Monday, May 20, 2013

Well it is Equal Treatment Under the Law

If a 18 year old boy had sex with a girl between 12 and 16 years of age it is not statutory rape but it violates the following Florida Law.

Florida Statute Title XLVI Crimes Chapter 800 Lewdness; Indecent Exposure - 800.04 Lewd or Lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age: This law makes it a felony of the second degree for "A person" 18 or older, to engage in sexual activity with a person 12 years of age or older, but less than 16 years of age.

Florida defines anyone as a minor under the age of 18 and an adult above the age of 24 so I guess someone between 18-24 is in limbo somehow. There is currently a case in Florida involving an 18 year old girl and a 15 year old girl who had consensual sex that started when the older girl was 17 and the younger girl 14 and when the 17 year old girl turned 18 she was charged with two counts of violating the above statute which is a felony and in most states would be considered statutory rape but not in Florida.

As the old parable goes "Ignorance of the Law" is not an excuse or a legal defense. In the following Huffing-ton Post article it is quite clear that at least the Post thinks this was just plain fine because it was a "same sex" relationship which of courses negates any violation of the law because the 18 year old deserves a break because after all she is a lesbian.

I can just imagine the complete outrage if this was an 18 year old boy that had sex with a 15 year old girl and the 15 year old girl's family pressed charges. Activists would be screaming for the head of the young boy because "Ignorance of the Law" is not a defense and besides this is a "male rape culture" and we all know it.

Of course the older girl's parents miss the entire point of the law which is to protect children from 12-16 from being taken advantage of by an older student and in an obligatory comment the older girl's parents scream they are only doing it because my daughter is gay and they are claiming my daughter turned their daughter gay. Sorry but that pile of crap went out with the bathwater because Kate, your daughter, violated the above statute.

Wait a second, maybe we should repeal that statute and give every male from 18-24 a free shot at every girl in Florida in the age group 12-16. How about doing that? I don't think so!!

Kate's family of course is claiming the now 15 year old girl's family supported the relationship between the 14 and 17 year old but turned on them when Kate turned 18. If Kate's parents knew they were having "consensual sex" and did nothing about it then they qualify for the "bonehead" parents of the year award. As for the younger girl's parents it is all conjecture whether they knew or did not know or whether they sere initially okay with the "consensual sex" or not. Maybe they were liberated parents and okay with their daughter having a "non sexual" relationship but just because their daughter could not get "pregnant" does not release Kate from the simple fact she took advantage of a minor as described in the above Florida Statute.

To be blunt this is a clear case of treatment under the Law by the State of Florida. Many young men have been tried under this law and have supposedly had their "lives" ruined and it seems like again people are siding with the perpetrator and not the victim. Put simply, the victim does not have to admit they are a victim to be a victim in this case. would any of those screaming about this be doing the same if it was an 18 year old male and a 15 year old girl? They certainly would but those supporting Kate would be screaming to hang the little bastard!

I can only come to the conclusion that some think lesbian and gay relationships are somehow above the law or better yet should have "special" laws just for them because their situations are special. Sorry but you are dead wrong. True equality means you are treated under the law the same way. would you like a list of the young males whose lives have been supposedly "ruined" by being prosecuted under this law? I am betting not because this is different in your mind. It is not.

Kate took advantage of a younger girl and had sex with her which violates the above statute. She admitted it and claims it was consensual. Lord, that sure does sound like a man screaming she wanted it as bad as I did. Would you feel the same if am 18 year old boy was diddling a 12 year old boy? I think so and in fact I know you would unless you are a card carrying member of NAMBLA.

The following quite was taken from the above article.

"These people never came to us as parents, never tried to speak to us... and tell us they had a problem with the girls dating," Kaitlyn Hunt's mother, Kelley Hunt-Smith, wrote in an statement posted to Facebook. "...They were out to destroy my daughter. [They] feel like my daughter 'made' their daughter gay."

They probably didn't have any trouble with them dating until the "sex" began but then lesbian consensual sex deserves to be treated differently than "consensual gay sex or consensual heterosexual sex. The only thing I can say to that is bullshit but then I believe in equal treatment under the law so equality rules.

How many young black males have had their lives altered forever because they were in a black-white love affair in Florida just like this except it was heterosexual? I can think of so many it is sickening and sadly many times the sex never occurred but if it did they violated the law. One could rewrite the law but how do you?

The simple truth is Kate had a relationship with a 15 year old girl when she was 18 which violated a Florida Statute and she was caught and is being prosecuted will be treated exactly the same as all the boys that did the same thing with girls who are or were underage.

The simple truth was as long as Kate was under 18 she was reasonably safe from prosecution and once her girlfriend reached 16 she would have been free from prosecution. The law was meant to protect younger and impressionable kids from being taken advantage of by older and more aware people. Do I feel sympathy for Kate? Of course I do but it is the same sympathy I would feel for anyone that made such a silly mistake but ignorance is not an excuse but maybe it is if you are a lesbian.

