Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Nebraska man charged for sex with wife, 13

Now here's a disturbing (on many levels) story.

Nebraska man charged for sex with wife, 13 - Crime & Punishment - MSNBC.com

This really gets to the heart of what do we mean by consent in the context of the statutory rape laws. It also engenders some disturbing thoughts about arranged marriages and white slavery, when you think about what's going on here.

You can all probably figure out how I voted. How about you? And why?

UPDATE: I see some of the bigger name blogs have picked up on this story- finally. Check out Professor Althouse's entry and the comments. Click Here.


Gideon said...

It's a tough call. One one hand, 22 and 13 is a little troubling. On the other - he got her pregnant, did the right thing and got married. Add to the fact that they did get married legally, with parental consent seals the deal for me.

Can't have it both ways - have the man do the right thing and then prosecute him for it.

Patrick said...

Prosecution should occur. He wasn't married to her at the time the crime was committed.

The fact that marriage occurred afterwards seems like a red herring to me- without knowing the actual family situation, I'd guess the girl's decision to marry him was less free than most people's.

I also question whether he really "did the right thing" by this girl. If "doing the right thing" in this context means doing what's best for the girl, doing the right thing would probably have been to pay a lot of child support, and get the hell out of her life so she could grow up like a normal person.

Finally, it should be noted that Ohio would not recognize this marriage. I don't know most state's laws, but mine would deem this marriage contrary to a clearly expressed public policy, and rule it either void, or voidable. The exact remedy seems a little unclear by my cursory reading of the state law, but either way, this wouldn't be a marriage. Nebraska might be the same way.

Anonymous said...

If the crime occured in Kansas, Nebraska law would not apply. I doubt they would have jurisdiction over any crime that occured in Kansas. So obviously that is not the crime they are charging him with. They are charging him for having sex with his legally married wife. Statutory rape provisions don't apply to spouses. And the full faith and credit should apply to make the marriage valid. Even if it isn't valid, it would be a case of legal mistake. The man relied on the legal certificate issued by the state of Kansas in his sexual relations in Nebraska. He lacks the mens rea to commit the crime.

As creepy as this case is, I'd have to say not guilty.

Anonymous said...

Same anonymous again. I misunderstood the details. Patrick is correct. At the time the intercourse occured, it was illegal. Send the little creep to jail.

That's a relief.

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Gideon said...

What? Comments from the rest of us aren't good enough to wake you from your slumber? :)

Good to see you back!