Sunday, September 20, 2009

Links of the decidedly non-Awesome

--A Washington Post Editorial about what SWAT raids is here. Well worth reading.

--I find the prose here a little purple for my taste, but I have to say that the author's overall point, that if 13-to-15-year olds have a higher number of sexual assault offenses per capita than any other age group, then we have gotten to the point of defining sexual curiosity as a sexual assault, makes sense to me. The mugshots of kids and teenagers got to me too.

-I am, all things considered, pretty soft on crime. I'm not this soft on crime. I was skeptical of the legitimacy of this story at first (particularly since covering up your crime is often treated as evidence that you knew what you were doing was wrong, so I'm not sure how he even HAD an insanity defense, but then I don't know Washington state law,) but it does look like a real AP story.

-Oh, and the Rapture's coming tomorrow. I think I'm kind of down today because I would pretty much welcome it if only as a change of pace.

12 comments:

Joel Monka said...

At least I coud read the Rapture website without my reading glasses! I wonder if that means he was aiming at the 50+ demographic?

Comrade Kevin said...

Yet again, in jumping to conclusions and in trying a one-size-fits-all approach to prosecuting crime, we have completely forgotten that taking the time to have the facts in hand well before filing charges is probably the best solution. Even if it takes effort.

PG said...

Very purple. I'm not quite sure why the blogger felt certain that all of these kids had engaged merely in a bit of consensual "playing doctor" type sexual exploration with young people of their own age. Teenagers can be sexual predators against younger children too.

Chalicechick said...

Right, but if 13-to-15 year olds are beign busted at a MUCH higher rate than almost any other age group, then that does suggest that consensual sexual exploration might be part of the reason.

After all, how many cases of "teenage boyfriend and girlfriend take nudie pics together, end up being treated as kiddie porn producers" have you heard of?

I've heard of several.

CC

PG said...

Right, but if 13-to-15 year olds are beign busted at a MUCH higher rate than almost any other age group, then that does suggest that consensual sexual exploration might be part of the reason.

Maybe. To me it suggests that:
(a) people don't inherently worry about leaving kids of that age alone with younger kids, whereas all adult men are treated as potential child molesters.
(b) kids that age are stupid and don't know or don't think about legal consequences (there's been research about brain development to back this up).

Incidentally, I thought it was odd that almost none of the pictures in the blog post depicted non-white children. Not to mention the absence of links or other sources to back the assertions being made.

After all, how many cases of "teenage boyfriend and girlfriend take nudie pics together, end up being treated as kiddie porn producers" have you heard of?

I've heard of several.


I've heard of very few that didn't involve one or both of them disseminating those pics to a broader audience that would in turn be potentially subject to prosecution for possessing such images. If we're going to have strict liability for possession of child pornography, then I think we should prosecute those who disseminate such images for doing so, even if they are themselves underage.

Also, I'm trying to think of one of those cases that resulted in the minor who is pictured in the image actually either pleading to or being found guilty of a charge that resulted in lifelong sex offender status.

Chalicechick said...

(((Also, I'm trying to think of one of those cases that resulted in the minor who is pictured in the image actually either pleading to or being found guilty of a charge that resulted in lifelong sex offender status.))))

Well, I wrote like five days ago about the minor marrying her photographer. Being married to a sex offender has most of the disadvantages of actually being one. But I know that's not what you're talking about.

Since everyone knows that sex offender laws are applied in batshit crazy ways they make a great threat.
My impression is that threats of the sex offender registry are usually used to bully people into pleading.

This prosecutor, who is threatening to charge an eleven year old, but hasn't done so yet is a good example. I hope the ACLU wins their lawsuit against him because: "Before showing the photos, Mr. Skumanick explained his offer to the crowd, answering one father's question affirmatively, that -- yes -- a girl in a bathing suit could be subjected to criminal charges because she was posed "provocatively."" describes a man who needs to be stopped.

My brother, who is a total shit I will be the first to admit, but who did get jail time for having a years-old picture of his friend and his friend's girlfriend on his computer. The friend had put it there when he was using my brother's printer to print an anniversary gift for the girlfriend*. Prosecutors also threatened my brother into a plea using the sex offender registry as a threat. Again, that's not what you're talking about but I thought it was close enough to bear mentioning.

