Sweeping changes to sex offenders register
Written by Andrew Zingler (Geelong Office)
It was reported in The Age today that some reforms are being considered which may allow young people under the age of 19 when sentenced, to apply to have themselves removed from Sex Offender Registration. This must be seen as a positive step.
Far too many young people are currently on the sex offenders register as a result of ‘sexting’, or sending images of themselves to others. As the law currently stands, a person who is able to consent to sexual contact with another person as they are over 16, cannot send a sexually explicit photograph of themselves to another if they remain under the age of 18, or the recipient might be found guilty of possession of child pornography. Many young people have their futures tarnished as a result of ‘sexting’ by both the imposition of a criminal record, and being placed on the Sex Offenders Register, an onerous regime which mandates reporting on a range of issues for many years, and sometimes life.
If you were once a young, naïve person who either sent or received a ‘sext’, this might become an opportunity to be released from the Register. We must all carefully watch this space and see if this thought bubble becomes law. If it does, and if you have any questions about whether or not you might be a candidate for discharge from the Sex Offenders Register, you should feel free to give our office a call.