Social Media Spreads Fake News About California Rape Bill

Social Media

Social media is spreading upsetting fake news about California’s Senate Bill 145 that involves the statutory rape of a minor. People on social media are incorrectly stating pedophilia is now legal in California. Naturally, this unsubstantiated fake news is cause for alarm.

The commenters on social medial fail to report that the bill actually gives sexual offenders who are LGBTQ the same rights as a heterosexual. Ultimately, SB 145 gives judges the same discretion to determine if a person who engages in a heterosexual or homosexual act should be put on the sex offender registry.

SB 145

Currently, if a young adult, 14-17 years of age, has sex with or is convicted of anal or oral statutory rape with a minor, within 10 years of their age, they are mandated to register as a sex offender. However, if the sex is vaginal then it is at the judge’s discretion whether or not to require the offender to register.

SB 145 levels the playing field and eliminates the mandate for LGBTQ offenders to get on the registry. It does not differentiate between anal, oral, and vaginal sexual acts.

Protected Age

Further clarity should be made regarding the age differential this bill effects. Social media irresponsibly spread fake news about California’s SB 145 bill by stating someone 21 can have sex with an 11-year-old and not have to register as a sex offender. This is fake news.

The offender’s age has to be within 10 years of a minor between the ages of 14-17. For example, if a person is 24 and has sex with a 14-year-old the bill is applicable. If a person is 21 and has sex with an 11-year-old, the bill does not apply. In California, it is still illegal for any adult to have sex with a minor.

Law enforcement and the rape crisis centers support SB 145, according to the bill’s author state Sen. Scott Wiener (D–San Francisco). Social Media’s spread of fake news has shown a negative light on the California bill geared to help the LGQTB community. Governor Newsom will decide if the bill will become law.

Written by Sheree Bynum
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

ABC10: California state senator defends controversial SB 145, relating to sex offenders; Zach Fuentes (ABC10), Josh Lyle

POLITIFACT: “PEDOPHILIA is now LEGAL in CALIFORNIA. Now a 21-year-old can have sex with an 11-year-old, and not be listed on the sex registry as a sex offender.”; Chris Nichols

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of torbakhopper’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons

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