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Sex and crimes

This is a page from the original version of Pagan Vigil. There are some formatting differences.

Originally published at www.paganvigil.com/C1163190915/E20081202135353


Sex and crimes


Another slippery slope and the people who get crushed

Because I am a naturist constantly looking over my shoulder, articles about "sex offenders" get my attention. Because my own sexual tastes are a little spicy, it's hard to see what the fuss is in most cases. And because my own grandmother married pretty young and I grew up next to the Diné (with a fairly high teenage pregnancy rate), maybe I overlook a little teenage experimentation.

Unfortunately, the law does not.

When Ricky was 16, he went to a teen club and met a girl named Amanda, who said she was the same age. They hit it off and were eventually having sex. At the time Ricky thought it was a pretty normal high school romance.

Two years later, Ricky is a registered sex offender, and his life is destroyed.

Amanda turned out to be 13. Ricky was arrested, tried as an adult, and pleaded guilty to the charge of lascivious acts with a child, which is a class D felony in Iowa. It is not disputed that the sex was consensual, but intercourse with a 13-year-old is illegal in Iowa.

Ricky was sentenced to two years probation and 10 years on the Iowa online sex offender registry. Ricky and his family have since moved to Oklahoma, where he will remain on the state’s public registry for life.

Being labeled a sex offender has completely changed Ricky’s life, leading him to be kicked out of high school, thrown out of parks, taunted by neighbors, harassed by strangers, and unable to live within 2,000 feet of a school, day-care center or park. He is prohibited from going to the movies or mall with friends because it would require crossing state borders, which he cannot do without permission from his probation officer. One of Ricky’s neighbors called the cops on him, yelled and cursed at him, and videotaped him every time he stepped outside, Ricky said.

I've written before about people getting caught in the "sex offender" label.

Yes I think children and adults should be protected against the sexual predators who threaten them.

But not every sex crime makes a predator.

And not everything that is labeled a sex crime should be a crime.

I'm beginning to think that the "sexual offender" label is one of those politically correct bits that has gone horribly wrong, like "hate crimes."

Now I will agree that non-consensual sex is a crime. But you know something? We already have laws on the books for that. It's called rape.

Beyond that, we move to shaky ground.

Even assuming for the moment that nudity equals sex and should therefore be forbidden outside the bedroom (something I certainly DO NOT agree with), where do you draw the line? A mother breast-feeding an infant? Taking a whiz on a long hike? A portly man in an ill-fitting Speedo?

Even if you concentrate on the purely sexual, it's still shaky. How does a teacher deal with a second grader who masturbates if they aren't allowed to talk about sex? How does a parent deal with their teenager having sex? Should the law recognize a difference between dinner with dancing and prostitution?

And here's the biggy. If the State is deciding the morality of sex, does that mean only one man and one woman at a time?

Don't laugh, the history of "sex crimes" includes every one of those and many, many more.

Posted: Tue - December 2, 2008 at 01:53 PM 

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