A recent case involving a Central Michigan University student highlights the long-term and often unjust consequences of statutory rape and sexual misconduct laws on teens. News out of Saginaw and Mount Pleasant reports that a 19-year-old man from Isabella County’s Union Township faces a potential 4-year prison sentence after failing to notify law-enforcement that his name was on the Michigan sex offender list.
David Cheatham was forced to place his name of the sex offender registry when he was just 14 as the result of a conviction for second-degree criminal sexual conduct (sexual touching an intimate body part) with a person under the age of 13. The consequences of this one act, engaged in by a 14 year-old, continue to affect Cheatham’s daily life. Now, as a college student trying to improve his life and continue his education, he faces jail instead.
This potential result benefits noone. Imprisonment would change the course of this young man’s life as well as waste Michigan taxpayer money. As a Michigan sex crimes defense attorney, I believe the unjust impact of these laws must be challenged and am committed to fighting to keep individuals names off the sex crimes registry. Too often minors are required to register when the offense is simply two teenagers engaged in a consensual sexual relationship.
For more information, or if you or your teenager has been accused of a sex crime or failure to comply with sex crime registration guidelines, contact Grabel & Associates, a Michigan law firm dedicated to sex crimes defense.