Like Watching a Witch Burning: See The Woman Sentenced to Life for Having 13 y.o. Touch Her Breast

Hi Readers — I found the video below so upsetting, I hadn’t even been able to figure out what to say and when to post it. It’s the actual, courtroom sentencing of  a 34-year-old woman, Michelle, who was found guilty of making a 13-year-old boy touch her breast and also trying to kiss him and asking him to have sex. Bad behavior, yes. But worth a life sentence?

Depends if you generally approve of the Taliban.

Tonight — Weds., May 26 — her public defender, Alina Kilpatrick, will be on ARC Talk Radio, a radio show often devoted to sex offender issues. She’ll be on at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

The call in number is: (724) 444-7444. The Code is: 29521# . The URL for the show is http://www.arctalkradio.com. And here’s a link for the Chat Room.

As Mary, host of the show, says baldly: “As parents, families and citizens many were outraged by this story as it shows the draconian laws and a punishment which seems to be too extreme for this offense. Show your support for Michelle and her attorney and join us on ARC Radio as we delve into another case where the punishment does not fit the crime!”

I think there’s a definite connection between this story and my post from a couple of days ago, wherein a judge placed a day care worker on a child abuse registry for accidentally leaving a child in the day care’s fenced in, security-camera-equipped playground for five minutes. In our desire to protect children from every vicissitude, we are going overboard and abusing the rights of everyone else.  — Lenore

97 Responses

  1. As someone who has personally met many victims of the Taliban, which carried out murderous rampages across the north and well, all of Afghanistan and killed many, many innocent women for nothing more than not being married as children… or wearing no shoes (after said Taliban burned their homes and shoes)… or whatever… not to mention thousands of people purely because of their ethnicity, I really think it’s inappropriate to use the term “Taliban” unless we are talking about torture or death sentences or something.

    This is a crazy sentence and it’s also reflective of a rather perverted national obsession but let’s not bring the Taliban (or Nazis, or gulags) into it, please.

  2. Did the prosecutor actually suggest a life sentence? Is that what I saw? ARRRGGHHH!!!!! People who murder other people have lesser sentences.

  3. I am speechless.

  4. Wow. The prosecution AND judge fully understand the extreme controversy in the sentence. You hear them say it, you hear it in their voice. Yet, despite knowing other factors (ie. murderers getting less), they still chose to carry out the sentence. I absolutely do not condone or support the convicted, what she did was wrong, and she does deserve to be punished. But in conscience and in fairness, this punishment does NOT fit the crime. Their judicial system is obviously flawed. It’s not unheard of that there are people who were, and probably still are in prison for crimes they did not commit. And it’s incidences like this that slap Americans in the face and tell them “that’s the way it is, now go home”, that give this liberal, modern and democratic (the principal, not the party) country such a bad mark of hipocracy and being self-centered. A lot of these laws are passed because some people just can’t be bothered to go through them with a fine tooth comb. Which they should be, given that lives are at stake.

  5. @somekindofmuffin the prosecutor was required to suggest a life sentence because that’s the only thing the legislation allows. the prosecutor also mentioned that the circumstances make it completely stupid.

    Everyone in that room is in agreement. They’re all just hamstrung by bad lawmaking.

  6. This is what happens when legislatures react to outrage and want to be seen as tough on crime.

  7. What I don’t understand is this- if the lawmakers are in charge of making the laws as well as deciding what the sentences are, and the jury is in charge of deciding guilt, what exactly is the judge’s job? I thought that the judge is the one who has control of sentencing, that they are judging what punishment should be given based on the severity of the crime. So why exactly was there no room there for the judge to hand down a lesser sentence?

  8. What if this were a man convicted of lewd acts with a minor? Is there a double standard? Seems to me all I ever hear is that we need harsher penalties for child sex offenders. Now you’re saying there is such a thing as too harsh?

    Sorry, I’m on board with you most of the time, but this has nothing to do with free range kids.

  9. @Jennifer, it’s part of the overreaction we’ve been seeing in the past few years over child safety. This child was touched inappropriately – no one disagrees that she deserves a punishment (or at least some mental health help for even considering such a thing!) but this is another over-reaction result. She didn’t MURDER anybody. We as taxpayers need to pay for her prison stay for a non-violent act when her space could be better filled by someone who, say, DID commit a violent action against someone.

  10. Life sentence – no.

    Extreme therapy – yes.

    As a victim of molestation I can say that I would definitely want something more than just a fine. While I can’t agree that a life term in prison – something that should be reserved for murders – is acceptable, this woman obviously needs help.

    I think that’s all I can really say, though. My feelings on the topic are quite strong. I’ve often been the one to say that men caught having sex with children should be shot – I wouldn’t reserve myself from saying that should be the case for women too. Granted – THIS woman did not have sex… therapy would be about the kindest thing I could offer… but I know what happened to me and how much it affected whole entire aspects of my life… yeah. I’m gonna stop here.

  11. Granted, she exhibited poor judgment, but this same behavior was in the movie Forest Gump. (He may have been older cronologicaly, but not mentally.) Broadly worded no tolerance laws can make anyone and everyone eligible to be labeled a dangerous criminal except for the politicians passing these laws. We have 12 YO kids on the registry for sexting, Things that were commonly done in the 1970’s such as relieving oneself in the woods or streaking would also land one in a similar courtroom situation.

  12. @impassionedplatypi: In many circumstances, the Judge does have authority to choose between several sentences. However, the Legislature made the penalty for this particular offense life with no lesser options; therefore the Court had no option but to impose the penalty of life when this woman was found guilty of this offense.

    The Judge has many duties — not just the imposition of penalties. He has the duty to make sure the jury only hears appropriate evidence during the trial. He has the duty to make sure all Trial Orders are properly followed and that both parties have access to discovery.

    What I find very interesting is that the prosecutor did not offer a plea. The Judge seemed stuck on that as well. I also felt that the defense attorney was un-professional in the delivery of her arguments, but certainly that wasn’t used against her.

    I would imagine one of two things need to happen — or both: People in the state of Nevada need to contact their congresspersons and request that this statute. And the defense will appeal this decision and hope that a higher Court will agree with the Constitutional argument made at this hearing.

    I agree that life is excessive, but before molesting/sexually abusing a child, maybe she should have looked into the penalties…

  13. @impassionedplatyp – The lawmakers set a range sentences for each crime. The lower and higher numbers on the range vary based on the severity of the crime. For example, in my state the range for theft is 1 to 10 while the range for rape is 25 to life. The judge then decides what, within that range, the sentence should be and how much of that sentence (some, all or none) that person should spend in prison and how much of that sentence (again some, all or none) should be spent on probation. This is how 99% of the crimes are handled.

    However, the lawmakers can also set a specific sentence for a crime. This is usually for serious violent crimes or the celebrity crime of the time. For example, murder in my state requires at least a life sentence (could also get life without the possibility of parole or death).

    I think what you have here is a reaction to the celebrity crime of the time. Back in the early 90’s the criminal justice system was up in arms over cocaine. Mandatory sentences were put in place requiring life in prison for the second conviction for distributing cocaine. The world calmed a little and now you get a few years in prison and maybe some probation. So there is hope that the system will right itself in this area as well.

    The DA is not innocent in all this. He or she chose to charge this person with this particular crime that carried a mandatory life sentence. So the idea that he or she now thinks that the mandatory minimum is ridiculous is preposterous. The DA could have chosen to charge her with a different offense or allowed her to plea to something lesser. The judges hands may be tied but the DA is guilty of abusing the system.

  14. I find the comparison to the Taliban appropriate myself. Life sentence is a death sentence. You die in prison. It’s directly comparable to the harshness of the Taliban.

    There’s no doubt this woman has serious problems and could benefit from intensive therapy, or AA meetings if that’s her problem, but a life sentence for this is not justice.

  15. “Now you’re saying there is such a thing as too harsh?”

    Yes, there is ALWAYS such a thing as too harsh. The worst murder in the world shouldn’t be executed by anthill, for example. There are limits of human decency, and they do not go out the window because we are outraged by a crime.

    The punishment for this should not be excessively light, because even though the momentary event is in some senses trivial, it reflects a mentality that probably makes the woman to a danger to society. That does not, however, mean that there is NOTHING beyond the pale in punishment.

