Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Quick hit: Consent FAIL

From the Taranaki Daily News, via Stuff:
A 26-year-old concrete worker told police he failed to check the age of the girl he was about to sleep with because the last time he had, the girl had left.

Billy-Joe Adam Healy, of Stratford, was sentenced at the Hawera District Court yesterday to 12 months' imprisonment for two charges of unlawful sexual connection with a 14-year-old girl.

...His lawyer Julian Hannam said Healy believed the girl had been over the age of consent and he had been caught up in the moment and not stopped to make the inquiry.

"It's not a clinical situation ... there was consent." But it was inappropriate given the girl's real age, he said.

The pair had been communicating over a period of time and she had made the initial contact, Mr Hannam said.

Judge Allan Roberts said Healy's explanation about knowledge of the girl's age was hazy. "You took no steps to check. You had done so once before and your girlfriend left. You weren't going to take the chance again."
Click through for the whole article (although this is most of it).

Point the first:
The impression I get here is that basically he had more than an inkling that the girl was underage.

Point the second:
Getting caught up in the moment apparently means that your brain completely turns off. Sounds to me more like he knew he'd missed out on sex when he did ask so he consciously decided not to ask this time.

Point the third:
Mr Hannam, there was no consent. They call it The Age of Consent because anyone under it is considered incapable of consenting under the law.

Point the fourth:
The fact that the 14 year old initiated the contact with the 26 year old is actually irrelevant to whether this was statutory rape or not.

Grrrrrrr!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was thinking exactly the same thing when I read this. I don't understand why people have such a problem understanding that. 'Oh but she/he was...'. Oh but he/she looked...', oh but he she said...'. NO! Fourteen year olds are too young to consent to sex with adults. End of story.

Anonymous said...

How crazy, 12 months for sex yet torture doesn't even get you jail time, this just shows how badly adjusted modern society is.

Anonymous said...

You're using the wrong word Anon. The word you're looking for is statutory rape.

Brett Dale said...

Of course he would of known she was underage, he deserves the jail sentence, I'm guessing though if a female did the same crime, with her victim being a male, she wouldn't go to jail for a year.

Ben said...

About 3 years ago I walked into vespa lounge about 1am and bumped into my 14 yo stepdaughter! (she was supposed to be at a sleep over) she was with a 24yo guy, she had "borrowed" my wifes gold amex and some of her clothes and was having a ball. Needless to say 24yo guy went home, alone and somewhat shocked. I visited him (with step daughters father) the next morning for a chat. It turns out he thought she was 17 and in the 7th form. Yes we did think that they had had sex, no we didnt tell the police.

Ben said...

About 3 years ago I walked into vespa lounge about 1am and bumped into my 14 yo stepdaughter! (she was supposed to be at a sleep over) she was with a 24yo guy, she had "borrowed" my wifes gold amex and some of her clothes and was having a ball. Needless to say 24yo guy went home, alone and somewhat shocked. I visited him (with step daughters father) the next morning for a chat. It turns out he thought she was 17 and in the 7th form. Yes we did think that they had had sex, no we didnt tell the police.

stargazer said...

brett, do you have any evidence for that claim? can you give any example of where a woman got a lighter sentence? the cases i've heard of (american ones only), women got pretty harsh sentences for statutory rape.

Hugh said...

IIRC until 2003 women weren't capable of statutory rape under New Zealand law.

And no, I have no evidence on hand to support this, just my own memory.

Brett Dale said...

stargazer,

I was using the American cases as an example, but IMHO this would be the case in NewZealand too.

stargazer said...

which american cases, brett? the le tourneau case, which saw the woman jailed twice? i can't remember the name of the other woman who was jailed in a similar situation, but i certainly don't recall anyone who was treated leniently as compared to a male offender.

Brett Dale said...

It was the school teacher that fell pregnant to a 14 year old boy, her lawyer said and I quote "her only crime was that she fell in love"

stargazer said...

well of course her lawyer would say that, the lawyer's job is to defend her client. what did the judge say? if she was convicted, what sentence was handed down?

brettdale said...

She didnt get jail time.

Violence and crimes against males aren't treated as seriously as violence against females.

The one true Nik said...

Well, you can thank the patriarchy for that, Brett. In that system, playing to those gender roles, "Men" are considered inherently strong, so violence between them or against them is considered part and parcel of what being a man is all about. Men are always the "strong" sex, so when anything happens to them - violence, sexual assault- it's their "fault". It's because they were not strong enough, not manly enough to defend themselves. Men can never be the victim in a patriarchal system. I don't think we're in a patriachal system any more, but not exactly a totally equal one either. What it means to be a woman is being redefined, but not what it means to be a man. Thus, conflict ensues.

It's a massive problem that isn't addressed, because still there is the correlation between masculinity and violence. Or a correlation between masculinity and being sexually...ravenous. For some reason, the myth that all men have to be sexually active to be men still persists. It's so incredibly harmful and untruthful. If these women aren't getting long jail sentences, they should be. If it was a man preying on a male minor you know that he'd be getting a long sentence, because his attentions are "an attack on the boy's masculinity". If an underage boy has relations with a female adult, that's a confirmation of his masculinity, and thus considered "Ok." Which it isn't.

This is my theory, anyway.