Sunday, June 30, 2013

You can have sex with a 16 year old in Ohio, but if you talk about it you could be a sex offender

Does anyone proofread laws? Apparently Ohio does not. If you don't think some podunk sheriff won't try to convict someone for what is described below, well, you need to read this blog more often.

Hookup Shocker: The Sex Is Legal, but Talking About It Is a Felony!
Jacob Sullum
Jun. 28, 2013 4:16 pm

This week the Ohio House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill ostensibly aimed at fighting "human trafficking" that makes it a crime to "solicit" a legal act: sex with someone who is 16 or 17 years old. The age of consent in Ohio is 16. Yet under H.B. 130, a 20-year-old who asks a 16-year-old to have sex with him, or a 21-year-old who does the same with a 17-year-old, thereby commits a fifth-degree felony, punishable by six to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. He also has to register as a sex offender. But if the teenager broaches the subject, or if the sex proceeds without any explicit verbal reference to it, no crime has been committed. Here is the relevant provision:

No person shall solicit another, not the spouse of the offender, to engage in sexual conduct with the offender, when the offender is eighteen years of age or older and four or more years older than the other person, and the other person is sixteen or seventeen years of age, whether or not the offender knows the age of the other person.

Since there is no requirement that money change hands, this provision criminalizes ordinary sexual propositions if one person is 16 or 17 and the other is at least four years older when it is the older person who makes the suggestion, even though the sex itself remains legal. Having sex is fine, as long as you don't talk about it beforehand.

The elimination of any knowledge requirement, which is problematic even when the "solicitation" involves someone below the age of consent, is especially so when the person approached is 16 or 17. Since the difference between a 16- or 17-year-old and an 18-year-old may be difficult to discern, someone keen to avoid a felony charge would be wise to demand proof of age before saying anything about sex. And if the object of his attention happens to have a fake ID—as teenagers pretending to be older than they are sometimes do, especially when they go to bars or clubs—that is no defense. As Granville, Ohio, attorney Drew Mc Farland notes, the bill imposes  a "strict liability" sta ndard, meaning that "even an honest mistake is unforgiven." Mc Farland, who drew my attention to this bill, suggests one such scenario:

A mature 17-year-old is lawfully in a liquor-serving establishment and meets a 22-year-old who suggests they go back to his or her place for some sexual fun. Under this change in the law, the 22-year-old is guilty of a felony.

Legislators already define "human trafficking" broadly enough to include consensual sex (when it occurs in exchange for money). Now Ohio is poised to classify merely talking about consensual sex, even when no money is involved, as a species of sexual slavery.

The Ohio Senate is expected to take up the bill after returning from its summer break.

They are coming out of the woodwork-- Tragedy Vultures swoop in to exploit a tragedy to further careers

Let us be clear-- I believe the murder of an 8-year old girl in Florida is tragic and the person who did this should be punished. But what is truly sad is people are coming out of the woodwork.

For now I'll call these people "Tragedy Vultures," people like Mark Lunsford, Florida politician Janet Adkins, Ann Duggar from the Justice Coalition, and David Rowe of No Peace For Predators are exploiting the tragic BUT RARE case to further their agendas.

The Tragedy Vultures:

Mark Lunsford: Lunsford has been well represented here at the Shiitakes and is obviously looking for a quick buck since his meal ticket Hank Asher died.

"This guy apparently wasted no time in laughing in the face of law enforcement and legislators," Lunsford said. "I can feel every ounce of pain that her parents are feeling. It tears me up inside to know that another child has been senselessly murdered."

"We've got to come to some kind of solution for these children so they're not victims," Lunsford said. "Parents need to be educated. Law enforcement needs tools. Prosecutors need laws. Legislators, what do you need? Another child to be murdered?"

Ann Dugger, of the Justice Coalition, says the current laws are good ones, but she says dangerous offenders like Smith need to stay behind bars.

"If they're off the street, absolutely, they don't need to be around society," Dugger said. "They don't need to be around children. They don't need to be around their prey."

FloriDUH state Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach -- “It is my intent to ensure that the Duval Delegation take action in reviewing the current laws that relate to sexual offenders and make the necessary changes to help ensure our children are protected from those that would cause them harm,” Adkins said in a statement. As a mother of two, Adkins said the case hit close to home for her.“My heart is broken for the family of Cherish Perrywinkle and those she has left behind,” she said. PS- VOTE FOR ME!

David Rowe, No Peace For Predators: Rowe is getting fat, I might add. He's spouting the same crap, harsher penalties and the like. What a waste of space.

As this case continues to play out in the media, expect to see more vultures circle Cherish's story.