As Abigail Pesta reports for the Daily Beast, one teenage boy spent six
years of his life behind bars because he had sex with his younger girlfriend.
The case brings up a complex issue, one that criminal defense lawyers
who defend people charged with
sex crimes know well: does the punishment fit the crime?
First, the age of consent in his particular state is 16 – any younger,
like 14, and the 14-year-old is judged by the law not to be able to consent.
In this case, the first offense resulted in a year behind bars. (The boy
was 18; his girlfriend was 14.)
Second, after having served his sentence, he continued his relationship
with his girlfriend, leading to violating his parole, and sending him
back behind bars for another period of years.
After getting released, of course, the now-26-year-old must wear a monitoring
device and be branded a sex offender on the registry – all because
he happened to be a bit too old for his girlfriend, though they were both
So the question is this: does the punishment fit the crime?