Dr. Jill Levenson
Does youthful mistake merit sex-offender status? August 6, 2015
By Jill Levenson
Jill Levenson is an associate professor of social work and researcher at Barry University in Miami, and a licensed clinical social worker who has worked with sexual assault victims, survivors and offenders for nearly 30 years. The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers.
Zachery Anderson was a 19-year-old college student with no criminal history when he met a teenage girl on the dating app "Hot or Not" and had sex with her in December. The girl, who admitted she lied about her age, turned out to be only 14, making their encounter a sexual crime.
Despite statements from the girl and her mother begging the judge for leniency,
was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five
years on probation. Anderson
There are few crimes that inspire as much fear and outrage in society as sexual offenses, and lawmakers have responded swiftly and decisively to the public's demand for protective and punitive legislation.