The push for criminal justice reform on Beacon Hill has hit a road bump. Tucked within the bill is a small, yet controversial proposal that would change how the state prosecutes sex-related crimes between teenagers.
Right now, a person under 16 cannot consent to sex — period. In essence, if a 17-year-old has sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend, he’s committed a crime and could have to register as a sex offender for life. The new provision, informally known as the “Romeo and Juliet” provision would change that.
Jim Braude is joined by Wendy Murphy, a women and children’s advocate and law professor at New England Law in Boston, and Sen. William Brownsberger (D-Belmont), who is sponsoring the criminal justice reform bill.