Unlike when Anderson was sentenced in late April — including a stint in jail, 25 years on Michigan's sex offense registry and life without computers or anyone with so much as a smartphone — Wednesday's hearing was witnessed by a courtroom nearly packed with media and other onlookers.Since mid-May, when The Tribune first reported on the issues raised in the case, Anderson and his parents have been featured by national media outlets, a civil rights group has offered to pay their legal expenses, and an online petition has drawn 150,000 signatures.
should have "carte blanche to engage in gratuitous sex without culpability," as Wampler put it. pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors in May 2011 and District Judge Vanessa Dickson designated him a juvenile sex offender, which under the law required that he be removed and placed in a secure youth center for treatment for about 11 months as a sexual predator.
NILES -- A judge under fire for his harsh sentencing of a 19-year-old Elkhart man who had sex with a 14-year-old Niles girl who lied about her age acknowledged in court Wednesday that the prosecutor in the case "went beyond" the man's plea agreement and that a new sentence may be justified.
The Holmes Youthful Trainee Act required that Anderson plead guilty to the sex offense and, had the judge agreed to take it into account, likely would have resulted in an expungeable conviction that avoided a listing on the sex offender registry.
Instead, Wiley denied Anderson HYTA status, in a lecture that has now been widely reported: "You went online, to use a fisherman's expression, trolling for women to meet and have sex with.
He is not allowed to use a computer or smartphone, and he began participating last week in an ordered 12-week sex offender program.
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But the nation's oldest public interest law firm for children, the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia, and the Children's Law Center of Covington say in a friend-of-the court brief that criminalizing "sexual explorations" among consenting teens is bad law and policy and stigmatizes youths."Dealing with sexual feelings is an important part of adolescence," they say in their brief, which notes that most states impose no punishment, or reduce punishment, when teen partners are of similar ages. H.'s prior offense is irrelevant to the constitutional issues in the current case."There is no dispute that B.
Fuchs also says it's important to note that the boy's problems began more than a year before when he adjudicated on the indecent exposure charge, for knocking on a neighbor's door dressed only in a towel, removing it, then fondling himself in front of the neighbor when she asked him to go away. H.'s conduct might not earn him "any points for boyfriend of the year."But the youth center lawyers — Rebecca Ballard Di Loreto for the Kentucky group and Marsha Levick for the national organization — say that engaging in sexting, "while arguably stupid or reckless," is "a normal part of modern adolescent behavior."Wampler, citing a 2013 pediatric study that found about one-third of all adolescents in the United States are sexually active by age 16, says it would "double the damage" if they were all charged with crimes."It is misbehavior, not criminal behavior," Di Loreto said in an interview.
The eighth-grade boy and his seventh-grade girlfriend had been dating about 1½ years when they decided to have sex, which they did twice at her house when nobody was home. Wampler also asserts it makes no sense for the state to say a 15-year-old lacks the maturity to consent to sex with an adult, then hold him criminally liable for the same behavior with a juvenile. In Ogden, Utah, for example, a 13-year-old girl was charged as both an offender and named as a victim in the same act of consensual sex with her 12-year-old boyfriend.