ARE YOU ENABLING YOUR SON/DAUGHTER TO BECOME A SEX OFFENDER?

Are you enabling your child to be a sex offender? Learn to protect your children.

Having been a defense attorney for 42 years, I have represented many adults and juveniles accused of sexual offenses. Anyone, either a minor or an adult, charged with committing sex offenses against minors can suffer lifelong negative consequences.

In most cases the juvenile has been exposed to pornography. They have viewed it on a smart phone, a computer, a TV, or a friend has given them a disk. No matter how good a son or daughter you have, the first time they have seen pornography the idea is planted in their minds to experience some form of sexual behavior. A small minority of kids have been the victims of sexual misconduct and they experienced their first sexual encounter as victims.

The idea to commit sexual misconduct does not just come out of the blue. They will want to experiment. Many fine young boys from good families will experiment with younger minors they have access to. They think they can get away with their improper touching without others knowing about it. The victims are usually someone they know and have access to. It is not just boys who do this. Girls do it as well.

How do parents enable their sons/daughters to become sex offenders?

1. They provide them access to pornography. You would be aghast if you read that a parent was permitting their child or teenager to visit an adult bookstore. You do just that when you provide them with a smart phone. I can guarantee that your teenager will soon figure out how to bypass any parental controls you might place on it. Do they have the Snapchat app on their phone? Snapchat is a photo and video sharing app for smart phones. Google the name and you will find articles detailing how teenagers regularly use this app to send naked photos to others. Snapchat is well aware this is going on. Snapchat is not the only app teenagers use to transmit pornography. But doesn’t Snapchat delete the photo after ten seconds? A screen shot of the sext photo can be taken, saved and distributed over the internet.

Most TV owners who have access to premium channels will have access to pornography. You can see adults at times on these channels having simulated sex before a lot of teenagers go to bed. You might believe that your teenager does not see it but if you and the adults in the home view it, it is just a matter of time before your teenagers view it as well.

What about computers and viewing pornography on your computers? Does your teenager have access to a computer that has internet access? If the computer has internet access, the chances are great your teenager can figure out how to get around any parental controls and view pornography. I know of parents who have put parental controls on their computers but not on their smart phones.

2. Most adults who work for business or government entities must take yearly sexual harassment training. It is stressed that if you engage in sexual harassment, dire consequences will occur. Your child does not take yearly sexual harassment training.

When did you last have a conversation with your children or teenagers about not viewing pornography and not engaging in risky sexual behaviors. I have represented 10-year-olds charged with sexual abuse of younger minors. The victims in a number of these cases were 2 years and older. When was the last time you spoke with your 4-5-year-old about good touch/bad touch and to tell Mommy or Daddy if anyone ever gives you a bad touch? Do you do so yearly?
Do you want your child/teenager to be arrested/charged with sexual offenses towards children? What about their being labeled a sex offender and possibly being having to register as a sex offender? Do you want them being suspended or expelled from school for sexual misconduct?

3. Be observant. Boys and girls playing in their bedrooms out of the sight of adults can quickly start engaging in risky sexual behavior. Very often the young girl will go along with what the older boy is doing sexually and not tell a parent. Eventually they will disclose. Sexual misconduct occurs frequently between siblings, step-siblings, cousins, and neighbors.

The child or teenage offender can suffer lifelong consequences resulting from being charged with engaging in lewd and lascivious conduct with minors. Do not let this happen to your child or teenager. Please review prior blogs I have written on this subject. Teen Sexing; Sex Between Minors; Minors Can and Do Commit Sexual Abuse; The Most Dangerous Gift A Cell Phone;  What if Your Child Has Been Accused of Sexual Misbehavior with a Minor Under 14 or If Your Child is a Victim of Sexual Misbehavior; Causes of Juvenile Suspensions Expulsions, and Criminal Charges; Ways to Protect Your Minors from Being Sexually Abused, and Increased Punishment of Sex Offenses by Juveniles.

