Former juvenile sex offender gets a shot at a new life
After years of anxiety, Tim has finally gained the security of an anonymous future. The young man from Antioch committed a sex crime at age 14 and was put on a registry open only to police, but he worried that a federal law might cause his identity to be made public.
That threat has passed. With the help of Northwestern University law students and a raft of good recommendations, Tim persuaded a judge in early November to remove him from the registry. He no longer needs to tell police when he moves to a new home, and a world of career options is now available to him.
“It’s opened so many doors,” said Tim, 21. “It’s the biggest weight off my back ever.”
For others, though, the apprehension remains. The federal law remains in effect, and while Illinois officials say juvenile identities will remain protected for the foreseeable future, some advocates are concerned that that could change, harming young people they say are at very low risk of committing more sex offenses.