Statuatory Rape: AKA Jailbate.

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Obi-Wan McCartney, Apr 6, 2002.

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  1. Duckman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2000
    star 4
    No, but it important that there at least be come consistency to the law. And maybe it's just me, but I think if everyone was brought up in a loving and tolerant environment we wouldn't even need these silly laws.
  2. Force of Nature Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 1999
    star 3
    I'm not familiar with USA law, which I understand varies from state to state, but in most of the UK (not Northern Ireland) the age of consent is 16. However, that doesn't mean that having sex with a willing 15 year old girl is considered statutory rape; that would only apply is she were under 13. This is because the Law Lords have ruled that the criterion of capacity to consent in law is not a matter of age, but of the ability of the person to understand what is involved in a particular transaction or procedure, which in turn involves a combination of maturity, intelligence and understanding; a 12 year old is not considered to be sufficiently mature to give informed consent. In practice, the nature of any charge to be pressed is decided on a case by case basis.
  3. Nunquam Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2000
    star 1
    No, but it important that there at least be come consistency to the law.

    Drawing a clearly defined line and saying, one side is legal and the other side is not, seems pretty clear and consistent to me.

    And maybe it's just me, but I think if everyone was brought up in a loving and tolerant environment we wouldn't even need these silly laws.

    If only. If only people weren't self-centered and uncaring.

    Re: the UK example. US judges probably have a similar kind of discretion in cases like you have described. Regardless, the bottom line is that it still goes to court in either country because of the age.

    US states differ because the country is large and diverse, and there is a tradition of independence for states (to a degree)...but they're united...united states... ;)
  4. Duckman Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2000
    star 4
    "Drawing a clearly defined line and saying, one side is legal and the other side is not, seems pretty clear and consistent to me. "

    But as I said, it's not clear and consistent, because the age limit varies from state to state.
  5. Nunquam Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2000
    star 1
    You mean just in case some guy has three or four underage girls in three or four different states, he won't be inconvenienced when he wants to have sex with them, or when he wants to transport them across state lines for sex? C'mon...

    What about all the other laws which differ from state-to-state, county-to-county, city-to-city...should they all be made consistent, too?

    There are regional differences in the country and the law accommodates them to one degree or another. But within each state, the line at "age of consent" would be clear.
  6. Force of Nature Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 1999
    star 3
    A lot of cases don't go to court. The intention behind the law is to protect young people from being exploited; if it's simply a matter of a boy and girl relationship, it may often be in no-one's best interests to prosecute. Obviously it's a different matter when there's a large age difference and/or if the older partner is an adult in a position of trust (say, for example, he's the girl's teacher); in fact, the law was amended not all that long ago to reflect the seriousness of such abuse of trust.
  7. RiggsWolfe Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2002
    star 2
    Well first off, statuatory rape is such a terrible name for this particular "offense". The word rape rightfully carries a certain weight and gravity, and attaching it to something like this demeans that word.

    I'm not sure what to call it, Sexual Acts w/a Minor, something like that.

    Secondly, I find the whole concept...pathetic. I've met 12 year olds who are more mature than most adults, and I've met adults who are less mature than your typical high school student. To abitrarily slap an age of consent on these things is silly. I feel the same way about drinking, in my state the drinking age is 21, but you can vote and serve in the army at 18. To me that's sad. You can take a bullet for your country, but you can't have a beer.

    Now, in this example, I suspect that the frat brother is about the maturity of the girl. He is morally wrong because he doesn't love her and is using her, but I don't believe he is morally wrong because of her age.

    That's my opinion for what it's worth.
  8. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Give me a break.

    For centuries girls were married off in their teens and then expected to procreate as soon as possible. This was in the laws back then, and now it's rape??

    I had a close friend who was dating a 16-year old at 21. Did I think he was wrong? Yes-because they ended up wanting different things and he was hurt when the relationship ended. We all saw this, he saw the opportunity for a young hottie that would idolize him. But I never thought of him as a rapist.

