Tonight's 20/20 was an eye opening look at the problems with the age of consent and sex offender laws. As the report illustrates far too many teens are being caught up by laws that were never intended to criminalize what many see as typical adolescent sexual behavior.
What are the consequences if a teen aged 16 has consensual sex with another teen aged 15? Would you believe prison and a lifelong listing on a sex offender registry? While I do not like the idea of underaged sex, I think it is reprehensible to treat such 'offenders' no differently than pedophiles or violent sexual predators. There have been far too many kids whose lives have been destroyed by many of the sex offender laws throughout the nation. These kids are proof of the Law Of Unintended Consequences.
Another unintended consequence has been the appearance of sex offender vigilantes, some which harass registered sex offenders in their neighborhoods, and others that kill them, regardless of the sex 'crime' of which they've been charged. (Far too often the state sex offender registries don't specify the charges of which the registered offender was convicted.)
This is an issue which will not go away and something must be done to prevent teens from being lumped together with dangerous sexual felons.