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Author Topic: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!  (Read 5424 times)

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Offline MercyfulFate

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2009, 09:18:28 PM »
I dunno, does being young, drunk, and horny excuse you from a DUI? Sure, it's stupid, but it's stupid not to ask a girl "how old are you?" before you bang her.

She can lie to you, run home tell her parents and you go to jail all the same. It's just weird that a 3 year age difference can be considered even in the same ballpark as a 30 year difference.

Dave Chapelle had a skit where he was about to have sex with a woman, and had her fill out like 40 forms before they could. It seems to be coming to that sometimes.

I mean the whole media saturation with pedophiles has made everyone think the problem is an epidemic, when it's not really much different than it ever was.

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Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2009, 09:24:08 PM »
She can lie to you, run home tell her parents and you go to jail all the same.

Yes, and it would be interesting to see the statistics on how often "she told me she was 18!" proves to be true.

Although it really tends to be a larger age difference; in my state, 16 is the age of consent last I checked.

Offline Serephino

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2009, 09:24:39 PM »
It might be a good idea, but honestly, how many young guys do you think actually will?  And why compare sex to a DUI? 

And yes, the girl can always lie.  It's ridiculous that we have to worry about that.   

Offline Trieste

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Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2009, 09:27:23 PM »
And why compare sex to a DUI? 

Because driving drunk is another stupid mistake that people who are young make that can haunt them for the rest of their lives.

Sometimes, a stupid I-didn't-know-any-better mistake really does stick with you. It sucks, and it's frustrating, but it happens. You don't turn 18, 21, 30, whatever, and say "OOPS, DO-OVER!". It really doesn't work that way. I don't know whether it should, but realistically it doesn't.

Offline Morven

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2009, 09:44:07 PM »
Because driving drunk is another stupid mistake that people who are young make that can haunt them for the rest of their lives.

The difference being: 1) that driving when drunk is, except in the very rare case of someone's drinks being interfered with, something one person has all the knowledge and all the decision-making ability, and 2) driving when drunk is guaranteed to be a dangerous idea.  It's a crime based on solid scientific evidence that what you're doing is a stupid and dangerous thing to do every time.  Yes, you're rolling the dice on getting caught or actually getting in an accident, but it's stupid and dangerous and risky to others every single time.

I don't feel that the actual risks and dangers caused by an 18-year-old having sex with a sixteen-year-old are sufficient for the penalties now being, in some cases, attached to it.  A big-ass fine or a couple weeks in jail are quite sufficient for those.

And if under-eighteens having sex was so damaging, then parents should not be allowed to give consent to marriage for under-eighteens either.   You can't tell me that letting a thirteen year old get married, which is legal in several states including Texas and California, is less risky to her long-term health and happiness.

In other words, I guess, I'm not a believer in "It's illegal so it's bad".

Besides, the original post was dealing with kids who are themselves too young to give sexual consent being prosecuted for sex crimes.  That's even more disturbing for me; in fact, the eagerness of the legal system in the US to consider young teenagers as adults when it comes to prosecution, while at the same time treating them as hapless, helpless things in need of protection from themselves to ages much higher than the rest of the civilized world all the rest of the time, is very, very disturbing to me, and many other European-born people of my acquaintance.

Offline Morven

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2009, 09:52:14 PM »
Yes, and it would be interesting to see the statistics on how often "she told me she was 18!" proves to be true.

It would be, but that's like asking men in jail whether they're innocent.  You know what most of them will answer, and you know how accurate it is.  However, some of those men are innocent.

There's also the possibly more important question of whether the assertion of adulthood was believable, and that's impossible to ascertain.  Certainly, many under-age-of-consent individuals intent on having sex with someone they know to be over that age will lie; admitting it is likely to end the fun.  On the other hand, there have to be plenty of cases where the over-age partner suspects but thinks because they've heard the other assert otherwise, they're protected.

Technically, in many states at least, you're a criminal no matter how convincing the "proof" you were given is; a professionally forged driver's license or passport wouldn't let you off the hook (or the more common ruse; lookalike older sibling's ID).  In practice, it might help reduce charges.

Although it really tends to be a larger age difference; in my state, 16 is the age of consent last I checked.

I was looking into this for one of my earlier posts; it's eighteen in the majority of states, it appears, though as someone said above many (but not all!) states have an exemption if the two are within a certain number of years.

