‘Romeo & Juliet’ Sex Offender Bill Waits For Perry’s Signature

AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – A ‘Romeo & Juliet’ bill, that would keep teenagers convicted of statutory rape from being put on the Sex Offender Registry, is waiting for Governor Perry’s signature.

As it stands, a person between the ages of 18 and 20 who has consensual sex with a girl or boy under the age of 17 could be convicted of sexual assault of a minor and required to register as a sex offender.

The bill on Perry’s desk is designed to spare young adults from being branded lifetime sex offenders.

Advocate Mary Sue Molnar says the possible change is long overdue.

“So we’re looking at a lifetime label of ‘sex offender’ for someone who is doing what people have done throughout the ages,” she said. “I mean we’re talking about the Romeo & Juliet type of offenders.”

Molnar’s son is one of the people convicted of statutory rape. At the time of the offense he was a young adult and his girlfriend was a teenager. He is now on the sex offender’s list.

Molnar says often both the victim and the teen’s parents are against the harsh punishment. “There’s so many cases where even the parents of the girl, or the parents of the victim, say ‘Hey, wait a minute. We don’t want this guy arrested. We don’t want him a sex offender for life.’”

Two North Texas lawmakers, State Senator Royce West and Representative Todd Smith, filed the bill.

In the state of Texas some 100 people are added to the sex offender registry every week.

Governor Perry vetoed a similar bill in 2009.


One Comment

  1. Beanz says:

    Yay! Now it will be legal for 20 year olds to sleep with 12 year olds! Pedos rejoyce! (in case you cant tell, Im rolling my eyes.)

    1. kynn says:

      Apparently you did NOT read the law because that is NOT what it says!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. george says:

    This is not a good bill.If you change the law for so called Romeo and Juliet why not then get rid of lifetime registration for everyone and just make it for 10 years. Isn’t this another form of age discrimination? isn’t the legal adult age 18?No adult should have sex with a child which under the law is 16.So we are advocating that as an adult of 18 you can have sex with a 16 year old child and it is legal?So then when is a child a child and when is an adult an adult? Very bad law. 110 year registration for everyone equally should be good enough.

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