For those of you in favor of sex offender registry, kiss my ass.


Here is a perfect example of why this law is so incredibly flawed:

Could this happen to your child? Your brother? Your friend?

Genarlow Wilson sits in prison despite being a good son, a good athlete and high school student with a 3.2 GPA He never had any criminal trouble. On the day he was to sit for the SAT, at seventeen years old, his life changed forever. He was arrested. In Douglas County he was accused of inappropriate sexual acts at a News Year’s Eve party. A jury acquitted him of the allegation of Rape but convicted him of Aggravated Child Molestation for a voluntary act of oral sex with another teenager. He was 17 and she was 15.

Along with the label “child molester” which would require him throughout his life to be on a sexual offender registry, Genarlow received a sentence of eleven years — a mandatory 10 years in prison and one 1 year on probation.

Strangely, in Georgia two teens can have intercourse and it is a misdemeanor but if they engage in oral sex, it is a felony which mandates a minimum of 10 years in prison. If two teens engaged in heavy petting, that could be felony Child Molestation.

ABC Chief Legal Correspondent Chris Cuomo interviewed Genarlow in prison. Hear from Genarlow yourself and realize the grave injustice of his ten year prison sentence. WATCH ABC’S PRIMETIME LIVE THIS THURSDAY, MARCH 9 at 10pm est.

The January 2006 issue of Atlanta Magazine provides a full account of the grave injustice and problem with Georgia law.

That’s right, kids.

He was 17 and got a blowjob from a 15-year-old.

Now he’s doing 10 years.

And, when he gets out, he has to register for the rest of his life.

I take fucking issue with that.

What makes it worse, people will see him on one of those online sex offender pages and make an assumption.

Look, I take no issue with the neutering of repeated rapists and child molesters. No issue at all. But to put someone’s name and address on the internet after they served their time is stupid. Not because people shouldn’t know, but people, by nature, are retarded. They jump to conclusions and react without checking the facts.

A line needs to be drawn on who registers and who does not. Because something is very wrong with the way it’s (not) working now.

I hope this kid gets out of it.

  • Carrie

    It does seem a little fucked up to me. Most people I know would be in jail right now under that law. And as for the registry, I am sure the people who enacted it had their hearts in the right place, but as a mom I can tell you I trust NO ONE with my child except my parents. I don’t need some list to tell me who I can trust and who I can’t. I trust no one. Sorry to go all Mama Bear on y’all.

  • Ace

    If you ask me, the flaw in this case is not in the registry per se, it’s in the law that makes an underage teen into a “sexual predator” from a consensual act, and the prosecutor who overzealously applied said law to wreck this kid’s life, and/or the parents of the participant if they wanted him charged.

    Regardless of the merits of the registry, it’s a poor example for criticizing the registry and a good example for reworking some of the sexual-related laws in America.

  • Carrie, I completely understand. If I can afford it, I’m hoping to have a stay at home parent (be it me or the wife) when I have kids.

    Ace, I could be reading you wrong, but I believe it’s the perfect example on why the registry is fucked up. This is not a unique case. As I’ve mentioned before, I know someone who has to register because of a similar incident. The registry is completely flawed and the argument can very well be made that it is borderline cruel and unusual punishment in many cases.

  • Ace

    But the flaw isn’t that we have a registry of sexual predators, it’s who we’re defining as sexual predators under the law.

    A guy who molests a dozen little kids, his neighbors should know. There should be a registry for sickos like that.

    A high-school junior whose sophomore girl goes down on him, no, he shouldn’t be in the registry of sickos – but the law under which he was prosecuted defines him as a sicko, and thus puts him in the registry. Not the fault of the registry, the fault of the law under which he was prosecuted (juvenile sodomy or whatever).

    See the difference in my meaning?

    By the way, your blog link in your HT sig still takes you to your old URL.

  • The old sexual registry. What a conundrum. I think Ace makes a perfect point. Let’s punish those who are actually child molesters and not teenagers doing what teenagers do. Now if a 17 year old forces him/her self on anyone they are a sex offender. Otherwise, common sense says if they attend the same high school, it’s probably just hormones doing thier thing. Like I said No definitely means no, but if it’s two consenting high school kids doing the discovery channel dance, is it a criminal act? I think not. If so, most of us should have been in jail.

    What’s next jailing 7and 8 year olds for playing doctor or house with a 6 year old?

  • I think we are argueing semantics, here.

    You guys are saying we need this law, but need a better definition.

    I’m saying get rid of the law because the definition of it is the suck.

    My words:

    “…this law is so incredibly flawed.”

    “A line needs to be drawn on who registers and who does not. Because something is very wrong with the way it’s (not) working now.”

    I see your point, Ace, about what we define as sexual predators, but I believe the registry law is much more flawed because of the fact that the information is so readily available. Is it that hard to rewrite one law (instead of possibly hundreds) to say “Okay, only habitual child molesters and rapists go on the registry”? And clearly define the situation of the child molestors?

    Until then, the registy needs to go.

  • Brik, I meant to add, 5 and 6 year olds are already getting suspended from school for sexual harassment, so it’s the next logical step in having them register.

  • The law itself is ridiculous. And I agree with the idea that it could be considered cruel and unusual punishment. Why have a prison system that is “intended” to cure the person and force them to change their ways if you are just going to let them out when they are not cured. The real problem here is not the registry, but our jails.

    I understand that the turnaround rate for these guys (child molesters) is insane, most who come out from prison go right back to it. That should raise red flags that what we as a society are trying to do is not working. We have to learn to treat them and actually cure them. We need more counseling in prisons, something like this especially is a mental illness.

    Unfortunately there are other lesser crimes that can get you thrown on the list, but people automatically figure that you have molested a little boy if you are on the registry, it is fucking stupid. And the mindless, ignorant people who jump to such conclusions should be corrrrRRRRrrrected.

  • Ron

    Registration laws vary by state, as do sex crimes. Laying down a blanket statement that they suck is bad, because in most places, they do not. In backwards, redneck GA, apparently they do not. Luckily, neither me or you live there.