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Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2009, 10:00:47 PM »
I was looking into this for one of my earlier posts; it's eighteen in the majority of states, it appears, though as someone said above many (but not all!) states have an exemption if the two are within a certain number of years.


That would have been me.

Back on the original topic of the post, which I was admittedly sidetracked from by the whole 'let's get rid of the whole "sex offender" thing completely' suggestion:

Labeling 14-year-old kids for life for things like consensual heavy petting is ludicrous.  Given my druthers, I'd sit these kids down, give them a full course of actual sex ed, including the possible consequences and protective measures.  Non-con, I'd be less forgiving of - definitely include counseling, and probably require some form of monitoring for a period of time (still not necessarily life unless they screw up during that period of time.)

Offline Morven

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2009, 10:09:49 PM »
Labeling 14-year-old kids for life for things like consensual heavy petting is ludicrous.  Given my druthers, I'd sit these kids down, give them a full course of actual sex ed, including the possible consequences and protective measures.  Non-con, I'd be less forgiving of - definitely include counseling, and probably require some form of monitoring for a period of time (still not necessarily life unless they screw up during that period of time.)

Indeed, and I agree.  Though we don't KNOW what exactly these kids have done; the categories are so damn broad.  I just don't trust the system NOT to be locking up boys barely old enough to shave for heavy petting with their same-age girlfriends, and the law allows them to.

It's especially ludicrous to have that lifetime registration and reporting when it would not be imposed even if the kid shot and killed his girlfriend rather than whatever he did.  We have created a system which considers consensual sex worse than murder, in some ways.

Offline Merlyn

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2009, 10:21:50 PM »
Sex laws in the US are screwed up in general.  And many of them are overly sexist in favor of women.  They do need to change with the times, but that won't happen because sex is such a taboo topic in the states that it would essentially be political suicide for someone to try and make them better instead of simply making everything stricter. 

Heavy petting, and the like is utterly ridiculous to punish for in any legal matter, and would most likely only be if one set of the parents were so uptight and (insert any number of expletive phrases here) that they won't accept that kids will be kids, and they need to actually teach and talk to their kids about sex.

Now, I think I am going to bow out of this topic because mostly all that I said earlier I am going to stand by because of a bad situation that had happened with a very close friend of mine.  And all that will happen by me staying in this is that I will get emotional and upset because I have blamed myself for that situation, and wish very greatly that some things could have turned out differently.

Online Doomsday

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #34 on: October 20, 2009, 10:30:20 PM »
Sometimes the law can really be a blind ballerina.

Offline All Powerful Nateboi

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #35 on: October 20, 2009, 11:49:03 PM »
That would have been me.

Back on the original topic of the post, which I was admittedly sidetracked from by the whole 'let's get rid of the whole "sex offender" thing completely' suggestion:

Labeling 14-year-old kids for life for things like consensual heavy petting is ludicrous.  Given my druthers, I'd sit these kids down, give them a full course of actual sex ed, including the possible consequences and protective measures.  Non-con, I'd be less forgiving of - definitely include counseling, and probably require some form of monitoring for a period of time (still not necessarily life unless they screw up during that period of time.)

TO be fair, I may have gone a bit (just a bit) overboard. But here's the problem. Any time something is instituted with the statement of "Oh, but we'll only be using it for the worst of the worst!", you can almost immediately read that as a lie. Or, at best, misguided. It happened with the patriot act, it's clearly happened with the sex offender tag, and it happens with so many other things as well.

Things like that can and *will8 be used for increasingly less and less 'bad" things, because politicians will use it to try to score points, or because it's easy and useful, or because some people are dicks and they feel like using it. The *intent* of the sex offender tag is solid, and I can approve of the basic idea (though, again, I point out that sex offenses are the only crime you can commit in which you continue being punished after you serve your punishment). But I can't approve of what's done with it. I can't approve of the fact that people are tagged with it because they got a blowjob from their sixteen year old girlfriend on their 18th birthday. I can't approve of the fact that there's a major city in FLorida (Orlando? I'll do some research) in which there is a two block stretch of sidewalk where anyone who gets tagged with "Sex Offender" can live, and no where else, because of the way they've zoned school districts and other "for children" areas. I can't approve of the fact that some cities actually make up establishments in order to keep sex offenders from living in certain areas.

