Saturday, January 28, 2006

Court Lifts Ban On Kansas Underage Sex Law

DENVER -- A federal appeals court lifted a ban on a Kansas law that required health care providers to report consensual underage sex to authorities.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday reversed the finding of a lower court, ruling that Kansas has a legitimate interest in information about the voluntary sexual conduct of children that overrides the minors' right to privacy.

Under Kansas law, sexual contact with or among children under 16 is a crime.

The three-judge panel, in a 2-1 decision, ruled that although minors have a right to informational privacy it doesn't exist for illegal sexual conduct. They ruled the state has a greater interest in enforcing its criminal laws, protecting the best interest of minors and promoting public health.

The ruling lifts a preliminary injunction and the case goes back to federal court for trial.

In July 2003, Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline issued an opinion on the state's 1982 law requiring doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, social workers and others who work with minors to report suspected instances of underage sex, even if it involves willing partners of similar ages. Kline said even consensual sex is inherently harmful to children.

Source:http://seattlepi.nwsource.com

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