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Yes, I know the title of the article sounds like the punchline to some bad joke.
But reading this article from the Salt Lake Tribune, I think the prosecutor wants us to believe that everyone “except” registrants, are chaste until they are 18.
Now come on people, we all know that’s just not true.
According to the article, the Utah Legislature recently approved a bill that gives judges more discretion in sentencing “consensual sex” cases when the defendant had sex with a minor under the age of 14, if the defendant is also under the age of 21. The bill changes the 25 yrs to life and life on the registry which had been the mandatory minimum. The new bill gives the judge some sensible discretion to sentence defendants to 6, 10, 15 yrs to life depending on individual circumstances. The registrant still ends up on the registry, but not necessarily for life.
You would think this is a good thing right. We’re making progress. Statistics have shown that young people have sex earlier than they did 20 or 30 years ago. It’s not unusual for tweenagers and teenagers to be dating in middle school. High school seniors date freshmen, sophomores and juniors. College freshman still date the sweetheart they left back in high school. There’s age differences, sometimes a year, often one or two years, sometimes more. And along with dating, sex becomes an issue at some point. It’s a story as old as time itself.
But since passage of this bill, Deputy Wasatch County Attorney Mckay King seems bent on making life difficult for two of the Senators that voted for passage of the bill.
According to an email King wrote to Senators Curt Bramble, R-Provo and David Hinkins, R-Orangeville ” It appears that you both voted to lower the punishment for child rapists and to allow them to go unregistered on Utah’s streets. I will make sure that everyone in Wasatch County is aware that you did this. I will make sure that no one forgets that you did this. This was bad law, and everyone that I have spoken to agrees. I will make sure they remember to vote accordingly.”
Child rapists? The “Unregistered” walking the streets of Utah? OMG!
Had Mr. King bothered to read the bill, I believe it speaks to “consensual sex” which is a world away from child rape. And no one has gotten the Willy Wonka Golden Ticket with this bill either, registrants are still on the registry, just maybe not for a lifetime.
The bill had received endorsements from several groups including a victims group, the Utah Commission on Criminal & Juvenile Justice and the Utah Attorney General’s office. (The Statewide Association of Prosecutors were mum on the bill.)
It sounds to me like a lot of the people that really matter were on board with it, even if Mr. King was not.
So, I’m not sure what Mr. King’s issue is.
Has he been living under a rock? Does he think that under-age consensual sex isn’t happening? Was he ever a teenager? Believe me, it’s happening.
Depending on state and jurisdiction, the age of consent is between 14 and 18 yrs of age. Those tweenage, teenage years when 7th and 8th graders are dating 9th and 10th graders, freshman are dating seniors.
Mr. King, I’m sorry to be the one to burst your bubble, but kids, tweens and teens, are having sex, casual sex. It may not be in the backseat of the family Buick at the drive-in like it was 40 or 50 years ago, I don’t even know if drive-ins still exist. But with two parents working, empty houses, their own bedrooms, there’s plenty of places for consensual sex to occur. Always has been, always will be. For teens, where there’s hormones, there’s a way!
Or perhaps Mr. King (I hope he’s an elected official) truly believes that all registrants are child rapists and don’t deserve to walk the streets?
If that’s the case then I hope his own words come back to bite him “I will make sure that no one ever forgets that you did (substitute “SAID”) this. And I hope they remember to vote accordingly.”