Controversial cases involving sex offenses have sparked public debate concerning the appropriateness of certain sex offender laws and their applications. These controversies have sometimes involved sex offender registries, associational restrictions prohibiting those convicted of certain sex offenses from seeing their families or associating with minors, and residency restrictions banning them from living near schools. Sometimes they have involved minors who engaged in sexting with other minors. Prosecutors typically argue that the restrictions are necessary in order to protect the rights of the public, especially vulnerable children.
Matthew Freeman was convicted of having sex with a high school girlfriend who was one year below the legal age of consent. He has been accused of living 326 feet from a school, in violation of the court order requiring him to live no closer than 1,000 feet from a school. Freeman commented that he had no criminal intentions with reference to the school: "I’m outside sweating hard, playing basketball, working on my drills. I ain’t looking at no kids."
Frank Rodriguez (born April 20, 1977) is a registered sex offender who pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a child for having sex with a 15-year-old, Nikki Prescott, in violation of the age of consent, which was age 17 in Texas. Rodriguez was 19 at the time. Nikki later became his wife and had four daughters with him. Nikki's mother knew of the relationship and had taken her daughter to Planned Parenthood to purchase birth control pills, but after an argument with her daughter, reported Rodriguez to the police. She later attempted to drop the charges, but was not allowed to do so. He claims that as a result of his sex offender designation, he experienced many career difficulties and was restricted in his interactions with his wife and children. Rodriguez' case was publicized in the news as an alleged example of misapplication of laws intended to protect children. Ms. Rodriguez has said, "I think we've suffered long enough" and stated that although she supports sex offender registries, she believes he should be removed from the registry. Rodriguez has said that he intends to petition the state to be removed from the registry.
- ↑ Lane, Hilary (March 20, 2012). Woman engaged to sex offender: registry ruined our life. WKTV. Retrieved on 22 June 2012.
- ↑ Higgins, Lee (Dec 15, 2009). "Young Pittsfield Township man struggles with sex offender label". Ann Arbor.com. http://www.annarbor.com/news/a-young-man-struggles-with-the-sex-offender-label/. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- ↑ Public Sex Offender Registry entry for Frank Rodriguez. Texas Department of Public Safety.
- ↑ "They dated, and now he’s a sex offender". NBC. July 27, 2011. http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/43909343#43909343.
- ↑ Stossel, John (March 7, 2008). "The Age of Consent: When Young Love Is a Sex Crime". ABC 2020. http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Stossel/story?id=4400537&page=1#.T-DrBOoRj5A. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- ↑ Pesta, Abigail (July 28, 2011). The Accidental Sex Offender. Marie Claire. Retrieved on 19 June 2012.
- ↑ Belkin, Lisa (July 13, 2011). When a Sex Offender Isn’t. New York Times. Retrieved on 19 June 2012.
- ↑ TX man upset over his classification as sex offender. 7News (WHDH). Retrieved on 19 June 2012.
- ↑ Stump, Scotty. He’s labeled a sex offender — for sleeping with his own wife. MSNBC. Retrieved on 19 June 2012.
- ↑ Friedersdorf, Conor (Jul 14 2011). "Overzealous Sex Offender Laws Harm Public Safety". The Atlantic. http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/07/overzealous-sex-offender-laws-harm-public-safety/241917/. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- ↑ Rachelle Akuffo (Jul 27th, 2011). "Frank Rodriguez was Labeled a Sex Offender for Sleeping with his Wife". One Minute News. http://oneminutenews.com/channel/trending-news/49601/frank-rodriguez-is-happily-married-to-the-woman-he-was-accused-of-sexually-assaulting.
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