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Wisconsin teen charged with sex crime over dating relationship

A 19-year-old male from Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, has been thrown in jail for seeing his 17-year-old girlfriend while on probation after pleading guilty to charges of a sex crime.

The young man was charged in March of last year after he had sexually touched his girlfriend, who had consented to the action, on multiple occasions. The two were both in high school at the time and were dating.

As punishment after being convicted of third and fourth-degree sexual assault, he was sentenced to three years of probation and had to follow the terms of his sentence which included no contact with his girlfriend in any way. If he served his probation sentence, his felony case would be dismissed.

But the condition of absolutely no contact was the most difficult part for the young man. And despite the penalties, he and his girlfriend met up anyway. As a result, the young man was taken into custody.

Because of his actions, he is now facing time in prison and lifetime placement on the state's sex offender registry. His mother and girlfriend do not agree with the newly proposed sentence and inquired about a Romeo law. The Romeo law allows people convicted of sex crimes to remove their name from the registry in circumstances where consensual sexual contact was between people within certain ages.

High school students will be in relationships and sometimes it can involve someone who is older than the age of consent and one who is younger. The penalties are harsh and some believe that this should not be the case. But for now, someone who finds themselves in a situation like this should do what they can to defend their rights and future. Penalties, especially being required to register as a sex offender, can impact a student's future, personally and professionally.

Source: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: "Tale of teenage love also a crime story," Bruce Vielmetti, Nov. 14, 2011

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