She Looked 14? That’s Your Defense?

An 11-year-old girl was raped, and the judge decided to sentence the two 21-year-old men who committed the crime to a much shorter sentence than is typical or recommended. Why? The two men claimed that the girl looked at least 14 and the judge believed the girl was a willing participant.

Um, what? Who the hell cares if she looked 14? She was 11. If you steal a painting because it looks like it’s just a copy, you’re no less guilty of stealing the real thing (I don’t particularly like this analogy because I seem to be comparing theft of a painting to rape of a human being, but I think it makes a decent point). If you push a girl into having sex with you because she looks 14, you’re no less guilty of pushing an 11-year-old into having sex with you.

Then there’s the issue that distinctions in age for girls going through puberty aren’t very clear cut – some 11-year-olds are more developed than some 14-year-olds. To say the 11-year-old “looked 14” only says you’re arbitrarily making age distinctions that shouldn’t have been a valid point in anyone’s eyes.

Children under the age of 16 cannot consent to sex according to the articles about this crime (the legal age of consent differs depending on where you are). Even if the girl had been 14, it wouldn’t matter. And are you really telling me that because a girl looked 14 and not 11, two 21-year-olds thought, “Well, it seems less disgusting because she’s 2 years away from consenting age, so let’s go ahead and statutorily rape her”?

As for the girl being a willing participant, it may help the girl in the long run psychologically, but the crime was statutory rape. As in, the victim could not legally consent. Two men ten years her senior convinced her to voluntarily submit to sex with both of them. Why does it matter if she consented or not? The whole point of statutory rape laws is that people under a certain age cannot be expected to make good, intelligent decisions regarding sex and that people over a certain age may very well take advantage of that. You know, like when a 21-year-old man convinces an 11-year-old that sex with him is a good idea?

And why on Earth did they record it? That is another thing I find quite disturbing. If they wanted to have some strange sexual experience (it sounds like the two men had sex with her simultaneously – one vaginally and one orally – but that might be a mistaken impression) with someone you know to be under the age of legal consent, why would you record your crime? Did they want to share they’re foray into raping a young girl with others? In the United States these men would have likely gotten in trouble for child pornography in addition to the statutory rape (at least I hope so – there’s no guarantee a judge here wouldn’t have done something just as stupid as the judge in this case, and I’m not trying to claim otherwise).

I’m so disgusted with this whole thing. I can’t even satisfactorily express my disgust. I realize this post reads like I’m ranting, and I am. Sometimes clear, well-argued writing just isn’t necessary. I really hope this bothers you as much as it bothers me.

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One thought on “She Looked 14? That’s Your Defense?

  1. Jimi says:

    Indeed it does bother me; beyond words. I can only hope this young girl gets the help she needs to overcome this event and lead a productive, healthy life.

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