HOUSTON, TX (WCMH) – A 14-year-old boy faces a lifetime on the sex offender registry after being arrested for having sex with his 12-year-old girlfriend.
The seventh-grade teen is charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child, the Houston Chronicle reports. His girlfriend was in sixth grade.
Joseph Gutheinz, the boy’s attorney, told KHOU prosecutors are pushing to place the teen on the sex offender registry. Gutheinz said his client’s life will be ruined if that happens.
The age of consent in Texas is 17. A ‘Romeo and Juliet’ law protects teens 14 and older who engage in consensual sex with someone up to three years older. That law does not apply if one of the juveniles is under 14.
“He had consensual sex with his little girlfriend and he loved her. They were boyfriend-girlfriend,” the boy’s mother told the Chronicle. “And because he turned 14, they want to make him a sex offender, put him on the registry with pedophiles and child molesters—really sick and dangerous people.”
Gutheinz said the girl is less than two years younger than the teen.