11-year-old became lifetime registered "sex offender" for touching sister

Discussion in 'Law & Justice' started by kazenatsu, Nov 14, 2020.

  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

    May 15, 2017
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    This boy became a registered sex offender (with everything that entails) after touching his sister's genital area when he was only 11 years old.
    This ended up causing him legal problems for the rest of his life, even after he was much older.

    There seems to be something very wrong here.
    Although the line between very young curious children looking at each other's private parts, and sexual molestation might not always be an entirely clear one, in all situations, the legal response in this case seems entirely excessive and unwarranted.

    Jacob C. was 11 years old and living in Michigan when he was tried in juvenile court for touching, without penetrating, his sister’s genitals. Found guilty of one count of criminal sexual conduct, Jacob was placed on Michigan’s sex offender registry and prevented by residency restriction laws from living near other children.

    This posed a problem for his family - Jacob’s parents were separated, his father lived in Florida, and Jacob could not live in the same house as his little sister. As a result, he was placed in a juvenile home. When Jacob was 14 - and still unable to return home - he became the foster child of a pastor and his wife. According to Jacob, the couple helped him to "deal with the trauma" of growing up on the registry.

    Since his offense fell under juvenile court jurisdiction, Jacob was placed on a non-public registry. But that changed when he turned 18 during his senior year in high school, and his status as a sex offender became public. Parents of his schoolmates tried to get him expelled and he had to "fight to walk across the stage” at graduation. Jacob attended a local university in Big Rapids, Michigan, but ended up dropping out. "[I was] harassed for being on the registry," he said. "The campus police followed me everywhere."

    In February 2005, at age 18, Jacob left Michigan to start a new life in Florida and reconnect with his father living there. Jacob worked for his father’s company for a few months. He soon fell in love, married, and had a daughter. A year later, he and his wife divorced, and Jacob was awarded joint custody of his daughter. During this time, Jacob tried to follow Florida’s sex offender laws, but continually ran afoul of residency restrictions that required him to check-in with police on a daily basis and provide them with a home address. At one point, for example, Jacob’s home was too close to a school and he had to move. Another time, he failed to register a new address after a period of homelessness and was arrested and convicted of the felony of failure to register.

    While court documents describe Jacob as a doting parent to his daughter, Jacob's wife came under investigation by Florida’s Department of Children’s Services in 2009 for not having electricity in the house. However, when the court in that case learned of Jacob’s felony conviction for failure to register, the judge denied him custody of his daughter, citing Florida’s Keeping Children Safe Act and the fact that Jacob had a criminal felony conviction for failure to register. Jacob continues to fight for custody and visitation but cannot afford a lawyer because he has been unable to find a job. Now age 26, Jacob was removed from the registry in Michigan in 2011, but remains on the registry in Florida, and his life continues to be defined by an offense he committed at age 11.

    Raised on the Registry. May 1, 2013, Human Rights Watch

    In my opinion the parents should have just sat down with their boy and told him that type of behavior was entirely inappropriate, and could result in legal consequences, especially when he got a few years older.

    related threads:
    19 year old put on sex offender registry for having sex with underage girl
    Child pornography law, unintended consequences
    Suicide of teen highlights problems in pornography law
    Police coming into schools, arresting children for misbehavior
    Sex offenders ending up homeless
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
  2. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

    Apr 23, 2017
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    The context of the touching is missing, probably relevant, and I don't really want to know. For the sake of argument, I'll assume it was malicious in some way.

    Even if it was, there is no valid reason that an adult should be held accountable for their actions as a child of 11. 15 or 16, big huge maybe that should require several professional diagnoses of some serious and untreatable emotional or behavioral dissorder, then we can discuss perhaps tagging the adult with the crimes of the adolescent. But 11 is absolutely ridiculous. This is just the bureaucracy manufacturing legal excuses to invade and control peoples lives from birth to death.
    VotreAltesse likes this.

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