Letters to the Editor

Kiss not the issue

October 18, 2007

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To the editor:

Dr. Wes and Julia's recent column on the so-called "kiss and tell" case demonstrates a significant lack of understanding of the issue.

The opinion issued by then-Attorney General Phill Kline was never about "kissing and telling." It's legal to kiss in Kansas and no one ever needs to know. It is, however, illegal to have intercourse with a child - that's called rape. Kansas has mandatory reporting laws for good reason - one of them is that children are often in co-dependent relationships and do not report their own sexual abuse because they are terrified. Kline's opinion stated that if a child is raped, abortion clinics should call SRS and allow them to investigate.

Interestingly, the 10th Circuit Court never threw the case out. In fact, the only 10th Circuit ruling issued on the case agreed with Kline and reversed the district court's decision. Newly elected Attorney General Paul Morrison simply filed a motion to dismiss the most recent appeal and the 10th Circuit had no choice; the appealing party (Morrison) now wanted it dismissed.

Teenagers are never investigated or prosecuted for kissing, but unfortunately, adults who rape children aren't often investigated or prosecuted because they take that child to an abortion clinic, claim an age-mate boyfriend did it, and return home with the child to rape again.

Sorry, Dr. Wes and Julia, but the child's privacy was invaded by the rapist, not by requiring an abortion doctor to call someone who can help the child.

Brian Burgess,

public information officer, Office of District Attorney Phill Kline, Overland Park

Comments

moderation 7 years, 6 months ago

The truth has a funny way of making some folks very uncomfortable. That usually leads to personal attacks to change the issue.

Ragingbear 7 years, 6 months ago

The LJW should not have printed this desperate attempt at the thief that stole the election in JC in order to further his own agenda.

agtprovocateuse 7 years, 6 months ago

Under K.S.A. 21-3503, indecent liberties with a child is engaging in any "lewd fondling or touching of the person of either the child or the offender, done or submitted to with the intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the offender, or both," where the child is fourteen or fifteen years old.

In State v. Stout, 34 Kan. App. 2d 83, 87, 114 P.3d 989 (2005), a panel of the Kansas Court of Appeals found persuasive authority from other jurisdictions that recognize that french kissing is "an inherently sexual act generally resulting in sexual excitement and arousal." The Court noted that it found no authority for the defendant's argument that mere french kissing cannot be lewd touching as a matter of law. Stout, 34 Kan. App. 2d at 83-84. Indecent liberties with a child is a severity level five person felony.

So, contrary to the above letter, kissing in Kansas may, in fact, be illegal. Even if the offender has no criminal history, he or she is still subject to a prison sentence of thirty one to thirty four months. The sentencing judge has discretion to order the offender to serve probation, but it would not constitute a dispositional departure to impose a prison sentence. This means your sixteen-year-old son could spend almost three years in prison for french kissing his fifteen-year-old girlfriend.

Does anyone else find it alarming the public information officer for the office in Johnson County responsible for enforcing the laws of Kansas is apparently completely unfamiliar with said laws?

geniusmannumber1 7 years, 6 months ago

"Teenagers are never investigated or prosecuted for kissing, but unfortunately, adults who rape children aren't often investigated or prosecuted because they take that child to an abortion clinic, claim an age-mate boyfriend did it, and return home with the child to rape again."

Gosh, that's cute. I'm going to make this paragraph the crux of the argument. By using the word "often", I'm going to imply that this is a common problem. It doesn't matter that I have no proof to back it up. It doesn't matter whether I believe it myself. The word "often" will scare you. You must fear the word "often". "Often" justifies the means. And please ignore the lawman behind the curtain rifling through medical records with intimate details of your urogenital system.

Baille 7 years, 6 months ago

Nice try, Brian, but Kline's AG Opinion was not about the rape of minors. It was not about adult-minor sex. It was not about child abuse. Kline's AG Opinion specifically took the position that mandated reporters MUST report knowledge or reasonable suspicions of sexual activity (broadly defined) between two minors. Period. The Tenth Circuit opinion recognizes this as does the two District Court of Kansas opinions.

From the Tenth Circuit:

"Professionals subject to Kansas statute requiring doctors, teachers, and others to notify state government of suspected injury to minor resulting from sexual abuse brought action under § 1983 for declaratory and injunctive relief against Kansas Attorney General and class composed of all county and district attorneys in state, alleging that reporting statute was unconstitutional as applied to incidents involving consensual sexual activity between minors of similar ages. The United States District Court for the District of Kansas granted professionals' motion for preliminary injunction. Defendants appealed."

