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Statutory Rape Laws

Cerulean

Brilliant_Rock
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Sep 13, 2019
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I guess the 14 yo convinced the judge, since he got a really light sentence despite the 16y age gap. She was a woman, too. I'm suprised how lightlt he got off.

I’m failing to understand your confusion. The judge sentenced him to jail and he’s a registered sex offender. I don’t think any of us have enough information to assess why the judge sentenced the way they did.
 

Jambalaya

Ideal_Rock
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It's creeping me out. I'm at the point where I'm wondering if your account has been hacked. Seriously

I actually do know these three people! Well, two of them are from my youth, and we're no longer in touch. The fact that I know of three people who had these relationships - apparently willingly - makes me wonder if it goes on more than we realize.

The one with my friend when we were 15 and she slept with the criminal lawyer was the most shocking, in retrospect. He prosecuted rape cases!!!!!
 

Cerulean

Brilliant_Rock
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Under a zero-tolerance policy, someone who's 15 and 11 months having sex with someone who's 16 (if that's the age of consent), or someone who's 18 and having sex with someone who's 17 and 11 months (if 18 is the age of consent) should be punished the same as a 69-year-old who grooms a 14-year-old.

That's crazy, and it's an illustration of why these laws vary widely, with their exceptions etc.

I'm undecided on what I think about all this. I just think it's interesting, probably because I have heard this woman's story in detail.

But the laws don’t vary widely - age of consent is minimally 16. you are describing why JUDGES EXIST to interpret the laws. Laws do not enumerate every possible circumstance under which humans might behave.

And you don’t seem undecided at all. You seem to think that there are many more “shades of gray” that demand conditions like leniency. With so little evidence and total inability to appreciate the concept of consent when it regards minors. You saying it’s all “yucky” doesn’t make this taste any better in my mouth.

Ugh I’m done.
 

Jambalaya

Ideal_Rock
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I’m failing to understand your confusion. The judge sentenced him to jail and he’s a registered sex offender. I don’t think any of us have enough information to assess why the judge sentenced the way they did.

Oh, it's because my state is meant to be a zero-tolerance state when it comes to statutory rape, but the judgement makes it seem like the opposite. There are no RJ laws, no age-of-consent exceptions, and judges can send perpetrators to jail for the rest of their lives. That's why I'm confused. It seems that she should have had much less leeway to give a light sentence given the way our state's laws are. Hope that makes sense.
 

Jambalaya

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And you don’t seem undecided at all

I've flop-flopped in this thread, actually, from wondering why two happy people get prosecuted, to thinking that that thought is wrong and I've been influenced by knowing the woman's story (the onw who is now 30), to being back to being unsure if every case should be treated the same.

Perhaps it's just too emotive a topic to discuss calmly.
 

Jambalaya

Ideal_Rock
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With so little evidence.

Well, my evidence is knowing three people who seemed OK with these young relationships where one person was older. I've lost touch with two, though. It would be interesting to hear how they feel about things now, at pushing 50.

I do think it goes on more than we realize - it surely must do if I know of three people who had these relationships - and sometimes it's abuse, and sometimes it's someone who's one month off the age of consent and feels fine about it.

We don't have to discuss this anymore; I can see it's upsetting people. I just thought that it's an interesting aspect of the law, that's all. And I was approaching the topic in the enquiring way that you might if writing a paper on the subject. Sorry if I seemed dispassionate. I'm just bored at home alone in lockdown and am lacking stimulating and thoughtful conversation.
 
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Jambalaya

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But the laws don’t vary widely - age of consent is minimally 16.

The law on age of consent varies a little (sixteen to eighteen of course) but laws on the punishment for statutory rape do vary widely. Some states have the exceptions we've talked about, some don't. Some have a maximum jail term, others are have no limit all the way up to life imprisonment. There's huge variation in the way each state handles statutory rape. That's what I meant when I said the laws vary widely. I meant the laws about punishment for this crime, not about age of consent.
 

Jambalaya

Ideal_Rock
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France has NO age of consent. Jesus! I just learned that when I googled the subject, because it's going to change. How have they reached 2021 without having any age of consent?
 

Jambalaya

Ideal_Rock
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OK, sorry. No more discussion.

Peace.
 

Jambalaya

Ideal_Rock
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Also, Jambalaya, I noticed in some of your recent posts that you have started to change 14 and 15 to 14.5 and 15.5.

