Age of Consent: the Unknown Facts

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?

Vigilantism, an Age Old Problem

What is it about some people? Why do they decide that it is their place to step in and control a situation? Some even going to the point of harassing or becoming violent in the name of what is right. It is not right.

Vigilantism. It’s an age old problem. Vigilantes see themselves as upholding the laws, since law enforcement has not. The problem is, they go beyond the law and most of the time end up breaking the law. Then, when caught they stand up for each other. However, when they break the law, they are the criminals.

Rather than being law abiding citizens and allowing the system to work, they hinder law enforcement in doing their job, which is to protect citizens, all citizens. Vigilantes consider themselves as above the law and in effect thumb their noses at laws they disagree with. Or worse, they feel they can do a better job. In the process the recruit others and soon there is a whole group of dangerous, unstable vigilantes acting on their own as law enforcers. At the very least they stir up paranoia and evoke fear and hatred. And occasionally their actions lead to beatings and murder.

One vigilante has found herself on the wrong side of the law. After harassing registered former offenders in a trailer park in Florida, Barbara Farris, the president of a group known as the Bee Squad, which tracks sex offenders in central Florida has been arrested on a warrant from Alabama. The charge, menacing.

It would seem that this person is the most dangerous in the area, not the RFSO’s who are monitored by the state. This should be a warning for vigilantes everywhere, let law enforcement do their job and worry about your own families.

“There is an old saying the one that screams loudest about someone else has the most to hide.”

Sex Offenders! They Show Up Everywhere!

While some push the fear and misinformation buttons, a growing number are beginning to understand the facts. This article from Alaska is an example of intelligent thinking.


In 1996 a Federal law went into effect which required all states to require convicted sex offenders to register, and to make that information available to the public.

Many people carry the new Internet enabled

Supreme Court: Registry law doesn’t apply to all sex offenders


CARR v. U.S.


No. 08-1301.

Supreme Court of United States.

June 1, 2010.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR delivered the opinion of the Court.

Since 1994, federal law has required States, as a condition for the receipt of certain law enforcement funds, to maintain federally compliant systems for sex-offender registration and community notification. In an effort to make these state schemes more comprehensive, uniform, and effective, Congress in 2006 enacted the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA or Act) as part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, Pub. L. 109-248, Tit. I, 120 Stat. 590. Among its provisions, the Act established a federal criminal offense covering, inter alia, any person who (1) “is required to register under [SORNA],” (2) “travels in interstate or foreign commerce,” and (3) “knowingly fails to register or update a registration.” 18 U. S. C.