  16. “Life sentence is a death sentence. You die in prison.”

    No it’s not. You are eligible for parole for most life sentences (except in federal court which doesn’t have parole). You have to be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole to die in prison.

  17. The penalty is too harsh, but as I said from the first time this came up, this isn’t just a funny story about an abashed teenager. This woman needs a harsh penalty (nothing like this of course) and serious therapy. This isn’t a goofy story, it is indicative of a serious issue with that woman, and who knows how far it may have gone in the future if left alone or how far it may have gone in the past with other victims.

    Again, before I get blasted, she needed less years in jail and more years in therapy.

  18. I’m sorry but that defense attorney was terrible! It’s no wonder she wasn’t offered a plea deal pre-trial (which by the way we don’t actually know is true), her attorney clearly was not up to the job. She was leaning on the table, stumbling over her words and kept injecting “um” into her sentences. A better attorney might have been able to do better for her client.

    I completely agree that the sentence does not fit the crime, but if we want any of that to change we had all better start running for office and change the tide, because this isn’t going to stop until those who truly understand the consequences of their actions are making the laws.

  19. Actually, the defense attorney was fine. The sentence is mandated by law. She knows that the judge will give life in prison. The only thing that can make the punishment less than life is for the law itself to be knocked down on constitutional grounds. A trial judge will NEVER do that. The case will need to get to the state Supreme Court before constitutional arguments will be considered. The defense attorney is simply making the minimum mandatory record for appeal. Absolutely nothing she says can change the outcome of this sentencing hearing. She doesn’t need to be eloquent, she just needs to be very thorough because anything she misses will be forever waived. Crying is a bit immature but otherwise, she was fine.

    And we do know that she was never offered a plea agreement. The defense attorney is an officer of the court. Unless this was her very last day in court and she was resigning her bar license immediately after that hearing, she would not stand up in court and boldly lie to the judge on the record. Further, if a plea offer had been made, the DA would have stood up and called her on her statement.

  20. To me, without having been there, it looks like the point where this particular case took a seriously wrong turn was the moment during the trial phase when the judge apparently instructed the defense that they could not make known to the jury, before they convicted under this charge, what the mandatory minimum sentence would be. If they had known, I seriously doubt you would have gotten 12 people to unananimously agree to convict under that charge.

    A large part of the point of the jury system is precisely to introduce common sense – by the standards of the average people that make up the jury – into the system. It is judges giving orders as to what can and can not be revealed to the jury that render the jury useless – and yes, coupled with a politically-motivated overreaching legislature, it results in this sort of miscarriage of justice.

    To me, the comparison with the Taliban is basically fair. This woman is given a life sentence for acts which in some of the more liberal developed countries (some of which have the age of consent for ANY sexual activity set as low as 12 or 13 – which while it may cause consternation among the more prudish types actually is quite logical, since it is pretty much in line with the biological age of sexual maturity) would not even be a crime.

  21. What purpose does prison sentences serve? There is only a small portion of inmates who are a constant real threat to society. And the issue of level of threat is often vastly over-rated. This woman is certainly maladjusted but the actual harm to the boy needs to be clearly determined. Then that harm needs to be resolved. Punishing the woman doesn’t resolve the harm done. Has the woman acknowledged her maladjustment. Has she done so in front of the boy. Has she offered him her sincere apologies?. Does he know the extent of her wrongdoing? Many boys who are sexually abused don’t fell the gravity of it until they are in their adulthood. How does she provide her victim and the community with true recompense? Unless justice systems and society get off our lazies and work out what a society is and how to bring our lower harm, lower risk mischieviants into the ‘fold’, then we are going to build increasingly sterile fascist societies based on a sort of obsessive-compulsive disorder to make sure everything is double safe, double clean. There is more to say on the mindlessness of modern society and the far, far greater risk it is creating for all of us, than the isolated misdeameanour of an adult touching a minors genitalia or encouraging the vice versa.

  22. “this particular case took a seriously wrong turn was the moment during the trial phase when the judge apparently instructed the defense that they could not make known to the jury, before they convicted under this charge, what the mandatory minimum sentence would be.”

    Wow, the common citizen (the jury) is really unknowing about the criminal process. Since this is what I do for a living, I forget that so much of it is foreign to those on the outside.

    This particular judge didn’t instruct the defense that they could not make the potential sentence known to the jury. THIS IS THE RULE IN EVERY SINGLE CRIMINAL TRIAL. The jury can NEVER be instructed as to the potential sentence the defendant faces. Telling the jury is an automatic mistrial. The jury is to make the decision based on the facts of the case and not on the sympathy for the sentence.

  23. If the defendant were male, there wouldn’t be all this outrage. Many, if not most, people who are angry about this mandatory sentence would sit back and say justice has been served, seeing the situation as the defendant’s first steps toward full child molestation. “It’s a good thing he was caught with something so minor before he went on to raping children.”

    I’m not saying I’m immune to the idea that women can’t be child molesters. But all this anger seems out-of-place to me.

  24. @Donna

    I am well aware that is standard practice for the jury to be kept in the dark about potential sentences, and about defendants’ past records. I am not a professional like you, but I have sat on a jury and participated in the deliberations, with 12 people speculating on both of those considerations, and even reaching their decision in part based on the speculation, all the while expressing frustration that they were not allowed to ask for clarification on those points.

    My question for you, with a legal background, is: where does that “RULE IN EVERY SINGLE CRIMINAL TRIAL” come from. Where does that rule appear in the U.S. constitution or a state constitution? I believe that with that one simple change in courtroom procedures – call it an Informed Jury Proposition and put it on the ballot – many ills with the legal system could be improved.

    Allow juries to know sentences, allow them to know priors, allow them to know extenuating circumstances, allow them to hear hearsay evidence – with the warning that that is what it is – and allow them to use their judgment.

  25. The issue where juries are kept in the dark and given fraudulent directions by judges is a very serious one and getting worse all the time.

    Everyone should be aware that jurors have both the moral and the legal right to nullify, meaning to return a verdict of not guilty when a law is unjust or unreasonable. Read up on jury nullification. It is your right.

  26. Wow is all I can say. Un fuckin believable.

  27. Absolutely ridiculous…a life sentence for something like this.

    Fortunately, this took place in the upstanding state of Nevada that we all know is as clean and straight as a yard of pumpwater..

    In Texas they would execute her. Proud to say I’m not from the Longhorn State.

    I only hope she will be able to appeal and have this idiotic sentence reduced to something like a few months in jail.

  28. You know, it was only last year that NFL player Donte Stallworth was arrested after he went out drunk driving and ran over and killed a pedestrian going 50 mph.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donte_stallworth#Manslaughter_charges

    He was convicted of manslaughter, sentenced to 30 days in jail, then released after 24 days with good behavior.

  29. She *was* offered the beginnings of a plea deal but negotiations broke down when she stated she wouldn’t sign any agreement that required her to register as a sex offender. SHE IS A SEX OFFENDER, and didn’t want to register as one….she took her chances and lost. Sucks. But she’s up for parole in 10 years…she can take her chances again.

    http://cfcamerica.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1661:nevada-woman-sentenced-to-life-in-prison-for-forcing-teen-to-touch-her-breast&catid=3:news&Itemid=96

    Sentence a bit harsh? Yes. Is there a double standard? Yes, since when is touching a boob different that a girl being forced to touch a penis? She’s a creep in my book.

  30. I must take exception to your comment Ali. No one has proven she is a pedophile. Did you see the photo of the 13 yr old Jordan Romero who climbed Mount Everest a couple days ago? He’s 5 foot 8.

    How many people would think he is 13? She may not have known the kid was 13. Also, she was drunk and doesn’t even remember what happened and so was unable to defend herself by testifying what she thinks really happened.

    Maybe she is a pedophile though like you say. So where are the other victims? There’s never just one. Where are they?

    As far as touching her breast, big deal. What if a 13 yr old girl touched a man’s breast and nothing else? Should the man then be sent to prison for life? Is that even a crime?

  31. Appalling!

    As the attorney in the video said: a person convicted of 1st degree murder could get a lighter sentence.

    The word “justice” apparently means nothing in our court system.

    And, by the way. Didn’t any of you hear what was said about the abuses the woman, herself, had suffered when she was growing up? No, that doesn’t make what she did okay, but what did she actually do? Did she rape the kid? This is the kind of case that makes me realize that few people are safe in our police state.