The injunction granted by teh District COurt was vacated not because Kline was right, but because the factual underpinnings for the preliminary injunction, an extraordinary remedy, had not been sufficiently laid out. On remand, the District Court reinstated its injunction against the State of Kansas preventing it from enforcing Kline's ridiculous opinion, and in doing so stated:

"This opinion does not change in any respect the law or policy as it has been applied in Kansas since 1982; indeed, it upholds both. In every case in which a reporter has a reasonable suspicion of injury caused by abuse of any kind, the reporter must continue to notify SRS. So this case is not about whether adult sexual predators will escape detection. The reporting statute, as enacted by the Kansas legislature, concerns identifying true victims of abuse so they can obtain assistance and protection. Contrary to defendants' claims, a prosecutor is not in a better position to make an initial determination of "injury," as required by statute, than is a health care professional.

continued...

Baille 7 years, 6 months ago

"This case certainly is not about promoting sexual promiscuity among underage persons. Each and every witness testified that underage sex should be discouraged. No witness suggested that sexual intercourse under the age of twelve should not be reported. At the same time, a plain language interpretation of the reporting statute acknowledges the importance of the health care professional's ability to obtain and maintain a young patient's confidence in order to treat the patient appropriately. It recognizes that sexual activity among underage persons occurs, and that any such activity that injures the minor will be reported.

"The court holds that a plain reading of the statute vests mandatory reporters, such as health care providers, with discretion to determine when there is "reason to suspect a child has been injured" as a result of sexual abuse. The Attorney General would impose a "zero tolerance" reporting rule for a broad but as yet undetermined range of underage sexual activity, eliminating all discretion on the part of the reporter. Where the legislature has unquestionably placed such discretion in reporters, to require reporting in every instance would be as contrary to the law of Kansas as not reporting at all."

Baille 7 years, 6 months ago

Public disinformation officer would be more accurate.

Ragingbear 7 years, 6 months ago

Phil Kline has gone after this issue for years. Remember when he got censured for the stuff he did? Remember when he accused doctor Tiller of stirring aborted fetuses into his lunch? He's a liar and we all know it. He's a thief, and got into his current job in JC with the helps of his fellow Phelpsian cronies.

Meanwhile, he is still spewing out these baseless charges from his office where he touches himself over thoughts of Fred Phelps next funeral protest.

agtprovocateuse 7 years, 6 months ago

As a correction to my above post, the "Romeo and Juliet" statute (K.S.A. 21-3522) would make such behavior "unlawful voluntary sexual relations" rather than "indecent liberties with a child" where the child is "14 years of age but less than 16 years of age and the offender is less than 19 years of age and less than four years of age older than the child and the child and the offender are the only parties involved." Even though the penalty would be decreased, I stand by my original statement that kissing may, in fact, be a crime in Kansas.

JerkStore 7 years, 6 months ago

Why does a DA need a pulic information officer?

Baille 7 years, 6 months ago

There are many factors that go into the fact that child sexual abuse is not prosecuted and deception by an abuser who is also a family member is one of those factors. It is a problem. But the solution to that problem does not include stripping discretion from doctors, counselors and other mandated reporters and turning over every case of minor/minor sexual contact to people like Phill Kline.

The consequences and damage inherent in childhood sexual abuse, the ramifications caused by warping the trust and bonds in our society's most intimate familial relationships, balancing constitutional requirements with the need to protect victims from further harm, and the panoply of things that must be considered in providing counseling, medical care and other types of care that relies on an intimate, confidential relationship makes the problem with successfully identifiying and prosecutor suspected abusers difficult in many cases. It is a complex problem. Kline has consistently misunderstood this complexity and in his ignorance proposed a simple, yet inherently harmful approach to the problem. However, this is not a Gordian Knot. This is reality. Lives would have been forever altered - children would have been harmed - if Kline's AG opinion was found to have any validity. Fortunately for all involved, it has been soundly discredited from all quarters.

On the other hand, I think a serious discussion among professionals on how to better identify and prosecute child sex abusers is long overdue. There are things that can be done to improve our system, but it requires complex analysis of the situation and cooperation across the various disciplines involved. Also, don't forget that Kansas has a fairly progressive approach to suing abusers civilly. In many cases, victims can recover for harms caused and can force the abuser to pay for such things as medical and psychological care and treatment, lifelong counseling sessions, and for pain and suffering caused.

promitida 7 years, 6 months ago

anyone else hate the smell of a dead horse?

Baille 7 years, 6 months ago

Not so much. Dead horse - good eating.

Pastissada de Caval: The people of Verona have been fond of this dish for over 1500 years. Apparently in a battle to the east of Verona, during the Gothic period, hundreds of dead horses were left on the field. Tradition has it that as days went by, the animal carcasses began to smell and so the local Verona inhabitants minced the meat with onion, other vegetables and a lot of wine . The expedient worked and since then the pastissada has become one of Verona's symbolic gastronomic dishes. Other than pastissada de caval it is not uncommon to find a donkey equivalent.

