My Husband Committed a Sex Offense


Dots on a sex offender map terrify many parents. “Look! There’s one of them in the neighborhood!” Here is a letter from the wife of one of “them.” I would not be afraid for my family to live near him.

Dear naydnyzdzf
Free Range Kids:

I’m married to a registered sex offender. I’ve told our story before, but I don’t mind telling it again, because I think too often we get bogged down in a false dichotomy about sex offenses: there are innocent people who don’t deserve to be sex offenders at all because they did nothing wrong (people who urinated in public, 18 year old guys sleeping with 15 year old girlfriends, etc.) and then there are those horrible child molesters who deserve the harshest punishments we can throw at them. The argument goes that these policies are wrong because they lump the “innocent” in with the “guilty.”

I disagree. I think many, if not most, sex offenders, actually *did* do something genuinely wrong, but still don’t deserve to be punished for life. Some, of course, do. But, a huge number of sex offenders are men like my husband: men who, in their 20s, committed a non-violent, non-forcible offense (either in “real life” or virtually) involving a willing post-pubescent teen (or an officer pretending to be one).

That’s not okay. It should be a crime. But, it should not be a crime that you are never, ever allowed to move on from. The 22 year old guy who sleeps with a willing 15 year old, the 20 year old guy who has some nude pics of a 14 year old girl he met online, the 25 year old guy who engages in inappropriate conversations in an adult sex chat room with an adult officer who poses as a sexually-experienced 15 year old eager for a hook-up (as happened to my husband, with an officer who initiated conversations with him for months until he finally agreed to a meeting), the 26 year old assistant coach at a high school who begins a relationship with a senior on the team: these are people who did things that are wrong. They did things they should have not done. They did things we can rightfully condemn as a society and punish.

However, treating these acts as the most heinous crimes imaginable, as crimes that a person should never be allowed to leave in their past, seems like an overreaction. We do not and should not treat every transgression as an ultimate transgression.

The judge and prosecutor offered my husband a deal of two years’ probation, based on their assessment of the situation and evaluations by two psychiatrists. That is how serious they considered his offense, that it was worth a sentence of two years’ probation. His probation officer and the judge signed off on him having completed his sentence after 16 months. And yet, because of our state legislature, he has 25 years on the registry. He’s done almost half that time. At this point, over 12 years have passed since his offense, and a decade has passed since he successfully served out the punishment the court deemed appropriate for it. We have been very fortunate that he has remained employed and we have faced minimal harassment.

He is now almost 40, the father of 4, and a very different person than he was at 25. (Aren’t we all, thank God?!) However, he will spend the rest of his life, until and unless the registry is abolished, waiting for the next shoe to drop. He is part of a class of citizens we have deemed it okay to discriminate against, in the most heavy-handed and blatant ways, and he knows that any law can be passed against him at any time.

At any time, we could have to move because a new law makes our current housing illegal. At any time, he could lose his job because a new law, say, requires employers of sex offenders to put a sign on the window announcing such. At any time, he could no longer be allowed to legally offer a juice box to one of our kids’ friends (a few years ago, an MI lawmaker tried to pass a law making it a registry violation for an SO to give any food or drink to any child under 18). At any time, anything could happen. And, yes, most of those restrictions would likely be deemed unconstitutional at some point in the future, but in the meantime he would be committed a felony sex crime if he violated them (because registry violations are often considered new sex offenses).

This is not okay. The farther out we get from his offense, the less okay it seems. If he had, 12 years ago, committed a carjacking of a woman and child, or an armed robbery, or at this point even voluntary manslaughter and today be out of prison and free to move on with his life, without notifications going out to neighbors every time he moved. I just personally don’t see how what he did was worse than committing a carjacking, armed robbery, or taking a person’s life, but according to our laws the people who committed those offenses do not have to belong to a class of individuals who can be discriminated against at the whim of lawmakers (as it should be! they SHOULD be free to move on with their lives and have a second chance!) while my husband is.

We have to move beyond a “Yes, but” conversation about sex offenses. “Yes, maybe these laws are overreaching, but what these people did was wrong!” Yes, most sex offenders did something wrong. Agreed.But, that doesn’t mean that it is okay to throw whatever laws we want at them, for the rest of their lives. We already have a number of options for dealing with people who commit sex crimes–or any crime–who we think pose a serious risk of re-offense. Many sex offenders who commit forcible offenses against minors or offenses against those under 13 end up on lifetime supervision, which means that even after they get our of prison, they will be under the supervision of a PO and have restrictions on where they can live, where they can go, and who they can be around (including being barred from ever being around minors without a trained monitor, if at all). Some SOs who are considered high-risk can be electronically monitored long-term. And, of course, international travel can be banned for life for anybody who has been convicted of child sex tourism or trafficking.

What this law will do is create one more barrier for those who once committed a sex crime but have been deemed to have successfully completed a legal punishment and ready to reintegrate into society from doing so. Thank God more and more people are realizing this is not okay. In many ways, I think our sex offender hysteria has and continues to sow the seeds of its own destruction: law enforcement has become so overzealous, especially about internet crimes and going after teens and young adults, that soon nearly everybody will know somebody on the registry they think doesn’t belong there, and that will cause them to question these policies.

We question those policies here because there is no evidence that public registration has made children any safer. And there’s no evidence that there is a need to brand sex offenders’ passports. And by my calculations, at least, it seems that a child is more likely to end up ON the sex offender registry than to be molested BY someone on it.

That seems a lot scarier than a dot on the map. – L.


Her husband is a dot on the map parents' dread.

What it means to be married to someone  on the sex offender map. 



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61 Responses to My Husband Committed a Sex Offense

  1. Vince L February 17, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

    Nothing will change until a high level politicians family member (or themselves) get on the list.

  2. AmyO February 17, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

    “If he had, 12 years ago, committed a carjacking of a woman and child, or an armed robbery, or at this point even voluntary manslaughter and today be out of prison and free to move on with his life, without notifications going out to neighbors every time he moved.”

    This is where the entire “yes, but” argument breaks. It’s not fair, it’s not right, and it’s not justice. I’d be much more concerned if my neighbor was a thief or a drug dealer, or had a DUI than if he had talked to an undercover officer in a chat room. But there’s no registry for all the other offenses. It makes NO sense.

  3. m February 17, 2016 at 3:48 pm #

    This drives me nuts.

    You pee behind a dumpster in a alley at 2 am, and if a cop catches you, you are a sex offender. How many adults have ever peed outside on a long road trip? What about camping or hiking? Yeah, most of us.

    Flash your tits, moon a friend, go streaking, you are a sex offender.

    Skinny dipping? Yep, you are a sex offender.

    When you line up this list, just about everyone I know would qualify.

