While researching his friend’s case, Yang discovered that other states had adopted Romeo and Juliet laws to lessen the penalties for young adults convicted of such crimes, and he asked state Rep.Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights, to support that here.
A college already rejected his son because of his conviction, he said.
“It just angers me that our society considers him in the same breadth as a pedophile,” said James Benda, of Burnsville.
Benda didn’t question his 17-year-old girlfriend when she took a naked picture of herself in the mirror on his cellphone. “I didn’t think.” Now, her former boyfriend is facing serious consequences.
The photo is a reflection of her and Benda, his hands covering her body. The girl later told a Dakota County judge that she had forgotten about the picture until police came to her house and asked about it. Benda was convicted of felony child-pornography possession and is awaiting sentencing.
In Minnesota, adults and juveniles convicted of felony criminal sexual conduct or child-pornography possession must register as a sex offender for 10 years.
Those who register must tell authorities where they live, work and go to school and what vehicle they drive.
And having nude pictures of a minor is technically possessing child porn.
Less-severe charges were filed last week against four students at Century Middle School in Lakeville, who are accused of using their cellphones to take and send “inappropriate” photos and video of two girls undressing in the locker room. The photos and video spread to more than 40 students at school.
Knowlton pleaded guilty to the charge in March, but the conviction will be wiped from his record if he successfully completes five years of probation.