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Former Assistant District Attorney
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney

Unusual ways one could wind up on the sex offender registry

by | Jan 21, 2020 | Firm News

Some may think sex crime convictions get reserved for rapists and child molesters. However, it’s a lot easier to receive sex offender charges than one might think. In fact, countless people wind up on the federal sex registry despite having never victimized anyone.

Sadly, getting convicted of a sex offense can severely damage a person’s reputation. Someone who winds up on that list could have a much more difficult time finding a job, a place to live or, in some cases, people who will treat them with dignity and respect.

Acts that could result in a criminal charge

Here are a few that may not immediately come to mind:

  • Peeing in public: According to a recent report, 13 states require citizens to register as a sex offender for public urination. While a person’s intentions for doing so may only be to save themselves from embarrassment. If no bathrooms are nearby, they could potentially face charges. In some states, public urination must happen in front of a minor for it to be considered a criminal offense.
  • Buying or selling sexual favors: Aside from Nevada, making or spending money for sexual favors is typically illegal for the rest of the country. While the federal government gives states the authority to decide their own penalties, people could face harsher consequences if minors were involved.
  • Incest: Having sex within the family is typically taboo; it’s also illegal in most states. With the exception of Rhode Island and New Jersey, those found guilty of incest could face significant repercussions. For instance, defensive lineman Tony Washington had to go on the registry after he reportedly had sex with his sister.

These convictions can cause long-term damage

It doesn’t take a lot to tarnish a person’s reputation if they get accused of a sex offense. That’s because the stigma surrounding the charge can significantly impact the accused’s ability to lead an uninterrupted life. For those facing sex crime charges, they can protect their rights by seeking the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.