    The idea of statutory rape is nonsensical when you can have emancipated minors. Under certain conditions, the law says that you are competent to make legal decisions, yet I have met many young people who have met these conditions without being 'emancipated'. Our laws are sometimes strange.
  9. Nunquam Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2000
    star 1
    Well first off, statuatory rape is such a terrible name for this particular "offense".
    The word rape rightfully carries a certain weight and gravity


    That's the POINT...it carries weight and gravity to discourage people from molesting children but trying to shield it as "well, he/she is a mature 14-year-old and knew what he/she was doing." You don't think a 50-year-old, aggressive man could intimidate and manipulate a teenager?

    I'm not sure what to call it, Sexual Acts w/a Minor, something like that.

    Next we can change "first-degree murder" to "voluntarily making someone pass-away," and "stealing" to "displacing property indefinitely." This is the law we're talking about, not Hollywood Squares.

    I've met 12 year olds who are more mature than most adults, and I've met adults who are less mature...(snip)...To abitrarily slap an age of consent on these things is silly...

    You're saying your anecdotal evidence carries more weight than the experiences of those who made the laws, just because it fits into a neat little reverse relationship? Talk about arbitrary...

    Like I and others have said before in this thread, you have to draw a line somewhere, and the agents of the people (courts, elected officials) have done that for them. The majority of the population agrees, otherwise the law would change.

    If any of you have the bolas to stand outside a supermarket asking people to sign a petition to make sex totally legal between adults and minors, more power to you. (NAMBLA can probably offer you some pointers.)
  10. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    If any of you have the bolas to stand outside a supermarket asking people to sign a petition to make sex totally legal between adults and minors, more power to you.

    That would be downright stupid.

    That would make a couple that consisted of an 18 year old an a 17 year old technically unable to do anything sexual in nature (regardless if they were once both the same age, or spend part of each year as such).
  11. IAmTheDarkSide Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2002
    star 4
    I'm not sure what to call it, Sexual Acts w/a Minor, something like that.

    Next we can change "first-degree murder" to "voluntarily making someone pass-away," and "stealing" to "displacing property indefinitely." This is the law we're talking about, not Hollywood Squares.


    "You can call a turd a sandwich, but it still tastes lik3 $h!t."
  12. Nunquam Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2000
    star 1
    Give me a break...For centuries girls were married off in their teens and then expected to procreate as soon as possible. This was in the laws back then, and now it's rape??

    Slavery, genocide, torture and domestic violence have a pretty long history, too...because they existed for "centuries" does that mean we should make them legal again? Is that how you're going to measure good and bad, right and wrong?

    ...We all saw this, he saw the opportunity for a young hottie that would idolize him. But I never thought of him as a rapist.

    Perfect example of an adult taking advantage of the inexperience of a minor for his own gratification, sexual or otherwise. If you all "saw" it and thought it was wrong, did you say anything to him or her? You don't think that same thing could repeat in a more extreme situation, that no one would say anything?

    ...yet I have met many young people who have met these conditions without being 'emancipated'...

    There's a lot that goes into becoming "emancipated," they don't just hand that out like a flyer on a street corner.
  13. Nunquam Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2000
    star 1
    That would be downright stupid. That would make a couple that consisted of an 18 year old an a 17 year old technically unable to do anything sexual

    Oh! God forbid they wait a couple of months. (sigh) You point out one narrow exception to the rule that involves people who are close in age...is that reason enough to completly erase the laws protecting children from adults who want to use them for sexual gratification? Because I could technically get a ticket for driving 36mph in a 35mph zone, does that mean every speed limit is unjust, unfair and should be removed so I'm not inconvenienced?
  14. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Now think about that. Let's say these two people are both 17 years old for awhile, and then one day one of them turns 18 and the other is still 17 for a month or a few.

    Is it reasonable to expect people to change what they're doing in this case? Stop for awhile just because one of them became an "adult" in the eyes of the law while one of them was still a "minor" in those same eyes.

    You point out one narrow exception to the rule

    I have little doubt that I and others could come up with many more exceptions given a little time.

    Because I could technically get a ticket for driving 36mph in a 35mph zone, does that mean every speed limit is unjust

    Could you technically get a ticket in that case? Yes. However, almost no police officer would give such a ticket, for a variety of reasons. If they did, and if it became commonplace to do so, there would be problems. Using common sense is vital with anything, and avoiding sticking just to the letter of the law.

  15. son_of_the_tear Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 1999
    star 5
    Agaiun, it is not black and white.