    None of these offenses are uncommon, and they don’t make you a danger to others, or even yourself. Why oh why would these land you on the sex offenders list and ruin your life?

  4. Anne February 17, 2016 at 3:55 pm #

    As always, thank you Lenore, for posting these stories!!!

  5. Eddie A February 17, 2016 at 4:27 pm #

    Just recently, I received a notification from my identity protection service that a registered sex offender has moved into my neighborhood. Kinda scary, so I looked up his offense. The man is 32 now. When he was 22, he had some sort of sexual encounter with a 15-year old (apparently completely consensual and he said he was unaware of her age). It’s freaking ridiculous for him to carry around this label.

  6. Marie February 17, 2016 at 4:29 pm #

    M, you are right that those trivial offenses should not land anyone on a registry (and, to be honest, I do not think there is a large number of registants who are there for those crimes). That is the easy argument.

    No one should be on a registry, not even someone who committed a violent rape. If someone deserves harsh punishment, the courts are able to mete out harsh punishment. The registry, as punishing as it is, did not come from the courts. When someone commits a crime, they should receive a sentence proportionate to the crime. After serving that sentence, they should be welcomed back to society.

  7. James Pollock February 17, 2016 at 4:35 pm #

    The basic idea of a registry (and, I think, the one that judges believe we have) is one that involves no punishment… it’s a notification to the public that says “hey, here is someone that might want to be extra careful around”. If we had a registry that functioned in just that manner… notification to the public about people the public should rightfully be concerned about being near…there would probably not be the fuss over it. But that is not the system we have. We have a system which has so darn many registerable offenses, it’s not possible to sort out who to be actually concerned with and who is entirely benign. This makes the intended purpose of the registry null and void. Meanwhile, various “get tough on crime” politicians have added so many stupid restrictions that badly stretch the effects of being placed on the registry (if it’s just informational, there’s no violation of ex-post-facto laws, it gets much harder to claim this with a straight face once you start adding more and more restrictions on where registrants can live, work, or play.)

  8. C. S. P. Schofield February 17, 2016 at 4:52 pm #

    I think the whole “Sex Offender Registry” debate comes down to; “Are you, personally, with your own hand, prepared to press a red hot branding iron into the living flesh of the man who did this offense.” Because if you aren’t, the offense isn’t serious enough to justify ruining the guy’s entire life. If the idea of actually branding him makes you sick and the idea of digitally ‘branding’ him doesn’t, either you haven’t thought about it enough, or you are an imbecile.

  9. Pat February 17, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

    Everything follows one around today. If you are over 18 and get caught breaking the law, it is a public record. Of course that didn’t mean as much years ago before the records were easily assessable online. Today parents need to really stress this point with their teenagers.

  10. Mike February 17, 2016 at 6:14 pm #

    We have been spoon fed fear in so many ways. We have been told that once you are a sex offender, that you will continue to offend for the rest of your life, period. We have been told that sex offenders cannot be reformed, only managed. We have been told that sex offenders must have offended many times in the past but were never caught. We are told that sex offenders will continue to offend in the future.

    The fact is that SOs have some of the lowest recidivism rates of any law breaker. The fact is that you are at more risk from family members and friends than people on the registry.

    The problem is ignorance and fear.

    High level politicians with offending family members find “loopholes” so the person does not have to be on the registry. I’ll bet those loopholes involve cash.

    I hope you befriend your neighbor, Eddie.

  11. JP Merzetti February 17, 2016 at 6:47 pm #

    I entirely agree with the tone and intent of what this letter expresses.
    Driving drunk as a 17 year-old is a really wrong thing to do……and imagine losing a driver’s license for life because of it.
    There are a million other “mistakes” that people make in life.
    The majority of transgressors learn and move on.

    But add that nasty little 3-letter word to the equation, and all hell breaks loose.
    We have lost the ability (legally) as a society, to differentiate one from the other.
    And I do believe that what is partly to blame – is that the legal “machine” is desperate for value-added raw resources to feed its appetite.
    And that is a sad state of affairs.

    It would be interesting….to speculate on just how many minors could wind up on the registry these days.
    And just why that might be…

    As far as I’m concerned, this registry as it now stands is an abuse of misinformation.
    Many rational people can readily enough agree on the difference between crimes and misdemeanors – but in a society wherein a legal system has gone out of its mind with punitive ideologies, then we reap the bitter harvest of what we have sown.
    That we stop short of stoning women to death for adultery (real or suspected) and cutting off hands for theft…is a good thing.
    But righteous wrath visited in society’s good name upon unfortunate fools who might have thought through their actions a little better?……..Welcome to the socialized mayhem of zero tolerance. A world of black and white where all the colors just fade away….

    Methinks that far too much of “sex offense” is the simple fact that sex itself has become offensive.
    A curious state of affairs, in a nation that utilizes the activity for so much fun and profit.

  12. Chuck99 February 17, 2016 at 7:20 pm #

    Originally, the sex offender registration was private to the police, with the idea that sex offenders were more likely to re-offend than others.

    Over the years, the harshness, accessibility, and list of offenses that would land you on it, have grown and grown. The reasons for this are that first, unless you have had to deal with the registration, you probably think of it as only people who have raped little kids. The second is that politicians get votes by pushing ‘public safety’, including ‘get tough(er) on crime’. Politicians want votes, so none of them are going to go against the registry or try to make it more reasonable (much less eliminate it), until they’re no longer running for office.

  13. T February 17, 2016 at 8:13 pm #

    A lot of these arguments break down to at what age is the line… should he be made to pay for something he did at 18? 22? 25? What about 40? That’s still a long “rest of life” but I bet a lot of people would say a 40 year old should know better.

    Well, I’m willing to argue that a 25 year old should know better.

    Everyone acts like 25 is barely out of elementary school these days where in most societies throughout history, 25 is solidly in adulthood. Stop juvanilizing. If a man can go to war and enter into marriage and graduate from upper level education and hold down a job, that guy is old enough to understand the law and the reasons behind the law and abide by the punishment society has deemed acceptable.

    If he couldn’t make those decisions at 25, I’m not so sure he has the ability at 37. What, objectively, has changed? Did he not know it was wrong then? Was it less wrong then? What has changed? Only the knowledge and understanding of his consequences. And we don’t base law on whether someone has a full grasp on punishment.

  14. Donald February 17, 2016 at 8:32 pm #

    I applaud you for this letter
    I applaud Lenore for putting it on this website
    I would applaud politicians that would be brave enough to do something about this.

    That’s the problem. In some cases complaining and spelling out the injustice is only so effective. Politicians love praise and this concept is too risky for their career. They will get praise by few but condemned by many.


