Offender fights registry rule

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An Evans man convicted in December 2005 of statutory rape is appealing his placement on Georgia's sex offender registry.

William Archer Stulb, 22, was convicted for having sexual contact in 2003 with a 14-year-old girl when he was 18. He was sentenced under the First Offender Act to one year in jail followed by nine years' probation.

Though Mr. Stulb has been free since December, he has not registered as a sex offender, by a judge's order.

On Friday, Mr. Stulb asked Columbia County Superior Court Judge Duncan Wheale to terminate his probation and resentence him to a misdemeanor so he will not have to register as a sex offender. Failing that, he asked the judge to rule that his placement on the sex offender registry is unconstitutional.

Until state law was changed last year, a sex offender convicted under the First Offender Act would not be required to file under the sex offender registry if a judge terminated probation. But under the new laws enacted in 2006, first offenders must register even if they successfully complete their sentences.

On Friday, Richard Allen, Mr. Stulb's attorney, argued that changes in state law have effectively changed his client's sentence.

"It's lifetime damnation," Mr. Allen said after the hearing. If Mr. Stulb files with the registry, he would face limits on where he can live and work.

"You can't work, you can't go to school without risking 30 years" imprisonment for not registering, Mr. Allen said.

In 2006, Mr. Stulb appealed to the Georgia Court of Appeals after Judge Wheale lengthened his original sentence in a remolding hearing. The appellate court overruled Judge Wheale and reinstated the original sentence.

On Friday, Judge Wheale said the charge against Mr. Stulb could not be reduced to a misdemeanor and that he is not inclined to terminate his probation.

Under the state's so-called Romeo and Juliet clause, minors engaged in sexual relationships can be charged with a misdemeanor if the difference in their ages is less than four years. Mr. Stulb is four years and two months older than his victim.

But the judge said an argument as to the law's constitutionality can be made. He said some clauses in the law, including one that prohibits offenders from "loitering" near churches, are "ambiguous."

The judge said sexual predators who are a danger to society should be monitored. But if reports of teen sex rates at 50 percent are correct, he said, "that tells me as a judge we have half of the high school kids who are sexual offenders. Are we ready to put them on the sex offender registry?"

Judge Wheale said he wanted to hear the opinion of the state's attorney general at a later hearing, and he told Mr. Stulb that if the law is affirmed he would apply it despite his personal feelings.

District Attorney Danny Craig said he is absolutely opposed to an attempt to change sex offenders' sentences.

Sentences shouldn't change just because of an administrative change, he said, calling it a violation of the separation of powers. Legislators make laws, courts enforce them and the people speak through their legislators, he said.

"It's the people speaking. Courts should be averse to taking action opposed to what the people say," Mr. Craig said.

A review of sex offenders sentenced in Richmond County Superior Court since 1990 showed 73 people were sentenced under the First Offender Act, according to a database maintained by The Augusta Chronicle.

A review of court records shows that 14 of those defendants have recently petitioned the court to terminate their sentences early so that they do not have to register as sex offenders.

Reach J. Scott Trubey at 706-868-1222, ext. 109 or jeffery.trubey@augustachronicle.com.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.


WHAT'S NEXT?

The Georgia Supreme Court will soon decide whether a Superior Court judge was correct to find the state's previous 10-year mandatory minimum sentence was correct for a teenager who engaged in sodomy with a consenting younger teenager. If the same crime occurred today between teens less than four years apart, the crime would only be a misdemeanor punishable by a one-year sentence. Legislators changed the law governing punishment under those circumstances, but they didn't make it retroactive to apply to those previously convicted.

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patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 07/21/07 - 04:56 am
0
0
It's not unusual to have or

It's not unusual to have or make provisions for exceptions to strict parameters set by laws. There are certainly exceptions to this law. The Romeo and Juliet amendment should be used as a guideline.

redapples
659
Points
redapples 07/21/07 - 08:09 am
0
0
That is precisely why there

That is precisely why there should not be knee-jerk reactions and quick passage of laws following events. It irritates me to hear the media make a report of an increase in some undesirable act and before you know it legislators everywhere are jumping on the band wagon to pass a new law. Later, tons of cases end up in appeals courts because there are "exceptions" to the law. Get it right the first time and quit costing citizens more money! Don't get me wrong, I am all for marking sexual predators for life, but teens having sex is nothing new! Think through the laws before you pass them!

luckie
2
Points
luckie 07/21/07 - 08:58 am
0
0
I agree redapples. Teens

I agree redapples. Teens having sex is not going away. These kids are our future generation. If people would concentrate on real criminals, we would be better off. These kids cannot become productive citizens with the stigma that a record makes of them. Also, these little girls lie about their age and lie period to save themself from getting in trouble and they lie when something has made them mad and they do not get their way.

