Man Convicted of ‘Gay Sex’ No Longer a Sex Offender

In 1993, Randall Menges was arrested at the age of 18 for having consensual sex with two 16-year-olds, the age of consent in Idaho at the time. He was convicted and served seven years behind bars in Idaho for violating the state’s “crimes against nature” law.  After serving seven years in prison, he was placed on probation and required to register as a sex offender.

Courtesy of Randall Menges

In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court found that sodomy laws, which typically ban oral and anal sex, are unconstitutional. This means that today, this would not be an arrestable offense, although Idaho still requires these individuals to register as sex offenders.

In 2018, Menges decided to seek a new beginning in Montana, according to NBC News, he thought it would be easier for him to deal with fewer people and to be able to regain his life. In 2013, people convicted under the same-sex activity statute in Montana weren’t required to register as sex offenders. However, a law passed in 2005 mandates that individuals on a registry in another state must register as sex offenders when relocating to Montana.

When Montana was requiring Menges to register as a sex offender, he filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana in December 2020, challenging the constitutionality of Montana’s policy. According to Menges, being on the sex offender registry was greatly interfering with his employment and housing options. Menges had been denied from homeless shelters due to the registration status.

This week, a judge ruled in favor of Menges and he must now be removed from the registry by May 21. The also judge ordered his record be cleared of any information stating he was ever subject to registering as a sex offender, according to the NY Post.

In a decision this week, U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen wrote

The Court rejects any notion that engaging in consensual intimate sexual activity with a person of the same sex renders an individual a threat to the public or more likely to commit a sex crime.

Having consensual intimate sexual contact with a person of the same-sex does not render someone a public safety threat to the community. It does not increase the risk that our state’s children or other vulnerable groups will be victimized, and law enforcement has no valid interest in keeping track of such persons’ whereabouts.

Menges said to the Associated Press:

I guess I’m just grateful, honestly, that the judge actually listened and was fair because for the last few years of my life … I don’t feel like anything’s been fair.

Sources: NBC News, NY Post

1 thought on “Man Convicted of ‘Gay Sex’ No Longer a Sex Offender”

  1. This man has a “crime against nature” conviction. Most states has that exact conviction as the basis for their requirement to to be a registered sex offender.

    In other words, if he leaves the State, he is liable to 49 other State laws.

    Unless and until this man can get the conviction expunged, OR the Supreme Court rules his registration as unconstitutional, the net is almost unlimited on whom the state can force registration.

    Reply

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