A Michigan judge threw the book at 19-year-old Zachery Anderson after he admitted to having sex with a 14-year-old girl who claimed to be 17 at the time. This case show us how laws meant to protect children from predators can be used to punish teens for having consensual sex.
Public health experts say there is a legitimate purpose to statutory rape and incest laws. However, in the context of abortion, these laws are effectively criminalizing normal teen sex and risk compromising patient-confidentiality agreements, as well as potentially deterring patients from seeking sexual health treatment.
The Utah Supreme Court heard arguments last Tuesday in an appeals case involving a 13-year-old girl who had “consensual sex” with her then-12-year-old boyfriend and ended up an accused sex offender.
On Friday, the Montana Supreme Court stepped into the controversy surrounding Judge G. Todd Baugh and the 30-day sentence he gave a former high school teacher, Stacey Dean Rambold, who admitted raping a 14-year-old student.
After international condemnation, a Montana judge is reconsidering a 30-day sentence for a teacher who admitted raping one of his former students.
A Montana school teacher will serve just 30 days for raping a student in part because the judge believed the 14-year-old girl—who has since committed suicide—was “as much in control” of the relationship as her teacher.
The Arkansas Supreme Court recently over-ruled a law prohibiting teachers from having sex with students over 18. With this decision, age once again takes center stage when the more important questions are about the relationship itself.
Age of consent laws are meant to protect young people from exploitation by adults but in too many instances they send 18-year-old boys to jail for having consensual sex with their 15-year-old girlfriends. The boys then end up on sex offender registries for life along side rapists and pedophiles. Should we really be legislating teen sex?