PlayaFace
0
Points
PlayaFace 07/21/07 - 09:35 am
0
0
Stulb went to school with me

Stulb went to school with me and always was a good guy. He made a few mistakes in his life but who hasn't. I remember when he was first accused of stat. rape with this girl. It was the first time he found out she was actually 14. he was told the entire time by the girl that she was 16. It is a horrible situation and i don't think he should be punished any further for it, especially the rest of his life. he served a year already, he shouldn't be punished for the rest of his life for something this small. a sex offender is someone who hurts someone else... this girl lied to Stulb and willingly had sex with him. he's been punished enough.

TheTruth
1
Points
TheTruth 07/21/07 - 10:24 am
0
0
It's a real simple solution:

It's a real simple solution: Don't have sex with underage girls. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time. I have no sympathy for this guy. To say that he didn't know the girl was 14 is total garbage. He was an adult; she was a minor. He was found guilty and sentenced. END OF STORY.

RogueKnight
210
Points
RogueKnight 07/21/07 - 10:35 am
0
0
TrueLeadership, how the hell

TrueLeadership, how the hell was he supposed to know she wasn't 16 if she told him she was 16? "Uh, pardon me, but before we begin, I need to see your ID." Yeah right. Kids are driven by their hormones. He was under the impression she was 16, they made whoopie, her parents probably found out and went ballistic. Where is the girls accountability in this situation? She lied about her age, yet HE is getting punished for it. Where's the fairness in that?

jdcooper
0
Points
jdcooper 07/21/07 - 10:53 am
0
0
This whole scenario is

This whole scenario is ridiculous. There should not be any absolute guidelines as every case is different and should be treated that way. If it were a 40 y/o man with a 14 or 15 y/o then yes--- registering as a sex offender should be required. Also, general public should NOT be able to access the information. It should be the responsibility of the local law enforcement to make periodic check-ups. I get tired of everyone saying some of these mid teens are always victims- I know that some of THEM initiate the entire encounter and they will lie lie lie to get what they want. Nowadays it's hard to tell a 13 y/o apart from a 19 y/o since parents let them run wild and let them think they're adults (the lower end of the age range). I blame the parents more so than the supposed predators. Quit treating them like grown ups and keep a close eye on your own kids!!!

lane1221
0
Points
lane1221 07/21/07 - 11:25 am
0
0
My quesiton is what is a 14

My quesiton is what is a 14 year girl doing out and putting herself in a grown up position for. Where were her parents. They sure weren't making their 14 year old daughter stay home. The girl lied about her age, what else has she lied about. This girl was more than willing to do what she did. She thought it was cool. She should be held responsible just as much as Mr. Stulb. I also think that people like TrueLeadership should know the whole story before making comments. I do not believe that they even actually had sex. Know the story and know the people involved.

RogueKnight
210
Points
RogueKnight 07/21/07 - 12:00 pm
0
0
Look at the garbage they

Look at the garbage they watch on TV and you'll see where they get their ideas about what's fun from. Long gone are the glory days of wholesome television programming. It's all sex and violence today. I thank God every day that my daughters, who are 19 and 16, were raised in church, and know right from wrong. I may not be a perfect parent, but I'm the perfect parent for my children. I CARE about what they are into and make sure to dispense sage advice, not just tell them "Don't do that because I said so." If you teach children that there are consequences to all of their actions, they will stop and consider the ramifications before they do something that might be wrong. We live in a society that thrives on instant gratification and a sense of entitlement. That being said, I agree the parents have some responsibility in how their kids come up, but sometimes, you can reason with headstrong children. They are the ones who will have to come up the hard way, by lessons learned.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 07/21/07 - 12:32 pm
0
0
The whole point to me is this

The whole point to me is this is becoming such a problem, maybe the parents need to teach their children that when they turn 18 they better be dog gone sure the girl is old enough. Here is where responsibility come in. Think with the correct head. I know 12 year olds who look 18... does that excuse a 26 year old because the girl lied? NO These young men need to start learning to protect themselves.

lady_alessandra
0
Points
lady_alessandra 07/21/07 - 01:43 pm
0
0
Sorry JD, but the sex

Sorry JD, but the sex offender list should be public. As the mother of a young girl, I want to know if there is a pervert preying on kids and has decided to move in nearby. There was a sexual predator on the list who lived not far from where she attended ELEMENTARY school. It bothered me, but there was nothing we could do .It kept me on my toes. I was never late picking her up from school and she was not allowed to walk home.

