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View Diary: Unfit judge rules rape victim who killed herself 'was as much in control of the situation' as rapist (171 comments)

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  •  Yes she was (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah
    Moralez had confessed to a church leader earlier that year that she had been sleeping with her teacher. That launched an investigation that ultimately led to Rambold's resignation from the district and his arrest.
    link
    Are you saying a girl under the age of 16 can't have a relationship?  

    To be clear,  the only reason this was being called "rape" is because the girl was 14.  If she were 18, it would be a consensual relationship.  It's not really true that the girl didn't consent, she did consent, her consent simply isn't recognized by the law.  

    And while such a relationship between a 14 year old and a 48 year old may certainly seem unhealthy, it is quite a different thing from a forcible act.  There is loads of evidence of the serious negative impacts on victims of forcible acts.  While I belive there is also some harm done in statutory rape cases, the evidence shows that it is much less than where compulsion is used, and in fact the acedemic literature is mixed on the evidence of harm in these cases.  For one review, see here.

    Given the more limited evidence of harm, it's not even clear to me that a 30-day sentenece is inapproproate for a first offender for this type of offense.  What does seem inappropriate is for any criminal to be sentenced to a 15-year sentence, and then have that immediately suspended.  The logic of this escapes me.  Allowing judges that much leeway on whether sentencing is enforced is sure to lead to arbitrary outcomes (including sentences being possibly influenced by factors such as race, creed, etc).

    •  No, we're not saying 14-year-olds can't have (18+ / 0-)

      relationships.  We're saying that it's wrong for a grown man, at the age of 48 years old, to abuse a position of authority and have sexual contact of any kind with his minor students.

      A 14-year-old cannot consent, and thus the teacher who took advantage of her with abuse of authority should go to prison and rot there for 20 years or so.  

      Furthermore, it doesn't have to include hitting or punching or kicking in order for it to be rape.  You can be manipulated into having sex against your will psychologically.  It has the same traumatizing effect on the rape victim regardless and doesn't make her any less of a victim.  For all you know, he could have been telling her that she had to have sex with him or else her grades would "mysteriously" go down to failing.  

      •  Re (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nailbanger
        You can be manipulated into having sex against your will psychologically
        While this is trivially true when one party is underage, it is impossible for adults to be similarly 'manipulated', at least in any way that makes legal sense.

        If someone decides to have sex for whatever reason, that's their decision. Period. For adults, both parties saying "yes" is a 100% defense to a charge of sexual misconduct.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:18:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What a load of crap. (8+ / 0-)
          If someone decides to have sex for whatever reason, that's their decision.
          I'm assuming you'll return to your keyboard when you're in a different state, and reconsider that post.

          Politics is about the improvement of people's lives. - Paul Wellstone

          by occams hatchet on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:59:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  guess there's no such thing as abuse or coercion. (12+ / 0-)

            we should just wipe those offenses out of our vocabularies.

            Because it could never happen that a boss says, "you will sleep with me or lose your job" to a person who desperately needs the job to provide for a family. So, when that other adult says "yes" to the sex, it is completely impossible for a crime to have been committed. After all, they're both adults.

            And when a person has been the subject of abuse and is psychologically frail and a predatorial "partner" latches on and whittles away at self-esteem on a constant basis, so that there is a "relationship" which the predator controls, no problem. Two adults! Nothing to see here.

            And when a man says to a woman, "if you don't have sex with me, I'll rape your daughter" and she agrees to have sex with him, well, hey, that's an adult decision!

            (Directed at Sparhawk, not occams, by the way.)

            Adults can be victims of abuse, manipulation and coercion, too. Anyone in a vulnerable position is quite susceptible to it.

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            by UnaSpenser on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:15:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Unless there is coercion (0+ / 0-)

          If someone puts a gun to your head, or deliberately drugs you, and you say "yes", it can certainly still be considered non-consensual.  If we're talking about some subtler kind of psychological coercion, that's going to be harder to prove, but if there is real proof of coercion, "yes" may not mean "yes".  The hurdle for proving that is generally relatively high though.  It's like trying to prove that a contract was signed under duress.  

