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CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Supreme Court has rejected the claims of a teen-ager who said he was unfairly charged with a crime for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

The court upheld a lower court ruling by Natrona County District Judge David Park, who refused to dismiss charges against the 17-year-old boy.

The boy was charged with five counts of indecent liberties with a minor for having consensual sex with the girl.

The boy was charged after the girl’s father found out about the relationship and telephoned police, according to the court’s opinion, written by Justice William Hill.

The boy claimed his constitutional rights to equal protection were violated because the girl was not charged with a crime. Nor could he have know that what he did was criminal, he argued.

The court determined there was no reason that a reasonably intelligent 17-year-old could not determine that sex with a 13-year-old was “clearly conduct which is forbidden as immodest, immoral or indecent liberties,” the opinion said.

Also, the boy failed to show that he and the girl are similarly situated within the context of the law, the opinion said.

Chief Justice Larry Lehman cautioned the case could led to “absurd results in future cases.”

The Legislature should examine the law to determine whether it should be applied only when the perpetrator is an adult or four years older than the victim, and if some types of conduct should be treated as misdemeanors, he wrote in the opinion.

Copyright © 2001, Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Copyright © 2001, Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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