When he was a senior in high school, [Genarlow Wilson] received oral sex from a 10th grader. He was 17. She was 15. Everyone, including the girl and the prosecution, agreed she initiated the act. But because of an archaic Georgia law, it was a misdemeanor for teenagers less than three years apart to have sexual intercourse, but a felony for the same kids to have oral sex. ... [O]n the first day of the second semester of his senior year, the police went to the school and arrested [him]... Wilson was charged with four felonies and taken from the building in handcuffs. Not long before, he'd been in the newspaper for being all-conference in football. Now, he was on the front page, branded a rapist and child molester. ... Wilson refused to admit to being a child molester. If he pled to or was convicted of any charge that put him on the sex offender registry, he couldn't live at home with his younger sister. He wouldn't accept that, so he waited for his trial. ... The day before the trial was expected to end, in the last night he'd ever spend at his home, Wilson went to a church down the street and asked the preacher to pray with him. He awoke early the next morning. He knotted his tie carefully and went to the courthouse. The trial finished that afternoon, and the jury came back with "not guilty" on the rape but "guilty" on the aggravated child molestation.
He looked at the forewoman. She was crying, seeming to understand they'd just undone a promising future. Indeed, when the jurors found out there was a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence, several were incensed. The prosecution told them to write a letter, then moved on to the next case.