    I didn’t know a jury was always kept in the dark about the potential sentence. I’ll have to remember that. Wow!

    I wonder how many jurors learned too late that they had been an unwitting tool of the court and caused unusual suffering

  32. She’ll be up for parole in 10 years. She could have taken the plea bargain offerred and registered as a sex offender since she IS one.

    Most people would be just fine with the sentance it if a man forced a female child to touch his penis, tried to kiss her, and asked her to have sex with him.

    I don’t see much difference.

    I get that sex offender rights is one of your issues, Lenore, and it’s your blog. I get that. But this isn’t a free range kids issue and respectfully, the focus on it gets really old for those of us who are here to talk about parenting our kids.

  33. Fortunately for American children, Great China is willing to keep loaning us more and more money to keep our preschus children safe from women like this, to pay for the largest population of MALE prisoners in the world ( American women are 9th, American men #1 – by far), and bankroll the Adam Walsh Fearmongering And Money Bleeding Act .

    Our children will be indebted to China the rest of their natural lives…as well as their children’s children.

    This endless money pit effort has got to pay off, or we’re gonna look pretty foolish – like we squandered our children’s inheritance and ruined their future.

    You don’t like “Taliban”, “Nazis” or “gulags” to describe this debacle? Read the poem “Then They Came For Me”.

    Ask Tonya Craft – we’re all just one accusation away from being a convicted sex offender.

  34. @Linda Lou It IS very much a free-range parenting issue, because it is reflective of the absolute hysteria in society today with respect to anything remotely resembling sexual contact with a minor – and that is one of the main driving forces behind the helicopter parent mentality. That is why crazed parents are running background checks on the hosts of their kids’ friends’ birthday parties.

    As a parent of four, I would far rather have either of my sons touch some drunk woman’s breast, or for that matter, yes, either of my daughters touch some drunk guy’s penis, than have them hit by a drunk driver. And yet the punishment for drunk driving is far less severe than the punishment for drunk, well, groping. To me, that is purely irrational. And to the extent that I now have to worry that my teenage son could end up branded a sex offender for life through no fault of his own if his too-promiscuous-for-my-taste girlfriend decides to send him a “sext” – as so many of her friends apparently do – I believe addressing that hysteria is a critical free-range parent issue. I trust my kids to exercise good judgment and common sense. Unfortunately, I can’t trust society to do the same.

  35. I am amazed that even the prosecutors found the sentence overly harsh, and yet they were powerless to do anything about it.

    Thank you for posting… My thoughts are with that woman. The decision she made did not come from nowhere; something had to have happened to her for her psyche to be so damaged that she would do something like that to a child. But what she needs is psychiatric help, NOT life imprisonment.

  36. Ms Linda Lou, I find absurd and extremist your suggestion that touching the chest and touching the penis are the same thing. If she had forced the teenager to touch her vagina, then it would be more comparable.

  37. @ montessorimatters I kind of hate to see any of us on Free-Range Parenting blog adopt the loaded language the mainstream media uses in reporting these cases. I have a 13-year-old son. He is taller than I am and stronger than I am. He is a great deal more wordly than I was at that age, and I was no naive or sheltered kid.

    There is no way that most 13-year-old boys these days should be afforded the label “child”, and yet in these reports, that is the term always used. Couple that with calling consensual sex “rape” – because it is “statutory rape” – and the impression that everyone comes away with is seriously skewed. What crime could possibly be more heinous than “raping a child”? I agree wholeheartedly, IF the terms actually meant what they appear to mean.

  38. “I find the comparison to the Taliban appropriate myself. Life sentence is a death sentence. You die in prison. It’s directly comparable to the harshness of the Taliban.”

    Really? Life in prison, clothed, fed, and guaranteed access to libraries, etc. is the same as having someone come into your house, gang rape you, kill your children in front of your eyes, then kill you? Harsh sentences for child molesters is the same as trying to eliminate an entire tribe (the Hazara), and saying that an entire sex (women) aren’t human?

    I think you are seriously mistaken. The Taliban, because they were fewer, were unable to commit the scale of atrocities that, say, Nazis did. But the crimes, though less organized, were qualitatively of the same level. Their goal was to subjugate an entire sex as non-human, and to eliminate 100% of “non-Muslims” by which they meant, people not of their own tribal code. It was horrific. They went door to door and tortured people, cut off limbs.

    Let me put it this way.

    You have Sophie’s choice. Your child will be adopted by a Talib, or this Judge.

    Is there really any doubt in your mind? If there is, I think you are seriously mistaken about the nature of life in prison (horrid, but bearable) or the Taliban.

  39. You present a false choice. If you had bothered to watch the sentencing video you would see that the judge clearly did not agree with the application of this law or sentence to this defendant but he had no choice from a legal standpoint. There is no evidence whatsoever that he is an abusive, religiously fanatical, or terrorist minded father, as you are trying to claim by way of equivalent comparison.

  40. The problem here is mandatory minimums. This case is unique in that it’s a woman, and the crime was a relatively unserious sex crime, but any state with mandatory minimums has seen this scene play out hundreds or even thousands of times. Had sentencing been flexible, the judge could have given her an appropriate penalty: enough jail time to convey the gravity of the crime (time served), a conditional release based on undergoing intensive psychiatric therapy, and likely enrollment in the sex offender registry. Instead, she goes to prison for a life term, the same way petty criminals got huge sentences for minor drug charges. Those criminals, (largely male and barely adults themselves) were thrown into prison because sentencing laws reflect our private belief that rehabilitation never works.

  41. “I am amazed that even the prosecutors found the sentence overly harsh, and yet they were powerless to do anything about it.”

    The prosecutor absolutely DID NOT believe that the sentence was too harsh. There are other crimes that this prosecutor could have charged this woman with that would have carried a lighter sentence. He CHOSE to charge her under this law KNOWING there was a mandatory life sentence. He might have put up some show that he thought that this was preposterous but HE was in control the whole time. He was the ONLY person in that courtroom that could have changed the situation.

  42. Please join us(ARC Radio this coming Wednesday, May 26 as we welcome Alina Kilpatrick of the Elko County Public Defenders office. Listen to the archived show

    She is defense attorney for Michelle, who was sentenced to life for forcing a 13 year old male to touch her breast.and will be here to discuss this case and the lifetime sentencing of her client.

    http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/talkCast.jsp?masterId=29521&cmd=tc

  43. If the prosecutor didn’t agree with the sentence then why didn’t he offer a plea or use a lesser charge? There’s no reason other than to make this woman an example. It’s sad that she got a longer sentence than a murderer. Hopefully she’ll be paroled in 10 years when she’s up for it.

    Thanks to whatever state that is for wasting taxpayers money caring for this “horrible criminal” for the next (however many) years.

  44. “You present a false choice. If you had bothered to watch the sentencing video you would see that the judge clearly did not agree with the application of this law or sentence to this defendant but he had no choice from a legal standpoint. There is no evidence whatsoever that he is an abusive, religiously fanatical, or terrorist minded father, as you are trying to claim by way of equivalent comparison.”

    If this is the same Scott that above said comparison to the Taliban was appropriate, I must be missing something.

    I am claiming that it is NOT appropriate to compare this judge to the Taliban, or even the entire legal system, or even people who would like this woman to get the death penalty. It is NOT comparable to the Taliban because they committed horrific crimes and tortured and killed masses of innocent civilians.

    The “choice” I present is only to highlight the qualitative and quantitative difference between the people involved in this trial and a genocidal-gendercidal terrorist cult. Obviously these are massively different, and this supports my claim that comparing them to the Taliban is totally inappropriate.

  45. This shocks the conscience. She’s getting a sentence appropriate for a sociopathic killer.

    Nevada totally screwed up when it passed this law, and it was due to the type of paranoia documented in your book and on this blog.

  46. @Ali: Thank you.

    I’m amazed at the amount of people on here that bring up how physically a 12-13 year old looks. That they are amazingly called, “children.” You know, I’d be outraged if this were a 15-17 year old, but it’s not. If it were a 13 year old girl touching a man’s penis, no one would be sitting here arguing how she didn’t look like a child and the guy must have just gotten confused.