mable8
2
Points
mable8 07/21/07 - 01:59 pm
0
0
The age of chastity and

The age of chastity and genteelity is certainly long gone; young people respond to what's around them and take every opportunity to do what "grownups" say is "forbidden." There are many 18 year olds who date 14 year olds; many with the parents knowledge. Seems to me that the parents of this young lady did not like the young fellow and pushed to have "justice" for the "loss" of their daughter's virtue. An 18 year old is NOT an adult; they do lack full capacity to make life long decisions and are not mature enough to accept full adult responsibility. The 18 year old is still exploring what life has to offer, and sex happens to be on the agenda, whether male or female. TrueLeadership, you have no idea what your child is doing 24/7; so why be so harsh? The young man should not have been prosecuted in the first place; serious counseling for both individuals AND the parents would have been more appropriate. Counseling should include facts about sexuality and its consequences when misused as well as misrepresentation of the truth. Usually, laws enacted in the heat of sensationalization are not very eforceable; when they are enforced, many people are harmed in some fashion.

sassygalady30
1
Points
sassygalady30 07/21/07 - 02:00 pm
0
0
he should of thought about

he should of thought about where he was gonna live n work when he did the crime........u did the crime now be a man n do the time

wrong
0
Points
wrong 07/21/07 - 02:17 pm
0
0
you know it I am amused by

you know it I am amused by the harsh opinion by many of your posts. How can you pass such cruel judgement when you dont even know all the facts of the case. I was there the night this happened the girl told everyone she was sixteen and went to a different school. They hooked up with no penetration and only after the girls sister caught them fooling around did he find out she was fourteen and the girl started telling another story cause she was going to get in trouble. What if it was your son who made an honest mistake and he was being tried in the media over and over. This is a painful situation for everyone involved and for the people that say throw the book at him get a clue.

PlayaFace
0
Points
PlayaFace 07/21/07 - 03:49 pm
0
0
thank you "your kidding". i

thank you "your kidding". i wasn't actually there that night but i knew it was a party and after talking to stulb afterward and many other people there aparently the girl came to the party with her sister. her parents should never let there 14 year old daughter go out like they did. I do blame the parents and i know Stulb. He is a good guy and never meant to hurt anyone. It has caused him and his family nothing but grief since it happened. He made a mistake with this girl but she is the one to blame. He was at a party and the girl told him she was 16. how was he suppossed to know? he didnt even have sex with the girl. the is absolutly rediculous...to all yo who say he should do the time: i hope something like this happens to a boy you know or, your own son for that matter, then your thoughts on the matter will shift drastically. its a scary situation and he should never have been charged in the first place

Thefuturist
0
Points
Thefuturist 07/21/07 - 04:39 pm
0
0
This young man made a

This young man made a terrible mistake at the tender age of 18. I personally have not met many 18 year old young men that know anything about life, at that age typically you are still immature and unlearned, especially regarding life and the many catchy pitfalls that come at you. I think this young man has paid his debt to society and should not have to reqister on the list. One sure way to contain or control this type of epidemic would be to hold both parties equally liable. I wish him the best.

settindown
0
Points
settindown 07/21/07 - 05:48 pm
0
0
The support of this issue is

The support of this issue is great! I stay open minded about issues such as this because people are entitled to their own personal opinions. A debt to society was paid in this case and I believe having to register as a sex offender is unconstitutional. There should be provisions within this very vague law to not only protect minors but to protect our teenagers. All of my support to Judge Wheale for speaking up and coming public about this disaterous law that needs to be changed. It is unfortunate William is the test case here but he is a very strong person who sees the positive in this- not individuals personal opinions. There is a much larger picture here than William and he knows that. William is willing to be that example as he was rehablilted into a wonderful person last year when he was incarcerated. This is somthing that could help thousands down the road given the right people involved. We have a young man who generally wants to help people- before people make rational comments they might want to get to know this inspiratinal young man who has a wonderul attitude and an incredible support network.

intheknow
16
Points
intheknow 07/21/07 - 06:02 pm
0
0
She was 14, he was 18. End of

She was 14, he was 18. End of discussion.

wrong
0
Points
wrong 07/21/07 - 06:33 pm
0
0
Hopefully when you or someone

Hopefully when you or someone you know stands before the man he will be as cold and closed minded as you and others like you.

mable8
2
Points
mable8 07/21/07 - 07:06 pm
0
0
intheknow: Obviously, you

intheknow: Obviously, you know nothing. At age 18, just how smart were you? I don't hand out the old line that you were a virgin guy, either; none of us would believe you. It is not the end of the discussion--she LIED, bottom line. She should have been prosecuted for filing a false police report, and her parents should also shoulder the blame. They had no business allowing their 14 year old to attend a party designated for 16 to 18 year olds. If you have any children, I hope mine don't meet up with them.

RogueKnight
210
Points
RogueKnight 07/21/07 - 08:46 pm
0
0
intheknow, you are in the

intheknow, you are in the dark. Not all cases like this are black and white. She lied, but he got tried. That's not justice. She should have accountability somewhere in this situation.

