Adam Lambert
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Judge: Man Convicted of Sodomy Shouldn't Be on Sex Offender Registry

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A Montana man who sued the state in order to be taken off its sex offender registry over a past sodomy arrest has won the right to be removed from the list, Boise State Public Radio reports.

Randall Menges was arrested in Idaho in 1994 shortly after his 18th birthday after police say they caught him having sex with two 16-year-old boys. Menges and one of the boys at the time said in the original police report that the encounter was consensual. According to Idaho law, statutory rape occurs when either one partner is under 16 or when the younger person is 16 or 17, if the offender is more than three years older. Menges was not charged with that, and was only charged with Crimes Against Nature.

Menges ended up spending seven years in prison and having to register as a sex offender in the state. When he moved to Montana, he thought he’d have a chance to start over, as that state has no laws against sodomy.

However, Montana does have a state law requiring anyone who is registered as a sex offender in another state to register the same way. So Menges was forced to register in that state as well.

This week a federal judge ruled that there is “no rational basis” to keep him on the list, noting that if the sex had involved Menges and a girl with the same age difference, he would not have been on the registry in the first place. Montana now has until May 21 to remove him from the registry and permanently expunge all state records related to his registration.

But things might not be over for Menges. The state will appeal the decision, said Emilee Cantrel, the press secretary for the Montana attorney general’s office. “This order weakens our state’s sex offender registry law and opens it up to more attacks from out-of-state lawyers who are more interested in politics than the safety of Montana children," she said in a prepared statement. 

Menges is also suing the state of Idaho over its sodomy laws. The U.S. Supreme Court declared laws against consensual sex between adults unconstitutional in 2003, but Idaho and several other states still such laws on the books.

Tags: News, Idaho, Montana, Law

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