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Statutory Rape Charges in Hadley case are wrong - Boston Globe OpEd

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by PatriotsReign, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    Well, that's what one of the most liberal papers in the US believes.

    Statutory-rape laws misused in bullying case - The Boston Globe

    "More controversial, however, is the route Scheibel’s office is taking to attain some small amount of justice for Prince and her family. As a recent Globe article noted, there are no statutes outlawing bullying, so Scheibel is relying on a mélange of related laws that deal with stalking, civil-rights matters, and statutory rape. The torment Prince suffered may well involve violations of the stalking and civil-rights laws, though establishing that in court could be difficult, some experts say.

    These charges were filed against two teenagers who, authorities say, had sexual relations with Prince: Sean Mulveyhill, 17 and Austin Renaud, 18. Renaud doesn’t face any related charges. That suggests a lack of evidence that he was involved in the bullying. He is being charged only for having sex with Prince. In neither defendant’s case are authorities suggesting that the sex was forcible.

    But in the real world, teenagers frequently have consensual sex with other teenagers. That fact may be worrisome to parents, but the existing law raises a simple question: Should a 17-year-old face the possibility of jail time — and of being publicly branded as a sex offender — for having sex with a 15-year-old classmate? Apply the situation to your own town: Would you be comfortable if an otherwise sterling junior was thrown in jail for having sex with an otherwise sterling freshman?
    "
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  2. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    An editorial is an opinion, does not make it right.. keep googling though might find something else...

    People are tried in court systems, not the newspaper...

    I believe that the Globe supported Health Care, but your reasoning it is good thing..
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  3. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    The name of this board is "Political Discussion" which implies OPINION. This board is all about "OPINION", not facts.

    I personally haven't stated my opinion on this. I just posted the Boston Globe's opinion....nothing more or less.

    What is YOUR opinion on selective prosecution Darryl?
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  4. chicowalker

    chicowalker Rookie

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    "...The statutory-rape law should be either aggressively utilized or modified to bring it in line with reality; sex between a 17-year-old and a 15-year-old should be a crime, or it shouldn’t. I’d argue that it shouldn’t, but at the very least this is a debate that needs to happen."

    Particularly curious to hear Darryl of PatsfaninVa's thoughts on the conclusion of the editorial.
  5. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    What's more curious are cases involving one-year gaps 17/18, 16/17, and particularly ones in which the female is the older party. I'm all for protecting young folks from becoming sexualized too early (I have a daughter myself), though I wonder how selectively the laws are applied. I would think probably less than a miniscule fraction of a percentage of all such relations ever result in prosecution (due to lack of discovery or pressing of charges), and still less result in conviction.

    In other words, the protests over the presence of these laws is probably overblown given their sporadic (at best) application. The good they do in protecting younger people outweighs the probably very rare instances when the prosecution of a case is of debatable suitability.
  6. chicowalker

    chicowalker Rookie

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    How much good do you they think they do in terms of protecting anybody (including cases with a 1 year gap, as you noted)? Does that really balance out the cases where somebody is questionably prosecuted (not to mention the mere existence of laws that are intended only to be enforced selectively -- since people clearly have different opinions over whether that's a bad thing)?

    I assume a lot of this goes to one's view of government and the criminal justice system. Do you trust the government (including prosecutors and police)? Do you want a criminal justice system that outlaws things that many people don't view as a crime and that could strip innocent (again, in the eyes of many) people of their rights?
  7. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #91 Jersey

    As a kid i knew that 16 years old and under = jail bait. In Mass. even if the sex is consentual a 16 year old is considered to young to make an informed decesion. These two boys won't get any jail time but it will be on their records. These kids thought they were untouchable, that they ruled the school, so just getting them in court is quite a big deal to most people here. Besides since these kids called P.Prince and "Irish" slut its considered discrimination a federal offense i believe, id have to go back and read exactly what was said about it.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  8. chicowalker

    chicowalker Rookie

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    When I was in high school there was no thought of "jail bait" -- we were all kids.