That's my problem with the tag. People have their civil rights stripped away, are treated like slime and garbage, because of a mistake. And sometimes, that mistake is nothing more than having slept with your 17 year old girlfriend when you turned 18, or pissing on a tree while you were drunk, but that tree happened to be 200 yards from a school.

Offline Kotah

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2009, 03:23:53 PM »
I'm OK with the sex offender list. Honestly. Seriously. I do, however, think that the list should be limited to violent and non-con crimes.

I had a land lord one, that kept coming into our house and messing around with our stuff when we weren't home. When we complained he claimed he was allowed to come in to fix things. A friend of mine happened on the sex offender list, and found him there. Some research later he had violently raped 3 girls under 13.

Yeah, we moved. I am totally OK with the sex offender list.

No offense, I'm about to have 2 kids. If the guy halfway down the block went away for luring a kid into his home for a kiddie porn session... I wanna know.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2009, 03:41:09 PM »
I fear, like the fallout from 9/11, that the issue of sexual assault and child molestation has created a massive amount of ill planned, worded, and considered laws.

Add in a mix of old laws and diverse issues thought the country and you get what can only be called a chronic major 'fuckup'. I find myself wondering at times how many kids get on the registry for 'normal behavior' or 'he said/she saids' that would have been better handled if the laws were worded well.

I seem to recall a kid that got something like 10 years for a blow job BUT he was 17 and she was younger and it got taped. Things snowballed and he got sent down for HARD time. (Georgia..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilson_v._State_of_Georgia)

A little rationality would slim things down and make the list more managable and easier to track the true offenders. Problem is, the situations are not always as cut and dried as they seemed. (For example the girl in the Wilson case claimed to have been raped after the fact..)

One book I read (Halting State by Charles Stross) had a character who was on the UK offenders list because he had been caught making out with a classmate. I sometimes wonder if there are laws on books that can be interpreted that harshly.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 03:43:57 PM by Callie Del Noire »

Offline Morven

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #38 on: October 21, 2009, 04:34:18 PM »
One book I read (Halting State by Charles Stross) had a character who was on the UK offenders list because he had been caught making out with a classmate. I sometimes wonder if there are laws on books that can be interpreted that harshly.

Callie, the Idaho law I posted above is indeed that harsh.  If you do anything physically with someone under 16 with the intention of arousing either them or you, you're a criminal and can get up to life in jail.  Even if you're the same age.  Two fifteen-year-olds french kissing are technically both criminals.

And like all such wide-open laws, I'm sure MOST of the time, sane prosecutors and police use their discretion, but a zealot prosecutor or one intent on revenge for a slight could indeed use it.  I'm heavily against the idea of strict laws where there's a promise of "Oh, we'll only use it against the really bad guys".  There's FAR too much corruption in the system for that to ever be worth the breath it's spoken with.

Offline Serephino

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #39 on: October 21, 2009, 09:02:26 PM »
I'm OK with the sex offender list. Honestly. Seriously. I do, however, think that the list should be limited to violent and non-con crimes.

I had a land lord one, that kept coming into our house and messing around with our stuff when we weren't home. When we complained he claimed he was allowed to come in to fix things. A friend of mine happened on the sex offender list, and found him there. Some research later he had violently raped 3 girls under 13.

Yeah, we moved. I am totally OK with the sex offender list.

No offense, I'm about to have 2 kids. If the guy halfway down the block woent away for luring a kid into his home for a kiddie porn session... I wanna know.

Finding out that your former landlord raped 3 underaged girls is what the system is designed for.  However, like Nateboi said, there are places sex offenders can't live because of schools, and places where they can, and they have to register, and sometimes have signs on Halloween, so on and so forth.

Yes, the law was made to protect children.  I get that.  But it's insane for someone to get tagged for something stupid like getting a blow job from a 15 year old girl, and being forbidden to live near an elementary school or a play ground.  Even more stupid would be if the guy in question exposed himself at a party to adult women.  Suddenly everyone is super paranoid he'll rape a little girl. 

Pedophilia is a fetish.  It's an illegal fetish, but still a fetish.  If you get caught with kiddie porn or were convicted of molesting a young child, ok then, you should be registered.  And yes, I know, they want to keep it from happening, but let's use a little common sense here.  There are people who think I'd molest a young child for being homosexual.  I'm a pervert, and pervert = child molester.  I guess you can't really call it common sense because it isn't very common anymore. 



