I’ve read so many stories to where an underage boy or girl lie about being older than their actual age and to make matters worse, some of them can appear older, due to the way they dress or present themselves. I’ve seen many accused victims lives completely destroyed because of a lie like this, yet the lying teen is still put out to be the victim and get off scott free and didn’t have to suffer any kind of consequences of their actions. What do you think of the ordeal?
Juries should be a safety valve in these cases, but it is very rare that a jury is informed of jury nullification in this day and age. Jury nullification, of course, is the right of a jury to return an acquittal if they find the law itself to be unjust or improperly applied, even if the prosecution has otherwise proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the law was violated by the accused.
Some contend that jury nullification undermines the right to trial by jury, but this is exactly the kind of case where an overzealous prosecutor could prove a case where a reasonable person would see no crime. Jury nullification would effectively dismiss the case.
But what about the "lying teen?" Unless it was the teen that made the accusation, I doubt there is much that could be done. I don't know for certain, but I don't think it's a crime for a teen to lie to a private individual, even about their age. To a law officer, to drinking establishment personnel, to a liquor store clerk, maybe. To a private person, no.
However, if the intention was to entrap the adult for the purpose of causing legal problems then yes, that act should result in criminal prosecution.
Wow. After reading the 27 comments below, the only conclusion I can reach is that our society has degenerated to a point where "legalism" has become more important than truth, justice, or due process.
The original post poses a question -- rhetorical perhaps -- wherein an "underage" person lies about their age, presumably has sex with an older person, and that older person is then criminally charged and labeled a "sexual predator."
The cross-examination of the original poster begins with the second comment, demanding an "actual news story" describing these circumstances and then challenges the assumption that a (false) accusation of statutory rape or child molestation could destroy someones life. While I have no information as to a specific case related to the original query, a casual search of newspaper archives reveals several cases in the last few years that were notable. I would also go out on a limb here and suggest that the harm associated with being accused of ANY infamous crime is self-evident. The nature of modern journalism is such that extraordinary accusations make front page news while acquittals, retractions, and dismissals for lack of evidence are rarely reported at all.
The reader might recall the McMartin Preschool case in 1984 where Virginia McMartin, members of her family, and employees were accused of multiple counts of sexual abuse, ritualized satanic abuse, and even murder. The trial took seven years and cost the state of California more than $15 Million dollars. Ultimately, there were no convictions and no evidence of any real harm, but it cost the McMartin Family their business, their livelihood, their reputations, and may have contributed to the deaths of at least two of the accused. It spawned a nationwide hysteria over "Satanic Abuse" that triggered many other investigations and spurious accusations -- the greater majority of which were unfounded.
The same commenter later states: "It is extremely rare for women or children to lie about being sexually assaulted." While the statement is relatively true, depending on how one defines "extremely rare", the accepted prevalence of false rape allegations (according to the Journal of Forensic Psychology) is around 5.55%. With 5,000 accusations of rape reported annually, this comes out to nearly 280 false or unfounded reports per year in the Unites States. People lie.
For status crimes where the victim is legally unable to give consent, such as statutory rape and child sexual assault, the onus is obviously on the "adult" to recognize the impropriety of sexual relations and exercise due diligence in selecting one's partner. The problem here is that many people will intentionally falsify their age for a variety of reasons: admission to clubs and bars, underage drinking, and access to a variety of goods and services that are for "adults only." In an earlier time, I passed for 21 at the age of 15 and had false documentation to "prove it." Despite the technical difficulties now associated with producing or obtaining a false ID, those difficulties can be overcome. The forgery doesn't have to be particularly good in many cases -- just good enough to give the bouncer, doorman, or bartender a degree of plausible deniability.
So what exactly is the "Age of Consent?" Even in a single state, Pennsylvania, there is no clear answer. "Children" less than 13 years of age cannot give consent for sexual activity. Adolescents between the ages of 13 and 16 may or may not be able to legally engage in sexual activity with partners who are less than four years older. For the crime of "Statutory sexual assault," the age of consent is 16. For "Corruption of Minors," the age of consent is 18. In cases where the older person is in a position of power over the younger person, there is no mechanism for consent -- regardless of the wishes of the younger party.
Finally, one sentence in particular stands out as utterly incoherent, regardless of how one feels about the subject: "A women or girl is never asking for no matter what she is wearing."
We appear to have lost a word somewhere in transmission. Asking for what? If the answer is "rape," then I wholeheartedly agree with the sentence. If the answer is "consensual sex," then I must respectfully disagree." As someone once said, "If she's wearing a matching bra and panties, it wasn't YOUR idea to have sex..."
Finally, in order to answer the original poster's question; I think it's necessary to examine the circumstances of the accusation. If there is sufficient evidence to prove malice on the part of the individual making a false accusation, then substantial criminal and civil penalties should be imposed. If someone makes an honest mistake -- say a matter of false recognition in a police line-up -- the lack of criminal intent should negate any criminal penalties. Mind you, I don't believe that any single bit of evidence should be sufficient to prove or disprove such a case, but our system is far from perfect.
