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On the other hand, an adult molesting a child is reprehensible.
The difference between the two situations would seem obvious.
The Romeo and Juliet laws are frequently enforced unfairly says Mark Chaffin, a researcher with the University of Oklahoma-based National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth.
"In many cases, they are enforced largely by how angry the parents of the younger party are." One well-publicized case demonstrating the need for Romeo and Juliet legislation is that of Genarlow Wilson, a 17-year-old who was imprisoned for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old female.
An athlete and honor student, Wilson was videotaped at a New Year’s Eve celebration engaging in oral sex and was sentenced to 10 years for aggravated child molestation.
After serving jail time from 2003–07, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that Wilson should be released; and this decision was followed by a change in state law that reduced consensual sex between teenagers to a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of one year.
Cases that may lead to an overturned designation would involve a victim who is age 14–17 and has agreed to consensual sex; the offender would have to be no more than four years older than the victim and have no other sex crimes on their record.
When Shakespeare brought Romeo and Juliet to life, he was intentional in choosing two young characters as his protagonists.
Then as now, two teenagers having consensual sex is perfectly understandable.
Pennsylvania also recognizes that power imbalances in certain relationships make consent impossible, regardless of age.
Being a parent means committing to guide your child through many complicated and difficult stages of life.