Here’s a perfect example of why we need to seriously reform laws on sex offender registration all over the country. A 29 year old woman named Wendy Whitaker is suing the state of Georgia to get her name off the sex offender registry. Her “crime”? She had consensual oral sex when she was a sophomore in high school with another sophomore.
For that horrible act, she is still required to register as a sex offender and has to comply with all sorts of laws on where she can live and what she can do. In fact, she has a second lawsuit going to save herself from being evicted from her home because she can’t live within 1000 feet of any place where children congregate and it turns out there’s an unadvertised daycare center at a Catholic church near her home.
Whitaker, 29, is on the registry for having consensual oral sex with a classmate three weeks before his 16th birthday. Whitaker had just turned 17. Both were high school sophomores.
Because of her 1997 sodomy conviction, Whitaker must register as a sex offender for life and comply with the law’s residency restrictions that bar her from living within 1,000 feet of designated areas where children congregate.
“I am at my wit’s end and in a constant state of stress because I never know what’s going to happen to my family and our home,” Whitaker said in a statement issued Friday.
The suit was filed on Whitaker’s behalf by lawyers for the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta.
Russ Willard, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, declined comment, saying the office had yet to see the lawsuit.
Whitaker’s designation as a sex offender is grossly out of proportion with the severity of her crime, the suit said.
It isn’t just out of proportion with her crime — there was no crime, for crying out loud. In fact, Georgia law has since been changed so that what she did is not a crime at all anymore, but legislators intentionally made sure that the law was not retroactive, so she still gets tarred as a sex offender for the rest of her life. This is absolutely appalling.