Should teens be locked up or registered as sex offenders for having safe and consensual sex with one another? A prosecutor by the name of Kym Worthy from Wayne County, Michigan doesn't think so, and is proposing that the age of consent law be changed to protect teenagers from "unnecessary prosecution." I saw this posted over on Moral Outrage today, the full story can be found here.
All it takes is one overzealous prosecutor to change a kid's fortunes forever.Perhaps they ought to start thinking of doing something like this in Utah, where it may take a supreme court decision to come down on whether two teens having consensual sex was in fact an act of mutual statutory rape. According to the editorial, Michigan has one of the strictest "black and white" status crime laws when it comes to teenage sex. Young people need protections against rape and assault just as anyone does, but not to the extent that they can be jailed and put on sex offender registries for doing it consensually with one another.
Sex among minors is not ideal, but it happens. Michigan would be wise to carve out an exception for teenagers or give judges more discretion in dealing with this issue.
Parents there would do well to write Kym Worthy and let her hear your voice on this issue.