Unfortunately this happens all the time. the law states that not knowing that the victim is underage is not a defense. I remember a case where a fifteen year old used her older sister's birth certificate to obtain a state issued driver's license and then went out to night clubs and met a 25 year old man who started dating her. Once her true age was revealed the guy got arrested and went to jail. The girl's mother even went to court to testify for the guy and told the judge that the girl is out of control and has been doing this since she was thirteen and that she does that all the time. The guy still went to jail
The law is the law. Understand it to protect yourself...
I said I wouldn't comment on things like this anymore, but I will say that society as a whole has to look at every situation on a case by case bases and not jump to conclusions based solely on gender.
I tend to look at the perpetrator. They are the adult in this situation and I've known a few who bedded kids knowing full well what they were doing and used the "but they looked older" defense.
I agree with what you are saying , they're should be responsibility on both parties really, takes 2 to do the Tango,.. doesnt matter if ones a minor or both are adult age..! , teens supposed innocence in these types of cases can be overrated
Two people have sex. One is a kid. The other one is an adult. The adult claims that the kid falsely claimed to be an adult. When it comes to those things, the adult is always responsible because the adult should and could have verified the kid’s age. Otherwise we’d be encouraging adults to casually dismiss the possibility that their prospective partner is a kid.
yeah, how about when you meet someone in a bar, drinking alcohol? that kind of shoots your stance in the face...
@ArturoS One, depending on the state, the adult may have done no actual wrong, and two saying it's wrong because its illegal is really just a weak appeal to authority. It should be illegal because its wrong, Never wrong because its illegal.
I am not advocating for the abuse of a minor, I just find it absurd that someone can be punished for what someone else does wrong.
Any adult who doesn't recognize the person they're with is a teenager needs to spend a little more time talking to them because no matter how old they look they still are recognizably children when you actually engage them in a conversation.
Maybe for you, and many intelligent people, sure. But its not really fair to punish stupid people, for simply being stupid, now is it?
I haven’t really thought about this too much so it is an interesting question. It doesn’t seem fair that someone who lies should get of scott-free for such a deception. However, I think that preventative measures should also have been a consideration. It seems silly, but carding people is one way to prevent this. Just some initial thoughts
Unless ENTRAPMENT can be proven 18+ year aged adults do not have an entitlement to sex with minors. ....in most states that is statutory rape where consent is irrelevant. ....wearing adult clothes does not relieve an adult duty to avoid minors removing said clothes
I feel like this question boarders on a false dichotomy. It doesn't take a predator for this to happen. I feel this is a legal problem more than a moral problem (not to say it's not immoral)
I see this as an exploitation of the law. I see the justice system retarding itself by opting out of the use of reason and people's lives are destroyed as a result.
If you break an adult crime you should be charged as an adult
The possibility that a female minor is predatory sexual against adult men can never outweigh the common sexual predator like William Jefferson Bleigh alias President Governor AG Clinton or Bill Cosby or Bill Moore Alabama County Attorney. ....as for pussy grabber TrumpOLINI the Rethuglican and Republocrat RAPE OF THE PLANET for oil war crime profiteering IS UN-necessary when hydrogen cars and wave power could have eliminated the demand for muslim oil over ten years ago
Perhaps it should be the adult's responsibility to be more aware of the person they're sleeping with. However, a part of me is saying that if the child lies about their age and a reasonable person (in a court sense) would say that the minor looks like an adult, then the case should be dismissed. However, this second situation seems like it may open too big of a hole in the legal protections of minors.
@doug6352 I'm not sure if the law would make that distinction, but this is just semantics.
Well, it's very wrong to deliberately lie to someone to get him/her to have sex with you. Then turn on him/her.
You should however try to know a person before having any sexual activity. I understand that may be impossible sometimes. The person may lie consistently such that you never find out (which I fthink should be penalised) or take advantage of you at a Night club, party or whle you're drunk (which is automatically a sexual offence on the liar's side)
This can & does happen, but if there is a big age discrepancy I think it's up to the older to do due diligence. When the age is much closer, say 18 & someone that acts/says 16 or so, but is really closer to 14, that changes things a bit. That being said, tho some mature quicker than others, there is a valid reason for an age limit.
I don't think that court cases should be made into political theater, or anything. Our court system should stick to the facts, and not jump to conclusions about the nature of things.
Most crimes require a degree of willingness or intention, but some use a standard called "strict liability", which means that the act itself, regardless of any intent or knowledge, constitutes a crime. In many jurisdictions, statutory rape is a strict liability offense, and in some locales a person can be found guilty even if the minor provided an ID showing themselves to be of age.
Even if the underage teen looks older, acts older, makes the first move: an underage person cannot -legally- give consent. The adult may have been throughly fooled, the teen may be mature for their age, and in the scale of ‘bad’, it’s not like pedophilia(pre-pubescent children). Still, the adult is the responsible party, regardless.
@Silvertongue You mean, some laws are stupid? Because the Law does help. That section of the law just needs to be modified because it's obviously stupid