The latest “OMG! What about about the children!” over-reaction.
Authorities investigating an alleged sex crime captured in the 2011 Big Bear High School yearbook said Tuesday their work is ongoing, but that charges eventually could be filed.
The high school made headlines last week when a photograph depicting a 17-year-old male student with his hands inside the clothing of a 15-year-old female student at a school dance was published in the yearbook.
It’s not clear exactly what was photographed. Reports are that the camera captured his hand up her short dress. When it was discovered, the authorities decreed that this constituted child pornography and ordered the yearbooks recalled. Yes, a picture of a 17 y/o groping a clothed 15 y/o is now the equivalent of kiddie porn.
That itself wouldn’t be so bad. But now they’re talking about charging the boy with a sex crime. California, despite its reputation, has a ridiculous age of consent law. Age of consent in 18, which is fine. But most sensible states make an exception if the two involved are within three years in age. In Cali, that just reduces it to a misdemeanor (if it’s consenting; forcible is a felony and should be). This kid could do jail time and presumably end up being labelled a sex offender with all the suffering and life-ruination that entails.
Well, you know what he authorities have to say about that:
Crimes involving the sexual penetration of a minor fall under child abuse statutes, MacKay said, and school and law enforcement officials are required to report and investigate such incidents.
“As much as we know teenagers are and will be teenagers, by law we cannot ignore it,” MacKay said.
In other words, no discretion is allowed. If the authorities find out that two teenager are engaged in any sexual activity, they are required to ruin their lives (or at least, ruin the boy’s life).
This is insane. And if you read the comments on the article, everyone with two brain cells to rub together realizes it’s insane. A good prosecutor would say, “Well, having your hand up someone’s dress isn’t penetration. And the photos a little blurry anyway. Shucks, guess we have to drop the charges.” A better one would say, “This is an illustration of how insane our laws are. I refuse to engage in this bullshit even if it costs me my job.”
But in the insane asylum that is our legal system, charging a 17 y/o boy with a sex crime for groping his girlfriend’s thigh is considered normal.