    I’m 32 years old and when *I* look at a 13 year old they look 11 to me, and being a parent of a kid in gymnastics, even 12-14 year olds that work out don’t look like 15-17 year old boys that work out. And these kids work out 5-6 times a week – you all know what male gymnasts look like when they’re adult. Not only that, it seems that by the very suggestions that this kid might have looked older, he was ok with all of this. I’m appalled.

    Someone mentioned on here that she needs jail time and therapy. That I totally agree with if for absolutely nothing else to show OTHER sex offenders (cause guess what, she belongs on the list for actually being a sex offender now), we won’t tolerate the behavior.

    I’ll be damned if I’m going to excuse someone for trying to screw a kid because they thought 12-13 was 18. I mentioned it before, she doesn’t need a life term, but she damned well needs some form of punishment for what she did. To dismiss what she did as nothing or less-than without even bothering to think of what it might have done to this kid, however, is wrong to the Nth degree.

  47. I can see both sides. Of course she should be punished. But forever? In our penal system? A life sentence isn’t just taking someone’s freedom away in our prison system, it’s turning them into even more of a monster.

    -adrienne

  48. Nicola, absolutely agree with you. A 13 year old is still a kid. They still look like kids and act like kids. Vague reports from my short term memory seem to recall this being her friends child also, so she would have been well aware of his age. A woman forcing a young boy to touch her boob AND pressure him for sex is horribly horribly wrong. The female breast is widely accepted by society to be a sexual zone. A male breast not so. Sort of why in a heck of a lot of places men can quite freely wander around shirtless, when it would be taboo/even illegal for a women to go topless in the same situation and/or location.
    No, it isn’t as bad as touching her vagina, but it’s still far worse than simply touching a male breast, which many are likening it to.
    Uproar about how this is not that big a deal, not a really serious incident must be awful to that poor kid’s psyche.
    To be honest, I actually think that the sentence is ok. She molested that kid. Intent to commit further indecency against a child IS worth going inside for. Far too many offenders of this nature get off way too easily, which to an unstable mind could well give them the gentle nod that what they’re doing isn’t that bad, the kid actually likes it or is being a tease, why not give it a go with another kid?
    Yes, I’m emotive on this. Yes, I still think about way back when, when nothing ‘really’ happened because there was no penetration. 20 years later there is still damage. Only 10 years and she could get parole.

  49. Amendment 8: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

  50. To all of you equating a woman’s breast with a man’s penis, consider this: If you or your child’s mother ever breastfed a child, you are labeling her/yourself a sex offender for forcing a child to touch her/your breast.

    Please, stop equating the two, they are not equal.

    As for the Taliban comparison, we are not currently as bad as the Taliban, but if we continue to let the wing nuts make the laws, we won’t be so unlike them in the future. The Taliban are wing nuts with power, their behavior comes from Muslim decency laws, taken to extremes.

  51. In our local area, a gymnastics couch (early 30s) was sentenced eight to ten years for having sex with his students under the age of 16. The prosecutors asked for life. His conduct with these girls went on into their later years. Did these girls consent as adults, or were they completely manipulated from the start?

    This is where I struggle, I have no problem dealing with sexual issues with young teenagers. Considering my own rather comprehensive sex ed on birth control and other differing forms of sex was in 7th and 8th grade. (I’m in Massachusetts) As young teenagers ultimately we were free to have sex, as long as it was ‘safe’ with each other, just not adults. And we did, but I wouldn’t call it safe.

    We think to ourselves teens will have sex, but no matter how we try to spin it – sex is for adults in healthy relationships and not for hooking up. Oh and you can get pregnant too. While I’ve completely rejected the comprehensive model, the abstinence model of approaching sex does nothing to help.

    Even a mature teenager shouldn’t be in a relationship with someone well more then a generation older then them, and people old enough should really know better to stay away. We want to protect teenagers from being groomed/manipulated into sexual relationships with older adults and let them choose someone of their equal, where there can be mutual respect.

  52. Dragonwolf, by your reasoning, when a man touches his wife’s breasts, there can’t be a sexual intent because his wife uses the same breasts to feed their child. Intent is everything here, and this woman had a sexual intent when she encouraged this child to touch her breast, which is illegal and morally wrong.

    Nicola, Ali, cookiemonsta, Elizabeth, I’m 100% behind you. I’m glad you’re making your voices heard.

  53. “Even a mature teenager shouldn’t be in a relationship with someone well more then a generation older then them,”

    Why? Really give me a valid reason that a 15 year old should be protected from entering into a relationship with a 30 year old man if she wants the relationship (and this protection should come in the form of NOT stopping the teen but in prosecuting the adult). Until recent history, that was the norm. In my grandparents time, 15 and 16 year olds routinely married. And many of those 15 and 16 year olds married men in their 30s or older. Nobody thought anything of it. It actually makes biological sense – a 30 year old man is still at the height of his ability to reproduce while a 30 year old woman’s reproductive capabilites are already waning.

    The fact of the matter is that we, as a society, simply do not like the idea of teenagers with adults. We don’t care what the teenager actually wanted. We don’t care whether the teenager feels victimized. It bothers our sensibilities so we make it illegal. In no other crime do we INSIST that someone is a victim even if that person chose to engage in the conduct, doesn’t think she’s a victim and would do it again in a second.

    At the same time, we hold up youth as the ultimate ideal. We’ve been searching for the fountain of youth for hundreds of years. We wear makeup, get surgery, inject ourselves with toxins, dress prevocatively all to make ourselves appear young. And then we wonder why adult men want to date teens.

  54. “Uproar about how this is not that big a deal, not a really serious incident must be awful to that poor kid’s psyche.”

    Or maybe he thought it was totally cool that he got to touch a woman’s breast at 13 and the insistance that he is a victim, making him come into court to testify and seeing this woman go to prison for LIFE for something he enjoyed isawful to this poor kid’s psyche.

  55. @ David

    First, you seem to have the wrong view of the job of the jury. The job of the jury is to determine if the state has shown that this particular defendant is guilty of this particular crime beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s it. The jury’s roll is not to determine if a defendant is a criminal person in general. The jury’s roll is not to seek punishment. The jury’s roll is not even to seek justice. The jury is simply a fact finder – was a crime committed and did this defendant commit the crime. The potential sentence or criminal background of the defendant (usually) are not evidence of whether this particular person committed this particular crime on this particular date.

    There are instances where the criminal history does come in. If the previous crime is so similar to the current crime that it indicates that he committed this crime as well, then it comes in. For example, if your defendant is on trial for molesting his 7 year old stepdaughter and he has previously been convicted of molesting a different 7 year old, you’ll hear about it. But the fact that he’s previously been convicted of shoplifting a tv doesn’t tell you a single thing about whether he molested a 7 year old. Shoplifters are not any more or less likely to molest than anyone else in the population. All that info tells you is that he’s a bad guy in general and that is NOT what you’re supposed to be deciding. All of this falls under the various protections of the Constitution. The presumption of innocence, burden of proof on the state and the protection against double jeopardy are all implicated.

    Same with sentence. Again, a jury simply decides whether the state proved that a crime was committed and that the defendant committed the crime. The punishment isn’t evidence of that one way or another. As a defense attorney, I’d love to get sentence in in many cases but I understand that it’s not evidence of the crime. This falls under the Constitutional set up of the criminal justice system in America. The jury is the finder of fact. The judge issues sentence. The jury doesn’t get to find fact and issue sentence (except in death penalty cases and then they do know upfront the maximum potential sentence) so the sentence is not relevant to them.

    And since you mentioned it, hearsay is directly prohibited by the 6th amendment right to confront witnesses. The defendant has a right to cross examine every witness against him and he can’t do that if hearsay is allowed in – if hearsay is allowed, the defendant can’t confront the person who allegedly made the statement, just the person who heard it. So if I say “David killed Steve” to Sam and only Sam testifies, you could only question Sam as to whether he really heard the statement but not me as to why I would say such a thing.

  56. The other reason I hate these threads: Thye get really flippin’ creepy. A thirteen year old “not a child”? bwahahahahahahahaha! Good one. Either/or scenarios alegedly speculating on the choice of either child molestation or drunken vehiclar assault on one’s own child with a choice being made. Um, yeah. “Dad”, you’re a huge creeper. Individuals who don’t seem to comprehend that the femal breast has dual purposes.
    Taliban. ::eye roll:: You all sound completely ridiculous.

