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State Mulls an Out for Young Sex Offenders

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CN) - A bill in the Illinois House would let some young sex offenders be removed from the state's sex offender registry. The so-called "Romeo and Juliet" measure would allow sex offenders who were not more than 4 years older than their victim to petition to remove themselves from the registry if the victim was 14 or older, so long as force was not involved.

State Rep. Robert Pritchard, R-Sycamore, sponsored the bill, which has passed out of committee and will be debated on the House floor.

The legislation would not apply to "an act of sexual conduct by the use of force or threat of force" or "a victim who was unable to understand the nature of the act of who was unable to give knowing consent."

The state's attorney would receive notices of cases before the hearing and could present evidence why the offender's name should remain on the registry.

Those removed from the registry would no longer be required to adhere to the prohibitions that go with being on the registry, such as not being able to live or loiter near schools, school bus stops and parks.


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