In the interests of fairness, I just want to point out that I said 14.5 in my very first post in this thread. Probably varied after that between 14 and 14.5 as I'm not a machine.
 

Roselina

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Your first sentence, Cerulean...

Jambalaya and Roselina fail to grasp that and keep wanting to differentiate between a 14 year old who "consents" and one who doesn't. There is NO differentiation. NONE. A child CANNOT consent. PERIOD.

Also, Jambalaya, I noticed in some of your recent posts that you have started to change 14 and 15 to 14.5 and 15.5. Again, there is NO differentiation there. A child is a child is a child, and Again- CANNOT give consent.

I'm also not trying to be mean. I'm just trying to be clear about this important issue to protecting children.


Now hold the horses for a moment. I am not failing to grasp anything here. I was asking a question from a legal point of view, which I am, as a trained (but not practicing) lawyer, but not US-based, interested in.
A 14 year old can have a sexual relationship. They do it all the time - or so I'm told. If this relationship is consensual or not might differ from case to case. When statutory rape law is applicable the question of consent is absolutely irrelevant and the act becomes a crime, the older one a perpetrator, the younger one a victim and the judge is obliged to pronounce a sentence. Now as for my question, which I might have not put clearly, since English is not my first language: Can the fact, that the victim states in court that she was in love and happy and did not consider the respective relationship as wrongful have an impact on the sentence? Here I am neither implying that she was happy, nor am I implying that she suffered from some sort of Stockholm syndrome. Non of us actually can. My question was: if the judge concludes (for whatever reason and not related to the case in question) that the victim did have a consensual relationship, does it have an impact on his or her sentence? Again: I am not saying that I consider this relationship as being consensual or not. It was an abstract question. Does the judge take (positive or negative) witness statements into consideration when he sets the punishment? Or does he have not discretion whatsoever since "consent-questions" are irrelevant. Having done my research in the meantime I got my answer.

As to Cerulean's statement, which you refer to: "What is concerning is that you are failing to appreciate that the victim could not give consent. Their attitude about it, especially as you think you understand it, is irrelevant. You are in no position to truly assess the damage that was done (or to play devils advocate, lack thereof)."
It is correct, that the victim could not give consent, since statutory rape law is applicable. But the question remains: does or can their attitude about it (as you put it) have an impact on the sentence itself or not?
We are ALL in no position to assess anything. Be it a possible damage that has been done, be it to assume that the victim suffers a Stockholm syndrome, be it that she was indeed happy. This was the duty of the experts the judge might had called to evaluate this question and at the end his responsibility when judging based upon what he concluded from the evidence presented.

I hope I made myself clear this time.
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
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Exactly; this is the confusing part for me. She was happy at the time and is still happy with that decision 15 years on. In court, she stated that when she broke up with him at age 16, he cried and said he loved her. I don't get it, either. Gross all round. My point is, should we treat someone as a victim who insists they were not victimized?

This sounds like NAMBLA nonsense. And sympathy.
I pick them to compare to, because they seem like to campaign this excuse and rationalization.
If this post topic was generated by a newcomer - it would have been flagged and removed a long time ago, as a turd stirring troll.
 
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Roselina

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I'm quite irritated by the harsh bashing that is taking place against Jambalaya. Nowhere did she state that she is against statutory rape law or thinks that it is okay for a 30 year old man to have sex with a 14 year old girl. Her question was, if someone should be treated as victim, when insisting they were no victim. It's a legit question and why can it not be debated? Why judging her for asking a question. Please do not confuse asking questions and putting them for debate with taking a certain position, which she has not.
 

missy

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France has NO age of consent. Jesus! I just learned that when I googled the subject, because it's going to change. How have they reached 2021 without having any age of consent?

I know it boggles the mind doesn't it? It also brings to mind the whole Roman Polanski brouhaha.



"Mr. Polanski has lived in France since 1978, when he fled the United States before sentencing after pleading guilty to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl."
 

Roselina

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I know it boggles the mind doesn't it? It also brings to mind the whole Roman Polanski brouhaha.



"Mr. Polanski has lived in France since 1978, when he fled the United States before sentencing after pleading guilty to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl."

France is at the moment changing its laws concerning age of consent.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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France is at the moment changing its laws concerning age of consent.

