The governor of Colorado is facing a lawsuit by three people after they were forced to register as sex crime offenders for life for incidents that happened as children or years ago. The impact on their lives has left them unable to secure gainful employment and in some situations, unable to secure adequate housing for a sex crime committed long in the past and while they were minors. The plaintiffs allege that the Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act is an invasion of privacy.
One of the plaintiffs is a 23-year-old woman who was 11 years old at the time of the alleged incident. She was accused of committing aggravated incest and was later arrested. She has since been released from probation, but is still forced to keep her name on the sex offender registry. Another plaintiff is a 28-year-old man who was accused of trying to hug a fellow classmate. He was charged with criminal attempt to commit third degree sex assault and served his time in juvenile detention.
A third plaintiff is a 51-year-old man who was convicted back in 1999 for second-degree sexual assault. He served out his eight year probation and he is also forced to keep his name on the sex offender registry. All of the plaintiffs have stated that this requirement is cruel and unusual punishment, especially since neither of them have been accused of sexual offense since their release.
In regard to this case, the plaintiffs who were accused of a sex crime, are requesting the court to consider the law in Colorado as unconstitutional. In addition, according to the 14th Amendment, a person is afforded the right to personal privacy. The fact that their names are made available to the public, including on the Internet, is considered an invasion of their privacy rights.
Source: Should Child Offenders Be Punished for Life?, Courthouse News Service, Sam Reynolds, Sept. 9, 2013