    You don’t tlike the sex offender registry. You also oppose long, mandatory sentences for convicted offenders. It’s creepy. Have you people really never seen what child molstation can do to a person ~ how it can literally destroy entire lives? Or do you simply not care?

  57. @Dragonwolf: By that same logic, a man taking a leak while holding his penis is also masterbating. Come off it. It’s all about intent. Obviously breastfeeding is for feeding a BABY, forcing a child to touch your breast is for SEX. Taking a leak while holding your junk is for waste elimination, having someone else hold your junk is for sex. Intent is the name of the game – part of why you don’t see women running around in the summer time with their shirts off. (Gonna bypass the discussion on how painful that would be, but…)

    @Donna: Notice how the kid didn’t have sex with her? If this 13-year-old thought enough that a breast fondling was great, I’m pretty sure the proposition of screwing a grown woman would have been awesome too. But he didn’t. That tells me something completely different from what you’re positing. Unlike the kid in the news several years back that got his teacher pregnant 2-3 times, this kid DIDN’T move ahead with sex.

    As far as the idea of a 15 year old being permitted to be with a 30 year old, yeah, I have a problem with that. My mother was 14 when she met my father who was 30. He got her pregnant at 16 with me. My problem here is that this grown man could not WAIT to get his junk out of his pants and into this girl until she was at least of legal age to enter into a contract. Yeah – two years he could have married her free and clear – instead he knocked up a teenage girl. Sure, she loved him. But a lot of 15-16 year old girls love puppies and kittens too. Fact of the matter is that most teens are not a mental match for a 30-year-old. I don’t care how biologically sound the reasoning is – we’re not living in the farming communities of 1890-1920 where having a young woman able to bear multiple children is a necessity.

    If you are actually telling me that a 30-year-old who can’t keep it in his pants long enough to let this kid get older is a viable and ok mate – sorry. I’m not even going to PUT the burden of responsibility on the child – it’s on the ADULT. (Ah… we see here that a teenager isn’t an adult… probably shouldn’t be permitted to be with one in an adult manner either…)

    Look, I’m sure teenagers of 14-15 wish that they could legally drink alcohol, buy a new car on credit, marry that cute guy from that totally awesome band… but they need to be adults to do any of those things and with good reason. I’m pretty sure we aren’t ok with a 14 year old/15 year old getting plowed, and positive that we don’t want to allow teens to enter into legally binding contracts since that would create whole reams of troubles all around.

    Yes, teens are thinking persons able to make a lot of choices (some more mature than others), but a 15-16 year spread between ages is no longer acceptable since it is not a necessity. The adult involved in such a thing should know better and at the very least, wait for a few years.

  58. My only comment is that if this were a “MILF” instead of a frumpy, overweight woman, would we even be discussing this?

  59. Elizabeth, as you are perfectly aware, Lenore compared the sentencing to the Taliban. You objected to that comparison. Now you have changed your tune and wish to compare the judge himself to the Taliban. Lenore never claimed the judge was a terrorist. However, the laws in Nevada, enacted by the state legislature, are directly comparable to the insanity and arbitrary harsh punishments doled out by radical fundamentalist organizations such as the Taliban. The judge in this case clearly did not like anything about this case and did not want to sentence the woman to life, but he was required by Nevada state law to do so. You asked which one would rather look after children, the judge or the Taliban (presumably you mean a member of the Taliban). This question and its answer does not prove your assertion that the law in Nevada has created Taliban style justice.

    Frankly, the problems with this case are very clear, as is the fact that the life sentence is completely insane given the facts of the case. I would even say that any jail time at all is absurd given that the forensic psychiatrist hired by the state testified that the woman was not a threat to others.

  60. Linda Lou, I will assert for the record that a 13 yr old teenager being propositioned by an older woman and declining, and even momentarily touching her breast will cause him absolutely no psychological or other damage whatsoever, and I challenge you to find a single case in history where this happened and the teenager was actually damaged in any way.

  61. “A thirteen year old “not a child”?”

    That is correct. A 13 yr old is an adult in most traditional cultures. He is a minor in the west, and a teenager. He is not a child, nor is he an infant or a baby.

    Here is the definition: “A child is a human between the stages of birth and puberty.”

    After puberty, you are not a child. Depending on your culture, you may or may not be an adult.

  62. Perhaps though you mean the other sense, the offspring of another person.

    For example, “Barack Obama Jr. is the child of Barack Obama, Sr and Ann Dunham.”

    But if you mean that sense, the whole argument about becomes rather absurdist since everyone is a child and you’d have to admit that both you and your spouse are child abusers.

  63. Well, Scott, I suppose you won’t mind so much if your 13-year-old daughter decides to date a man who is 30. She can also get pregnant, too, because – heck – girls nowadays are going through puberty even as early as 8. So long as they bleed monthly, right?

    I can’t even fathom such an absurd thought process.

    Yes, in other cultures younger kids are expected to do work and behave in more adult manners – but even in societies where some kids get married at 8/9 (India), they still live with their parents until their late teens and marry those that are ***their own age*** in many cases. These kids also live in societies where they aren’t breeding until later – because even IF they are married (i.e. the above scenario), their society STILL frowns on young people (those under 15-ish) having babies. Even native populations have rules about what constitutes manhood/womanhood and when the two are permitted to enter into marriage/childbearing – I’ve yet to see any of them in modern times being ok with a 13-year-old being a father or mother. So sure. If the kid wants a job with a work permit, he should be able to get one. But to say it’s ok that he’s propositioned for sex because he should be able to get a job or in another society would be expected to be more responsible? Wrong.

    I am failing to see how on a board dedicated to educating people on how infinitesimal the chance of your child being abused by a stranger is, we are allowing a woman who decided to abuse a friend’s child free-reign because she didn’t pin the kid down and have him do her.

    All I’m seeing more and more here is the gigantic and horrifying double standard. We’re going to pat the boy on the back for getting to second base with a grown woman. Good golly gosh, how could that bother anyone? I wonder how many people here would tell him suck it up if it DID bother him. A boy should be happy to get to touch a breast, right? It’s absurd.

    I let my kids out of my sight with the belief in the numbers. I believe they are mostly safe as they go cavorting through the neighborhood. But if I’m expected to forgive my neighbor who decides to proposition my kids and have them touch their body just because there was no penetration or or oral sex – I’m on the wrong board. I don’t wish a life sentence on this woman – but she needs some form of punishment and therapy. I just find it a damned shame that so many people don’t see a problem with this at all.

  64. @ Donna

    As people age in there is a large age difference a 50 year old wife caring for a 75 year old husband, while probably still caring for her own parents the same age. Also income issues, a woman hasn’t even started college and a man is making a substantial income w/ career?

    My husband and I are the same age, and it takes a lot of trust/partnership to see his one income as our income, since I’m home with four children. I have a lot of standing as a equal partner, I honestly believe due to my having the same amount of education as my husband and similar age we do our best to keep it level.

    I actually have little problem with teen marriages, just with their peers. The problem is that economically is unfeasible to be economic independent with the necessities for college/ post grad so marriage is pushed off for otherwise young adults who could handle marriage. I would like to see a little bit more flexibility in our college systems.

  65. “Scott, I suppose you won’t mind so much if your 13-year-old daughter decides to date a man who is 30”

    See this is just absurd. You are trying to claim that I am in favor of 30 yr old women dating 13 yr old teens, when I have never said that. That you resort to such absurd and dishonest debate tactics only shows that you are a crank.

  66. Also, if a drunk 30 yr old man propositioned my teen daughter or even groped her, he wouldn’t be welcome to return to my house, and he would get an earful of verbal abuse, and the incident very possibly might be reported to police, but I would never in a million years support sending him to prison for life, especially if he had no record of such behavior and a psychiatric specialist evaluated him and said it appeared to be only related to the drinking, he was no danger to society, and he was committed to drying out and attending AA meetings. What possibly purpose could a life sentence serve for this sort of thing?

