HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - A 14-year-old could end up on the sex offender registry for life, according to his attorney.
The teen is accused of having sex with his girlfriend, who is also in middle school. Defense attorney Joseph Gutheinz says the girl is less than two years younger than his client.
The incident reportedly happened several months ago. Now, Gutheinz says the boy is charged with aggravated sexual assault of a minor.
The attorney claims prosecutors are pushing to put the teenager on the sex offender registry. If convicted, Gutheinz says his client’s life will be ruined. He told KHOU 11 News the teenager is devastated.
There is an exception to the law, called the Romeo and Juliet Law, which protects teenagers who are close in age and engage in consensual sex. In Texas, it is not considered illegal for a 14-year-old to have sex with someone up to three years older.
However, the exception does not apply if one of the parties is under 14, like in this case.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the case since it involves juveniles.