    After high school, sure, at least for new relationships -- again, there was no discussion of it (that I recall, anyway) when we were freshmen and somebody had a girlfriend or boyfriend (though that was less common, obviously) back home still at school. Starting to date a high school senior, on the other hand, was viewed as questionable -- but more in terms of it being pathetic than criminal or immoral. (But let's not kid ourselves -- as a freshman college guy, that left you with a pretty narrow window -- basically your pool was freshman girls, since most non-freshman girls weren't dating freshman guys, yet you were still "competing" for those girls with the upperclassman guys, who they generally preferred.)
  9. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #91 Jersey

    I remember when i was a senior in HS, another senior was arrested for statuatory rape, he was 18 the girl was 15 or 16. The case went to court he was convicted but never did any jail time...he became the laughing stock of the senior class not only because he was arrested and convicted but that he was viewed as being really pathetic. If these two kids are convicted they won't do jail time, people here would be satisfied it they had a record and it hindered they're ability to get into a good school.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  10. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    But the fact of the matter is, if they are to be prosecuted, then all such sexual encounters between teens who are 16 or over with those that are under 16 must be prosecuted.

    When I was in high school, it was fine for a junior or senior to be dating a sophomore...as a matter of fact, it was very, very common. Sophomore and freshman girls and boys LOVE dating seniors. It just so happens the senior is typically the boy.

    I never thought about the age of the girl I was with in high school. As long as we were both in high school, it was fair game.

    Apparently the Boston Globe agrees.
  11. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    No, apparently the writer of the op-ed piece agrees. There's a difference between an editorial and an op-ed article. Editorials reflect the views of the newspaper - op-ed articles represent one individual writer's view.

    This is the Globe's policy on both:

    Editorials represent the official view of the Boston Globe as a community institution, which is why they aren't signed by individual writers. The editorial board of the Globe consists of eight members, each with his or her own area of expertise (foreign affairs, education, health care, etc.). Members meet daily and determine editorial direction, priorities, and how to respond to breaking news. Each member conducts independent research and often the whole board gathers for briefings with policymakers, advocates, or academic experts on a topic before reaching a position. The publisher of the newspaper, Christopher Mayer, reserves the right to veto an editorial and usually determines political endorsements for high office, working in consultation with Peter S. Canellos, editor of the editorial page.

    Op-Eds (literally, opposite the editorial page) represent the views of individual columnists or writers. Unlike the editorial page, this page is designed to present a broad array of views from Globe staff columnists and members of Greater Boston. The Globe's five columnists are not members of the editorial board and function independently. Marjorie Pritchard is editor of this page and receives hundreds of unsolicited manuscripts a week.


    Boston.com - Op-ed - Globe
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  12. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

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    There you go MrsP! Is that ok now?
  13. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    I already acknowledged that there are matters to consider when a one year gap exists. I think you missed my point. My point was that the wider problems with the law have not come home to roost because there hasn't been aggressive enforcement of the law. Were that to happen, then we might have a problem. As it turns out, it appears the general rule of thumb for enforcement is in cases where greater crimes were committed or if parents want to press charges. That being the case, you're going to be hard pressed to see the law change.

    I notice you've been eager to shoot down differing opinions on this issue, so what's your stance? Should it be legal for an 18 year old male to have sexual relations with a 13 year old? If not, what's the threshold? Should people of any age be able to have sexual relations with anyone else regardless of age?

    Like speed limits, guns, marijuana, Cuban cigars, gay marriage, and all of the other things out there? No one is saying it's perfect.
  14. chicowalker

    chicowalker Rookie

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    I was asking your opinions -- not saying that you were wrong.

    I understood your point about there not being widespread issues due to prosecutions. My question was whether the good from statutory rape laws w/o any accounting for teens close in age really does outweigh the relatively few questionable prosecutions.

