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What Exactly Makes Someone A Sex Offender? You May Be Surprised

But it is important to note that not all sex offenders are men; not all sex offenders are adults and not all sex offenses are even "crimes" in the sense that the word is commonly used and understood. Each state has different sex offense laws, and you might be surprised to discover some of the behaviors that qualify as sex crimes here in Utah and around the country.

Incest is widely considered to be socially taboo. But the behavior is also illegal. In Utah and many other states, incest can land you on the sex offender registry.

In at least 29 states, teenagers of a certain age who have consensual sex with slightly younger teenagers can be forced to register as sex offenders.

New York views solicitation of prostitution as a register-able offense. In certain circumstances, women can be put on the California sex offender registry for flashing their breasts in public in order to either offend others or gratify themselves.

There are 13 states in which you may be forced to register as a sex offender for urinating in public. In two of those states, the public urination must have occurred in front of a minor.

Finally, minors are sometimes prosecuted for sex crimes for taking and distributing naked pictures of themselves. Those who send their naked "selfies" to someone in another state could face federal criminal charges.

Some of the crimes mentioned above hardly seem like crimes at all; much less offenses that could land someone on the sex offender registry. For this reason, the general public shouldn't be too quick to judge someone for being a registered sex offender without knowing the details.

Conversely, anyone charged with a sex offense cannot afford to take chances. If convicted, the consequences could last for years after the criminal sentence is served.

Source: Business Insider, "7 Surprising Things That Could Make You A Sex Offender," Erin Fuchs, Oct. 9, 2013

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