Young ‘sex offenders’

"Lawyers and health educators say most teens – and even many parents – are unaware that even consensual teenage sex is often a crime," the Associated Press reports. There are three related problems: 1) though prosecutions are rare, they happen, 2) there is a lot of confusion about the laws in various states (e.g., "across the country, ages of consent range from 14 to 18"), 3) sex-offender registries are increasingly accessible, and teens placed on them can be "branded" for life. The only good news in all this is that "some states have moved in recent months to craft so-called Romeo and Juliet exceptions to prevent sexually active teenagers from being lumped together with child molesters." See also "Juvenile sex offenders & Net registries."

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