Is pedophilia now legal in California? These past few days, similar claims spread like wildfire on Facebook, causing panic to many people. This came hours after the state of California passed the Senate Bill 145. SB 145 states that a judge will decide whether or not to put a young person convicted of statutory rape on the sex offender registry.
Facebook posts spread misinformation about the bill
Many people seemed to have misunderstood the aim of SB 145. For some, this new bill will allow pedophiles to ‘have sex with an 11-year-old’ and get away with it scot-free. According to Cap Radio, one post in particular garnered thousands of reactions in Facebook:
“Pedophilia is now legal in California. SB-145 passed! Now a 21 years old can have sex with an 11 years old, and not be listed on the sex registry as a sex offender. This is unbelievable California!”
If signed, will this new law legalize sex with minors? In a statement, Senator Scott Wiener clarified that the true aim of this bill.
According to Lead Stories, Wiener’s spokeperson, Catie Steward claims that the bill will “end discrimination against young people engaged in voluntary sexual activity by allowing a judge to have discretion to sentence a person to be entered on the sex offenders registry.”
Read also: Teen Left Chilling Note Hours Before Convicted Pedophile Fatally Shoots Him
No, SB 145 will NOT make pedophilia legal
This new bill does not have any effect on the level of crime prosecuted. Instead, it will allow judges to decided whether or not to include on the sex offender registry the person convicted of having sex with a minor 10 years his junior.
The decision will be up to the judge, and it will be a case-to-case basis. As one of the bill’s sponsor, Wiener claimed that the SB 145 aims to protect underage members of the LGBTQ community from discriminatory laws, according to Factcheck.org.
Photo: Instagram/Scott Wiener
“For example, if an 18 year old straight man has vaginal intercourse with his 17 year old girlfriend, he is guilty of a crime, but he is not automatically required to register as a sex offender,” said Wiener in his statement.
“Instead, the judge will decide based on the facts of the case whether registration is warranted. By contrast, if an 18 year old gay man has sex with his 17 year old boyfriend, the judge must place him on the sex offender registry, no matter what the circumstances.”
The age of consent in California remains 18, and this new law will definitely not legalize having sexual relations with a minor. Even if the intercourse was consensual, the courts will still view it as an illegal crime.
Read also: Mom and Boyfriend Facing Multiple Charges for Abusing 2-Year-Old Toddler