    Someone builds a blog that promotes politicians that are brave and why they are brave. This needs to be a blog where injustices/complaints are limited. That is because it’s all too easy for them to overshadow the brave politicians. Too complaints will be counter productive. This is because the entire reason for the blog in the first place is for politicians/bureaucrats to advertise their bravery.

    If a blog like this is made, politicians will want to do something brave so they can get on it.

  15. Donald February 17, 2016 at 8:34 pm #

    oops ……Too many complaints……

  16. Donald February 17, 2016 at 8:41 pm #

    “…….If the idea of actually branding him makes you sick and the idea of digitally ‘branding’ him doesn’t, either you haven’t thought about it enough, or you are an imbecile……”

    If you’re going to sin against someone sin against God. God will forgive whereas a bureaucracy won’t.

  17. JM February 17, 2016 at 11:25 pm #

    If only I could write like Lenore, or even the one who wrote this blog, but I can’t. If only after reading these blogs my head could stop spinning long enough to say something meaningful, but it won’t. I am so full of emotions after reading this.

    I remember when this whole witch hunt started, and I said to myself, “Well they say that we’ve lost the war on drugs so I guess they will need something to keep our prisons full”. And of course what better way then the campaign against those that are a threat to “the children”. Only I never expected it to have become what it has become today.

    We have all lost. Even if you are not aware. Our whole country is somehow different. How many children do I see playing outside in my neighborhood? None. People haven’t changed, but somehow the media fear mongers and politicians looking for votes have changed the way we once were. The way we once lived.There has always been crime. If they would just tell the truth that crime is at an all time low, but they don’t. They won’t.

    Sadly and unfortunately children have been murdered in this country by some very sick people. And every law introduced against “registered citizens” is about those who have been murdered, NOT TOUCHED, BUT MURDERED.

    So I just don’t get what a young man TOUCHING a young woman, not quite 18. or even 15 has any relation to these murdered children. In our state the age of consent is 18! In our state it is life time registration! No matter what the offense.

    In all the hundreds of people that I have talked to, in all the cases that I have looked into ( I serve on a non-profit board) not one was accused of anything violate,, not one was accused of anything to be considered forced.

    So why are we as a nation doing this? Money. That’s my conclusion. But, you would have to be involved to really understand this.

    I pray that none of your families ever have to endure something as heinous as those families who have a loved one living on the registry. It’s a living hell for most.

    If they were really concerned about the children, then just how many children do “they” harm? Why are there children as young as 11 on our registry? Or will be once they turn 18.

  18. elizabeth February 18, 2016 at 12:49 am #

    If we keep going this way, nearly everything could be considered a crime, even if unintentional. Once, i went down a waterslide and my bathing suit went full on wedgy mode. It was pretty far up and i had to quickly adjust before i could go anywhere. By the increasingly stringent standards, sometime in the near future, that little accident could get me in trouble. How is that fair?

    P. S.
    Who else suffered the waterslide wedgy before? (Open question, anyone can answer.)

  19. Zach D. February 18, 2016 at 12:56 am #

    The program “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” seemed like a good show at first, until I began to realize that it was sending a very wrong message about sex and even sex offenders. The fact that it continues to be a very popular show even now, I am finally realizing, is Not. A. Good. Thing.

  20. Beth February 18, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    “Methinks that far too much of “sex offense” is the simple fact that sex itself has become offensive”…..

    ……except for the endless loop of ED ads which, now that they’ve made women their spokesmodels, are selling nothing but sex.

    And @JM, you’re right. Where’s the Child Murderer registry? I’d sure like to know if one of THEM moved into my neighborhood.

  21. David (Dhewco) February 18, 2016 at 9:09 am #

    There was a number quoted on SVU that each child molester has ‘offended’ against over a hundred kids (actually, I think one episode actually said hundreds, but I’ll be conservative here). As I’ve said before, that’s a lot of kids. I can’t imagine where they pulled that number from. Every time one of these shows quotes that number, I try to count the number of children I’ve known in my life since I’ve been a teenager. I’d have to go back to day care to get even close to a hundred.

    Where does that number come from? Are these predators visiting schools, groping strange kids in malls, going around to every LL team and at least touching one on every team?

    Maybe since I’m not a perv, I can’t imagine the places to meet that many kids. I’ve visited big cities, Disney World, Universal, and such places and seen that many kids…but I don’t see how that would equate for a predator. Maybe it’s a good thing that I can’t see that.

  22. John February 18, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

    Throughout the years, we Americans have become so paranoid and hung-up about children and sex being used within the same subject line. Sex issues and kids seems to trump all other problems to the point of being ridiculous.

    My niece, who is a teachers’ aid, told me of the situation they had a few years back with one of her young students having a hot clothing iron placed on her face by her mother which gave her a nasty burn. So the school contacted the parents and worked the situation out with school Social Workers. Finally two weeks later they thought it would be a good idea to contact the police. So after assessing the situation, the police told the school to proceed with handing the situation as they were and to contact them if anything escalates.

    Are you kidding me? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Now, if this little girl had told her teacher that “daddy put his hand between my legs at the dinner table last night” and then after looking into the situation with school Social Workers for two weeks before calling the police, EVERYBODY would go to jail including the teacher, the school Principal, the entire school board, the school administrators, the school janitor and even the school mouse for not notifying the police within 3 nanoseconds of the event! As if that would have been the absolute worst thing that could ever happen to a kid. Now I’m certainly not minimizing the crime of groping a kid even if it is over her clothes, but is that worse than burning her face with a hot clothing iron??

    Well, these sex offender laws are based on that mindset. ANY type of sexual offense that is done within eye shot of a kid, even if it’s 200 yards away and not even directed at the kid, becomes the worst of the worse.

  23. Vaughan Evans February 18, 2016 at 12:47 pm #

    People are often falsely accused of molesting boys.
    I live in Vancouver British Columbia.
    One day, when I was 43, three boys-aged abou t11-were sitting across from you.
    For no good reason, one boy called me a “fag.”
    The bus driver heard that.
    He kicked all three boys off he bus.

  24. ValerieH February 18, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

    He made a mistake that sounds a lot like police entrapment. I think this falls under cruel and unusual punishment. He served his debt to society.

  25. BL February 18, 2016 at 2:06 pm #

    “He made a mistake that sounds a lot like police entrapment.”

    Entrapment seems to have been defined out of existence by the courts these days in the US.