FOSTER/ADOPTIVE PARENTS CAN SAVE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS

FOSTER/ADOPTIVE PARENTS CAN SAVE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS

Many families today who would like to adopt a child are becoming Foster/Adoptive Parents. They are willing to take children temporarily placed in foster homes through the Juvenile Courts. You must be willing to adopt the foster child/children should the parent(s) not reunify. These are children who have been removed from their biological parent(s). The parents are required to participate successfully in reunification services to get their children returned to them. The court has legislated mandates with strict time limits for the parents to reunify with their children. The Legislature does not want foster children languishing in foster homes.

What do you have to do to become a foster parent?
1. Apply for and obtain a Foster Home license. Call your local Health and Human Service Agency or licensed Foster Family Agency in your area to sign up for an orientation;
2. There is a 27-hour Pre-Service training called Trauma Informed Pre-Service required to become a Foster/Adoptive Parent. Each licensed County Foster/Adoptive Parent must also complete 8 hours of approved training per year.
3. After you finish Pre-Service, you will be assigned an Adoption Social Worker. That worker will tell you which of the adoption preparation classes you should complete. Stay in regular touch with your social worker for placement of foster children with you.
4. If a foster child/children are placed with you, fully cooperate with the social worker assigned to the case. Follow their advice regarding taking care of the foster child regarding how to interact with the birth parents and visitations by the birth parents. Follow the court orders. Do not bend the rules for the birth parents unless cleared by your social worker.
5. Take a class called Know the Regulations Avoid Losing Your License. This is a very important class for a foster parent. The worst thing that can happen to you is an allegation of improper conduct or violation of the foster home rules which could cause you to lose your foster child just as you are believing you have a good chance of adopting the foster child. Please review our prior blogs: Foster Parents Beware: No Physical Discipline of Foster Children and Contest the Removal of a Wrongly Removed Foster Child.

By adopting through the Juvenile Court system and having the services of Health and Human Services or the Adoption Agency you are working with, you will save yourself thousands of dollars. You will not have to worry about hiring a lawyer to terminate the parental rights of the birth parents, pay the adoption fee, pay the costs for the adoption filing and court appearances, and pay for a home evaluation.

As a foster parent and adoptive parent, you are entitled to assistance from the County and Federal Government. In California should problems develop with your adopted child you are entitled to Adoption Home Services which can provide for residential placement and counseling services. Your adopted child, since he or she is adopted through the Juvenile Court Dependency system, will be eligible for AB12 benefits for college and living expenses. Please review our previous blogs on Financial Assistance for Foster Parents and Foster Children and Financial Help for College for Adopted Foster Youth.

Sex and STD: Prevention Really is Worth A Pound of Cure

JLC Sex STD

An article titled Adolescent Sexuality in the United States, from Wikipedia sets forth: “According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the year 2007, 35% of US high school students were currently sexually active and 47.8% of US high school students reported having had sexual intercourse. According to a 1994 study, every year an estimated one in four sexually active teens contract a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Teenage pregnancy is four times as prevalent in the United States as in the European Union.”

New data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows an ongoing increase in STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) rates nationwide. The increase in the rate has been described as “epidemic” and “alarming.” The major STDs include HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, genital herpes and genital warts. Some are curable but with others it is only possible to treat the symptoms and infection can return.

Syphilis can cause miscarriage, still birth, or foetal abnormality, while chlamydia and gonorrhea can leave a woman infertile. Genital warts are a serious health concern as certain strains of the virus causing this STD have been associated with cervical cancer. In the United States about one out of every six people aged 14 to 49 has genital herpes. You can get it by having vaginal, or oral sex with someone who has the disease. You may get it from a sex partner who does not have a visible sore or who may not know he or she is infected. Genital herpes is not curable. It can cause infertility. It can also be passed from mother to baby. This can cause a deadly infection in the baby.

The only way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex. If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting a STD:
1. Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and have negative STD test results;
2. Using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex.

Herpes symptoms can occur in both male and female genital areas that are covered by a latex condom. Outbreaks can also occur in areas that are not covered by condoms so condoms may not fully protect you from getting herpes.

Key factors in preventing pregnancy and sexual transmitted diseases are:
1. Knowledge and a keen desire by the participants not to get pregnant or get a STD.
2. Studies have shown that families who have been able to discuss these subjects openly with their children have the best success.

