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Florida’s new law still regards underage sex as a crime, but a judge may now determine whether to strike the sex offender designation from those previously convicted.
Under the Romeo and Juliet law enacted in Kansas in 1999, Limon would have been sentenced to 15 months in prison if the boy had been a girl.
But in many states across America, from a legal standpoint, there’s little distinction between Romeo and Juliet's mutual decision and the abusive actions of a child molester.
An older teen who has sex with his younger girlfriend can be arrested, prosecuted, and jailed for the act.
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.