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Archive for Wednesday, May 18, 2011

18-year-old Lawrence man charged with having illegal voluntary sexual relationship with teen

May 18, 2011, 1:28 p.m. Updated May 18, 2011, 2:12 p.m.

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Douglas County prosecutors Wednesday charged an 18-year-old Lawrence man with having unlawful voluntary sexual intercourse with a child between the ages of 14 and 16, according to court records.

Lawrence police Tuesday evening arrested the man. Sgt. Matt Sarna, a police spokesman, said a school resource officer was called to assist detectives with the investigation. Julie Boyle, a school district spokeswoman, said the report was “not a school-related matter.”

Sarna said that police were initially called at noon Tuesday to Lawrence Memorial Hospital’s emergency room to investigate a possible sexual assault and that the victim, a 14-year-old Lawrence girl who was not injured, alleged she was assaulted by an 18-year-old acquaintance Monday in central Lawrence.

The suspect was taken into custody at 8:40 p.m. Tuesday at the downtown law enforcement center, 111 E. 11th St., according to jail records. The man was initially arrested on charges of child rape and indecent liberties with a child, but prosecutors filed the lesser charge Wednesday. It also is a felony. Prosecutors accuse the man of having unlawful voluntary sexual intercourse with a child ages 14 to 16.

A judge set the man’s bond at $2,000 cash or surety Wednesday and scheduled his next hearing for Tuesday. The Journal-World generally does not identify sex crime suspects unless they are convicted.

Comments

bangaranggerg 3 years, 7 months ago

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ebyrdstarr 3 years, 7 months ago

A conviction of this offense would not require registration.

ebyrdstarr 3 years, 7 months ago

I speak only for Kansas, but in this state, yes, I'm sure.

Eride 3 years, 7 months ago

I looked at the Kansas statutes that govern this and ebyrdstarr is right.

If he had been charged (and convicted) of the two higher charges he would have been required to register.

hail2oldku 3 years, 7 months ago

"Lawrence police Tuesday evening arrested the man in connection with a report that a school resource officer took about noon Wednesday at West Junior High School, 2700 Harvard Road." "The suspect was taken into custody at 8:40 p.m. Tuesday"

So he was arrested 15 hours before it was reported to the school resource officer?

hail2oldku 3 years, 7 months ago

Nice job of totally re-writing this story George. Maybe you guys should have a copy editor read the original story before you post instead of relying on readers to do the work for you.

kimk 3 years, 7 months ago

An 18 yr old and a 14-16 yr old having voluntary sexual relations and we are going to lock him up and make him register for the next 25 years, what a joke! Not to mention a waste of tax money. As bangaranggerg said above half of every high school would end up in prison and registered if every case got reported/charged. Sounds like a bad break up, she got upset, and now his life is ruined.

MarcoPogo 3 years, 7 months ago

Or her parents caught them and it was off to the races.

kimk 3 years, 7 months ago

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ebyrdstarr 3 years, 7 months ago

The crime of unlawful voluntary sexual relations does not include a registration requirement in this state. (though if he were to move into another state, he might need to look into it.)

Also, unless he already has at least two convictions for person felonies, he will be presumptive probation and could expect a term of 12 months probation. The underlying prison term should his probation be revoked would almost certainly be under 1 year.

This comment should by no means be taken as approving of the state prosecuting this kid.

RKLOG 3 years, 7 months ago

Agreed, but I think Kansas law sees this instance as just bad judgment and there will be no register. I really wish more time and money were spent on prevention of this kind of thing and education, not jail bars and ruined lives. Much research into prevention is happening but there needs to be backing and good examples reported in the news. Are we ready for the 21st Century? I guess we will find out.

DillonBarnes 3 years, 7 months ago

What a wonderful way to ruin a kid's life.

oldvet 3 years, 7 months ago

You better start having conversations with your sons rather than just handing out the condoms and hoping for the best...

LoveThsLife 3 years, 7 months ago

Wow, I can't believe people are jumping to the conclusion that the act was consensual and that this guy shouldn't be prosecuted. Re-read the article..the girl accused him of assaulting her.
Sure they were acquaintances but that doesn't mean much... girls and women are more likely to be assaulted by someone they know than by a stranger.

LoveThsLife 3 years, 7 months ago

Self correction I re-read the charges. It was a voluntary act, initially they had thought it was sexual assault.

jackpot 3 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like maybe one story with parents at LMH, another without parents at LPD?

Sigmund 3 years, 7 months ago

The so called "Romeo and Juliet" soft core provisions to the rape law in Kansas:

KSA 21-3522: Unlawful voluntary sexual relations. (a) Unlawful voluntary sexual relations is engaging in voluntary: (1) Sexual intercourse; (2) sodomy; or (3) lewd fondling or touching with a child who 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 and are members of the opposite sex.