Offline MercyfulFate

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #40 on: October 21, 2009, 09:07:27 PM »
Finding out that your former landlord raped 3 underaged girls is what the system is designed for.  However, like Nateboi said, there are places sex offenders can't live because of schools, and places where they can, and they have to register, and sometimes have signs on Halloween, so on and so forth.

Yes, the law was made to protect children.  I get that.  But it's insane for someone to get tagged for something stupid like getting a blow job from a 15 year old girl, and being forbidden to live near an elementary school or a play ground.  Even more stupid would be if the guy in question exposed himself at a party to adult women.  Suddenly everyone is super paranoid he'll rape a little girl. 

Pedophilia is a fetish.  It's an illegal fetish, but still a fetish.  If you get caught with kiddie porn or were convicted of molesting a young child, ok then, you should be registered.  And yes, I know, they want to keep it from happening, but let's use a little common sense here.  There are people who think I'd molest a young child for being homosexual.  I'm a pervert, and pervert = child molester.  I guess you can't really call it common sense because it isn't very common anymore. 




Agreed on all counts.

Offline Morven

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #41 on: October 21, 2009, 09:16:05 PM »
The other thing is: if we make life too impossible for convicted sex offenders who've served their time, then what's going to happen?  They'll skip town, live under assumed names, avoid registering, and nobody will even know their history.  I'm sure several of you have seen the newspaper articles about that one Florida town where the only place they are legally allowed to live is under a bridge just outside town, in self-made shacks, because everywhere else in town is defined as being close to "somewhere children go". 

In some cases, the system seems in fact to be designed so that technical violations of the reporting or living laws are in fact inevitable, as an excuse to send these people back to jail.  That's also, in my opinion, inhumane.

There also needs to be much more distinctions made between the likely dangerous people and the likely non-dangerous people, and furthermore between those interested in kids and those not.  And by kids, I don't mean sexually mature post-pubescent teenagers!  That's a whole different thing. 

Also, what's the point of making sex offenders who have shown absolutely no interest in children keep away from anywhere kids might be? 

Well, I know what the point is.  The point is inflating the count of those the public will think of as child molesters, to make the police and politicians look like they're doing more to "keep us safe" and get our support.  The point is inflating the prevalence of the problem because making people scared is in too many interests.  The point is making everyone worry about strangers who molest children when in fact most sexual abuse (and most adult rape) is from relatives, friends and acquaintances.

Put it this way: I've never met anyone in person who was molested as a child by a stranger.  I've known dozens who have been molested by people their parents trusted, or by the parents themselves.

Offline Serephino

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #42 on: October 21, 2009, 09:28:03 PM »
Exactly!  I know 3 people who were abused as children.  One was raped by an uncle, one by a friend of her father's, and one by her step father.  All of those people were friends or family.  Family has the most opportunity. 

Offline Morven

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #43 on: October 21, 2009, 09:31:10 PM »
I was molested by a man who was a work colleague and friend of my father's.  Fortunately to a much lesser degree than many, but there you go.

(sorry for bringing personal experiences into this; if this brings up too much for some people, I'll blank this)

Offline Trieste

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Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #44 on: October 21, 2009, 09:39:04 PM »
The point of the registry is to let people like your father know when he has a sex offender working with him. It's to inform him before he invites the guy to a family barbecue. If he didn't offend before, there's no chance for the system to work, but I will point out that cases like that are pretty much exactly how it's intended.

Also so that when a child goes missing, the cops can have a list of possibles in the area. Considering how many things tend to happen close to home, I'm guessing that recidivism is one of them.

I'm curious as to what reforms would be proposed if you people who are against the registry list were to rehash it. What would you do different? How would you write the laws? I think at this point, most of the past several posts have been preaching to each others' choirs.

Offline Morven

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #45 on: October 21, 2009, 10:10:23 PM »
True point.  I'm still not sure how much practical use it is, rather than to help people feel better that "something is being done".

I don't think putting the 20-year-old whose seventeen-year-old girlfriend's parents hated him and got him busted on any list for the rest of his life is doing anyone any good.  Whether or not it should be a crime, he's very unlikely to be doing it again, and I don't think he's any more likely to commit a serious crime than the average person on the street.

We've got to ask what the point of the registry, and the public part of it, really is.  Since we don't have freed-murderer registries and burglar registries and mugger registries.  The point of these registries, as they were originally sold to the public, was warning people about those with histories of molesting children, because sexual crimes against children are considered uniquely heinous in our society.

