One Texas teen could be registered as a sex offender because he had sex with his 12-year-old girlfriend and was arrested.
The Houston Chronicle’s Brian Rogers reports:
The teen, who was in seventh grade, is charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. His girlfriend was a sixth-grader at the time.
“He had consensual sex with his little girlfriend and he loved her. They were boyfriend-girlfriend,” the teen’s mother told the Chronicle. “And because he turned 14, they want to make him a sex offender, put him on the registry with pedophiles and child molesters—really sick and dangerous people.”
The law carves out a defense for juveniles having consensual sex with someone within three years of their age, sometimes called a “Romeo and Juliet” rule, which would allow a 17-year-old to legally have sex with a 14-year-old.
But in Texas that does not apply if one of the parties is under 14.
“The idea that a 14-year-old who has sex with a person just a little bit younger then him or her would be treated as the worst of the worst in our society and placed on the sex offender registry is really sick,” said the teen’s attorney, Joseph Gutheinz. He spoke about the case on the condition that his client not be identified.