One thing that people who are being charged with child pornography might not think about is having to register as a sex offender because of a conviction. There are two sides that don’t see things in the same way when it comes to this. On the one hand, some want to protect the convicted person’s rights. On the other hand, most agree that the children need to be protected.
A case went before the Massachusetts Appeals Court that clarifies some points about whether the person should have to register as a sex offender. In the case, a person deemed “John Doe” noted that he was unfairly classified as a level 2 sex offender after he was convicted of child pornography. In this state, people who are level 2 or level 3 have their information available to the public.
The man’s case brought up an important question – why does he have to register as a level 2 offender when the state doesn’t classify possession of child pornography as a sex offense that involves a child? It also questioned why his crime was being tied to being a danger despite no evidence showing that was the case.
Even though some advocates for children’s rights didn’t feel that the decision was correct, the court ruled that his classification must be reconsidered based on those two questions. The children’s advocates noted that in around 30 to 80 percent of sexual abuse of a child cases were previously convicted of child pornography.
Internet sex crimes, including possession of child pornography, shouldn’t be viewed as being all the same. This case is one example of why the court and the Sex Offender Registry Board should consider each case based on the facts of the matter instead of just basing decisions on generalizations.