Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Teen sex? That's 10 years in Georgia

Associated Press

The Georgia Supreme Court has turned down an appeal from a teen who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for having sex with a 15-year-old.
In a ruling released Friday, the court denied a motion for reconsideration filed by lawyers for Genarlow Wilson, who was 17 when he and the 15-year-old engaged in consensual oral sex. He was sentenced for aggravated child molestation.

Wilson’s case was one of two cases that were cited earlier this year when lawmakers passed a law that otherwise strengthened penalties for sex offenders, but reduced the penalty from a felony to a misdemeanor for some teenagers convicted of sodomy.
Presiding Justice Carol Hunstein noted that in easing the penalties for teens, ‘‘the Legislature expressly chose not to allow the provisions of the new amendments to affect persons convicted under the previous version of the statute.’’

Hunstein added she was ‘‘very sympathetic to Wilson’s argument regarding the injustice of sentencing this promising young man with good grades and no criminal history to 10 years in prison without parole and a lifetime registration as a sexual offender because he engaged in consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old victim only two years his junior,’’ but said the court was bound the by limits set by the Legislature.

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