Fewer Sexual Offenders on Registry - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Fewer Sexual Offenders on Registry

A new Texas law could keep fewer teens off the sexual predators registry. We spoke with an Amarillo man currently on the registry for underage sex.

At the age of 16 the man we'll call Larry, had consensual sex with a 14 year old female, and while he did do time for his crime, He says having his name on the sexual predators registry has ruined his life.

"there will never be a time that I can look back and say I'm glad this is over, I did my time, I paid my debt to society, its always going to be there, all it takes is a click of a mouse, push of a button and there I am, for an employer, for a neighbor for anyone who wants to look it's out there for anybody." Larry says.

While he agrees the registry serves an important purpose, he says holding a teen accountable for a mistake made during adolescence is unreasonable.

"You are exploiting kids that don't know what they are doing, and its ruining the rest of their lives. I don't think that a kid that got caught having sex with another teenager, should be in the same listing as an adult who molested a little kid or anything else" he says.

The state agrees passing a new law that would allow some teens to still be charged with a crime, but keep their name off the sexual predator list.

It's being called the Romeo-Juliet case. These are cases where underage sex was consensual, the defendant is not a repeat offender, and is not a high risk predator.

 Executive Director of the Texas Registry, Allison Taylor says, "The registry is so convoluted right now. Its not a useful law enforcement tool right now because you've mixed, you've broad end the net so wide, and mixed those young teens who made a very poor decision, but your mixing those in with you truly dangerous population of pedifile's."

Larry says even with this new law in place, he wants to warn teens of the dangers of underage sex. "it's not just safe sex and maybe getting a girl pregnant anymore, speaking first hand, you'll go to prison, and you'll go for a long time, as a kid. And they'll do it to you, don't think that they wont, just because your a kid, first offense, never been in trouble with the law before, never had anything wrong, and they will throw you in prison in a heartbeat."

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