Underage Sexual Activity better than Sexual Assault of Child — but still a crime

By The Registry Trap . . . Yesterday, Governor Scott Walker signed 2017 Assembly Bill 414 (now 2017 Wisconsin Act 174), creating the brand new crime of Underage Sexual Activity. In a saner world, a statute specifically criminalizing consensual sex between teenagers wouldn’t be good news, but that’s not the world we live in.

As you already know if you’ve read Robert’s story, his conviction for that very same act carries a much uglier name: 2nd Degree Sexual Assault of a Child. It’s also a registry offense. In addition, that crime was a felony, and a registry offense.

As of March 30 (one day after today’s publication of the Act), sex with a “child” who has attained the age of 15 will, if the actor is under the age of 19:

  • Be known as Underage Sexual Activity rather than 2nd Degree Sexual Assault of a Child
  • Be a Class A misdemeanor rather than a Class C felony
  • Carry a maximum sentence of 9 months in jail, rather than up to 40 years in prison
  • Not require sex offender registration and reporting, unless it is necessary in the interest of public protection

While the more reasonable model is to provide an exception to the prohibition on sex with a minor for age peers, this change represents a significant–and, for many people, life-altering–improvement.

If this law had been in effect in 1999, Robert would not have a felony conviction today, and would be eligible for small business loans and other opportunities. He would have been incarcerated for no more than 9 months–less than 1/5 of the time he served. That time would have been served in a county jail rather than a state prison.

He would never have been required to register as a sex offender, and could have developed an entirely different relationship with his stepdaughter and nieces, since he would have been free to take them to parks and carnivals, attend school events, and otherwise play a natural role in their lives.

Read the rest of the story at The Registry Trap

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    • #37934 Reply
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      Mario

      Sandy great article!!!
      Just to let you know I noticed you wrote “It’s also a registry offense. In addition, that crime was a felony, and a registry offense.”[sic] I was not sure if you intended to write registry offense twice following each other, but just in case I am pointing this out to you.
      Thank you for your journalism!

      • #37945 Reply
        Sandy Rozek
        Sandy Rozek
        Admin

        Mario, you flatter me. I did not write that excellent piece. It was on the Registry Trap blog and used here with the permission of the author, who chose not to be named.
        Yes, I’ m sure he intended to write it as he did; it is for emphasis. He is emphasizing the worst part of the whole thing: it is a registry offense to have a consensual relationship when you are teenagers.

    • #37971 Reply
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      obvious answers

      The United States is a country completely gone out of control. Even if one state slightly relaxes a bit of tyranny it’s only after 50 others increase theirs. And it’s only a slight relaxation and only till they retroactively change their minds again..So many laws and restrictions they are completely innumerable and even the judges,prosecuting attorneys and police under testimony have admitted they cant keep track of them. Just because you get a breathe in one town dont relax because you will lose it 5 steps into the next…
      YOU ONLY HAVE ONE BATTLE TO WIN POSSIBLE!! Fight the attack on your passports and the United States international harassment tooth and nail ..AND for all that is holy win it!! Then get the heck out and never look back.. YOU NEVER in this life will get a second opportunity at your life in America..FACE reality.. The longer you stay the more opportunities you face at a bad roll of the dice and anouther retro law taking you away or vigilante burning you out.

    • #38020 Reply
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      Edward A Nightingale

      Hmmm, does that mean both parties get charged? Somehow, I doubt it. Ironic that Florida is one step forward, and one step back….

    • #38057 Reply
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      D

      All of this hysteria and destruction over skin. America is only trying to take away rights from it citizens anyway it can because citizens with rights are a barrier to government.

    • #38086 Reply
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      Timothy DA Lawver

      Wisconsin my state,

      Mr. Sensenbrenner’s efforts to support Megan’s law etc is on the record. His devotion to and advocacy for SOR depended on a series of financially driven incentives gotten through federal appropriations. Bringing dollars and jos to the state and his district for the purpose of monitoring certain individuals. Now that some courts have found SORNA UNCONSTITUTIONAL if applied post fact punitive we see the true nature of SOR.

      PLAIN INDENTURE as described under the 13th amendment.

