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Sex offender registry has pros and cons

I cannot believe I am going to say this, but in some cases sex offenders do not deserve to be put on the statewide registry and in effect cast out of neighborhoods and looked at like scumbags who want nothing else but to prey on more children.

Why do I say that?

Well I recently had the chance to interview the DA and an investigator for the NYS Police Internet Crimes Unit for a series of articles I am working on and there are parts of our conversations that have stuck with me.

While I do firmly believe that a ruthless, I just want to have sexual contact with a child type of person needs to be kept away from our children and fully prosecuted for their immoral behavior, there are other cases that are not so cut and dry.

For instance, consider a teenage girl who may be 15 or 16 and is dating a guy a few years older than her. They have been together for a few months and they agree to take the next step and have sex. Only the parents dont know and when they find out they have the boyfriend arrested. So this guy ends up in jail and on the state sex offender registry.

Is he a child molester?

Did he really rape this girl?

Technically the answer is yes, even though it may well have been consensual sex.

What about the older guy/lady that is told and believes the girl/boy they are having a relationship with is older than she/he really is?

If in doubt he /she ought to check into it, because sexual contact with a minor is against the law here in New York.

The same goes for on-line hook-ups; you better know the real facts before agreeing to a meeting especially if the conversations have been of a flirtatious or provocative nature.

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