West Virginia Rejects Juvenile Sex Offender Registration

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia’s highest court has ruled that juveniles judged delinquents for sex offenses don’t have to register as sex offenders when they turn 18.

The registration requirement applies to any person convicted of sex offenses. The court says under West Virginia law those delinquency adjudications are not convictions.

The Supreme Court also ruled that the names of juveniles convicted of first- or second-degree sex assault can be disclosed publicly.

Those crimes are sexual intercourse or intrusion by someone over age 14 with someone younger than 12 and the same act without consent “by forcible compulsion.”

The ruling concerned two separate cases where a teenager, each identified only by his initials in Tuesday’s ruling, abused a younger child.

Victims were 18 months old and 9 years old.