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g Missing and Exploited Children Site

BellaOnline's Missing and Exploited Children Editor

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Mark Lunsford


Mark Lunsford has four visions. First he wishes to update and change current legislation. Second he wishes to provide a place where anyone who needs information and support can come to get what they need. Third he desires to help look for and locate pedophiles that are violating their legal obligations and help law enforcement put the violators behind bars. Currently he is fighting to get Jessie’s Law on the books in every state.

John Evander Couey was convicted of murdering Jessica Lunsford. What you may not know is that Jessica Lunsford was buried - alive. While searching for Jessica Lunsford, officers talked to local sex offenders. Yet, the officers who were searching for Jessica could not actually search inside a sex offender’s home, regardless it was in the immediate vicinity of a missing child. John Evander Couey had an extensive criminal record, and was a sex offender who had not registered when he moved in with his half sister Dorothy Marie Dixon. Speculation is that Jessica Lunsford was most likely alive the first time police knocked on the door of Dorothy Dixon’s trailer.

Can you imagine how different the outcome of this story would be if Jessica Lunsford a 9 year old girl was allowed to have rights when she was alive. Criminals have more rights than an innocent child. Jessica’s Law gives children rights. Children and their parents should have the right to be able to sleep safely in their beds at night, play in their yards during the day, and walk home from school or a friends’ home without fearing the Bogeyman will take them away. Please help get Jessie’s Law passed in your state.

Unfortunately the law has its downfalls. This has become more apparent since Mark Lunsford’s 18 year old son Joshua Lunsford was arrested. Joshua Lunsford is Jessica’s half-brother, and is accused of fondling a 14-year-old girl – twice. Joshua Lunsford was in a consensual relationship with a 14 year old girl. Yet, Joshua is now facing having to register as a sex offender the rest of his life if he is convicted. Sex offender laws, unfortunately, do not distinguish between the actual accusation and situations. In a situation where a boy and girl date, agree to consensual sex, and later a parent finds out and becomes angry. Suddenly a teenage boy is labeled a sex offender.

This situation is not what sex offender laws are about and are ludicrous. This situation above is vastly different than the one where Jessica Lunsford was murdered Jessica Lunsford was repeatedly sexually assaulted, held captive for several days, and buried alive. John Evander Couey is a pedophile, and had the court system put Couey away and not released him early, perhaps Jessica Marie Lunsford would be safe at home with her family.

Unbelievably, Mark Lunsford is falling under heated criticism for the actions of his 18-year-old son. Yet, there comes a time when a parent can no longer be considered responsible for their child’s actions. Then there is the debate of what is normal teenage behavior versus a law designed to provide sex offenders with a dose of reality.

What is the age of consent for consensual sex in the state you live in? In many states the age ranges from 14 to 18 years of age. This means children who are 14 legally consent to sexual relations with someone as long as the person they are consenting with is 20 or younger. Have you talked with your children about the age of consent laws? To prevent your child form being labeled as a sex offender it would be wise to explain how these laws work, and to show how they become twisted and murky. Children will not know what can happen to them if we do not educate them.

Update:
Joshua Lunsford pled not guilty and in the end his charge was changed from unlawful sexual conduct with a minor (which is a felony and requires one to register as a sex offender) to a misdemeanor charge of unlawful sexual conduct. Joshua Lunsford is required to participate in a sex offender assessment but he is not required to register as a sex offender.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Erika Lyn Smith. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Erika Lyn Smith. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Erika Lyn Smith for details.

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