OMAHA, Neb. — An attorney who successfully sued to keep a 15-year-old boy’s name off Nebraska’s Sex Offender Registry has filed another lawsuit to remove seven other people who were prosecuted as juveniles.
Joshua Weir filed the lawsuit Monday on behalf of seven people who were listed with 67 others on the state’s Sex Offender Registry despite being prosecuted as juveniles, the Lincoln Journal Star reported .
Nebraska’s registry doesn’t include juveniles unless they’re prosecuted criminally in adult court.
The 74 were removed from the registry in August after the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a boy moving to Nebraska shouldn’t be listed for something he did in Minnesota when he was 11. The Attorney General’s office had previously said that all sex offenders who move to the state must register, regardless of age.
Sen. Carol Blood has introduced a bill that would clarify language regarding the exclusion of those prosecuted as juveniles from the registry.
Weir said his clients have already experienced the negative effects of being on the list. One wasn’t allowed to attend public school, two were incarcerated for failing to register and two have been homeless, he said.
One of Weir’s clients had to register when he was in his late 30s. The man, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he played doctor with a girl when he was a 12-year-old boy. Being added to the list led to him losing work and his family being harassed, he said.
“Everybody makes poor choices. Some make worse choices than others. But holding those poor choices against a child is absolutely irresponsible,” he said.
The suit seeks compensation for lost earning capacity and wages, as well as punitive damages.
Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com