This was only prosecuted because the underage child's parents pushed the issue with the police which was their right. It was public knowledge they were dating but the key here is the age difference and the simple truth even if it is selective prosecution in a way it is the right of the parents to do so under Florida law and if the Prosecutor failed to do his job he would leave others open to abuse in a more heinous form.

A 14 year old girl is extremely vulnerable because she is becoming aware of herself and she is easy prey for a sly smile from an older boy or in this case an older girl. I believe the young girl was a freshman or a 9th grader and to be blunt no senior should go near her. The claims by Kate's parents that both families knew they were dating is credible but it was Kate's responsibility to be the adult and not have sex. Yes I know it is not easy and kids are doing it all the time but the kids are not 18 and 15 or 17 and 14 when they started because no parent with an iota of common sense would allow that and Kate's parents seem oblivious to the fact what her daughter did was illegal.

Florida does have a Romeo and Juliet law which could aid Kate in both prosecution and sentencing and could keep her off the sex registry which is important. The ambiguity of the Lewd and Lascivious law is quite broad and actual physical sex is not required to be in violation so that may or may not be relevant.

It is not selective prosecution because the Prosecutor is obligated by Law when notified of such wrong doing by a parent to do his job. There are some serious contradictions in the story. why would the underage child's parents supposedly allow them to date and then suddenly press charges? Is there such as thing as sudden homophobia?  The other question is a little uglier and it involves Kate. Did Kate decide to take it to actual sex and did the underage child object after the fact?

Sometimes equality brings about some rights people do not want and this is the case here. Where is the outrage one would read about if this was a boy supposedly taking advantage of a young girl? Anyone that says anything is immediately a hater which is kind of odd since it is not the same for a heterosexual version of this kind of case.

Equality for gays and lesbians is very important and sometimes it means you get caught in the backlash of laws meant to protect the young from predatory advancements even when they are not predatory. We can not have it both ways where gays and lesbians are equal under the law only when they want to be equal under the law.

Even though I personally believe this is a silly prosecution it is a violation of the law by a stupid 18 year old who I am sure meant zero harm like every young man prosecuted by the same law that had their lives ruined for violation of this law. Sometimes being equal means getting screwed by the law like the rest of society and sometimes it means you get prosecuted like every one else that had charges brought against them in this kind of situation.

It is equal treatment under the law and sometimes the law hurts. Let us hope cooler heads rule and Kate gets a break but if cooler heads do not rule Kate made the mistake and in this case the law is blind to one's sex or sexual preference which is good almost all of the time unless of course one believes they are special and above the law.


Kathryn Dumke said...

Not having all of the facts it is difficult to properly assess what really took place.

It appears that the relationship began when both were minors, one 17 and one 15. They were dating which was known to both sets of parents. The extent of "sexual" activity is really unknown but under the statute activities such as kissing, petting and touching are included. When the older girl turned 18 she was arrested.

My problem with this case is, that the day before her 18th birthday their activities were legal, the after they were a felony.

It would appear under the law, that the older was obliged to break up with her girlfriend to ensure she would not run afoul of the law.

In my view that is a bizarre outcome.

Van Buren said...

As far as I'm concerned, if you're old enough to be having sex with young girls (be you male OR female) then you SHOULD be old enough to understand that actions have consequences, don't worry about the law, if she was male she may have got the young girl pregnant and then the consequences for her own life may/would have been much more severe and longer lasting, she's getting off easy (regardless of what happens) if you ask me.

That said, do I blame Kate for her own stupidity? Not at all! If her mother is old enough to have an 18 y/o daughter and yet STILL hasnt learned the lesson in life that women don't get "excuses", then what chance did Kate ever really have?

Anonymous said...

There are any number of reasons that prosecutions occur in the Romeo and Juliet cases, but the simple fact remains that it is an affirmative defense that must be raised at trial in most jurisdictions.

The article makes it appear as though there has always been a three-year difference in ages between the two, but the other unfortunate reality is that the law DOES distinguish between 17 years 364 days and 18 years, zero days and kids today (more than ever before) KNOW that. I've had clients who indicated that their conduct stopped at a precise point where the rules of the legal sandbox changed.

I do feel sorry for both kids though because inevitably, both of them will carry a stigma...the 18yo much more so because of the near-permanence of both the original arrest being in the records as well as the digital retention on the web of the mugshot(s). And, if there is any sort of a disposition (even a deferred adjudication), then registration permanently etches them into the memory of the viewable interwebz. The general public does not distinguish between Aunt or Uncle Creepy as compared to a Romeo and Juliet case- they lump all sex offenders in as pedophiles for the purposes of denial of housing or employment or other similar issues despite the fact that there is a VERY large difference between a R/J case as contrasted with (as an example) the serial sex offenders like Witherspoon (the TX case) that SHOULD be cause for concern when they are in your midst.

Deena said...

This will be interesting to follow.

Rosenkreuz said...

