By LAUREN GAMBINO
SALEM (AP) - Some young offenders convicted of having sex with underage partners would be able to request the crime be removed from their records under a bill narrowly passed by the Oregon House on Wednesday.
Voting 31 to 27, the House sent the bill to the Senate with little discussion.
Under the bill, in order for adult offenders to apply to have their records erased, coercion or force could not have been used in the sex act. Other conditions include completion of all required court-ordered programs and treatments.
Proponents say the current punishment for such sex offenders does not fit the crime. Opponents say people convicted of sex crimes often reoffend and should not be able to have their records expunged.
- Well the facts are that ex-sex offenders have a low re-offense rate despite what the opponents think.
"Individuals who commit sex offenses ... this isn't their first time and it won't be their last," said Crook County District Attorney Daina Vitolins, who opposes the bill on behalf of the Oregon District Attorneys Association.
- For some it may be true, but a vast majority it's just plain false.
To say an act is consensual when it involves a person who is too young to give consent is indefensible and minimizes the law, Vitolins said.
- And ruining kids for life is wrong!
The age of consent in Oregon is 18.