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Denver Post: Girl, 13 charged as sex offender and victim


LeesburgSkinFan

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And her side protests. Apparently it's always good if you go after the boy...but you can't go after the girl.

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_4783650?obref=obinsite

Salt Lake City - Utah Supreme Court justices acknowledged Tuesday that they were struggling to wrap their minds around the concept that a 13-year-old girl could be both an offender and a victim for the same act - in this case, having consensual sex with her 12-year-old boyfriend.

The Ogden, Utah, girl was put in this odd position because she was found guilty of violating a state law that prohibits sex with someone under age 14. She also was the victim in the case against her boyfriend, who was found guilty of the same violation by engaging in sexual activity with her.

"The only thing that comes close to this is dueling," said Associate Chief Justice Michael Wilkins, noting that two people who take 20 paces and then shoot could each be considered both victim and offender.

And Chief Justice Christine Durham wondered if the state Legislature had intended the "peculiar consequence" that a child would have the simultaneous status of a protected person and an alleged perpetrator under the law.

The comments came in oral arguments on a motion asking the high court to overturn the finding of delinquency - the legal term in juvenile court for a conviction - against Z.C., who became pregnant after she and her boyfriend engaged in sex in October 2003.

State authorities filed delinquency petitions in July 2004, alleging that each had committed sexual abuse of a child, a second-degree felony if committed by an adult.

The girl appealed the petition, saying her constitutional right to be treated equally under the law had been violated.

Her motion noted that for juveniles who are 16 and 17, having sex with others in their own age group does not qualify as a crime.

Juveniles who are 14 or 15 and have sex with peers can be charged with unlawful conduct with a minor, but the law provides for mitigation when the age difference is less than four years, making the offense a misdemeanor.

For adolescents under 14, though, there are no exceptions or mitigation and they are never considered capable of consenting to sex.

A juvenile court judge denied the motion by Z.C., who then admitted to the offense while preserving her right to appeal to a higher court. The boy did not appeal.

The Utah Court of Appeals last December upheld the judge's refusal to dismiss the allegation, saying the law's "rigorous protections" for younger minors include protecting them for each other. Z.C. then appealed to the state Supreme Court.

At Tuesday's arguments, Matthew Bates, an assistant Utah attorney general, argued the prosecution of the girl was not unreasonable. He said the statute in question is designed to prevent sex with children who are 13 and younger, even if the other person is in the same age group.

By passing that law, legislators were sending a message, Bates said: Sex with or among children is unacceptable.

Randall Richards, the girl's attorney, argued that prosecuting children under a law meant to protect them is illogical.

"A child (victim) cannot also be a perpetrator in the exact same act," Richards said.

The Utah Supreme Court will issue a ruling later.

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His side should have protested also. These laws are 100% insane.

OK, as the guy says, sex between children is unacceptable. But I don't know that it should be a matter of law when both parties are the same age. Even if we decide its a legal thing, its insane to treat this the same as if one of them is a predator, and doubly insane to treat this as if BOTH are predators.

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Who brought the charges against these kids?

That's what I want to know. This CLEARLY should've been handled by the parents and never shoudl've involved the law in any way. I really hate the nanny state we live in. It's like the Republicans are the daddy parent and the Dems are the mommy parent, either way you go the bottom line is you sacrifice liberty to the gov't. The only difference is which areas of your life do you want to sacrifice liberty. No wonder I have interest in voting anymore.

Bottom line, when it comes to cases involving sex, the law should NEVER be involved unless it's clear that someone was coerced or violated in some way. Otherwise, it's a family matter.

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I assume that the girl went to the hospital because she was pregnant.

My next assumption is that because she was under 14, that triggered an automatic reporting to Child Protective Services - or whatever it is called in Utah. (Teachers and medical personnel are - in most states - required by law to report potential sexual abuse. You can be prosecuted for not doing so in some jurisdictions).

Once the boyfriend was discovered, it was probably mandatory to prosecute him.

Of course, they also had a situation where a 12 year old admitted to having sex. Which meant that it had to be reported.

And once the girlfriend was discovered, it was mandatory to prosecute her.

And since the "victims" are anonymous, it probably took a while to put two and two together.

