Wendy Whitaker, 29, has been on Georgia’s sex offender list for more than 12 years. Her crime? She performed oral sex on a high school classmate just after turning 17. The boy was just shy of his 16th birthday. Both were sophomores. Whitaker is now suing, claiming that given her crime, her sex offender status is cruel and unusual punishment.
The question is whether the court will consider the registration requirement in and of itself cruel and unusual punishment for people convicted of consensual oral sex as minors before the law was changed.
Whitaker is also involved in a second lawsuit—this one to keep her house. In 2006, she and her husband scoped out neighborhood surrounding the Harlem, Georgia home they eventually purchased to be sure they were in compliance with Georgia’s sex offender law at the time. That law prohibited offenders from living within 1,000 feet of any area where children congregate. Despite their efforts, local authorities ordered Whitaker and her husband to vacate shortly after they moved in. They had overlooked a nearby church, which was running an unadvertised daycare service.
Protecting children from actual sex offenders is sane. Punishing a woman because she gave her boyfriend a blowjob when she was 17 is bat shit crazy.
H/T: Jason Pye