Recently, my son Ricky, his wife and I appeared on the John Stossel show airing on Fox Business News regarding sex laws.
We flew to New York City with high hopes that we were going to be given a chance to educate America’s youths and their families. Daily we are contacted by parents who are horrified that their son or daughter is facing a life as a registered sex offender over consensual relationships.
Ex-Prosecutor Wendy Murphy, a “Victim Advocate,” was there to discuss why we need these laws. We sat in the green room listening to her and were insulted by her blatant ignorance of this issue. She protested to Stossel himself that these cases are “rare,” referring to the Frank Rodriguez case from Texas. He had consensual sex with his girlfriend Nikki who was 15. Now they are married with four children. Nonetheless, Frank is now a lifetime Registered Sex Offender under Texas law.
Obviously, we know of the Romeo cases as we hear more and more of these youth’s tragedies across this country and how they are destroying their lives with a never-ending punishment. Examples of some of these incredible tragedies would be young Brandon who at 17 had consensual sex with a young lady. She lied about her age and now he is serving a sixty year sentence in a Texas penitentiary. Then, there’s X. At 19 had consensual sex with his 16 year old girlfriend and served prison time. Now, he is required by law to register for ten years, or until a new retroactive law passes and he is forced to register for life. Cody was 18 when he met a young lady at a party and had consensual sex. She was 14. Now Cody is facing ten years for Failure to Register, as the Assistant District Attorney wants to make an example out of this kid. He will simply be one more of thousands in the Bureau of Prisons. Meet Billy who at 18 had consensual sex with his then 13 year old girlfriend and now, under California law, he is a registered sex offender for life.
These stories are merely a just a few of the thousands. Now, not just the consensual relationships, but sexting and internet solicitation rear their ugly heads as crimes worthy of registration, amongst this generation.
So where was the discussion on prevention and education for the thousands of parents watching the Fox Business Channel?
Yes, Stossel had a map with a color scheme regarding your state’s Age of Consent laws. It was colorful and bright, but was it informative? Did it cover what happens if you do not meet your state age of consent? What does Age of Consent mean legally? What are the consequences for violating this law? What does it mean to be a Registered Sex Offender? What are the facts regarding recidivism, treatment and risk based assessments?