With a court ruling last month, Nevada could be paving the way for challenges to juvenile sex offender laws around the country.
Judge William Voy of Clark County Family Court declared unconstitutional Nevada’s new sex offender laws, which are based on the federal Adam Walsh Act and require offenders age 14 and older to face many of the same punishments and regulations as adult offenders. The federal act was signed into law in 2006.
Voy said the state laws violate due process because they make an arbitrary distinction between someone age 14 and, say, someone who is just under that age.
Nevada’s new laws were to take effect July 1 but will not be enforced until the state’s Supreme Court hears the appeals.
The lawsuit was brought by the state’s Juvenile Public Defender’s Office.