  26. Havva February 18, 2016 at 4:24 pm #

    @David (Dhewco), Unfortunately, having had a run in with a classic pedophile, I’ve had an inside view on how a dedicated molester could get to hundreds of kids. The man who molested me was married to a teacher at a religious day school, my aunt. Put on quite the religious act. Always said he was going to heaven because he believed in Jesus, and was always on my case for not being christian. He had keys to areas of my aunt’s church that were normal locked. But he molested me at my home, he had a key. Seems he was very good at getting entrusted with keys. (Probably because he had a cell phone, back when almost no one had them, and a lot of free time, so he could always help at a moments notice when someone was locked out). He also used to work at a major young child oriented theme park. He always kept their merchandise around, and had really awesome behind the scenes photos. He would have been sued something fierce, and the pictures probably destroyed, had the park known. He pretended to be a traveling sales man for a cell phone company. Really he was an ex-employee, leaching off his wife. He managed to convince her to maintain an apartment blocks from a popular beach, while they didn’t have enough money for food. But he always had a stash of kids toys, and his cell phone. When he was confronted by his wife for what he did to her nieces, he dismissed it as “no big deal.” I’m afraid to his mind it wasn’t. At most he got in some underclothing groping before we nieces fled and he gave up. But that may not have been all. When we alerted his family we were told that when he was a child he “did strange things” to other children while “playing doctor”.

    When it all bubbled to the surface, I was told that 100 victims thing. My understanding is that it came from jail house interviews with classic pedophiles (often convicted on one case while others were known but beyond the statue of limitations, I was the only one not beyond the statue of limitations when it surfaced). The kind like my uncle, who get outed in their late 40’s or so for molesting pre-pubesent children. Men (and women) who may well have, like him, been at it since childhood. They took the number the molester says he has done. Then the statistician tack on some more, because these guys usually are totally unrepentant (like my uncle), and they had short enough sentences to get out and go right back to it. So the statisticians assume they will go right back to it, at the same rate, and with the same low likelihood of getting caught. But that was before the registry, before they were branded.

    That stat has been my lasting horror and my odd comfort. Lasting horror in that I was first of the nieces, and I was too scared to stop him, horror because he had probably been molesting kids since he was one himself, and no one stopped it there, and horror because I could see how he set up his life to lure victims. On the other side there is odd comfort because it completely changed everything I thought I knew before. Because, all the talk I had heard focused around victims, and what attracts pedophiles to them, etc made me think there was something wrong with me, that I attracted that sort of attention, and I thought the 1 in 3 stats, and re-victimization rates came from more or less dating levels of shopping around. So I mistakenly had been thinking it meant there were 1 in 3, or 1 in 9 men who might turn pedophile. But hearing the 100 victims thing told me, that there was absolutely nothing special about me. That he would try any kid he had enough access and influence with. It told me, that these guys are *not* lurking everywhere, behind every seemingly normal guy. But instead one man, like my uncle, could explain the 1 in 3 stat for my entire graduating class of 300 (ish). And by that token, anything that could increase reporting, could have a huge impact reducing that stat. That was before I found out the 1 in 3 stat is bunk. It includes things like witnessing a streaker, or seeing a flasher, or public urination. So I would still “be a statistic” and my friend would still ‘be a statistic’ even if my uncle hadn’t molested me, and her teen neighbor hadn’t raped her when she was little. Because hey, some dude streaked at a football game once, and we saw practically nothing, but we saw he was naked. But that sure has heck doesn’t count to us, and it sort of pisses me off that they bury stats on actual abuse under utter non-sense.

    So yeah classic pedophiles exist, and they don’t always make the news, and there is a lot wrong with how we handle that, and especially how it was handled in years past. They are obsessive, and predatory, and could easily terrify their victims until the statute of limitations passes. And chasing guys who won’t resist jail bait, isn’t outing classic pedophiles as much as the politicians and police would like to pretend it is.

    And John’s story is sickening. I have no problem saying that girl is suffering worse than I ever did. I wasn’t tortured, and she was. And the follow up, good grief. I wasn’t sent home to my abuser every night, and she is being sent home to one. I was threatened, a little of that is awful enough. My abuser’s threats were because he knew he couldn’t get away with it if I spoke up. This girl, is probably being threatened every day, and her mom got away with it despite the girl speaking up. This whole situation undoubtedly made the threats easier. I know what it is like to fear that I wouldn’t be believed, and thus that I wouldn’t get support. This girl was believed, and still got virtually no support. That is all kids of worse, on every level.

  27. anonymous mom February 18, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

    @Havva, I think you put it very well.” And chasing guys who won’t resist jail bait, isn’t outing classic pedophiles as much as the politicians and police would like to pretend it is.”

    I’m the wife who told the story posted here, and I’ve often heard T’s response: “But if he did that at 25, how do we know he wouldn’t do it at 40?”

    And, my honest answer is, we don’t. I have good reason to believe he wouldn’t–he’s now a father and so has a different view of these things than he did before, he has been through therapy to deal with issues of poor decision making, and it’s not a stretch to say the arrest and aftermath were traumatic enough to have an effect–but I cannot tell you with 100% certainty that if, say, a post-pubescent teen were to persistently and aggressively proposition him the way the undercover officer did, he would not eventually give in. I can’t. But, in reality, I also can’t tell you that my father wouldn’t, or my neighbor, or my pastor, or any man. Do these men pose a threat to children? Absolutely not. But, that doesn’t mean they would be completely immune to temptation.

    In reality, if your post-pubescent teen daughter is going into adult venues and aggressively, persistently propositioning adult men (again, the situation of the sting in which my husband was arrested, and in which nearly all online sex stings occur), the government cannot help you. No list can help you. Yes, in an ideal world, every single one of those men would turn your daughter down, but if these stings show us anything, it’s that you can find–in a single county!–several dozen men within a few days who would not turn her down. Far from being evidence that these counties are teeming with actual sexual predators, it seems to be evidence that many men who are not pedophiles or predators and instead are interested in sex with willing adult women will give in when persistently tempted by an underage teen or somebody pretending to be such. There would not be a list or prison big enough to hold every man who might say yes to your daughter were she acting that way. That is not to blame the victim, but just to be realistic. If your daughter were indeed to act in that way, that is not, IMO, a problem for the government to step in and solve, or some sort of public safety crisis, but an issue that that family needs to deal with to make sure the daughter gets the help she needs.

    So, no, I cannot guarantee that my husband or any other man would not give in if persistently, aggressively propositioned by an underage teen, although frankly I’d say that he is probably less likely than many to do so, since he actually understands now how legally serious it is to even toy with! (You’d be surprised how many people still believe that the registry is only for forcible rapists and pedophilic child molesters and have no idea that statutory offenses will get you on it.) But I don’t any reason to conflate men who have failed to resist the advances of cops pretending to be horny post-pubescent teens eager to have sex (or even men who have actually had sex with willing post-pubescent teens) with men who have molested and raped children, when it comes to the threat they pose to the public.

