Dating a minor law
Knowlton was required to undergo treatment for sex offenders.
He was banned from Simley and from having contact with girls younger than age 16.
The girl also said she specifically recalled having sex with Knowlton on July 20 — three days after his 18th birthday.
Knowlton pleaded guilty to the charge in March, but the conviction will be wiped from his record if he successfully completes five years of probation.
Florida adopted a “Romeo and Juliet” law in 2007, allowing some people to petition the court to forgo registering as a sex offender.
Michigan has adopted similar legislation, and Illinois and California groups are pushing for those laws, too.
“It just angers me that our society considers him in the same breadth as a pedophile,” said James Benda, of Burnsville.
“It just doesn’t seem fathomable to me.” CRIME AND PUNISHMENT Weeks after George Knowlton started his senior year last fall at Simley High School in Inver Grove Heights, the 18-year-old athlete and honor-roll student was charged with felony third-degree criminal sexual conduct for having consensual sex with his 14-year-old girlfriend.
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.He was ordered to 30 hours of community work service and three days in jail.Attempts to reach Knowlton for comment were unsuccessful. Yang, 19, who is pursuing a law degree at Briar Cliff University in Iowa, said it wasn’t fair for his former friend to be charged with a felony for a consensual, long-term relationship.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.A college already rejected his son because of his conviction, he said.
Search for dating a minor law:
Louis Park who has defended teens accused of sex crimes.