Dating a minor is legal in
Although the new law protects the older party in the relationship from having to register as a sex offender, it does not make the older party immune from prosecution based on other sex-related crimes such as statutory rape.
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However, for some teenagers in Texas and nationwide, young love can land them a lengthy jail sentence, due to the sex crimes laws on the books.
In a particularly poignant example, an 18-year-old high school senior was arrested for having sex with his freshman girlfriend at the same high school.
As the age of consent in this particular state is 16, which the girlfriend was not, the 18-year-old pleaded guilty to criminal sexual misconduct and was sentenced to one year in jail plus three years' probation.
When the two rekindled their relationship, it was a violation of the young man's probation, which led to the young man being sentenced to five to 15 years in prison.
He served six years behind bars and, once released, had to register as a sex offender.
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In an ironic twist, parents across the nation are fighting against the very laws that are designed to protect their children.