    Personally, I don’t think there should be any registry. (No other country in the world has the kind of extensive public registry we have–and most countries have no registry at all–and yet most still have rates of sexual assault and violence lower than ours.) Instead, I think that judges and other professionals should have some discretion when it comes to those who have committed extremely serious or repeat hands-on crimes against children to keep them civil confined if there is valid reason to believe they still pose a threat. However, once somebody is deemed to be safe enough to re-enter the community, they should be able to re-enter as a full, non-stigmatized member of society. But, if we are going to have a registry, at the very least it should only contain those who committed crimes that make them true dangers to the public safety, and it’s hard to see how those who have committed non-forcible statutory offenses do so, no matter how wrong we might validly believe those actions are.

  28. Andre L. February 18, 2016 at 7:17 pm #

    When I first read the letter, I agreed with most of the argument, except for one passage that really bothered me:

    “the 26 year old assistant coach at a high school who begins a relationship with a senior on the team”

    The other situations described fit the bill for the argument of not being very serious offenses. A coach, teacher, doctor, therapist, dentist, trainer, or any professional in a position of authority/trust over a minor, shouldn’t consider the students/patients/pupils as completely off-limits. This situation (sports coach starting sexual relationship with students who are minors) is totally unacceptable and far more serious than the other hypothetical situations she wrote about.

    Then, I read her reply in the comments. She says she’s not blaming the victim, but then she appears to do just that. I think minors should be afforded the benefit of being naive as they are just starting to grasp the numerous implications or ramifications of human sexuality in practice. The burden should always be on adults to behave properly. This is not to say the registry is fine, or to undermine the original argument of the letter, but I think it is right to expect adults to make better decisions than minors. And I’d say exactly the same if gender roles are inverted (I see female teachers who get sexually involved with teen male students as seriously as sex offenders as the situation with opposite genders involved).

  29. anonymous mom February 18, 2016 at 8:03 pm #

    @Andre, thanks for wildly misunderstanding me! I appreciate it! I’m not sure what part of “These men did wrong, and deserve punishment” you didn’t get!

    1. You seem to be confusing extremely serious ethical lapses with extremely serious felonies. I do not disagree that the examples you give–therapist and patient, teacher and student, pastor and parishioner–are very serious ethical lapses. I think they should result in severe professional censure, which may include a lifetime bar from the profession. And, in some cases, some criminal penalties may also be warranted. But when we’re talking about adults and force was not involved–and that’s why I said high school senior, because many high school seniors are 18–I’m not sure I want to say that the act is an incredibly serious felony. Yes, an assistant coach who sleeps with a willing 18 year old senior is doing something very ethically wrong–VERY–and should be removed from his position immediately and barred from working in that capacity in the future. He may even warrant some legal penalties. But, I see no reason to imagine this is somehow on the level with a middle school teacher molesting a student or punish him in the same way.

    2. I wasn’t “victim-blaming” because, as I noted over and over again in my original post, I think the men deserve punishment. A 24 year old guy who sleeps with a 15 year old SHOULD be punished, in a reasonable way, even if she actively, persistently propositioned him. Of course. She should NOT be punished. However, that does not mean she doesn’t bear some responsibility. Of course she would. Certainly we think 15 year olds are capable of committing crimes, which means we believe that have some moral culpability in the world. A 15yo who was persistently, aggressively propositioning men of any age for sex does bear some responsibility for the sex that takes place because of it.

    I mean, otherwise, you are saying that there’s no difference between that scenario and a man grabbing a 15yo off the street, dragging her into an alley, and raping her at gunpoint. Do you really want to say that? Do you really want to say that there is no difference, at all, between the 27 year old man who has sex with a post-pubescent teen who has been knocking on his door every single day begging him to have sex with her and the 27 year old man who drags a post-pubescent teen away from her bus stop so he can rape her at knifepoint? You think there’s no difference in the act or the intention? If you do think there’s a difference, then by your own logic, you too are a “victim-blamer,” because you think the teen in the first scenario bears at least some moral responsibility for the act, even if the legal responsibility should fall squarely on the adult.

    To use an example less likely to cause hysteria, let’s say your 14 year old was found with drugs on them. In scenario 1, they tell you that after school, a drug dealer accosted them on their way home and forced them to take the drugs. (And you know this is true, and not your kid making up a ridiculous excuse!) In scenario 2, they admit that they went to a street corner in town notorious for drugs, and the dealer first refused to sell to them, but then they offered twice the usually rate for the drugs, and the dealer agreed to sell. Would you consider your child equally innocent in both scenarios? Now, clearly the drug dealer in ultimately responsible in both, and in either case should NOT have given your child drugs. But, in one situation your child was a completely innocent victim, and in the other they do bear some responsibility. (And, of course, they would be considered legally responsible in the second scenario, as well, even if they were underage and the dealer was an adult.)

    Now, I think in reality it’s all moot, because I don’t believe there are actual 15yo girls who are going into seedy places–online or in real life–where adults go to meet other adults for sex and persistently, aggressively propositioning men. I don’t think this is something actual teen girls actually do, just something that undercover cops do to make easy arrests. However, if real girls were acting in the real world the way these cops posing as girls act in chat rooms–telling the guys to “be a man” and agree to sex, bragging about their past conquests in explicit detail, etc.–then, yes, I do believe that the girls would not be completely innocent victims in the encounters. I was a teen girl once, and I don’t believe teen girls are that dumb.

  30. anonymous mom February 18, 2016 at 8:12 pm #

    I’d also say I wish our laws had more nuance, as laws in some other countries do. For example, if we’re talking about an assistant coach and a student over the age of consent, I’d want to know more about the situation. Did the coach use his position to gain access to teens for the purposes of having sex with them? Did he proposition numerous students? Did he use coercion or manipulation? Did he promise the student favors or favoritism? Or, was it a situation where the two met, realized they had a lot in common and really liked each other, and dove into a sexual relationship they should have waited for?

    It’s legal for a 26 year old to date and have sex with an 18 year old, so it’s not like in every situation we find that horrifying, or that we think it’s beyond the pale that a 26 year old and 18 year old could meet and fall in love. So I think it probably should matter, when doling out legal penalties, if this was a case of two people meeting and falling in love and the adult failing to take the proper responsibility to make sure they didn’t act on those feelings until the athletic season was over, in which case I’d tend to think that while losing his job and being barred from coaching/teaching would be reasonable, going to prison seems like overkill, or whether it was a case of the coach using his position to gain access to female students for the purposes of sexually manipulating them, in which case legal punishment would seem reasonable.

  31. James Pollock February 18, 2016 at 8:38 pm #

    “Or, was it a situation where the two met, realized they had a lot in common and really liked each other, and dove into a sexual relationship they should have waited for?”