    My own view is that of course there should be statutory rape laws. I've never suggested otherwise. I just think they need to have accommdations for teens who are close in age. I'm not sure where the line should be -- I doubt there's a "correct" answer. My first inclination would be that a 2-3 year gap is acceptable. 18 and 13 is not, imo. But I'm not a child development expert. As I mentioned in a priorcresponse to Darryl, I think the law should be based on some form of scientific / psychological evidence regarding typical development at various ages.

  15. chicowalker

    chicowalker Rookie

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    Ot: btw, yes, I also think many of those other laws are bad laws -- marijuana, gay marriage and Cuban cigars all should be legal. Speed limits, while imperfect, make sense -- they protect people from other people and convey information.
  16. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    I don't have an answer on that. It's a conundrum in my mind.

    I also apologize for misunderstanding your previous post.

    Unfortunately, I think any study in this realm will be politicized to the point of being useless.

    Agree except on speed limits. Though I'm a bit of a leadfoot who loved his time on the Autobahn, so I wouldn't say I have a balanced perspective. :D
  17. chicowalker

    chicowalker Rookie

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    IT: Id be good w/o speed limits on highways. ( that's actually a nice thing in LA -- when traffic permits, 80+ is OK on the highway. Of course, I'm sure they'd ticket at some of the speeds I hit -- I'm a leadfoot as well when I think it's safe). It's in towns and residential areas where I believe they are needed, despite their many flaws.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  18. efin98

    efin98 Rookie

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    A whole lot of hubbub over statutory rape charges but anyone considering that this is just simple case of using that charge to as bait to turn the guys against the girls in order to save their own skin?

    If they really wanted to prosecute the guys for statutory rape they would have dozens of the guys and girls at school up on charges- this is a targeted use of the charge, the guys will turn witness and go against the girls and the charges will disappear.


    And by the way- it's an election year for all of Massachusetts' DAs so going overboard on charges looks good for the DA in November especially if it gets convictions and guilty pleas in the process :rolleyes:
  19. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You do not have to state your opinion it is obvious.. and quite clear. The reality is that somehow this has morphed into a right vs. left issue. It is not that at all.

    If you were to take a poll of parents who had teenager daughters in school they would support this prosecution as some type of example. If you have ever had children who were bullied and ostracized, or had the same experience themselves they would also support this as well. There are no political boundaries amongst this group, it is an issue which effects many teenage girls.. as they are not a group of people put on this earth as targets, pieces of A.., for jocks... but in this topsy turvy world, there are some who view what happened as an ok thing as it is just another notch in these boys belts.. collateral damage on the road to becoming men.

    This is a pro life issue, a young girl who was taken advantage of by the local jocks.. then kiss and tell.. and then triangled into conflict with their "girlfriends" who was tormented until she killed herself.. to some it is collateral damage.. to others it is avoidable.. the school is as responsible as they did not address the issue forcefully, all that knew and did not do anything about it should be fired.. this will make a great civil suit.

    I agree with what is going on legally asher life was caught short by this injustice committed by her peers.. justice usually takes its course... if it has no merit or is "selective" as you seem to contend a jury of peers will decide...

    As far as selective prosecution goes, it happens all the time, is drunk driving not a crime if you are not caught?? If you are caught drinking while driving, cannot use the defense that it is selective or everybody else does it. Statutory Rape happens quite often, and in many occasions there is no obvious harm, and no foul so no prosecution, but many times the early sexualization of girls leads to a whole host of issues that they have to contend with through their lives.. don 't minimize it or look through it entirely through male eye glasses.

    Most of this stuff is about power and not about sex, anyone who was brought up in a male world understands conquest and the associated bravado, but sadly very few realize the impact of their behavior on young women who are probably not ready to be "used" sexually in this type of relationship.. they are much more than "semen receptacles" or notches on someone's belt or idle locker room innuendo...
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  20. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Yep, I like that: the German model.

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