    When I was a teen I got propositioned on three different occasions by very attractive women in their late 20s and 30s. Each time I told them my age. Two of them then apologized and were horribly embarrassed, showing this was nothing more than a mistake of judgement. (One of those had placed my hand on her thigh.) The third one simply nodded, gave me her phone number and asked me to call her when I was 18. I didn’t call her back only because I had lost the number. Not one of these incidents traumatized me in the least or caused me psychological or physical harm of any kind. Furthermore, my experience is completely typical of teen boys. There are not many teens that are in decent shape and looks that aren’t approached by older women at some point, and it doesn’t mean that there are bands of roving pedophile women out there. Most cases of this kind are misjudgments of age and are quickly resolved. Sure, there are cases of female predators, but they are rare, and there is very little indication that this was the case here. It sounds much more like it was a old drunken woman, and not a predator. And even if it was a non-violent predator a life sentence would be way over the top.

  67. @Scott: “After puberty, you are not a child. Depending on your culture, you may or may not be an adult.”

    That is where my comment on the 13 yo girl with a 30yo man came from. You are the very one that proposed the idea that after puberty a teen (depending, yes) is no longer a child, and why I posited the idea that with girls, that could mean after 8. The *only* thing I’m pushing here is for you to see that the statement you made is obviously meant for boys, since it’s idiotic to think a girl on her period is anywhere close to a woman, hence a double standard.

    And I agree with you on the non-life sentence. I think I’ve definitely said that each time I’ve posted on this topic. In fact, you’ve pretty much proposed what I’ve agreed with from the outset – therapy for sure. I don’t mind jail time (provided it wasn’t a drunken issue – if you’re sober and having a kid touch you that’s jail time) but no, not a life sentence. We are in agreement here.

    But, to the issue before – all my aim was for was to point out the double standard you’re proposing. There’s no dishonorability in proposing a hypothetical situation to exemplify your idea. Now, grant me this, I was quite riled earlier today with this topic since it hits VERY close to home with me. I’m not trying to intimate that you actually do feel this way – and I’ll take the lump for making it seem that way. I’m just saying, puberty is by no means a pass for a child to no longer be a child. Bodily, yes – they are capable of reproduction. It does not mean mentally they are capable of full adult rights, responsibilities, etc since technically (as I mentioned before) a girl of 8 could go through menses.

    My only issue now with your final statement is this: being propositioned is one thing – and you’re absolutely right – some woman asks you to have sex with her and you tell her you’re underage – no harm no foul. In fact, the latter woman that you mentioned did EXACTLY what I’d expect an adult to do – “Oh. You’re not 18, eh? Call me when you are.” That’s responsible adult behavior if you’re attracted to a kid. To equate that to being forced to grope a woman is not the same. No matter how many male teens would LOVE to have that happen – obviously – this kid didn’t otherwise we probably wouldn’t be discussing it since he’d have kept his mouth shut and probably went ahead and had sex with this chick. Since we’re discussing the story, I’m going to assume he felt he was forced. In that case, it’s not ok. He was not simply propositioned and left alone. It’s different from your experience, and thus, not the same as the “typical” male experience of being propositioned, nor the “typical” female experience. I’ll tell you that now, girls get hit on a LOT more than guys do – and a LOT of the time it’s by older guys. I never ran off and told my father about the college aged guys and some men that were graying even, that hit on me when I was a young teen. Asking me (propositioning) was one thing. If they’d have forced me to touch them? We’d have entered a different realm.

  68. Okay, so the idiotic posts by Scott are the exact reason I cringe whenever this topic comes up. How much stupidity must we endure?

  69. Have we become so immune to violence that we are unable to see the difference of a single instance of injustice and poor policy, and violent genocide? In my opinion, our inability to distinguish between horrific violence and civil injustice is just as dangerous as the prosecutor’s inability to distinguish between “clear and present danger” and worrisome tendencies and a sick crime.

    “Elizabeth, as you are perfectly aware, Lenore compared the sentencing to the Taliban. You objected to that comparison.”

    Yes. Then I presented an argument known as argumentum ad absurdum. It takes something to a logical extreme to highlight the absurd nature of that argument. “If these are comparable, then compare them–with whom would you leave your daughter? It’s clearly a no-brainer. This is because they are SO DIFFERENT. QED.” If you agree that it’s a no-brainer, you just prove my point.

    “However, the laws in Nevada, enacted by the state legislature, are directly comparable to the insanity and arbitrary harsh punishments doled out by radical fundamentalist organizations such as the Taliban.”

    Once again, come over to my house and we’ll saw your arm or tongue off, kill your family, and eliminate your race, along with your country’s ENTIRE CULTURAL HISTORY (they sacked the freaking museum, you know…) and we’ll see how that goes over with the international human rights commission. It is simply absurd to suggest that life in prison for molestation by a mentally ill person is somehow comparable to genocide, gender-cide, beheadings, amputations, etc. etc.

    “You asked which one would rather look after children, the judge or the Taliban (presumably you mean a member of the Taliban). This question and its answer does not prove your assertion that the law in Nevada has created Taliban style justice.”

    I certainly did not assert that! I would never compare Nevada with Afghanistan (except possibly in the sense of some micro-climates but that has nothing to do with this).

    I am not sure if you even are reading my comments.

    My position is:

    The Taliban is a heinous, disgusting, genocidal, gender-cidal organization that uses tactics such as beheadings, murders, whippings, torture, amputations, and beatings. They have proven themselves one of the most inhumane ruling groups in history, in line with the Nazis and even Ghengis Khan, although they were much smaller and thankfully less powerful. However, they were pushing up toward Central Asia and did fund war in Pakistan and Tajikistan, and have been linked with rebels in Chechnya that killed hundreds in Moscow.

    This courtroom–judge, prosecutor, defense, and jury–simply cannot be compared to that organization. To suggest such a thing is to make light of the suffering and horrors suffered at the hands of the Taliban.

    I once met a woman (let’s call her Nishona) who was confined to a manger–a MANGER–for having obstetric fistula. She was only allowed to eat ANIMAL FOOD. They only came to beat her for dishonoring the family. In 2005 she was STILL THERE. She was not allowed warmth in winter. They were hoping she’d freeze to death. She was an orphan so her family couldn’t help her.

    Do you honestly think that this woman would exchange her sentence for Nishona’s? Seriously? And most importantly, Nishona was TOTALLY INNOCENT OF ANY CRIME as were most of the Taliban’s victims.

    Again, it is not the outrage at this case that I object to. Of course I think it’s absurd and outrageous.

    It is the comparison to these guys, oh, who by the way (irony of ironies) also *kidnap young men and women and use them as prostitutes so that they don’t have to touch “dirty” women* and then use the boys as soldiers by getting them addicted to opium…

    it just stings me to the core. I really think that if you could see what they did, the horrors they committed which make the Soviet gulags look positively civilized, you would never dream of defending this comparison.

    “As for the Taliban comparison, we are not currently as bad as the Taliban, but if we continue to let the wing nuts make the laws, we won’t be so unlike them in the future. The Taliban are wing nuts with power, their behavior comes from Muslim decency laws, taken to extremes.”

    While I agree that no nation is immune to tyranny or fascism, the suggestion that ONE life-sentence for someone who committed a crime is starting the ball rolling in the direction of the Taliban is hyperbole.

    The Taliban are not merely wing-nuts. It is composed of war orphans, sickos, and positively disgusting, angry sadists. Muslim decency laws are specific and limited and by definition cannot be “taken to extremes”. What was taken to extremes was their hatred of women, hatred of non-Pashtuns (including thousands upon thousands of Sunni and Shia Muslims), and hatred of life itself. They slaughtered thousands of people at a time going house to house!

    I beg you, please consider how lightly you are taking the suffering of tens of thousands people in the Taliban’s sphere of influence. It is really disrespectful. This is like the whole Obama-gulag thing… it is a sick characterization of what is going on and it is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  70. Nicola, thank you for your response.

    I am not saying that in our culture once one hits puberty one is then an adult. I am saying that once one hits puberty one is not a child. In the west, we recognize a stage called adolescence between childhood and adulthood. It replaces what is considered early adulthood in many other cultures. Adolescents don’t look like children, and are not as naive and innocent as children. Adolescents will know what sex is and what the consequences are, be able to read write, and do algebra, and can even do work.

    An adult who one time gets drunk and propositions and gropes an adolescent is behaving inappropriately. They need to be rebuked, and possibly clinical intervention is warranted. Jail time would be pretty extreme, but perhaps a very short sentence to let them know we are serious could be done without being injust.

