Man who committed 'sex offense' with wife-to-be challenges law

Dec. 24, 2013 at 12:32 PM

VISALIA, Calif., Dec. 24 (UPI) -- A man required to register as a sex offender for an act committed in 1989 with his future wife says the California law is unconstitutional.

Lonny Leon Rivera has sued the state of California for removal from the list of registered sex offenders, Courthouse News Service reported Monday.

Rivera pleaded guilty to a single consensual act of oral sex. He was 19 and his girlfriend, who has been his wife for many years, was 17.

One quirk of the California law is that having oral sex with a minor carries a penalty of lifetime registration as a sex offender, while the presumably more serious crime of statutory rape does not. Rivera's lawyers say that violates the equal protection clause in the Constitution.

Rivera has admitted that he did not provide authorities with updated information after 1991, although he did register as a sex offender. A complaint was filed last year charging him with violating the law.

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