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Human Rights Watch Issues Damning Report on Sex Offender Registries

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Nonprofit human rights group Human Rights Watch has released a report that focuses on the plight of thousands of persons who remain on sex offender registries for shockingly minor crimes that were committed when they were juveniles. Among those persons that are included in the sex offender registries are persons who were involved in so-called “Romeo- Juliet” relationships, where one person is a minor and the other is just above the legal age of 18.

The report is titled Raised on the Register: the Irreparable Harm of Placing Children on Sex Offender Registries in the United States. Any Orange County criminal defense lawyer knows that that in the United States, prosecution of people for sex crimes against minors, has gone to extremes. Some of the worst affected have been those were arrested when they were juveniles or minors.

According to the Human Rights Watch report, you'll find people on sex offender registries who were arrested for streaking in public or public nudity as minors. Other people have been on permanent sex offender registries because of sex offenses committed when they were as young as 15 years of age. Being registered on a federal sex offender registry can have lifelong implications for these children.

The researchers at Human Rights Watch investigated 581 cases involving minors who have been placed in sex offender registries. According to Human Rights Watch, these laws that require registration of offenders began to be widely used in the 80s and early 90s, and minors who were charged with a variety of offenses from public nudity, public urination, touching another child's genitalia through clothing and other such relatively innocuous activities, found themselves on the registries with no hope of reprieve.

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