Daily Buzz: When teenagers become sex offenders


It only takes one ‘wayward’ sext. A lewd pic sent to a friend, or uploaded on to the Internet. It happened to one 17-year-old when he sent a picture of him and his former girlfriend, also 17, to some mates after they broke up. It was ‘dumb’, he said, and he asked them to delete it straight away.

They did. But the girl’s family found out nonetheless and told the police who questioned the man. Even though the pictures were deleted, he confessed to the incident and was charged with making child pornography. One moment of terrible judgment and he was placed on the sex offender register. For eight years. That’s a mandatory provision but there is a growing chorus asking for judges to be given discretion in who to place on the registry.

The man, now 24, was in court last week where he was fined $400 for registering a vehicle in his name and not telling police – a condition of the sex offender registry. He said:

“It’s affecting all my relationships with young people. I’m nervous about who I should even be speaking to. It’s a very heavy thing to carry.”

The problem, of course, is that there are potentially thousands of teenagers courting the same registry by the simply sexting each other. What do you think of the laws?

Here’s what else has been on our radar:

1. Torika Watters, the Fijian Miss Universe winner who was caught in a race row when critics mentioned her ‘skin was too white’ has been stripped of her crown. She was too young, organisers say.

2. When things get tough, they also get stranger. Labor MP Craig Thomson, accused of hiring escorts on a union credit card, has now said the entire thing was a set-up to get revenge on him by a jealous rival. People on both sides said the story seemed ‘fabricated’.

3. Politics of the ‘man hug’. Is this really a new thing, that men are OK hugging each other as long as it’s above waist touching and no more than three pats on the back? Hmmm.

4. Professional women being told what to wear. No dangling earrings, no opaque stockings and no lip gloss are just some of the conditions at workplaces like Westpac and Clayton Utz. Should there be a dress code that strict?

5. Hipsters and emos (’emotional’ kids) have been warned by an actual optometrist that long fringes covering just one eye could lead to them having a lazy eye. File that under news stories we never expected to read.

6. The sanga has been around for 250 years, it’s said. The British town of Sandwich is celebrating the anniversary this year with a re-enactment. Though historians doubt the claim (seriously, did it take human civilisation until the 18th Century to invent ‘stuff between bread’?) it’s a cute story. So, what’s on your favourite sandwich?

Tags: current-affairs , politics
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