TheTruth
1
Points
TheTruth 07/21/07 - 09:31 pm
0
0
RogueKnight, I am tired of

RogueKnight, I am tired of apologists for criminals. Okay, let's see how you are trying to portray this: Your saying that the 18 yo young man didn't know she was 14. NOT TRUE. His family was lied to by both her and him, and he knew EXACTLY how old she was. Check your facts! Second point: If I were him and dating girls not in my class, not of my age, I would ask questions, and yes, I would ask for ID because if I were planning to have sex with her, I wouldn't want to take a chance on going to JAIL BECAUSE IT IS ILLEGAL TO HAVE SEX WITH A 14 YO.

Life lesson here for young men reading this - MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW OLD THE GIRL IS BEFORE SEX!!!

Better idea: Wait until you are married or are in college and have sex with women in college so that you don't have to worry about underage girls.

t of i
25
Points
t of i 07/21/07 - 10:06 pm
0
0
He was 18, she was 14. That

He was 18, she was 14. That means she was probably an 8th grader and he was a senior. In the 1960's, I saw plenty of my 8th grade classmates have crushes on and flirt with seniors in high school at the local drug stores where we gathered after school Where I lived teenaged sex was not a problem then as much as it is today. 14 year olds are a lot different these days. The laws have not caught up to the mores of the time. I am not condoning this people, but we, the taxpayers are paying for young women to be able to get pregnant and set up household to care for the offspring of situations similar to this where the age difference is not reported. There is not enought onus on the girl.14 year girls of today are not the naive 14 year olds of the last century.

southpaw2
0
Points
southpaw2 07/21/07 - 10:16 pm
0
0
There are plenty of young men

There are plenty of young men in jail right now & on the sex offender registry for this same crime. Whether you agree with the law or not, it is the law & we must abide by the law. Whoever said an 18 yr old is not an adult is ignorant. An 18 yr old can vote, can go to war (there are thousands of 18 yr olds at war in Iraq right now), can enter into contracts and is a legal adult by law. The only thing an 18 yr old cannot do is legally drink alcohol, which according to previous reports in the newspaper, is another law mr Stulb also failed to follow.Mr Stulb needs to register as a sex offender like everybody else with this same crime. Even if you want to argue & stretch the truth & say the act was consensual, what match is a 14 yr old girl against an 18 yr old adult man?Physically,emotionally & mentally, there is no match for the pressure from an 18 yr old man against a 14 yr old girl?

t of i
25
Points
t of i 07/21/07 - 10:23 pm
0
0
Years ago, I would agree with

Years ago, I would agree with you southpaw. Not now.

t of i
25
Points
t of i 07/21/07 - 10:31 pm
0
0
And if he should have to

And if he should have to register, there should be some distinction between registering as having consensual sex with an underaged person versus rapists and child predators. There is no distinction at this point and that is just not right. Why should someone who had sex with a consenting underaged person have to move away from a school bus stop for the rest of his life? Where on earth is common sense?

t of i
25
Points
t of i 07/21/07 - 10:35 pm
0
0
southpaw, there are plenty of

southpaw, there are plenty of antiquated laws on the books across this country which have not been removed, but are not enforced.

jdcooper
0
Points
jdcooper 07/22/07 - 12:07 am
0
0
Yeah- she may have been 14,

Yeah- she may have been 14, but she was claiming she was 16.. which would have made it "legal"..... how many 18 y/o's go around carding others??? Git over it.... He's not the type person you people should be looking out for!!!! It's the 50 year olds chasing the 14 y/o's that you need to worry about!

jdcooper
0
Points
jdcooper 07/22/07 - 12:07 am
0
0
Yeah- she may have been 14,

Yeah- she may have been 14, but she was claiming she was 16.. which would have made it "legal"..... how many 18 y/o's go around carding others??? Git over it.... He's not the type person you people should be looking out for!!!! It's the 50 year olds chasing the 14 y/o's that you need to worry about!

so_solutions
0
Points
so_solutions 07/22/07 - 12:37 am
0
0
This article is about Sex

This article is about Sex Offender Registries. Current registries are not working, here is why and the net results:
- Subsequent changes to Megan’s Law mandated state increase registries or lose up to 20% of their Federal (Byrne Grant and LEBG Programs) funding
- This led to diluted registries with non-violent, victimless offenders (i.e., public urination, etc.) and juvenile offenders, some as young as 10
- Incorrect and duplicate data
- Law enforcement spends precious resources tracking low risk people, allowing the absconders and higher risk to “fly under the radar” – to molest again
- Astronomical costs to taxpayers and additional reduction in the treasury from loss of income tax revenue

Let’s return the Registries to their original intent, tracking Predators and High Risk Offenders. The simple fact is that children are 80 percent more likely to be abused by a family member, or someone trusted by the child, than by a stranger. Their abuser is 95 percent more likely to be someone who is NOT a Registered Offender. Only informed and rational parents can insure their children are truly safe, not the media, and certainly not the politicians.

sosolutionsnetwork.org

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