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Texas boy, 14 could be listed as sex offender for life for consensually sleeping with 12-year-old girlfriend

May 20, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Texas boy, 14 could be listed as sex offender for life for consensually sleeping with 12-year-old girlfriend

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A 14-year-old boy from Texas might be labeled as a sex offender because he slept with his 12-year-old “girlfriend.”

The boy’s mother told the Houston Chronicle that “he loved her” and that the relationship was consensual. The early teen has been charged with aggravated sexual assault.

“Because he turned 14; they want to make him a sex offender, put him on the registry with pedophiles and molesters – sick and dangerous people,” she added.

The children from Harris County – who are not being named – slept together when he was in ninth grade after his 14th birthday.

In certain states, the two-year gap would have been protected by the “Romeo and Juliet” law, which includes sexual relations between parties that have an age gap of up to three years.

However, in Texas, that can’t be applied if one of the individuals is 12 or younger. Anyone ten and over can be charged.

“It defeats the purpose of the Romeo and Juliet defense where you have two people close in age and maturity,” said the teen’s lawyer, Joseph Gutheinz.

He added: “The idea that a 14-year-old who has sex with a person a little bit younger would be treated as the worst of the worst in our society and placed on the sex offender registry is sick.”

Jay Jenkins, a lawyer for the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, which seeks to raise the age of responsibility, said such cases were not unique.

The tribulation has left the boy’s family “going through hell,” his mom noted, and said: ‘What kind of life is he going to have if he’s a sex offender?’

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