More to the point, Prosecutors want to put this girl on the sex offender registry, but again, this might be a ploy to get her to plea.

Note also that the girl above (who could probably use some psychological help, I concede) was disseminating photos of herself and my impression from the article is that she didn't exactly only send them to people who asked. So under the typical strict liability approach, if this girl thought you were cute and sent you a picture of her naked self, then you're a sex offender too merely by virtue of owning a phone that received the picture.

So yeah, I'd say that the criminalization of plain old teenage exploration is a very real thing.

CC

*I don't remember the exact number of pornographic pictures the cops found on my brother's computer and how many were allegedly of girls that were too young, but the ratio was something like 500:6

PG said...

"So yeah, I'd say that the criminalization of plain old teenage exploration is a very real thing. "

All of your examples seem to involve digital photography. Maybe we East Texans were just behind the times, but when I was growing up and kids in my neighborhood were playing "show me yours and I'll show you mine," there was not the option of using a cellphone to capture the memory.

I wouldn't see much of a problem with this absent strict liability for the people who end up receiving any of these images, but again, so long as that's the rule, then teenagers should have to face consequences for dissemination (though not creation or possession) of such images.

Are there any examples of what the blogger in the post you linked is claiming, which is that the ol' fashioned sexual exploration stuff is getting criminalized?

Also, the Reading PA guy doesn't seem all that sympathetic.

Cerulean said...

Sexual assault, is one of those crimes that brands the accused for life, and is very difficult to defend against. It's one area where the accusation is just as strong as a conviction.

Is there a process of reforming "sexual predators", to remove them from watch lists and bahavior monitors? Is there an exit for those virtuous enough to clean up?

PG said...

"It's one area where the accusation is just as strong as a conviction."

Really? So you think people believe Clinton to be a rapist just as strongly as they would believe it had he been convicted of the crime?

ms. kitty said...

By the way, the WA thing is true. We're all appalled. He was caught and apparently didn't do anything awful while he was on the loose.

Chalicechick said...

(((Also, the Reading PA guy doesn't seem all that sympathetic.)))

His seventeen-year-old girlfriend gets him to provide alcohol to her friends and somebody takes pictures of two couples (guy and girlfriend and two underage girls) canoodling. If he actually had sex with one of the younger girls, no one has said so and my impression is that it wasn't captured on film.

As a result, under Megan's law, the police will keep tabs on him for the rest of his life. His address, photograph, a rough description of where he works and any college or university where he might take classes will always be available on the internet. Depending on the state where he ends up living, he might have almost nowhere that he can legally live, a situation has lead to people complaining that sex offenders are "clustering" in the few places in some states where they can live.

As I wrote in the comments of the page you linked to, this guy is an idiot by even the relatively low standards I set for 23-year-olds who are dating 17-year-olds. At the same time, I really don't see this idiot as a danger to society or deserving of this punishment for the rest of his life.

So yeah, I have a great deal of sympathy for him still.

(((Girlfriend swears she took the photos and made a photo album of them and then gave it to him.))

For all of people's perhaps justified skepticism, this sounds like EXACTLY the sort of thing 17-year-old CC would have thought was a good idea. I was an idiot, but I was a sexy idiot.

(((Are there any examples of what the blogger in the post you linked is claiming, which is that the ol' fashioned sexual exploration stuff is getting criminalized?)))

I would think that in cases of old-fashioned sexual exploration, if neither side had a problem with what had occurred, nobody would go to the police.

That said, it depends on how you define "exploration." If oral sex counts there are lots of cases of consensual oral sex between 15-year-olds and 17-year-olds. The story I linked to yesterday where the woman who sucked off a not-yet-sixteen-year-old boyfriend when she was 17 and is twelve years later fighting to keep her house seems like a good example.

I find Genarlow Wilson's story a little hinky, but if he's telling the truth, he's a good example.

CC

Chalicechick said...

(((Is there a process of reforming "sexual predators", to remove them from watch lists and bahavior monitors? Is there an exit for those virtuous enough to clean up?)))


Short answer: No.

And that's partially justified in that the recidivism rate for rape is huge and I don't think anyone has come up with a treatment that works as even castration doesn't stop some people. I don't think that's true for all sexual crimes, though.

CC