Danny Allar, 21, of Sterling Heights, Mi., can't get a job, probably will have trouble getting into college or the military, and must visit the local police station every three months, reports the Detroit News. It may not get easier for Allar for the next 25 years because of his arrest when he was 18 for what he said was consensual sex with his then-15-year-old girlfriend. Because she was too young to consent, he landed among the more than 30,000 convicted sex offenders on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry, where he remains for 25 years in view of anyone with an Internet connection.
Allar is among the young people, including some whose convictions have been stricken, at the center of a debate. Some say the punishment's stigma far outweighs the crime. A bill that would take hundreds of juveniles off the registry and give others a chance to shorten their terms could be approved this week. Some argue that it go far enough and that is is tougher on some teens. Similar registries – and controversies – exist in other states. Federal law mandates that states notify the public of the whereabouts of adult sex offenders. A legislative analysis of the proposed bill says the Michigan registry “can ruin reputations, jeopardize juveniles' futures and weaken the registry's effectiveness in protecting the public. Hundreds of people who pose no threat to their communities must live with the stigma of being labeled sexual predators for 25 years – long after they have served their sentences and completed probation.”