The thing is that laws like this essentially give parents the ability to use the power of the State to threaten any potential romantic partner of their child with arrest, assuming your district attorney is sympathetic enough. They don't even have to be legal adults, which is only the most outrageous thing, they just have to be within spitting distance of 18, and the parents can sic the cops on them once they hit that age, whether they're having sex or not.

Also it's illegal for people in states without R/J provisions under the age of consent to have sex with ANYONE, regardless of age (and teens have been arrested for having sex with each other)

Elizabeth said...


The law is there to protect younger children from being prey to predators. This is one of those odd cases that slips between the cracks and may or may not be exploitation of someone 3 years younger.

Boys in Florida have been tried and convicted under this statute and the problem here is nobody really knows what went on other than what the mother of Kate has said. There are two sides to this story and the point of this post was and is that the protesters want equality except when it is inconvenient for them. It does not work that way and under the law she is guilty and she has publicly admitted her guilt which is not very bright.

Are the parents of the minor persecuting Kate because they are homophobic? Nobody will know until the trial and that assumes there is one. The simple truth is Kate should have known better than to date someone so much younger than her and for a young girl, 14 initially, struggling with her sexuality can be a difficult thing to deal with and maybe, just maybe Kate took advantage.

Equal rights also means equal prosecution for the violation of the same laws used on heterosexual couples unless of course they only want equality when it is convenient for them.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Elizabeth on this one. This will be interesting to see the outcome of all this.


Rosenkreuz said...

17 and 15 is not so much of an age difference difference on paper. That's as low as a single grade level apart depending on birthdays. Not that it applies to this case but but it's just not a huge age difference.

Maybe my perspective is skewed because high school is a relatively recent experience for me but a senior and a sophomore or a junior and freshman was not unusual by any stretch. A few girls in my graduating class dated guys in college. A few eyebrows might go up if it was senior and freshman though.

I agree that the people protesting this wouldn't bat an eye if the older girl was a boy, but the law itself is flawed because prosecuting teenagers for dating teenagers is not the spirit of the law by any means. Sure a 17 year old girl can exploit a 15 year old girl but so can a 15 year old girl.

Elizabeth said...


Just to be accurate there was always a 3 year age difference. It is 17-14 and then 18-15 although I am sure there is some overlap.

At that age 3 years is a big difference in maturity. Not that I don't believe it is a little silly since I am sure 18 years old are probably having sex, or were before this with technically underage girls.

oatc said...

I'm pretty sure you have written that you were desperate for sex long before you were 16, Elizabeth.

Don't you find it at all "off" that this, just turned 18-year-old was expelled from High School before any trial, and was being offered such a tough plea-bargain that would not only have ruined her employment and housing prospects for life, but, by keeping her in house arrest for two years would end her education? All for a consensual, and loving relationship that may not even have been physical.

If not, maybe you still need to do more work on your homophobia, dearest.

Your lesbian sister.

Elizabeth said...


How is pointing out this situation homophobic? Equality means equal persecution under the law unfortunately and that has happened in Florida to young males that are Hispanic, black, and yes white.

Yes I was interested in sex but only if I was a girl so that was a no-go and my boyfriend would have run for the city if he saw that thing. Nobody really knows what went on here because we are hearing just one side of the story.

I hope for Kate's sake it is as she states it is and cooler heads will decide this is silly but she did violate the law but I do have a question if she violated the law after she turned 18. If she only violated it before she turned 18 it is a different case.

This is certainly not a case where it was unknown they were dating but it might have been unknown to the minor's parents. Kate was expelled from High School like males were under this law so I do not understand why the chagrin over that?

The fact it may not have been physical is important and that will come out in time. I see zero reason why they should not date openly and if she is being prosecuted and no physical sex happened then the case is bullshit and she is being persecuted.

I have a question though. What if Kate attempted to force herself on the younger girl sexually and was rebuffed and carried on? How is that different from a boy doing the same thing?

Because this was a lesbian relationship does not make it above the law or a special case in law. For equality it must be treated similarly and that was the point of the post. If you disagree then I would suggest you look in the mirror and reevaluate where you are coming from.

Personally I hope for Kate's sake it goes away and was just a silly mistake or over reaction by the young girl's parents. Let the facts come out just the way they would come out if Kate was a boy or do you consider that unfair?

Anonymous said...

Many U.S. states, including my own, exempt teens from being charged under statutory rape laws if they are within four or five years in age of the alleged victim's age. These clauses are referred to as "Romeo and Juliet clauses" because in Shakespeare's play Juliet was fourteen and Romeo was a few years older. I don't understand why any state would criminalize teenaged sexual experimentation as long as there is no evidence of another crime (no coercion, force, plying the younger child with drugs or alcohol, prostitution, etc.) I waited until I was 16 to have sex but I was perfectly willing and eager at 14 and waited only because I didn't have the right opportunity (someone safe that I really loved) and I feared my father would kill any young man who tried it with me. I think teen experimenting is worlds apart from some pervy 27-year-old divorced guy hitting on 14-year-old girls. Honestly, as a woman and great-auntie, I do think this case is a situation where the Florida laws are wrong.