        •  Adults can and are (12+ / 0-)

          manipulated by others without violence.

          - use of date-rape drugs
          - "have sex with me or you lose your job"
          - "have sex with me or I'll forget you paid your rent"

          It is not only a teacher-student relationship that can create this kind of disparity in power.

          You are fortunate not to have much imagination in this area.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:14:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Re (0+ / 0-)
            - use of date-rape drugs
            Find me a case where someone coherently consented after being drugged without their knowledge.
            - "have sex with me or you lose your job"
            This is actually not a crime believe it or not. It's a civil tort that you can sue the offender over. In any case it involves consenting sex.
            - "have sex with me or I'll forget you paid your rent- use of date-rape drugs
            This is extortion which is a crime, but it's the extortion thing that makes it criminal, not the sex aspect.

            The things you mention are various civil and criminal offenses and sleazy behavior, but they are not rape because they involve the consent of both parties. Consent under (nonviolent) duress is still consent!

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:37:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  It doesn't matter the age (4+ / 0-)

          I was 23 when I was coerced into sex against my will.  Rape is rape.  Period.

      •  Agree on first paragraph (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, I'm saying it's wrong and should be punished.

        Stongly disagree on the second paragraph.  The idea of having people rot in jail for 20 year for non violent crimes, really for just having sex, is generally abhorrent to me.  

        As for being manipulated, yes that can happen, but noone suggested that it happened here.  What everyone seems to be reacting to is simply that there was sex.  

        And for that, as I mentioned earlier, the evidence is quite strong that it does not have the same traumatizing effect.  There isn't even consistent evidence that there is a traumatizing effect.  From the link I provided earlier:

        Following is a review of the empirical research to date on the reactions of and impact on teens to each of the types of statutory relationships. The majority of the studies on impact have focused on adolescent females who are or were involved with adult males. For all types of relationships, the evidence is mixed. Some studies show negative reactions, others show positive, and still others show neutral. However, all of these studies are correlational, and therefore, it is impossible to ascertain whether these reactions are truly outcomes of the statutory sexual relationship itself.
        A range of reactions has been cited for adolescent girls involved in statutory relationships with adult men. Neutral and negative reactions have been shown using self-report measures of functioning and self-reports concerning how the females view their relationships. Positive reactions have been found when researchers asked the females how they feel about the relationships.
        A range of studies are cited beyond that, some showing negative effects.  But the evidence is far more mixed than it is for victims of any form of coercive sexual abuse.

        I would really like to know what Cherice Moralez's view was on this.  Did she feel she had been manipulated or coerced?  Did dhe believe she was a victim?  We know she committed suicide, we don't know why.  I don't know whether she was traumatized by this sexual activity, or whether she was fine with it and more traumatized by the people calling it rape.  That matter to me.  The heavy hand of the law can be pretty manipulative and abusive as well.

    •  Umm... (12+ / 0-)
      To be clear,  the only reason this was being called "rape" is because the girl was 14.
      Which makes it rape.
    •  14 year olds don't have capacity for judgment (11+ / 0-)

      to give what we know as consent. They can too easily be manipulated. It's called grooming.

      So, even though she might have thought she was consenting, this is not something she is capable of judging properly. Adults who engage with children have far too much power of influence over them. So, it is rape.

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      by UnaSpenser on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:08:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not consensual if it's a teacher-student (11+ / 0-)

      relationship, where the child has compulsory attendance to school, and the child is a child.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:10:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's your limited evidence of harm (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      churchylafemme

      She committed suicide because of this.

    •  For the record, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nomandates

      Yes, I absolutely am saying that it was rape and that their "relationship" consisted of a middle-aged adult deliberately exploiting an early teen for a "relationship" she was not mature enough to handle with another teen, let alone someone well into adulthood and an authority figure over her socially.  

      •  Agreed. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not sure why this concept is so difficult to grasp, but he's a predator.

        Thanks for speaking up in the comments today.

        Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

        "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

        by nomandates on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 10:02:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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