Should Juvenile Sex Ofenders Go On Public Lists At 17?


Two Kane County, Il., teens fighting a new state law that would reveal their status as sex offenders are putting their futures in the hands of police and legislators, says the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago. The boys had asked a judge to either find the law unconstitutional or order an injunction against requiring them to register on public adult sex offender registries after they turn 17. So far, no 17-year-old who was previously on the private juvenile sex offender registry has been listed on the public adult registry.

D.J. Tegeler, the Geneva attorney for one of teens fighting public registration, hopes the state legislature will approve a proposal to give officials discretion on whether to list a 17 year old on the public sex offender registry. Advocates for ex abuse victims have concerns about a registry based on discretionary decisions. “We don't allow any judicial discretion for adults,” said Lyn Schollett of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault. “And my concern would be would the courts adequately weigh the impact on the victim.” Allowing discretion would force a judge to decide the significance of the offenders' actions years after the crime occurred when it was time for the offender to turn 17.


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