WA Today online tells the story about a 15-year-old boy ”John” ending up on the sex offender register (SOR) is an appalling example of WA’s draconian, ham-fisted mandatory sex offender laws. We have represented many young boys who on conviction after trial or on their plea of guilty are immediately placed on the SOR alongside convicted paedophiles.
In this case, John’s crime WAS “sexting” a growing practice among the 12-16 age cohort. I’ll state at the outset that in cases we have defended some 95% of the accused are boys.
Sex Offender Register (SOR) & CEM Definition
So what does it take to get on the SOR? Actually, it’s quite easy. A young boy takes a photo of the genital area of an under sixteen-year-old girl or boy – the offence is termed production of child exploitation material (CEM), receiving a photo considered CEM and storing on his device, the offence is possession of CEM, sharing the CEM with another by onforwarding or merely showing on the phone, constitutes the offence of distributing CEM.
In cases where the court considers the offending at the lower end of the scale, the result will probably be a community-based order or some form of counselling. Where the offence is considered more serious, terms of immediate imprisonment can follow. Whatever the degree of criminality, the child offender is immediately registered as a “sex offender” and remains on the SOF for seven years.
Accused Gender Percentage on CEM Cases
This is a deadly trap for young boys because having dealt with multiple CEM cases there has never been a case where the girl is charged even where the girl has encouraged the taking of the photo or has herself taken the “sexy selfie” and texted it to the boy.
I am certain that most parents do not appreciate the gravity of the situation in terms of how their son could find himself on the SOR or the lifelong impacts. The young offender cannot entertain friends in the home, especially females unless closely supervised, returning to school is rarely an option, if where he lives is within a certain distance of a primary school he may not be allowed to live at home. The list of what he can or cannot do and what he has to do in terms of say reporting is not endless but certainly debilitating. The impacts on him are lifelong.
Expert & Skillful Criminal Lawyer in Perth
If your son is facing the Children’s Court for an alleged sexting offence, call Criminal Lawyer Perth immediately on 0422 656 589. From our experience in these matters, we are able to offer your some competent and comprehensive legal advice and representation.