      While the people of Wisconsin may be concerned about many things social their desire for their representatives to behave within the foundations of constitutional prohibition is not among them.

      The people developed a database, indentured those already convicted to it without meaning process nor oppositional representation. The fed acted enmasse upon state level felony convictions, under threat of grant loss $, pointing to coercion. Indenture is incongruous to liberty.

      Are we sure as people we want STATE to be determining our children’s sexual normalcy. Are we to leave to Politicians and Civil servants and Courts to deem what is or what is not normal human sexuality? Are we going to let our national press determine right or wrong with normal sex. Who is it exactly that gets to label a person “deviant”, a “freak”, a “tree jumper”, a “chicken hawk”, a “perv” or any other colorful one can evoke?

      What can we as a people acknowledge understanding the very man who defended SOR to ex post consideration what not only rewarded for the distortion, he secured the ultimate seat. Leave it to lawyers to pare so finely the bar to culpability. IMHO Mr. Roberts will find Mr. Scalia’s words hollow. That is to say a pillow won’t protect you from the knowing gaze of St. Peter.

      The errant claim.
      Computer need > Human need

      Many had pondered the question diving if or when machines would come to rule humans. Some lead the way and they claimed moral imperative to do so. Just wait till facial recognition evolves.

      • #38320 Reply
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        misdemeanor offender

        Timothy,

        I am glad you brought up the 13th Amendment because that too impacts a core argument of illegal means of the sex offender registry. First, a slave was considered property, and any forms of escape, non-compliance, and failure to remain in mandated accommodation was punishable by whatever means the owner wished to apply. There was no intervention between law enforcement (with the exception of capture and return) or fair judicial oversight. Fast forward a bit and the national or state offender registries have strikingly underlying similarities.

        But if we all take a stroll down the “historical lane,” we will quickly discover that marriage and sexual relations began shortly after puberty. I am not suggesting this is acceptable. I am only providing a timeline of fact. In the mid-1800’s the age of consent was 13 years of age. By the 1970s, feminist rape law reform campaigns had helped to expand age of consent laws. But an issue of gender age inequalities kept the age of consent for females at 13 to 16 while raising the age of consent to males 17 to 19. Keep in mind same-sex relationships were unlawful. In essence, poorly researched legislation combined with uneasy and secluded law advocates created its criminal quandary. Today that same methodology and tactic are used to develop convoluted consent or a labyrinthine of sexually based legislation that further complicates rationale and spirit of humanistic liberation such as a consensual choice between reasonable parties. I would suggest that these legislative tactics are created with a moral purpose to constructively end consensual sexual activities between unwed parties.

        A disturbing trend is that some high profile and localized cases seem to raise a significant question to alleged sex crimes or underage circumstances sometimes thirty years ago. Laws appear to have been constructively created to strip statutes of limitations to allow individual cases to be accepted despite the lack of evidence. Instead, of evidence, there is emotional recollection combined with specific social movements to add pressure to judicial administrators. That indicates there is no longer a burden of proof but a reasonable belief and reasonable suspicion. These low bar levels that appear to trend towards conviction will eventually be the downfall of our credibility in the scales of justice in addition to possibly the collapse of our judicial system.

        PS. Law enforcement is currently testing facial recognition software at our NC State Fair to compare against the state sex offender registry. Additionally, the State of Florida and naturally Disney have implemented facial recognition software programs.

    • #38113 Reply
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      Saddles

      Whether they call it second degree or whatever the degree of a sex offense it is just man trying to prove to others. I wonder what degree it was when they crucify one. Sure we all should throw off all that stuff. While this sex offender we are all going thru may be deemed as a degree, than I would imagine putting the label “violent” would be above any degree degree or are we all offenders, even if we all mouth off that cashier or dept store lady ringing up our items. Sure we can all say we are sorry, be forgivig but man in his inifinite wisdom always wants to be right. Doesn’t one of our presidents want to always be right, and you can pick whichever president you want on that one.

    • #38221 Reply
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      david

      It’s a step in the right direction and an excellent beginning. This is an acknowledgement that a sex law went too far and needed fixing. That’s huge!

    • #54354 Reply
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      Chris

      So now what happens to the ones who have already been charged and it was consensual and within the 3 years?

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