    There’s a right way and a wrong way to handle this situation, and “dove into a sexual relationship” is the wrong one. Being in a relationship with someone who is in a position of trust or authority over the other is always going to be questioned.

    Try a variant to make it more clear. Suppose stepmom 26, and stepson 18, realize they have a lot in common and really like each other… OK for them to dive into a sexual relationship?

  32. David (Dhewco) February 18, 2016 at 10:17 pm #

    To be honest, I’m still not sure at that number. Maybe me being an introvert is clouding my judgment. My abuser was of the family friend type. He was a much older, tougher teen and his father had bought us a place to live when the landlord kicked us to the curve when my dad became disabled and we couldn’t pay rent.

    He molested his sisters, me, my sister and later got a 13yo pregnant. (He was arrested for that one and imprisoned.) I know he’s unrepentant because he contacted me about twenty years after from prison saying he would get out soon and would like to hook up for ‘more fun’. I don’t really understand the mindset of an abuser. Did this perv remember the things I told him to make him happy and not hurt me as stuff that I really meant?

    Anyway, thanks for the story, Havva.


  33. sexhysteria February 19, 2016 at 1:53 am #

    How about replacing sex offenders with some new category of scapegoats, like prudes?

  34. anonymous mom February 19, 2016 at 8:09 am #

    James, where was “okay” presented by me as an option? I simply asked if we should treated as an extremely serious ethical and professional lapse, resulting in loss of job and permanent ban from the profession, or a very serious criminal felony. Treating it as “okay” was NOT an alternative I offered.

    But as long as people hear “Maybe every single sexual wrongdoing should not be treated as the most serious of criminal felonies and punished for life” as “That act was okay,” we will never see the changes our system needs.

  35. anonymous mom February 19, 2016 at 8:13 am #

    And to use your stepfamily example, what do you think? Do you think the 26 year old stepmom should be a sex offender for engaging in a sexual relationship with her willing 18 year old stepson? I don’t. I don’t think it should be a crime at all. But I also think it’s a serious sexual wrong (not because of the ages, but the roles) and a very sad and unfortunate thing for that family to have to deal with. Definitely not okay, but also not something I see any reason for the state to punish criminally.

  36. anonymous mom February 19, 2016 at 8:37 am #

    Andre, I also wonder: do you think teens are capable of committing sex crimes against adults? Could, for example, a 14 or 15 year old teen boy forcibly rape an adult woman? I would consider, for example, the case of the young adult woman in NYC who was, according to reports, gang raped by four teens, three of whom were 14-15.

    I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you do not believe she was, as the adult, responsible for the sex that took place, and that she should not be criminally prosecuted for her own rape. However, do you think the 14 and 15 year old perpetrators should face any criminal penalties? If so, why? If a minor cannot ever be responsible for sex that occurs with an adult, why should they bear any legal or even moral responsibility for what happened? And if you do think they should be punished, how is it possible that a teen can bear responsibility for sex with an unwilling adult partner, but is incapable of any sort of responsibility when the adult partner is willing?

    Again, I’m not excusing teen/adult sex. At all. I’m just saying it is not the same thing as forcing sex on somebody who doesn’t want it or forcing sex on a prepubescent child who is truly incapable of wanting it, and the law should treat it differently.

  37. James Pollock February 19, 2016 at 9:45 am #

    “I simply asked if we should treated as an extremely serious ethical and professional lapse, resulting in loss of job and permanent ban from the profession, or a very serious criminal felony. ”

    “and”, not “or”.

  38. Donna February 19, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    “Now, I think in reality it’s all moot, because I don’t believe there are actual 15yo girls who are going into seedy places–online or in real life–where adults go to meet other adults for sex and persistently, aggressively propositioning men. I don’t think this is something actual teen girls actually do, just something that undercover cops do to make easy arrests.”

    Sure, they do. ALL.THE.TIME. Without putting any thought into it, I could easily name 20 current clients, male and female, in the 13-15 range who aggressively seek out sex with adults whenever they get the freedom to do so. Now, I am not talking about happy, well-adjusted kids. These kids have serious emotional issues. Most are in foster care. Several have a history of past sexual abuse. But there are hundreds of thousands of messed up kids out there in the US who do this sort of thing.

  39. anonymous mom February 19, 2016 at 11:58 am #

    @James, so if I hear you correctly, you are saying that a sex act that takes place between a 26 year old assistant coach and a completely willing 18 year old senior, when there is no manipulation or coercion, should be considered an extremely serious felony sex offense (like, I assume, other extremely serious felony sex offenses like forcible rape and child molestation)?

    How far would you take this? The power difference between an assistant coach and an adult student is certainly no greater than that between a 35 year old boss and his 22 year old intern. Do you think that if the two engage in a sexual relationship that both enter into freely, the boss should be charged with an extremely serious felony sex charge? Or, what about Bill Clinton? Certainly the power differential between him and Monica Lewinsky was far larger than that between the theoretical coach and student, and the age difference was also larger: should he have been charged with a felony sex crime for his actions? At what point can we say that sexual relationships between consenting adults, while they might indeed be extremely wrong and immoral and necessitate professional sanction, are not the business of the state to regulate? What makes an assistant girls’ volleyball coach (for example) so incredibly powerful that his relationship with a willing, consenting adult should be not just a crime, but an extremely serious felony sex offense, but a senator sleeping with his 20 year old intern is not going to land him in any criminal trouble?

    I’m not a libertarian by any means, but I just cannot see how laws involving teachers and adult students–not just students over the age of consent, but those who are actually adults–really protect the public. In my state, for example, it is illegal for ANY public school teacher to have sex with ANY public school student, regardless of age. So, if you are a 23 year old elementary school teacher and you happen to meet a 19 year old who lives two hours away from the district where you teach, and he or she happens to be a high school senior, you are a sex offender if you have sex. I’m not exactly sure who this protects, or how, other than politicians who want to make themselves look good by being “tough on crime” by inventing new crimes.

  40. John February 19, 2016 at 12:01 pm #


    “Always said he was going to heaven because he believed in Jesus, and was always on my case for not being Christian”


    Havva that is absolutely sickening and I’m sorry to hear this degenerate put you thru all that! Please bear in mind that the church he attended would have been sickened by that too. You should also bear in mind that Jesus himself would have been ashamed and embarrassed to have any claimed association with this guy.

    I play senior league softball and most recently our league had the bomb dropped on us when a prominent member of our league, a guy who was Commissionaire of the league for many years and who was a coach and a player and major decision maker of all league activities, was arrested and charged with two counts of first degree rape of a child under 12. Dave is 64-years-old and is currently in jail on a $240,000 bond awaiting his trial. Of course he is presumed innocent until proven guilty but the charges and the facts of the case are making things look pretty bleak for him (They found some hardcore child pornography on his computer too).

