Amazing that anyone wasted time and money to prosecute normal juvenile behavior and shocking that a judge would concur.

    • LPH

      Yeah, either both should be charged or neither should be charged. I vote for the latter. Show me yours and I’ll show you mine… we all were curious.

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