Sex Offender Registry
Many cities have established online sex offender registries, where anyone can find a list of pictures
and names of residents who have been convicted of a sex crime. Although many citizens welcome these
lists as a safeguard against potentially dangerous people, they are not without criticism.
One common criticism of sex offender registries is that there is no distinction between more serious
and less serious crimes. In many states, an 18-year-old who has sex with a consenting 16-year-old can
be convicted of statutory rape. The term “statutory rape” can be very misleading and is controversial
in itself, but essentially means one person was younger than the age of consent and therefore cannot
“consent” for legal purposes, even if in reality the person was willing.
As far as these lists are concerned, however, the 18-year-old might could have just as easily been convicted
of rape. Regardless of whether the conviction is for having sex with a slightly-younger significant
other or committing a series of violent rapes, a sex crime conviction will result in a person’s face,
name, and address appearing for anyone to see.
In addition, convicted sex offenders are often required to notify all of their neighbors in person of
their convict status. One objection to this practice is that it puts people convicted of a sex offense
at risk for physical, verbal, and emotional abuse. Not everyone would be happy to be notified by a knock
at the door that a sex offender lives nearby, even if their offense was not severe and even if they’ve
paid off their debt to society.
Placement on a sex offender registry can have serious life-altering consequences. If you have been charged
with a sex crime, the skilled San Jose criminal defense attorneys at the law office
of Daniel Jensen, P.C. can help you. Contact us today for more information at (408) 493-0082.