    Obviously unbeknownst to all us guys in the league who maintained a close friendship with David over the years, David apparently led a very dark life when he wasn’t on the softball field. Same thing with your abuser. I realize this may be a terrible terrible thing for me to say, but since David was a friend of mine and helped me so much to fit in with the other guys in the league, I do sort of feel sorry for him because if he is found guilty, he will NEVER EVER experience freedom again for the rest of his life. He’ll go from jail directly to the trial and then from the trial directly to prison where he may be in grave danger from the other prisoners. But then again, he did put himself in that position by harming two young girls.

  41. anonymous mom February 19, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

    @Donna, well, I stand corrected, and that is very, very sad. But I still contend that the government will not help those teens by running stings in an attempt to create an ever-larger list of men who might potentially have sex with a post-pubescent teen who propositions them, because there is no list larger enough to contain all of those men. The way to help those teens is to actually deal with them and their behavior. It just seems backwards to me to think that the way we protect a teen who is actively, aggressively propositioning adults for sex is to try to identify and arrest any adult who might say yes, rather than trying to address the reasons why the teen is doing it and helping them to change the behavior. The issue there seems to be less that these teens are at risk from the public safety threat of men who might give in to temptation when aggressively propositioned by a teen and more that the teens are themselves engaging in risky behavior. I’m sure that sounds like victim-blaming, but I’m not sure how else to sanely view it.

  42. Derek Logue of February 19, 2016 at 12:07 pm #

    The one problem I have people who tell their stories is the attitude of “I am not as bad as the next one” mentality. The registry will continue to catch innocent people because it is allowed to exist. The I am not as bad stories, told another way, is “I think we still need the registry because I also drink the registry kool-aid” story. The registry is like the Hydra from Greek mythology. If you cut off one head, it simply grows back. The registry began as a list only to be used by cops and only of repeat offenders. Look where it is today! We have already proven the registry cannot be limited. A teen who has consensual sex with another teen is given the same charge as someone who beats and rapes a teen. A teen sexter is equal to a CP distributor. A guy relieving himself behind a dumpster is equal to a flasher in the eyes of the law. If you are think mere reform of a broken state is the cure, then you are are not really part of the solution. Repeal, not reform, Megan’s Flaw.

  43. John February 19, 2016 at 12:18 pm #


    “I also wonder: do you think teens are capable of committing sex crimes against adults?”


    Most definitely! That happed a couple of years ago in New York I think where a 14-year-old boy raped and murdered his teacher after following her into the women’s restroom. He then left her for dead in the woods back behind the school. Unbelievable. Even kids can have sick minds.

  44. Donna February 19, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    Anon mom – I agree with you completely. I am opposed to stat rape laws for that exact reason.

    In my experience, teens who seek out sex with adults are largely doing so because they have a huge need for love and stability but the only concept they have of this involves sex. It is what they’ve seen. Mom meets a man, he moves in the next day, stays until he gets bored/arrested, and then mom finds someone else and the cycle continues. Locking up the adults is not going to make the teens suddenly not crave an adult who cares about them. It is not going to teach them positive ways to achieve the relationship that they want. It is not going to teach them normal relationship development.

    These kids are victims. They are victims of their drug addict/mentally ill/mentally impaired (often all 3) mothers and the men who take advantage of them. They are victims of their absentee fathers who have never paid a dime in child support and often pop in at the first of the month to have sex with their mother and take some of the welfare check. They are victims of a broken foster care system that shuffles kids around at whims and without regard to their emotional ties. They are victims of many things, but not of the guy who gives into their request for sex.

  45. James Pollock February 19, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

    “a sex act that takes place between a 26 year old assistant coach and a completely willing 18 year old senior, when there is no manipulation or coercion, should be considered an extremely serious felony sex offense (like, I assume, other extremely serious felony sex offenses like forcible rape and child molestation)?”

    It’s a felony, yes. Not like other extremely serious felony sex offenses. But all felonies are serious.

    ” At what point can we say that sexual relationships between consenting adults, while they might indeed be extremely wrong and immoral and necessitate professional sanction, are not the business of the state to regulate?”
    When there’s no possibility of an abuse of trust.

    “a senator sleeping with his 20 year old intern is not going to land him in any criminal trouble?”
    A senator sleeping his (or her) 20 year old intern may well face criminal trouble.

    “I’m not a libertarian by any means,”
    I am.
    As noted previously, there’s a right way to do things, and a wrong way to do things. Having sex with someone you are in a position of trust over is the wrong way. Waiting until the trust relationship has ended is the right way.

  46. Andre L. February 19, 2016 at 4:07 pm #

    @anonymous mom: I think I understand some of your points better now. So let me clarify a couple things that you first conflated in your first comment (not the letter), and how I see them.

    1. Majority of teens are not older than 18 during their senior HS year. It depends on the state/district, but if you took a weighted-average according to the days they spent being 18 and over in HS, I’d say less than 20% of senior HS teens these days are above that age in most schools. I am in favor of gradation of punishment, so a coach sleeping with a student >18 (assuming consent and no exploitation, harassment or intimidation) presents a case that, under the law, should be treated very differently than if the student was <18. Such coach that have sex with a 18yo HS student should still lose license and ability to work with students, be heavily fined etc. If the student was minor, then more serious criminal punishment should ensue. I actually think school professionals who have sex with minor students are a category that should be on a registry.

    2. I'm generally in favor of a graduated scheme for age of consent laws. The key point is to have age difference thresholds. I think two 14-year old teens who have sex are stupid and premature, probably reckless, but they shouldn't be treated as criminals by any means. Different thing if there was a 14yo + 20yo. As a general rule, I think teens age 16 and above should be free to give consent to anyone outside their circle of authorities or trusted adults, e.g, everyone but their teachers, religious ministers, doctors, coaches, therapists, bosses etc.

    3. Obviously, minors can commit sexual assault against adult if they use threats, force or some other very violent resources. Minor cannot, however, be guilty of "seduction". The overwhelming majority of cases involving misuse of the sex registry doesn't have a component of immediate threat or use or violence, it is more about invalid consent. This is why I agree the registry as it is renders useless information valid only for some sort of misplaced moral panic – the really violent cases get diluted in many others where alternative criminal measures would suffice.

    4. In the case of invalid consent that didn't involve much manipulation or some form of exploitation (financial, emotional or otherwise), I'm fine with adults caught having sex with minors below the age of consent being subject to measures like house arrest and temporary for 1 or 2 years, or something on that line, plus a reasonable probation period during which the person would go through therapy. It would still be a deterrent and would put the senses on the overwhelming majority of cases of bad judgment. It also implies a non-negligible financial pain (2 years without working under house confinement for instance).