I'm too bored to actually read the statute and regulations. But, that seems to be how this could have happened. Ah, where would be withouy beauracracy.

It seems strange that there is not an exception to this when both actors are under 14, but there isn't. To be honest, I'm not sure the Utah court's can overturn this. It's a stupid law, but I don't see anything inherently unconstitutional. Illogical maybe.

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It seems strange that there is not an exception to this when both actors are under 14' date=' but there isn't.[/quote']

Doesn't surprise me in the least.

I was living in Virginia when the state changed the law so that consensual sex where the girl was age 14-17, and the boy was within two years of her age, or when the girl was 9-13, and the boy was within one year, was a crime, but it wasn't "felony rape charged as an adult" any more.

And sure enough, next election, this guy's opponent was running campaign ads announcing that "Senator Lardbutt actually voted to repeal the law that made it illegal to have sex with nine year old girls"

I can think of few things that are more of a "third rail" in politics than voting to reduce the penalties for sex with children.

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And sure enough, next election, this guy's opponent was running campaign ads announcing that "Senator Lardbutt actually voted to repeal the law that made it illegal to have sex with nine year old girls"

I hate that crap. In those commercials, they always say something like this but of course never say why the person voted that way.

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I hate that crap. In those commercials, they always say something like this but of course never say why the person voted that way.

Man, you should see the ads that Meg Whitman is running out here in California. She has spent about a hundred million bucks convincing the GOP electorate that fellow Republican Insurance Commissioner Steve Poisner is a closet communist illegal immigrant loving tree hugger. Of course it is working - Poisner is going to get killed in the primary next week.

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Man, you should see the ads that Meg Whitman is running out here in California. She has spent about a hundred million bucks convincing the GOP electorate that fellow Republican Insurance Commissioner Steve Poisner is a closet communist illegal immigrant loving tree hugger. Of course it is working - Poisner is going to get killed in the primary next week.

It seems like most politicians just choose to say how bad their opponent is rather than saying what is good about themselves. This annoys me, and I'm almost inclined to vote for the person who doesn't do this.

I'm not sure I disagree with the law. It's basically saying that it's illegal for people under 14 to have sex. If that's how people feel, then I don't care if the victim/offenders are the same person.

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It seems like most politicians just choose to say how bad their opponent is rather than saying what is good about themselves. This annoys me, and I'm almost inclined to vote for the person who doesn't do this.

I'm not sure I disagree with the law. It's basically saying that it's illegal for people under 14 to have sex. If that's how people feel, then I don't care if the victim/offenders are the same person.

Except that you are basically saying:

1) Kids are too young to consent to sex because they aren't old enough to understand the consequences of what they are doing

but

2) Kids should be punished like criminals for having sex (thus, they must be old enough to understand the consequences of what they are doing).

How can it be both?

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Except that you are basically saying:

How can it be both?

I don't really care about whether it's really both or not, but punishing a victim/offender is common in everyday life. Don't parents punish their children for cursing, even though it's likely that the child learned the word from one of the parents?

I know that the laws are contradictory, but who cares as long as the outcome is what people want? What's the punishment anyway?

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I don't really care about whether it's really both or not, but punishing a victim/offender is common in everyday life. Don't parents punish their children for cursing, even though it's likely that the child learned the word from one of the parents?

I know that the laws are contradictory, but who cares as long as the outcome is what people want? What's the punishment anyway?

I suspect that the real punishment is being labelled a criminal sex offender for the rest of your life for doing something when you didn't have the cognitive development to understand at the time.

That's not an outcome I want.

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I suspect that the real punishment is being labelled a criminal sex offender for the rest of your life for doing something when you didn't have the cognitive development to understand at the time.

That's not an outcome I want.

Juveniles can be labeled sex offenders for the rest of their lives?

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Except that you are basically saying:

1) Kids are too young to consent to sex because they aren't old enough to understand the consequences of what they are doing

but

2) Kids should be punished like criminals for having sex (thus, they must be old enough to understand the consequences of what they are doing).

How can it be both?

Stop using logic :silly:
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Juveniles can be labeled sex offenders for the rest of their lives?

Actually, I have no idea.

But the whole thing still makes no sense. You are too young to have sex because you can't understand, but if you are too young to understand, then you can't have committed a crime.

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