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.

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