  47. Donna February 19, 2016 at 5:52 pm #

    “a sex act that takes place between a 26 year old assistant coach and a completely willing 18 year old senior, when there is no manipulation or coercion, …

    It’s a felony, yes.”

    It is not universally a felony. It is perfectly legal in my state. It is legal if the younger is 17 and 16 too. There was a very well-known locally case a few years ago where they tried to charge a teacher for having sex with a 17 year old student. The judge granted a directed verdict and then gave the defendant a scathing lecture on morality.

  48. Donna February 19, 2016 at 5:57 pm #

    “Majority of teens are not older than 18 during their senior HS year.”

    Huh? I can count on one hand the number of people that I know who attended school normally (didn’t skip a grade) who did not turn 18 at some point during their senior year. Pretty much only those born in June, July and August.

  49. Donna February 19, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

    “I think two 14-year old teens who have sex are stupid and premature, probably reckless, but they shouldn’t be treated as criminals by any means. Different thing if there was a 14yo + 20yo.”

    Why exactly is that? It truly seems to be based on nothing more than you don’t like it so you want it criminalized in some completely unrealistic belief that it has any effect whatsoever on 14 year old sex. Or a belief that other people should be held responsible for your child’s decisions and are legally bound to protect your children from themself, a standard that we don’t hold for any other behavior.

    Say a 14 year old has sex with a 14 year old on Friday, a 15 year old on Saturday and a 20 year old on Sunday. What truly has changed for the 14 year old between Friday and Sunday to make her suddenly incapable of understanding what she is doing? It is a bad decision any of the days. It is a colossally bad decision to do it that casually, but no more colossally bad than having sex with a different 14 year old each day.

    It also neglects that fact that many 14 and 15 year old boys can be sexually aggressive. The sex between the two 14 year olds could have been far more manipulative than the sex with the 20 year old. The idea that sex between same-age peers is a bad decision while sex between people a few years apart is inherently manipulative is ridiculous. It could very well be the reverse.

  50. James Pollock February 19, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

    “I can count on one hand the number of people that I know who attended school normally (didn’t skip a grade) who did not turn 18 at some point during their senior year. Pretty much only those born in June, July and August”

    Or October, or November.

  51. James Pollock February 19, 2016 at 6:31 pm #

    “It is not universally a felony. It is perfectly legal in my state. It is legal if the younger is 17 and 16 too.”

    Aren’t you in Georgia?

    § 16-6-5.1. Sexual assault by persons with supervisory or disciplinary authority; sexual assault by practitioner of psychotherapy against patient; consent not a defense; penalty upon conviction for sexual assault

    (f) A person convicted of sexual assault shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 25 years or by a fine not to exceed $100,000.00, or both

    Sounds like a felony.

  52. David (Dhewco) February 19, 2016 at 7:07 pm #

    Hmmm, I am thinking about John’s statement about his friend being harmed in prison. Prison rape and violence is a real problem for sex offenders. To survive stuff like that, they’ll have to turn into even worse human beings. They’ll have to become known as killers of other prisoners and that’s not going to be easy. The person who hurt me was a mean, nasty SOB…so it wasn’t a problem for him, or so I heard.

    However, most offenders I’ve seen on TV news don’t appear to be all that tough. I wonder if the solution is for prisons for non-violent sex offenders. Maybe one or two per state. It won’t solve the problem, but it will be at least a little better. These are bad people, but even they don’t deserve to be stabbed to death because other prisoners believe they’re free game because of what they did.

  53. David February 20, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

    @James Pollock: October and November are during the student’s senior year

  54. James Pollock February 20, 2016 at 4:28 pm #

    ” October and November are during the student’s senior year”

    October and November are during EVERY year.

    My birthday’s in October. I turned 18 during my first year in college. My daughter’s birthday is in November. She graduated at 17, too.

  55. David February 20, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

    The majority of kids start kindergarten after they turn 5

  56. James Pollock February 20, 2016 at 5:42 pm #


  57. Abigail February 20, 2016 at 6:17 pm #

    James Pollock,

    All of our area school districts have, for well over a decade, required the student to be 5 before September 1st. It is becomming ever more statistically likely that a senior is a legal adult. Now rip my comment apart in your usual fashion.

  58. Beth February 20, 2016 at 8:46 pm #

    Why are you folks arguing with him? Don’t give him the satisfaction, please.

  59. James Pollock February 21, 2016 at 12:42 pm #

    “All of our area school districts have, for well over a decade, required the student to be 5 before September 1st.”

    Ours was November 15, last time I had a reason to care, which was 16 years ago. I looked it up, and It has indeed been changed to September 1 in the interim.

    I’d argue it’s a free-range issue… now they’re telling us our kids can’t even handle SCHOOL until they’re a year older.

  60. Linda February 24, 2016 at 5:02 am #

    The age of consent should be the same as the age of criminal culpability. For certain it should be no higher than the age at which a person can be prosecuted as an adult. Or can get married or join the military. Anything else is hypocritical in the highest degree.

    And even in a school setting, on a case by case basis, a non-forcible relationship with a willing minor student (again, old enough to criminally culpable as an adult, etc) is, indeed highly unethical and should result in loss of a teaching license and depending on the maturity and participation level of the student, but to call this a felony, and a serious felony at that, is absurd.

    Is it an even playing field? No. But to pretend that there is ever an even playing field is make believe.

    When a kid gets manipulated, pressured or even threatened to make poor decisions in, say, a gang setting, they are held accountable one hundred percent. Their inability to withstand the manipulations of their much older – can one say mentors – is not viewed as a mitigating factor, no, they are slapped with a gang enhancement on their way to adult prison.

    It is only when we talk about voluntary sexual conduct that a minor gets a pass. In. No. Other. Setting.

    And no one belongs on a registry. Not so past history has taught us that. Or should have. I guess not.

  61. brian February 24, 2016 at 9:06 am #

    This conversation thread is where this blog loses me. I used to read and post a lot but these discussions are too extreme for me. I agree–the registry is overused and is a problem.

    To say the registry is a problem does not mean having to justify teachers having sex with students, adults propositioning young girls on the internet or 25 year olds trolling school yards for dates. These are all despicable acts which our society does not and should not accept. They involve power dynamics that leave one party unable to really consent and there is a public interest in creating a bright red line around such behavior.

    Decoys are used precisely because real victims often do not feel empowered to report these crimes. I am no fan of the police but in these instances they are helping to promote public safety even if that is just by making it very treacherous for potential offenders to even think about chatting with an underage girl online.