Juveniles Can Be Charged as Sex Offenders

The country’s strict sex-offender laws have put criminals behind bars, but there have been some juveniles who have been victim to the laws as well. Marie-Claire profiles one such couple, Frank and Nikki Rodriguez, who met and had sex after a year of dating, when he was 19 and she was 15. Nikki’s mother reported Frank to the police, who charged him with having sex with a minor. Fifteen years later, Frank and Nikki are married with four daughters, but he remains on the sex-offender registry. Laws vary from state to state, as activists are working to curb the so-called Romeo and Juliet laws, which can punish a teen for the rest of his or her life for having consensual sex.