    An adult who gets drunk and propositions and gropes a child has more serious issues. Even if you are drunk, there is something seriously wrong with you and that needs to be looked into. I’d still be concerned about jail time being too extreme, but someone who does this I see as far more likely as having pedophilic tendencies and more potentially dangerous, someone who should be carefully watched, and perhaps could even be put on a watch list.

  71. Ms Elizabeth, I am aware of what Taliban and Sharia law justice can consist of, as practiced in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. It is often cruel and utterly disproportionate to the alleged crime. We have women who are flogged in Saudi Arabia, where much of our oil comes from, because they are seen talking to a man. We have pregnant single mothers in Iran who are stoned to death. We have thieves whose hands are cut off with an axe.

    If you really really want to talk about atrocities that are so extreme they can not be tolerated by any civilized society consisting of moral humans, I am now prepared to talk to you about the actions of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Shall we proceed?

  72. Example #2

    source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmudiyah_killings

    On March 12, 2006, Abeer Qasim Hamza, a completely innocent 14 year old Iraqi girl, was gang-raped by US soldiers at her own home before she was murdered by being shot in the head. Her parents Qasim Hamza Rasheed al-Janabi and Fakhriya Taha Muheisin al-Janabi, and her six-year-old sister Hadeel Qasim Hamza al-Janabi were also shot, then their bodies were covered in gasoline and set on fire by US soldiers.

    This case is a bit unusual in that, due to the public outcry, the soldiers were actually tried in court for their crimes against humanity and convicted. Specialist James Barker will serve at least 20 years. Sergeant Paul E. Cortez will serve at least 10 years. Steven Dale Green will serve life in prison. PFC Bryan L. Howard received a 27 month sentence and then was paroled. PFC Jesse V. Spielman will serve at least 10 years, Justin Watt the whistleblower was released without charge, and charges were dropped against Anthony Yribe in return for his testimony.

  73. Example #3

    source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_torture_and_prisoner_abuse

    Is there anyone who is not aware of what happened at Abu Ghraib prison? I will tell you what. We have american soldiers with experience in american prisons running an iraqi prison in the same way that american prisons are run. As torture centers where inmates are horrifically abused, denied medical care, raped, molested, and even murdered by guards, or in staged fights arranged by the guards who bet on the outcomes (this betting on “cockfights” is something that happens in US prisons, I’m not aware of that in Abu Gharib).

    Very little prosecution occurred in this case since the actions were approved by superiors. Some short prison terms and a demotion.

    Many so-called terrorists have been very inspired by the photos from this prison, which shows the things that soldiers weren’t ashamed of. Who knows what happened there that they didn’t even photograph.

  74. And here I bring up american prisons. American prisons do not meet international standards for human rights. Our system of justice really is similar to that of the Taliban. It might as well be an administration of Sharia law. Punish punish punish. Torture. Rape. Kill. That is how we run our prisons and how we run our wars. When we send this woman to prison for life for a very minor thing, we are acting with all the intolerance and cold-hearted fanaticism of the most extremist islamicists whom we claim are our enemies. How can the Taliban be our enemy though? It is so much like America. The values are practically the same.

    In prison, this woman will be raped, she will be tortured, she will be taken advantage of, and if she isn’t killed it will be a miracle.

    All for what? What does this accomplish?

  75. So you think we should leave our children unattended more often… and you think a woman who assaulted and tried to rape a child is Not A Big Deal.

    Lady, you’re the reason people don’t trust strangers around children.

  76. @Scott: Nice of you to go out of your way to identify the victim of a sex crime. All class, Scott. All class.

  77. “Ms Elizabeth, I am aware of what Taliban and Sharia law justice can consist of, as practiced in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. It is often cruel and utterly disproportionate to the alleged crime. We have women who are flogged in Saudi Arabia, where much of our oil comes from, because they are seen talking to a man. We have pregnant single mothers in Iran who are stoned to death. We have thieves whose hands are cut off with an axe.

    If you really really want to talk about atrocities that are so extreme they can not be tolerated by any civilized society consisting of moral humans, I am now prepared to talk to you about the actions of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Shall we proceed?”

    Drrrrr. Getting the point fail.

    There is no country on earth that is completely innocent of war crimes. However, the very fact that the INDIVIDUAL CRIMES are all able to be reported should tip you off to the fact that these are generally the exception, and not the rule.

    If you think the US is so much like the Taliban, I invite you to go live in Afghanistan, which has improved considerably since Taliban rule, according to most of the population in and north of Kabul (and the female population south of it, although since they are kept silent, this rarely comes out). You will find it a lovely country, although it may irritate you not to be able to go out with your daughters and/or female companions. Though I assure you they will be significantly more irritated. But the extremely low cost of living should more than make up for it in a country where, as you posit, the level of justice, rule of law, and civilization is equal to that in the United States, and for that matter, the Soviet Union or even France, considering its treatment of prisoners in Algieria.

    Though, if you are in Saudi Arabia as a man, perhaps this indicates your total lack of feeling toward the female situation. Of course they will say they like it.

    Guess what happens if they don’t.

  78. @Jonathan: I find that when one is trying to be effective in making a point, it rarely helps to exaggerate the facts involved.

    Based on what I have read, which is presumably the same reporting that you have read, this woman tried to convince an adolescent to have sex with her. Far from admirable behavior, to be sure, but also very far from “trying to rape a child”. I believe there is indeed quite a difference between those two situations.

    Again, bear in mind that in many countries of the world – and not remote jungles with bizarre tribal traditions, but rather places like Japan or Spain – there would have been no case here at all, since the adolescent in question was above the legal age of consent. Even if she had succeeded in getting him to go to bed with her, she would have been legally fine.

    If an older family friend came to my home, got drunk, and tried to put the moves on my teenage daughter, that would certainly make him persona non grata in my home. It would not make me think “he needs to rot in jail for the rest of his life”. I once actually had a drunken great aunt (nice age differential there) decide to hit on me. Was I “scarred for life”? Not remotely. It became an amusing family anecdote about my wild old aunt (she was indeed a character).

  79. So is your name David or Scott?

  80. @Linda Lou: It is really quite arrogant for you to assume that only one person could possibly disagree with you, and so we surely must be sock puppets.

    Although I agree with some of what Scott says (only some – it would appear that our political views are actually rather opposed) I do not know him, nor do I, off-hand, recall having been aware of him in other discussions in this forum (which is not to say that he isn’t a regular – we may simply have not crossed paths before).

    I am very much a regular participant in the discussions here and known to Lenore and others. And since I am guessing that you were referring to me when you sarcastically put “Dad” in quotes in an earlier post, let me assure you that I am indeed the father of four amazing, well-adjusted kids, two teenage honor/all-state students and two of elementary age. There is nothing in the world more important to me – which, because I am also a very firm believer in logical thinking and cool-headed management of risk, does not lead me to be an overprotective parent.

  81. Oye, how such subtleties are lost in written communication…

    When I said what I said, I was using the logic of the people equating breasts with penises. Nicola, by the “breasts = penis” logic, that’s exactly what a man is doing when he’s taking a leak, and that’s what’s wrong with this case and this society’s view of both sex and the human anatomy as a whole.

    Both the breasts and the penis have multiple purposes, but society as a whole does not see it that way. They only see the sexual aspect of it, regardless of the actual circumstances or intent. That’s why we have public urinaters on the sex offender registry and breastfeeding moms feeding their children in the bathroom.

    That said, breasts, even when used for sexual purposes, still do not equate to the penis. The penis is the organ actually used for sexual intercourse, ergo, the female equivalent is the vagina. If she forced him to touch her between her legs at all, then the equations of “well, if a man had forced a girl to touch his penis…” would actually be valid. Even as a “sexual” part, breasts are largely for indicating sexual maturity and receptiveness (in the evolutionary/biological sense, particularly when considering that the only difference between men’s breasts and women’s is the amount of Estrogen present, which is a primary player in determining size) and the idea of breasts being “sexual organs” is almost entirely a cultural idea.

