At 14 years old, Baron Brown-Lights was one of the youngest people in the country on the national sex offender database, and just one of a growing list of teen sex offenders in this country. Baron was convicted in 2006 of aggravated sexual assault against his 4-year-old cousin. Baron did not sere any jail time, but he was required to register as a sex offender.
Baron’s mother, Aries Brown, talked to ABC News in August of 2007. “It ruined his life” she told them. “One girl said she was afraid to talk to him.”. Aries wonders what will happen when Baron applies for work in the future.
In an effort to comply to the Adam Walsh Act, which states are required to implement by the end of this year, all teens 14 and older, who are convicted of serious sex crimes are required to register for life.
If this seems harsh to you, the head of the Department of Justice, Laura ROgers does not agree with you. “We’re talking about teens who committed incredibly horrific sex crimes” she told ABC News.
Still, some states are considering the idea of allowing teens to be removed from the database at 18.
I think people can see both sides of this. On one hand, there should be nothing taken more seriously in law enforcement than crimes against children. We all ask ourselves why they let monsters who rape children, out of prison to reoffend. But what about when we’re taking about children as attackers?
I imagine you will feel much like I do in that we should first protect our own children. Because the idea of our child being victimized, no matter how horrible that makes us feel, is far more easy to understand than if it was your child who committed the crime. If you were that parent, you would want your child to have a second chance. You would want them to get the help they need, and then be able to live a good life. Is it possible to throw that away at 14?
Unfortunately yes. As harsh as it may be to force a 14 year old to spend the rest of their life on a registered sex offender list, it’s necessary. Criminal law was not designed to seek revenge. It exists to protect the public, and set a precedence. This is a clear instance of protecting the public first.
And if it seems unfair that this child will have to spend his life having uncomfortable conversations with people, explaining himself at work, having neighbors whispering about him, etc…, at least it won’t let him forget what he did to someone. It’s unlikely that his victim will ever full recover from the trauma of the crime, and no one doubts that as unfair.
Considering the recent sexual assaults on the elderly by Brianna Broitzman and Ashton Larson, as well as their friends Alicia Heilmann and Morgan Walton, we see that sexual predators can come in all shapes, sizes, sexes and ages. It’s hard enough to catch these people, and even harder to convict them. When we do, we need to go out of our way to protect the public in the future.