Newsweek article on “Romeo and Juliet” case supported by the DKT Liberty Project

February 8, 2017

From Newsweek: Austin Yabandith just turned 18. But he’s not allowed to see his friends, stay out past 9 p.m., use a computer or even attend school.

The Superior, Wisconsin, teen was charged with sexual exploitation for exchanging explicit pictures with his underage girlfriend last summer. As conditions of his plea agreement in December, he will avoid prison time and the sex offender registry.

But life has still been difficult for Austin. According to the conditions of his probation, which are listed on a document that was provided to him by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, ordinary teen activities are almost entirely off the table.

The document dictating those terms is “Standard Sex Offender Rules of Supervision”—even though Austin was not convicted of a felony and does not need to register as a sex offender.

If that sounds unfair, consider this: Austin initially discovered that he also wouldn’t be able to finish his senior year and graduate from high school.

Austin isn’t a threat to society, or to children. He is the one in danger—in danger of being branded a sex offender for engaging in perfectly normal teen behavior.

The authorities in this case have shown a willingness to be practical and consider what’s best for Austin. But doing what’s really best for Austin means going one step further—dropping the case entirely.

Read the full story at Newsweek