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California Legislature Passes Bill Which Reduces Penalties For Oral, Anal Sex With Willing Children

California lawmakers passed the bill SB 145 on August 31, 2020 that would reduce penalties for adults who have oral or anal sex with a willing minor if the age gap is within ten years. It applies in cases where the victim is between the ages of 14 and 17.

The bill introduced by State Senator Scott Wiener claims it is meant to treat LGBT offenders the same as heterosexual offenders. The bill now heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk. “This irrational discrimination on the sex offender registry was created when California banned LGBT sex. Going on the sex-offender registry can ruin a young person’s life, making it harder for them to find a job and housing. We need to put an end to the terrible discrimination.”,he said in 2019.

"If signed into law, a 24-year-old could have sexual relations with a 15-year-old child without being required to register as a sex offender," Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove tweeted Tuesday.

Currently in California, judges may decide whether adults who have “penile-vaginal intercourse” with minors close to their age must register as a sex offender.

“Trump’s war on child sex trafficking has thrown California Democrats into a tailspin,” Woods tweeted alongside headlines about the bill.

According to its Senate Floor Analysis, the legislation "exempts a person convicted of non-forcible sodomy with a minor, oral copulation with a minor, or sexual penetration with a minor, as specified, from having to automatically register as a sex offender.”

Though it removes the "automatic" requirement, "a person convicted of one of those specified offences may still be ordered to register in the discretion of the court.”

It's also applicable only if the adult was within 10 years of age of the minor at the time the offence, and the minor was at least 14 years old – provisions known in some states as Romeo and Juliet laws.

Reporter: Shriya D

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