    Like I said about my cousin in my earlier post. She was 16, he was 22 when they met and started dating.

    Fast forward to the present. Married, kids, both have careers and qre quite happy. So was he wrong? No. Not at all. And their parents consented, whihc was the important thing.

    But it is black and white, because each culture and religion sees things differently. And same thing around the world, like in many Euro or South American countries.

    Nothing is so simple, and I am sorry, I will not say that the Americans are the ones who are right in this and every other country or culture is wrong.

    There are limits though. If the age gap is too different and if the girl is under 16. I see a problem with a 16 year old girl dating a dude who is 25 or 30. But not a dude who is 21.

  16. Nunquam Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2000
    star 1
    Using common sense is vital with anything, and avoiding sticking just to the letter of the law.

    I agree, and common sense is probably what would be applied in the hair-splitting situation you described...but that doesn't mean that every other minor should be removed from the protection of the law.

    With regard to the 16yo-22yo who ended up in a happily-ever-after situation -- that's great and all of us should be as fortunate in life. However, it is not reason enough to remove the protection the law provides to so many other minors.
  17. Binary_Sunset Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 5
    My premise: Human nature doesn't change. Now consider the following:

    In Roman Catholicism, females can get married starting at age 14, males at age 16.

    In Eastern Orthodoxy, females can get married starting at age 12, males at age 14.

    In Islam, females can get married starting at age 9, males (I think) at age 15.

    In Judaism, age 13 is the age of adulthood for both sexes.

    In Anglo-Saxon Common Law, the age of consent is 10.

    Good and holy men and women throughout the ages have lived and thrived under the above norms. If anyone wants to say all the holy men of Christendom, Judaism, and Islam (as well as the founders of the nations of England and the USA) were a bunch of pedophiles, go right ahead. I, however, will make my stand with all of Western Civilization (whether Christian, Jewish, or Islamic) rather than with the parochial notions of contemporary society.
  18. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    but that doesn't mean that every other minor should be removed from the protection of the law.

    I agree.
  19. Nunquam Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2000
    star 1
    I certainly did not say the rest of the world is wrong or immoral, anywhere in any of my posts. In fact, I have pointed out several times that there are regional and historical differences. With that in mind, no society should base it's laws solely on the customs or histories of other societies...they must be based on their own values.

    We were talking about statutory rape, and I'm only familiar with it as it applies to the United States.
  20. Binary_Sunset Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 5
    Yes, Nunquam, but can you ignore that pertinence of Judaism, Christianity, and especially Anglo-Saxon Common Law for the USA? In fact, up until the early 1900s, the age of consent for both sexes in the USA was 10. That certainly is more in accordance with reality than the contemporary fantasy that teenagers are "children".
  21. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    I would venture to say that in times past, children matured faster and were more adult-like (in modern eyes, at least) at an earlier age than we have now.
  22. Binary_Sunset Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 5
    I disagree. That's why I premised my first post by stating my underlying assumption: Human nature does not change.
  23. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Human nature does not change. However, the rate in which that nature is developed and fully brought out can change, I believe.

    Not saying that it does, but that it is a possibility.
  24. Nunquam Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2000
    star 1
    ...can you ignore that pertinence of Judaism, Christianity, and especially Anglo-Saxon Common Law for the USA?

    No, of course not. But that's not the only determining factor in deciding right and wrong in 21st-century America.

    All three of those traditions allowed slavery and indentured servitude, the sale of children, stoning-to-death or mutilation for minor crimes, for example...we don't allow those things today, do we? Why would their "pertinence" mean repealing the law on statutory rape?
  25. Saint_of_Killers Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 5
    "in my state the drinking age is 21, but you can vote and serve in the army at 18. To me that's sad. You can take a bullet for your country, but you can't have a beer."

    Actually I think if you're in the military the drinking age is 18.

    "That's the POINT...it carries weight and gravity to discourage people from molesting children"

    There's a difference between molesting children and statutory 'rape'. Child molestation involves children, statutory 'rape' usually involves teenagers. And despite what you may think, teenagers are not children. They're not adults either, but they're somewhere between children and adults.

    "The majority of the population agrees, otherwise the law would change."

    I think alot of people might be scared to disagree for fear of being called perverts.
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