LOS ANGELES - A new bill headed to Governor Gavin Newsom's desk would lower penalties for adults who have consensual sex with a minor if the offender is within 10 years of age with the victim.
SB 145 passed in both houses of the State Legislature late Monday evening.
"If signed into law, a 24-year-old could have sexual relations with a 15-year-old child without being required to register as a sex offender," State Senator Shannon Grove wrote in a tweet.
Under current law, while it is illegal for an adult to have consensual sex with a teenager between 14 and 17 years old, who cannot legally give consent, vaginal intercourse between the two does not require the offender to be listed on the state’s sex offender registry, as long as the offender is within 10 years of age of the minor. Instead, the judge has the discretion to decide, based on the facts of the case, whether the sex offender registration is warranted.
Other forms of intercourse such as oral and anal intercourse require sex offender registration.
State Senator Scott Wiener, who presented the bill, said the existing law “disproportionately targets LGBT young people for mandatory sex offender registration since LGBT people usually cannot engage in vaginal intercourse."
Get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.
“California’s sex offender registry continues to draw that distinction — an antiquated, outdated, leftover distinction — that somehow oral sex is worse than vaginal sex,” Wiener said.