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Boy put on sex offender list commites suicide

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Link to Story

(by the way, making a link is a PAIN in the ASS)

--- Quote ---Lawmakers Seek Change in Sex Registry

WEST BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Justin Fawcett appeared to be back on the right track.

He maintained an ``A'' average at Oakland Community College and planned to start a computer business with his father.

Then his past came back to haunt him.

Fawcett, who as a teenager was charged with statutory rape for having sex with a fellow high school student, learned his name would appear for 25 years on the state's sex offender registry, despite a plea agreement that allowed him to avoid inclusion on the list.

A few weeks later, on March 19, the 20-year-old was found dead of an apparent drug overdose at his boyhood home in West Bloomfield Township.

Fawcett, who battled drug problems throughout his high school years, clearly was bothered by the news, his father said.

``Whether or not Justin actually would have had a good life and stayed off drugs and things like that, I don't know,'' David Fawcett said. ``But I know that this did not help him.''

Fawcett said it was unfair for the state to label his son a danger to society for having consensual sex.

The Michigan House passed a bill in November that would remove teenagers from the registry who had consensual sex with someone close in age as long as the act was not violent and they are not considered predators. The Senate currently is considering the legislation.

The proposed measure is the latest in a series of challenges to the registry, which was set up in 1994. It gives the names and addresses of convicted sex offenders as well as the charges on which they were convicted.

As of April 1, the registry included the names of 34,225 offenders in Michigan - 2,173 of whom were juveniles, said Charlotte Marshall, sex offender registration analyst for the state police, which maintains the list.

All states have laws requiring some kind of list of sex criminals, but some provide the public with names of only offenders deemed dangerous. Still other states have hybrid laws, making the names public in the cases of serious sex crimes, but taking a case-by-case approach in other instances.

A federal appeals court in February upheld the legality of the registry, saying simply being included on it doesn't imply those listed are a danger to society.

But David Fawcett thinks the registry attaches a stigma that is difficult to overcome.

``I think a lot of people on this list aren't going to be able to live the kind of life they would have lived otherwise,'' he said. ``They won't be able to get a really good job, or a good education or a good life.''

Not everyone agrees with the proposed changes.

Teenagers who had consensual sex with someone close in age should not be removed from the list, said Laura Ahearn, executive director of Stony Brook, N.Y.-based Parents for Megan's Law, a nonprofit group that operates a national help line with information about sex offenders and sexual abuse prevention.

``We're talking about a statutory situation here,'' she said. ``Every single state has an age-buffer law. A minor is a minor, and that's why you have laws to protect them.''

In Justin Fawcett's case, his attorney negotiated a plea deal with the specific intent of avoiding his client's inclusion on the registry.

But that changed in February, when Fawcett was informed his name would be listed following a ruling by the Michigan Court of Appeals. The court said people can be placed on the state's registry if they were convicted of a crime that was sexual in nature, said Matt Davis, spokesman for Attorney General Mike Cox.

Fawcett was one of five men aged 18 to 22 accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl when she was a freshman at Bloomfield Hills Andover High School. In three spiral notebooks, the girl chronicled sexual encounters with 22 boys and men.

Under a deal worked out with the prosecutor's office, Fawcett and three other defendants were allowed to plead guilty to seduction. In exchange, prosecutors dropped the rape charges.

Fawcett was sentenced to two years of probation and his felony conviction was to be expunged if he successfully completed his probation and did not commit any new crimes.

However, Fawcett violated his probation by possessing prescribed drugs without a prescription and stealing from a vehicle. He had to serve time in the county jail and his seduction conviction was not expunged.

By the beginning of this year, he seemed to have turned over a new leaf. Then he learned his name would go on the registry. His father said the news jolted his son in the weeks before his death.

``It was really eating at him,'' David Fawcett said.

Associated Press Writer Amy F. Bailey in Lansing contributed to this report.

Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry:
--- End quote ---

I'll put my comments on the next post



--- Quote ---Fawcett was one of five men aged 18 to 22 accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl when she was a freshman at Bloomfield Hills Andover High School. In three spiral notebooks, the girl chronicled sexual encounters with 22 boys and men.
--- End quote ---

Poor little dumb doe.  She must be retarded to have been seduced by 22 boys and men.  She's just a helpless little deer in the woods being taken advantage of.

That or an excessive imagination.

22 men/boys in the notebooks. but only 5 men were prosecuted.    And the poor little girl at the center of the problem.

Any criminal charges?  Hell, I'd settle for an admission of moral (ir)responsibility.

This is going to sound bad....but. Since most 30 something women take care of themselves nowadays, and look like 20 year olds, and most young girls dress like prostitutes, it's really hard sometimes to tell for sure if a woman is telling her age or not.

My first thought when I read this was to blame the men since at least one of them was freaking 22!!! But then I remembered what happened to me a few months ago.

I was approached by a young woman and she stated in a interest in dating me. I said "Sure.", and we set up a time and exchanged numbers. I happened to me driving by a local highschool and who do I see walking across the parking lot with a bunch of other girls? You got it; the girl I had a date with!!! :shock:

I called her up that night and asked if she was in highschool. She replied "Yes." I explained that I'm a 34 year old man, and she said she knew I was older but didn't care.

That was a scary close call for me. :?

Yeah Assault, that happens A LOT these days.  It happened to me nine years ago.  The girl was 14 and I was 23!  She neither looked nor acted 14.  The only way I found out was my brother saw me talking to her and warned me that she was a schoolmate of his!  Evidently she liked dating and having sex with "older men".  Bad times.          :shock:


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