Detroit News reports that a Wayne County judge has removed a man’s name from the sex crimes registry after he successfully petitioned the court. Kenneth Thornberry, now 26, went to prison in 2005 as the result of having consensual sex with his girlfriend of two years. He was 18 and she was 14-years-old at the time.
Under Michigan law, minors under the age of 16 cannot legally “consent” to having sex despite the fact that he or she may be a willing participant in the sexual activity. In fact, many incidents of alleged statutory rape occur in “Romeo/Juliet” type relationships, where teen boyfriends and girlfriends engage in sexual activity without any criminal intent to commit sexual assault. A charge of statutory rape is classified as criminal sexual conduct third degree and is a serious felony, carrying with it significant consequences if convicted.
If you or someone you love has been charged with statutory rape, it is critical to contact an experienced Michigan sex crimes defense attorney immediately to protect your future and begin preparing your defense.
Here, Thornberry was convicted of criminal sexual conduct and spent 6 years behind bars. His name was also placed on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry. Having to register of the sex crimes registry can affect your everyday life and your future, potentially impacting where you live, work, go to school and the types of government programs you qualify for.
Fortunately recent reforms to the sex crimes registry have recognized the injustice of placing the names of youthful offenders – including teens like Thornberry – on the registry. Now, youthful offenders will no longer be required to register for having consensual sex with partners between ages 13 and 16, as long as the offender was not more than four years older than the partner. Where your name is already on the list, a knowledgeable Michigan criminal sexual conduct defense lawyer can help you petition to have your name removed.
After wining his petition, Thornberry commented, “I look forward to my future now, and that was in question before.”
For more information about criminal sexual conduct, the sex crimes registry, or if you or a loved one has been charged with any sex crime, contact the aggressive Michigan sex crimes defense law firm Grabel & Associates for immediate attention.