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Michigan has adopted similar legislation, and Illinois and California groups are pushing for those laws, too.
Benda’s father, James Benda, said teens convicted of these crimes face an uphill battle when looking for jobs and going to college because of the social taboos of sex offenders.
“It almost makes you aghast to see how serious this stuff gets,” said John Leunig, a criminal attorney in St.
Louis Park who has defended teens accused of sex crimes.
“But it’s not fair to put him in the same category as a predator.” Atkins said he is pursuing more information about the issue.Benda didn’t question his 17-year-old girlfriend when she took a naked picture of herself in the mirror on his cellphone. “I didn’t think.” Now, her former boyfriend is facing serious consequences.The photo is a reflection of her and Benda, his hands covering her body. The girl later told a Dakota County judge that she had forgotten about the picture until police came to her house and asked about it. Benda was convicted of felony child-pornography possession and is awaiting sentencing.Some parents and attorneys say the consequences should be less severe for a young adult who has a consensual sexual relationship with a minor.But no organized movement exists in the state to change the laws.