I wonder what was the impetus to motivate them to do so?
And yes, a very good move IMO.
 

Niel

Super_Ideal_Rock
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France has NO age of consent. Jesus! I just learned that when I googled the subject, because it's going to change. How have they reached 2021 without having any age of consent?

There are so many read flags about this thread. From the onset asking strangers to defend this Pedophile you know seems gross. Constantly dismissing posters who argue how egregious his actions were. Finding other examples to justify his actions. Using “half ages “. Googling age of consents.

This just grosses me out.
 

MrsBlue

Shiny_Rock
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Jan 30, 2013
Messages
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The human brain is still developing at that age. This is a biological fact.

In the same way that a child can't consent (because they are incapable of understanding the full consequences of their decisions) I would argue that they also lack the the ability to judge whether or not they themselves have been abused. The adult in the situation knows exactly what they are doing and should be subject to all applicable laws.

In my view, it doesn't matter if the person says they're ok with it years later. The law must protect all children.

Has anyone mentioned the Letourneau case? She began abusing her victim when he was 12. They went on to marry and have 2 children together. Vili Fualaau may love his children and not regret having them but there's no doubt he was manipulated and abused.
 

Roselina

Brilliant_Rock
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The human brain is still developing at that age. This is a biological fact.

In the same way that a child can't consent (because they are incapable of understanding the full consequences of their decisions) I would argue that they also lack the the ability to judge whether or not they themselves have been abused. The adult in the situation knows exactly what they are doing and should be subject to all applicable laws.

In my view, it doesn't matter if the person says they're ok with it years later. The law must protect all children.

Has anyone mentioned the Letourneau case? She began abusing her victim when he was 12. They went on to marry and have 2 children together. Vili Fualaau may love his children and not regret having them but there's no doubt he was manipulated and abused.

This is what I meant by debating. Thank you for that.
 

Jambalaya

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I thought Stockholm syndrome applied to people who were being held captive. Just to be clear, the young woman I know was, at the time, living with her parents and sister, going to school, and dating the guy.
 

Gussie

Ideal_Rock
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She did not implicate anything else, since at age 14 the girl would not be one month off the age of consent.

Her argument repeatedly is to state the 14 yo was "happy" and she continues to fall back on this argument. The tone of her arguments also suggest that she questions if it is truly abuse.

Happiness with abuse (crazy to even write that) does not matter. IT IS ABUSE.
 

Jambalaya

Ideal_Rock
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I would just like to point something out: The entire thing that has muddied this issue for me is knowing the young woman in question. She is now 30, and says it was a good relationship, he cared for her, was kind, etc. etc.

So here's the thing: When a 30-year-old woman speaks her truth, I choose to believe her. It's pretty insulting to think that I know her experience better than she does.

So when my interest was piqued and I started looking into the issue, I realized that there are some gray areas. Many people here are advocating a zero-tolerance policy, that if a child is underage, that's that. Line in the sand drawn. They can't legally consent.

So should the poster here who said she had an underage relationship where she was older have been prosecuted? (Sorry, poster!) To save you finding it, she was 18 and he was 16, which was two years under the age of consent in her state. But it's not like anyone here said it was wrong, so the posters who are saying that someone cannot consent and therefore it's always wrong don't really think that in all cases.
 

Gussie

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Stockholm Syndrome can also apply to abuse victims that are not held captive. They are held emotionally captive.

 

Jambalaya

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It boils down to whether you believe this 30 yo woman or not when she speaks her truth. I do, and it made me wonder about the laws.
 

Jambalaya

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Stockholm Syndrome can also apply to abuse victims that are not held captive. They are held emotionally captive.


And yet, she was perfectly capable of ending the relationship with him when she turned 16 and found a boy her own age whom she liked better.
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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At the end of the day some actions are morally wrong and this is why there are laws. Having sex with a child is wrong and it is well known there are laws against it. The 30 year old knew that but did it anyway. We can’t turn a blind eye to people who break the law, as it is now we have all these laws and look at what a mess society is.

Her happiness is irrelevant, it should have never happened. Just because a child goes along with something does not mean they were not abused, just because they say it was a good experience does not mean they weren’t abused.

He is a predator and sexual predators do not usually stop behavior with one victim and often it will escalate to more serious crimes like murder when the victim doesn’t cooperate. I’m of the opinion that they can’t be rehabilitated but that is a discussion for another day.
 
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