Man Fights to Get Off Sex Offender Registry for Consensual Teen Sex with Woman He Since Married

Justice is supposed to be blind, not stupid.When Lonny Leon Rivera was 19,
in 1989, he had sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend in California.
He got busted, pleaded guilty to “oral copulation with a minor,”
and that required him to register as a sex offender forever in the

Subsequently, Rivera married the woman and they remain together
to this day. However, California treats him as though he’s a danger
to his community. Attorney General Kamala Harris is going after him
for failing to keep his sex offender information up to date. He is
petitioning to get off the list. From Courthouse

In his petition for writ of mandate, Rivera claims that the
state’s demand is unconstitutional.

“Rivera’s inclusion in the sex offender registry under the
mandatory provisions of the California Sex Offender Registration
Act violates his right to equal protection of the laws, as
guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and
Article I, Section 7 of the California Constitution,” Rivera says
in the petition, citing a 2006 ruling by the California Supreme
Court in People v. Hofsheier.

“He is entitled to this court vacating its order of July 25,
1989 ordering Rivera to register as a sex offender. He is further
entitled to an order directing the California Department of Justice
to terminate him from the Sex Offender Tracking Program.”

In the ruling cited, Courthouse News notes, a judge determined
that California’s sexual registry guidelines didn’t operate
consistently. If Rivera had been convicted of statutory rape
instead, he wouldn’t have been required to register. The judge
ruled this was a constitutional violation, but the state took years
to figure out what to do about it. Ultimately the state decided
that guys who want to get off the list have to petition the court
themselves to be removed. Rivera said he expects Harris to fight
his removal from the list regardless of the foolishness of putting
him on it in the first place.

Below, Reason TV reported on a
similar case
in California in 2012:

from Hit & Run

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