Sometimes the federal government creates legislation that is well intentioned but has not thought through all of the consequences. In some cases, the subject is so touchy, that legislators down the road, although seeing the logic in adjusting the legislation, avoid it due to public perception. Speak the words "sex offender" around any Coloradoan, and they most likely immediately envision middle-aged men lurking in the shadows preying on their children.

While that vision may be true in some circumstances, it is not always the case and perhaps one designation of sex offender legislation needs to be reevaluated. Those who commit a sex crime with a high enough score on a sex offender risk scale may receive the designation of "sexually violent predator." The label is somewhat misleading for some of those who receive it though, as it does not require any violent or predatory behavior to receive this devastating reputational label.

In the case of one Fort Collins man, he carries the label with him because he was a "multiple offender" at the time he entered into an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl. The man was 24 at the time and fresh out of prison and by the time he cut off relations, he found out that she was pregnant and so she moved from Kentucky, where they began the relationship, to Colorado, where they lived together until the authorities found out.

The man admits that he knew the relationship was wrong, but now must be listed as a sexually violent predator due to his previous crimes beforehand and two convictions, one in Colorado and one in Kentucky, for the same sex crime, even after serving his full sentence. The man has said that he regrets that this decision to engage in that sexual relationship has ruined his life. He cannot ever see his daughter due to court orders and does not date because he does not want another to be burdened with those which he carries.

While the federal laws were created for actual violent sexual predators, they are not very flexible for situations such as that of the story above and perhaps need adjusting. When you are accused of a sex crime, everything about your life can change in a hurry. That is why it is so important that you immediately seek out legal counsel to help in your defense.

Source: Coloradoan.com, "Behind the label 'sexually violent predator'," Robert Allen, Feb. 10, 2013