Picula ad Caval

This traditional Italian recipe will serve 6

21/4 pounds ground horse meat 1 Tbsp. olive oil 2-1/2 ounces ground cured lard (or pancetta) 2 onions, minced 1 glass dry white wine (though some Italian chefs prefer broth) 6 ripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded, chopped, and drained 2 bell peppers, ribbed and seeded, then diced 2 Tbsp. minced fresh herbs (basil, sage, and rosemary in proportions to taste) 1 clove garlic, minced salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil, lard, and onion in a skillet. Saute until the onion has become golden but don't let it get really brown. Add the horse meat and brown it, stirring frequently. When it has browned, sprinkle in the glass of wine and reduce the heat to a bare simmer. Cover it, and let it cook for at least an hour. Mix in the chopped tomatoes and diced peppers, and continue cooking for another half hour.

Ten minutes before removing the dish from the stove, sprinkle the minced herbs over everything. Serve it hot with salt and pepper to taste.

Pastissada

Another traditional Italian recipe from the Verona area.

2 pounds horse meat 2 ounces lard or porkback fat 2-3 carrots, cut into slivers 2 sticks celery, diced 1 large onion, diced 4 cloves a dozen coriander seeds 1 bay leaf 1 clove garlic 1 bottle Italian red wine flour, enough to brown the meat with 1/4 cup olive oil salt & pepper to taste 1 Tbsp. butter kneaded into enough flour to make a small ball paprika to taste

Slather the meat with the lard and slivers of carrots. Dice the other vegetables and put them, with the meat and spices (except the paprika) in a bowl. Pour the wine over everything, then cover and marinate in the refrigerator for three days, turning the meat occasionally.

Pat the meat dry with paper towel (keep the vegetables and the marinade), flour it, and brown it in the oil over a brisk flame. Add the vegetables. When they've cooked for a few minutes, pour the marinade over the meat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about three hours. Once the meat is done, remove it to a platter saving the sauce that has been formed with the marinade.

Return the sauce to the fire, thicken it with the butter-flour ball, and season it to taste with paprika. Pour the sauce over the meat, and serve with a good traditional side dish.

jonas 7 years, 6 months ago

Is this the Kiss with Ace Frehley, the kiss after Ace, or (God forbid!) the Kiss that thought that they could do videos withOUT their makeup?

gypsy10 7 years, 6 months ago

Anyone else absolutely in love with Baille? :o)

Crossfire 7 years, 6 months ago

Brownback would be proud:

Kline can waste more time and money than even Brownie.

:abortion is headed to the back-alley and the coat hanger days again.

james bush 7 years, 6 months ago

Rapists and child molesters really dislike Kline!

Confrontation 7 years, 6 months ago

Oh, my! TopekaHighStacy knows that this happened to someone who knew someone who had heard this happened to someone who dated her third cousin from Arkansas and that cousin knew someone who had it happen to his next door neighbor who also starred on Broadway. This must be true!

tearanydawn 7 years, 6 months ago

TopekaHighStacy (Anonymous) says:

geniusmannumber1 (Anonymous) says:

"Teenagers are never investigated or prosecuted for kissing, but unfortunately, adults who rape children aren't often investigated or prosecuted because they take that child to an abortion clinic, claim an age-mate boyfriend did it, and return home with the child to rape again."

This is true I know from personal experience. People don't listen to kids.

That's not completely true. There are some people that don't listen to kids. But I just about bet if you went to someone at your school who you feel safe talking to they would listen and help.

SloMo 7 years, 6 months ago

As far as I know, Philll never sought medical records for underage boys treated for venereal diseases.

It was an anti-abortion witch hunt.

Charles L Bloss Jr 7 years, 6 months ago

Notnowdear, none of your links seem to work. Kissing is fun, and hurts no one. I enjoyed kissing all my life, although I wish my wife would take some lessons. I have kissed women that kiss much, much better, but I knew that going in. I kissed a lot as a teenager, as well. I never got anyone pregnant or raped. To blame kissing for these things, you are way off base. Go sit on the couch, or swing on the front porch and make out a while. You will be the better for it. Kids, you need to kiss your b/f or g/f a lot too. If you have some self control and respect your body you don't have to have sex, just hug and kiss. Worked fine for me, well till I was 19 and met that special girl. You can't blame that on kissing. It was love ya know. Thank you, Lynn

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 6 months ago

Crossfire wrote: abortion is headed to the back-alley and the coat hanger days again.

Well at least we won't be filling the dumpsters with the innocent bodies of children who are murdered before they are given a chance to live all in the name of "personal choice." What a pathetic reason to justify the murder of a child.

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