Under a law signed Tuesday by Gov. Rick Snyder, no longer will teenage lovers be listed on the registry if they’re convicted of having sex with 13-, 14- or 15-year-olds, as long as offenders aren’t more than four years older. The new law takes effect July 1 for new offenders. This monumental change in the law took years of lobbying by Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, who sponsored the bill.
The bill changes the requirement that all sex offenders, regardless of the level of offense (from peeing in public to rape) register. This stigma lasts as long as 25 years or life, depending on the nature of the offense. This included trysting teens who were simply overtaken by raging hormones. While the age of consent in Michigan is still 16, the law will no longer requires these young boyfriend-girlfriend offenders to be on the registry. According to an article published today in the Detroit Free Press, Michigan has the fourth largest sex offender registries in the nation. Launched in 1995, the purpose is to warn the public about sex offenders in their area. But as written, the law stigmatized young people who were simply engaged in a teenage love affair — causing them to have to be on the registry for 25 years, which had the effect of keeping them from even visiting their own children at school! Gov. Snyder signed the new law to “correct injustices.”
Another new law requires the most serious sex offenders to register home addresses every three months for the rest of their lives, instead of 25 years.