The DOJ Says a Man Whose Record Was Expunged Still Must Register As a Sex Offender, Which Is Impossible

Twenty-six years ago, when he was 23, a California man was convicted of a crime involving sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl. The federal government says he therefore must register with the state as a sex offender. But California says he can’t, because the state subsequently expunged his record and issued a “certificate of rehabilitation,” meaning he is no longer covered by California’s registration requirements. For failing to do the impossible, he faces the risk of federal prosecution, which could send him to prison for up to 10 years.

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