No SORA registration for Romeo & Juliet offenders

In November 2009, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that so-called Romeo & Juliet offenders1 who had their sentences expunged through the Holmes Youthful Training Act didn’t have to register for the sex offender list. (See “Court remands ‘Romeo and Juliet’ ruling.)

1 A Romeo & Juliet offender is a person accused of statutory rape for having sex with a girlfriend or boyfriend under 16 years of age.

In that decision, the Court ruled that forcing “a person who engaged in [consensual] sexual activity with a teen” was cruel and unusual punishment, and thus, unconstitutional.

But the decision left some question as to whether it applied to just R&J offenders under the Holmes Act, or all such offenders.

Now, the Michigan Legislature has solved the problem, passing a bill that would remove the registration requirement in such a situation if the person is less than four years older than the person with whom they were charged for having consensual sex. [Detroit Free Press]

Governor Rick Snyder signed the bill Tuesday. The new law, which goes into effect on July 1, will only apply to cases in which the victim was 13-15 years old.

2 thoughts on “No SORA registration for Romeo & Juliet offenders

  1. Why make a new law if there going to put an age limit on it. So now Michigan wants to say its ok for girls and boys to have sex as long as their partner is no more than 4 years apart? Whats this new law going to do for men and women on the sex offender list? So its going to seperate them into groups from least dangerous to most dangerous. Ok I get that but will employers still treat them all the same? Will they all still have the same rules like where they can live?

  2. If you’re asking if it’s ok to limit the registration exemption to situations were the partners are only four years apart, I’d say yes. If you’re 20 years old, you probably shouldn’t be having sex with a 15 year old. And by “probably,” I mean “absolutely.”

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s