Girls/women/boys/men should demand proof of a recent lab report. Check with your doctor as to how recent the lab report should be. The entertainment industry requires a lab report within 14 days of a sexual encounter. Make sure your partner is wearing a latex condom.

The revised form titled Consent to Engage in Sexual Acts can be an excellent starting point to discussing safe and legal sexual acts by your loved ones. We strongly encourage use of this or a similar form on each occasion before engaging in sex acts. Please click the link to download and print a copy.

We refer you to a prior blog article to assist in understanding the law regarding sex between minors in California; Sex Between Minors.

CONSENT TO ENGAGE IN SEXUAL ACTS

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Protect your college age youth or young adults and encourage them to always use a CONSENT form before engaging in sexual acts. Colleges that receive federal funding are under a direct mandate to aggressively investigate college males taking advantage of college females. If the girl later complains she was taken advantage of, did not consent to the sexual acts, or was under the influence of alcohol or drugs and could not properly consent then the boy will be expelled from college or suspended from college for a long time. It is merciless process for the young man. He is afforded some due process rights. Even if the young man can raise substantial questions about the credibility of the young woman and even show she has outright lied, nothing of any substance happens to the young woman. It is important for the young woman to know the person she is engaging with is not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is also very important they not have a venereal disease. Also, they have worked out safe words to use if she becomes concerned and wants to quickly stop what is taking place.

If your son or daughter use dating sites then they should also use a CONSENT form for the same reasons. It is reported that allegations of rape and assault from dating site sexual encounters have increased substantially.

We are not offering legal advice. I recommend parents seek legal advice from their family attorney to make sure the CONSENT form is what they want and meets their expectations. If not, the family attorney can prepare their own which meets the family’s needs.

You can download a Consent to Sexual Acts form here.

 

AGE OF CONSENT LAWS UNITED STATES

What is the age of consent in the United States? Find out and keep your family safe.

When we speak of Age of Consent Laws we are speaking of unrestricted sexual intercourse with minors OVER a certain minimum age.   According to “Age of Consent Laws in Children and Youth in History”, only Colorado has the age of consent to unrestricted sexual intercourse as 15. Another 33 states have the age of consent to unrestricted sexual intercourse as 16. Seven states have the age as 17. Nine states have the age of 18. California has the age of consent to unrestricted sexual intercourse consent as 18. The Uniform Code of Military Justice which U.S. servicemen are subject to sets the age of consent at 16.

The Center for Disease and Control Prevention in their 2013 published Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance in the United States reports that for high school students “Nationwide, 34.0% of students have had sexual intercourse with at least one person during the 3 months before the survey (i.e., currently sexually active) (Table 65). The prevalence of being currently sexually active was higher among white female (35.9%) than white male (29.7%) students.” “Among the 34.0% of currently sexually active students nationwide, 59.1% reported that either they or their partner had used a condom during last sexual intercourse (Table 67).”

We have posted some blogs on the Ages of Consent in England and Scotland. In countries like Spain and Argentina the age of consent is 13. In Italy, Germany, Portugal, Brazil, Ecuador and Canada the age of consent is 14. France, Denmark, Greece, Romania, and Sweden the age is 15. In all the other European countries the age is 16. In one other country, Turkey, the age is 18.

You might ask yourself: who cares what the age is; the higher the better? They do not prosecute two 15 year olds or two 16 year olds who are having sex. That is not true. It is very important you read our blog on Sex Between Minors in California. Two 15-year-olds who have consensual sexual intercourse commit a misdemeanor of Unlawful Sexual Behavior. It is not a registrable sex offense; however, if they also engage in oral copulation or digital penetration, they can be charged with felony offenses. Prosecution of 15- and 16 year-old minors can and does happen.

Two 15-year-olds who have consensual sexual intercourse commit a misdemeanor of Unlawful Sexual Behavior. It is not a registrable sex offense; however, if they also engage in oral copulation or digital penetration, they can be charged with felony offenses. Prosecution of 15- and 16 year-old minors can and does happen.

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