As I read the news this morning, I saw that junior middleweight boxer Carlos Molina is in jail. According to reports, Molina was arrested for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. He has not been granted bail due to immigration issues, so he most likely won’t be able to defend his boxing championship this weekend. I looked into this young man’s history, and found he plead guilty to the Colorado equivalent of Sexual Assault on a Child. It’s easy to respond with disgust at his actions, but before we judge, we need to know the circumstances, because the situation isn’t always what it seems in sex crime cases in Denver, Adams, and Douglas County.
The Boxer’s Story: Two Teenagers and a Serious Sex Offense
According to reports, Molina was charged with statutory rape when he was 18 years old. But, the actions which ended with his arrest could have occurred much earlier. Most likely, the alleged victim in the case was close in age; they probably went to the same high school. The law in the state he was convicted is different than Colorado law – the girl had to be between the ages of 13-16 (in Colorado law, the alleged victim must be at least four years younger than the defendant). The two were most likely a couple, but their relationship ended with sex offender registration and prison time for Molina. Two or three year’s age difference isn’t significant in our culture, which encourages sexual behavior at an early age. Our laws just simply don’t match up.
Carlos Molina didn’t understand the implications of this serious sex offense at 18.
Consequences to a Conviction of a Sex Offense
When he was charged with Sexual Assault on a Child (SAOC), Carlos Molina didn’t understand the implications of this serious offense. So, he plead guilty, served his time in prison, and did three years’ probation. What he didn’t understand, is that an SAOC conviction results in registration as a sex offender. If a person fails to comply with the registration laws, they will be charged with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. In Arapahoe, Jefferson, and Larimer County, we are faced with cases like the boxer’s all the time. The terms “rape” and “sexual assault” are thrown around and men are accused of horrible actions – but people don’t realize the serious implications of a conviction. For example, a person who is convicted of SAOC in Colorado will be sentenced for an indeterminate amount of time. This means they could be in prison for the rest of their life. This kind of punishment is especially ridiculous when our laws don’t take into consideration our overly sexualized culture. Statistics have shown that 47% of relationships are sexual when 14-year-old girls are in a relationship with a boy who is at least four years older. According to Colorado law, 100% of those relationships are illegal – the boy could go to prison for the rest of his life for Sexual Assault on a Child.
SAOC – We Shouldn’t Jump to Conclusions
Whenever I read stories like the boxer Carlos Molina, I take a moment to try to understand the situation instead of jumping to conclusions. It is right to protect our children, but boys and men who are in mutual sexual relationships shouldn’t go to prison for the rest of their lives, or suffer under harsh registrations laws. It just isn’t right.