    I am by no means arguing that this woman shouldn’t be punished. However, life in prison is so far out of proportion with the crime that it’s a wonder the case isn’t going straight to SCOTUS on the grounds of (the mandatory minimum) being blatantly unconstitutional. The punishment should be based on various factors, such as severity (relatively mild, considering it didn’t go farther), premeditation (likely low, depending on the details of the circumstances; likely comparable with the amount of premeditation of a typical DUI accident), actual damages (was the boy scarred for life? Possible, but unlikely, he’s a pubescent teenage male, it’s most likely a wet dream come true for him, but it was still inappropriate and could set a destructive precedence with him), and potential for recurrence (considering alcohol was involved, pretty high, especially if she’s a regular partier). Given those considerations and what I know of the case, I’d say something like up to 3 years prison, mandatory therapy and AA, perhaps community service, and probation (which would include continued AA and no alcohol around minors, or something similar) time would be more appropriate for anyone (male or female) who did what this woman did, but still harsh enough to hopefully wake her up and effective enough to keep her from doing it again.

  82. David/Scott, I’m an editor and copywriter. IME, people have a specific writing style that’s pretty easy to place. Since this forum is anonymous, I’m going to go with my gut on this one. As for all the rest of your blah, blah, blah. I’ve only been skimming because, like I said, I find these threads really annoying.

  83. Linda Lou, your gut isn’t doing you very well.

    Amazing as it may seem to you, there is more than one person in the world that doesn’t agree with you on every single point about how life should be.

    Jonathan,

    “Nice of you to go out of your way to identify the victim of a sex crime”

    When has that happened here?

    “you think a woman who assaulted and tried to rape a child is Not A Big Deal”

    Propositioning and groping someone is now attempted rape? Your blood lust has made you irrational. Or is it the other way around?

  84. That was hilarious. Thanks,

  85. Linda Lou, here is a helpful google method you can learn to assist you in your so-called research/aka paranoid conspiracy witch hunts.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=site:https://freerangekids.wordpress.com/+david

    With that you can find all posts here with a David responding. Replace David with Scott or whatever other name you feel is the same person, and have fun. Also works on other blogs as well so you can work out those giant TV detective charts on your wall in which you explore whoever it was that killed JFK.

    Seeing various contributors here who don’t agree with you as all the same person is clearly paranoia, which is also evident from your non-reality-based ideas about the threat this woman poses. I am waiting with amusement for your claim that David, me, Lenore, and whoever else are also secret aliases for the lady in Nevada as being her in secret and posting from prison is clearly the only reason anyone would object to a life sentence in prison for this sort of incident.

  86. Hey Linda, I’ve now studied David’s historical posts. There’s MORE than one David here by the way. He SEEMS to be a Libertarian from Asheville and he recently visited Australia. He also LIKES to use BOLD for emphasis and often ends his posts with an ellipsis. So now that I know how to COPY his style, that should help with your paranoia. The following video may be helpful to you.

    http://www.theonion.com/video/in-the-know-is-the-government-spying-on-paranoid-s,14177/

    If David wishes to meet me in the middle and look more like my posts, then I recommend he use more citation URLs in his postings, which I am fond of.

    I do agree that we both like to use compound-hyphenated-made-up-words…

  87. @Dragonwolf:

    “Both the breasts and the penis have multiple purposes, but society as a whole does not see it that way. They only see the sexual aspect of it, regardless of the actual circumstances or intent. That’s why we have public urinaters on the sex offender registry and breastfeeding moms feeding their children in the bathroom.”

    And why that shouldn’t be the case. Taking a leak does not equal a sexual experience any more than feeding a baby from the breast.

    “That said, breasts, even when used for sexual purposes, still do not equate to the penis. The penis is the organ actually used for sexual intercourse, ergo, the female equivalent is the vagina.”

    Here’s the reasoning behind equating the two. Men have no other part on their body that is viewed in the same way breasts are. With my logic (see above), breast and penis can be equal DEPENDING ON THE CIRCUMSTANCE because neither organ is solely, strictly, undeniably used for one single purpose only. Each of them, breast and penis, are externally visible organs that have multiple functions (which you did point out), but it is the intent to which they are used that makes the difference. Ergo – if a woman has a baby feed from her breast, she is not a child molester. If a man holds his penis for peeing, he is not having a sexual experience. If a woman forces a child to grope her boob for her own sexual gratification, it is the same as a man having a child grab his penis for sexual gratification.

    The reason I did not at all bring vagina into this, though it too has multiple functions (birthing, bleeding, sex) is because it is within the woman’s body. The only thing equivalent on a man’s body is his anal cavity – to which a woman also has one. Point being, those locations would require penetration by finger, penis, stick, etc to reach (sorry to be so blunt). We’re not talking about a penis in the sense that it can penetrate any more than a finger being able to do the same thing – what I’m getting at with all of this is that breasts and penises CAN be equated as multi-purposed organs that give the bearer sexual gratification.

    We are in total agreement on the sentencing. Life is for sure too long.

    And now, I shall leave the dead horse to bloat in the sun, finally, and walk off into the sunset to either survive or fry. *tips her hat*

  88. What? Good heavens, I wouldn’t want MY teenage son to see boobies or touch boobies! Teenage boys don’t even LIKE boobs! They try so hard to avoid seeing or even thinking about them!

    This woman clearly needs both help and penalty, but I’m thinking more of psych treatment than life in prison.

  89. I think she should be charged and put away for a awhile for getting a boy to touch her boobs, IMO that is just as bad a man getting a girl to touch his balls, deserves jail time. That said though, not life in prison, maybe 5-10 depending on that they actually did.

  90. Wow. Chill out folks! First of all, we are here to express opinions calmly, not to attack each other! Second, utilizing other cultures as a baseline for our actions isn’t really applicable, and last…. If it were my 13 year old, I would be mortified! This isn’t about his behavior, as he is still a child, but about her behavior. Don’t know about all of you, but I didn’t really think through everything I did as a preteen. She made her bed, and drunk or not, I would not proposition a child, nor request sex. She deserves some jailtime, but perhaps not life, and to be released, she should go on
    file as a sex offender, and though I rarely check those things, it does serve as a reminder to her that it shouldn’t be done again. I hope you all calm down some! We can’t and won’t always agree on everything, but refrain from attacking each other. We are, after all, the parents here.😉

  91. @Lauren Ok, I will bite. You write “utilizing other cultures as a baseline for our actions isn’t really applicable”. Would you kindly explain why you believe it is not? I pointed out that the actions in question, which the state of Nevada views as a crime and for which they are applying a life sentence, would not even be illegal in a number of other developed countries. How is that not instructive as to how unmoored U.S. society has become with regard to any matter that touches on sexuality and young people?

  92. @David. To a certain extent, we can learn from other cultures, but to ensure consistency and fairness, I don’t think that we can change suddenly to punish as they might, or ignore as they might. We have developed our own judicial system and “crime severeness” so to speak. Again, in this case, it was a harsh punishment, but nevertheless, the action is unacceptable in our society, and therefore needs some form of discipline so a not to allow this to become a free reign. If I had been raised where this was how society operated, and the behaviors tolerated, perhaps my view would differ.

    Does anyone else wonder if the trial affected the boy more than the actual act itself? To be questioned and prodded and it made into an enormous mess? Was the punishment truly worth the real sacrifice of the boys privacy and pride? I can’t imagine the gossip that followed…

  93. I’m going to disagree with you on this one. That woman’s actions were more than just bad behavior, they were the acts of a molester. A life in prison is a harsh sentence but I don’t think its fair to her victims to minimize her actions.

  94. Too bad for her she isn’t a man. If you’re a man you can rape a minor + violate them with multiple household objects and you only get 3 years.

  95. Wow, a lot of infantalizing of adolescent children here. A 13 year old boy has reached an age of sexuality. Most 13 year old boys would be thrilled at the opportunity to touch a breast or have sex. Most masturbate at least once a day and are constantly fantasizing about sex. Embarassment? Yes probably, fear, sure, of the social or even performance anxiety type. Watch any teen sex comedy to get schooled on how 13 year old boys think about sex. The insanity of this sentence is that it takes no account of the difference betwen a man abusing a teen girl (power abuse) and the opposite. The woman is being punished for being perverse, not for the supposed effects on the child. It’s female sexuality that’s being policed here.

  96. i am shocked to my inner soul! Beyond all human reasoning…really sick and sad.

  97. The hysteria over breast exposure or contact is easier to understand when we consider the multinational corporations that profit from it. Go to YouTube and search the keywords “breast shame” for an interview related to a new documentary on breast hysteria.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: