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Juvenile Sex Offenders

             This paper means to address the subject of minors who commit sexual offenses, the causation and whether or not youths who do commit sexual offenses have diagnosable and treatable psychiatric and/or anti-social disorders. But first let me state, for the issue of criminality, and the lack there of, children who commit crimes are protected under what is called the youthful offender act. The youthful offender act protects youths from serving hard time with adult criminals and seals their criminal records so they cannot be publicly viewed or held against an individual if he or she commits other crimes later in life. However, youths who commit sexual offenses are required to register under the sex offender's registration act, more commonly known as Megan's Law. This has some people up in arms about the privacy rights of their children who commit sex crimes and the stigma it involves. A Detroit Press Article released on Oct. 15, 2001 entitled "Teen Sex Offenders Face Years of Stigma. Even for Lesser Mistakes, They're Stuck on Blacklist", by L.L. Brasier, states: He was 16, wanting to be one of the guys, playing truth or dare. The dare: touch a girl's breast during a football game at Hazel Park High School last year. He did. As a result, the boy will be branded as a sex criminal until the year 2024. He'll be listed on the state's public sexual-offenders registry, alongside teenagers who had consensual sex with their 15-year-old girlfriends, rapists who attacked women in their homes, serial pedophiles and a man who peeps under the stalls in women's bathrooms.
             "It is horrendous. Mind-boggling," said Oakland County Circuit Judge Gene Schnelz, who heard the case. While some disagree, Schnelz believes it is inappropriate that the boy be branded a sex offender--but Schnelz had no choice but to order the boy to register under the state law. Failure to register is a felony. Here we see that the law has certainly provided for penalties of sex offenders, however, there is still work to be done as far as exclusions and modifications of those penalties.

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