Thus, I think, crimes against non-children should not be on such a public list.  If we want to have a public rapist registry or a public indecent-exposure registry, I think those should be separate issues, and I would be against them.  We are, it is worth remembering, justifying an abnormal and unprecedented breach of fundamental principles of our justice system to have this at all; specifically, the one that says that extra terms cannot be added to a sentence at a later date, as well as the general principle that criminals, once they've served their time and done their punishment, should be allowed and encouraged to rebuild crime-free lives.  We are justifying this in the very narrow area of child molestation because we believe it to be uniquely heinous. 

Keeping it narrow keeps the focus on those who are actually the danger we're trying to protect against, and minimizes the harm on others.

I'd also specify that the definition of "sex crimes against children" is defined as being those against those younger than sixteen, and that an age-range exemption be in place so that we're not busting teenagers for having consensual sex with other teenagers within a couple of years of age.  That is NOT child molestation and should not be classified as such even if it remains a crime.

So there's my version of what should be done.  If we're supposed to be protecting kids, let's protect kids against those who actually have a known history of doing things against kids.


Offline Serephino

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #46 on: October 21, 2009, 11:39:36 PM »
Here's a question....  What if a child goes missing and the cops waste time by investigating everyone on the registry, let's say most of whom aren't on the list for anything to do with a child, and the true purp is someone who's never been caught before?

If I were to change things, first of all, the only ones on the registry restricted from schools and 'child areas' would be those that actually did something to a child.  And by child I mean pre-pubescent.  I would not punish teenagers for consensual sex.  It's up to the parents to keep track of their kids and make sure they're educated.  I don't think consensual sex should ever be classified as rape in any way.  That starts a slippery slope. 

Adult rapists would be a whole other classification.  And even that would be tricky.  I guess to be put on the list there would have to be strong evidence that you raped someone to protect those where the woman lies.  And of course, if later the woman confesses to lying, the guy should be taken off the list.  Right now it doesn't matter.  Once you're on it, you're on it, even if it's later found that you were actually innocent.

And of course, I'd let stupid mistakes remain just that.  If you're walking down the street and decide to take a piss on a tree and some kids happen to see, well, I guess they just got an anatomy lesson.  I really don't see that as anything serious unless it's a behavior you repeat. 

So basically, I'd use what used to be called common sense to weed out the potentially dangerous from the young and stupid, and the unlucky. 

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #47 on: October 22, 2009, 12:39:18 AM »
You have to keep in mind the purpose of the criminal "justice" system in America isn't to protect society, but rather to make criminals.

Don't get me wrong, there are some people who deserve to have the "sex offender" sign hung on them.  And some old guy who rapes a 12 year-old girl in a public restroom ought to just be hung, period, without bothering about a sign. 

But for the kids caught "sexting" and whatnot...hey, if it were any kid of mine, I'd smuggle them out of the country, help them get set up in some non-aligned country that doesn't kiss America's ass.  The system has run amok.

Offline Morven

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #48 on: October 22, 2009, 12:52:45 AM »
You have to keep in mind the purpose of the criminal "justice" system in America isn't to protect society, but rather to make criminals.

It's not even that, really; the purpose of the system is to perpetuate the system.  Everything else is subordinate to that.  It's pretty much inevitable, and it's the same with pretty much every part of government, really.

And other organizations; they have purposes, sure, but sooner or later the prime directive becomes "perpetuate and grow the organization".

Offline Kotah

Re: 14 year olds are Sex offenders?!
« Reply #49 on: October 22, 2009, 02:00:20 AM »
Quote
I do, however, think that the list should be limited to violent and non-con crimes.

o.o

I don't think a 17 year old that diddled his girlfriend should be on the list. Honestly, however, I want to know if someone is going to be around my 2 year old.

The system is made to perpetuate itself to keep people on the bottom, that goes throughout our entire system. I don't think people should be punished forever, but I am also not responsible for what from over reactive ding bat does. We move explicitly because a man that had rape three little girls was coming into our home, and messing around in my things. My girl things.

I also don't think everyone should be forgiven for everything just cause.

the law's obviously need to be rewritten, but having the list I think is pretty important. By law the land lord should have informed us before we even moved into the house, and he didn't.

I mostly agree with chaotic angel.