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Sex offender registry: youthful offenders

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by: Ryan • May 10, 2013 • no comments

As you probably know, Oregon law is sufficiently ridiculous that a 20 year old would automatically have to register as sex offender if convicted of Sex Abuse II for having otherwise consensual sex with a 17 year old, but a 19 year old convicted of Rape III for having otherwise consensual sex with a 14 year might be able to avoid registration. This embarrassing scheme was indirectly upheld by our own Oregon Supreme Court a couple of weeks ago.

However, there may be some good news on the horizon. I don't know the details, but I did note a post from Sentencing Law and Policy blog which gives some reason to hope. The title of the post is: Notable new Oregon bill to allow some young sex offenders to get off registry. The blog post mostly quotes the AP, which I've reprinted in part here, removing the name of the young man who testified.

Among those testifying for the bill was [John Doe], who served three years' probation on a charge of sex abuse for having sex with his girlfriend in 2004 on the night of his high school graduation. In written testimony, [Doe] said he had just turned 18 at the time and she was five weeks shy of 15. A counselor learned of the encounter and was required by a mandatory reporting law to inform authorities, he said.
He said having a sex crime on his record has made it difficult to get hired and rent an apartment. Employers and housing agencies often run criminal background checks. "It doesn't seem reasonable that a guy who had sex with his girlfriend should have to pay for the rest of his life," {Doe] said in the written testimony.
Under the bill, only sex crimes that meet a specific set of requirements could be erased from an offender's record. Among other things, the person must have successfully applied to be removed from the state's sex offender registry and cannot have been convicted of other serious crimes.