Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Hey Dirty Old Men Need Love Too

Sex between man, 40, and girl, 15, ruled not criminal
He didn't have position of trust or authority over her, judge says
Robert Koopmans, Kamloops Daily News
Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I think he is wrong. Of course, I did not sit through the trial and hear all the evidence. And no doubt the girl was very convincing - but then she would be, wouldn't she.

I have a nasty feeling too that old men - like judges - have a hard time remaining objective in cases like this, and I cannot help but wonder if the judge identified too closely with the accused. But I am also a father. And if I found out that my daughter had had a relationship with a man who had been her coach in any activity, I would be outraged too. And if his age were 19 or 49 I would be equally angry.

Authority maybe not, but trust absolutely. Would you let your teenaged daughter be put into a position like this with a man you could not trust? Was the trust of these parents abused - you betcha!

The precedent this decision sets is appalling. For many male coaches do have authority over young girls. They get to decide who bats first, who gets the ice time, who goes on the field trip, who goes on the overnight camp out.

I trust that this case will go to appeal


mo-NEEK-a said...

Down in some (if not most or all) of these States there are laws calling it rape if an adult has sexual relations with a minor (under 18 yrs). Then there is no question of authority figure or trust. It's just illegal. Period.
There are also some states that call it statutory rape when it is between two minors who are more than two years apart in age - that's a wee bit strict I think.
Then, of course, there are those few states that allow such inappropriate relationships (middle-aged coach and teenage daughter) if the minor's parents consent to it. That usually makes me a little nauseous.

Stephen Rees said...

I think the US policy of treating everyone below the age of 18 as incapable of consent is unrealistic. US lawmakers like in general to have things rigidly set out in black and white terms, with as little juridicial freedom as possible. In the world outside the courtroom, things are much more shades of grey.

The "victim" in this case had no wish to see the "rapist" prosecuted. But the law here is different to there. I just happen to disagree with this judge in this case. And I am an older man. But also a father. It is not nearly as straightforward as most State legislators like to believe.