(b) (1) Unlawful voluntary sexual relations as provided in subsection (a)(1) is a severity level 8, person felony. (2) Unlawful voluntary sexual relations as provided in subsection (a)(2) is a severity level 9, person felony. (3) Unlawful voluntary sexual relations as provided in subsection (a)(3) is a severity level 10, person felony. http://kansasstatutes.lesterama.org/Chapter_21/Article_35/21-3522.html

The full-throated hard core rape law:

KSA 21-3502: Rape. (a) Rape is: (1) Sexual intercourse with a person who does not consent to the sexual intercourse, under any of the following circumstances: (A) When the victim is overcome by force or fear; (B) when the victim is unconscious or physically powerless; or (C) when the victim is incapable of giving consent because of mental deficiency or disease, or when the victim is incapable of giving consent because of the effect of any alcoholic liquor, narcotic, drug or other substance, which condition was known by the offender or was reasonably apparent to the offender;

(2) sexual intercourse with a child who is under 14 years of age;

(3) sexual intercourse with a victim when the victim's consent was obtained through a knowing misrepresentation made by the offender that the sexual intercourse was a medically or therapeutically necessary procedure; or

(4) sexual intercourse with a victim when the victim's consent was obtained through a knowing misrepresentation made by the offender that the sexual intercourse was a legally required procedure within the scope of the offender's authority.

(b) It shall be a defense to a prosecution of rape under subsection (a)(2) that the child was married to the accused at the time of the offense.

(c) Except as provided further, rape as described in subsection (a)(1) or (2) is a severity level 1, person felony. Rape as described in subsection (a)(2), when the offender is 18 years of age or older, is an off-grid person felony. Rape as described in subsection (a)(3) or (4) is a severity level 2, person felony. http://kansasstatutes.lesterama.org/Chapter_21/Article_35/21-3502.html

Anyone else find the fact that marriage is a defense for rape, but not for the "Romeo and Juliet" provisions?

ebyrdstarr 3 years, 7 months ago

Ha! For all the times I've read those statutes, I've never caught that. As far as I know, it has never been an issue. But if a prosecutor tried to charge this against a spouse, any first year law student ought to be able to write the argument as to why not applying the marriage defense to a Romeo and Juliet offense is unconstitutional.

Oh, and in case anyone reads the text of the R & J statute and wants to flip out about the obvious anti-homosexual bias, have no fear. The Kansas Supreme Court has said this statute must apply to consensual sex between same-sex teens. So that opposite sex language must be ignored. (the legislature just hasn't changed the wording.)

Sigmund 3 years, 7 months ago

There is a reason for that. Marriage, both licensed and common law, are age restricted.

KSA 23-101: Nature of marriage relation. (a) The marriage contract is to be considered in law as a civil contract between two parties who are of opposite sex. All other marriages are declared to be contrary to the public policy of this state and are void. The consent of the parties is essential. The marriage ceremony may be regarded either as a civil ceremony or as a religious sacrament, but the marriage relation shall only be entered into, maintained or abrogated as provided by law.

  (b)   The state of Kansas shall not recognize a common-law marriage contract if either party to the marriage contract is under 18 years of age.

http://kansasstatutes.lesterama.org/Chapter_23/Article_1/23-101.html

KSA 23-106: (c) No clerk or judge shall issue a license authorizing the marriage of any person: (1) Under the age of 16 years, except that a judge of the district court may, after due investigation, give consent and issue the license authorizing the marriage of a person 15 years of age when the marriage is in the best interest of the person 15 years of age; or (2) who is 16 or 17 years of age without .... http://kansasstatutes.lesterama.org/Chapter_23/Article_1/23-106.html

As far as I can tell the accused can only use the married defense when the charge of rape is based upon age and a judge found "the marriage is in the best interest of the person 15 years of age."

ebyrdstarr 3 years, 7 months ago

But the charge of unlawful voluntary sexual relations is inherently a crime of age. It would violate equal protection and substantive due process not to respect the marriage of a 17 year-old and 15 year-old but to respect a marriage with a wider age gap or someone under 14 (which can be legal based on being executed in some state other than Kansas).

ebyrdstarr 3 years, 7 months ago

And, really, regardless of how any individual state statutes are written, I think it would be pretty easily declared unconstitutional to criminalize consensual sex between lawful spouses.

caec 3 years, 7 months ago

Marriage is not a defense for rape. Marriage is only a defense to the charge of the rape of a child under 14 years of age that at the time of the offense the child was married to the accused (statutory rape). The Pattern Instructions for Kansas specifically say this and also say that the instruction is never given in cases of nonconsenual intercourse regardless of the relationship of the parties.

ebyrdstarr 3 years, 7 months ago

Of course, marriage is only a defense to consensual sex. And it's shameful how recently that defense has been limited to consensual acts in parts of this country.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 7 months ago

Just another case of where the sex laws writtten by politicians grandstanding for the voters backfire with collateral damage to unwary youngsters. I recall an article some years back where two married people with small daughters were suffering the consequences of being convicted of "unlawful" sex activity before they were married. The male was placed on the sexual offender registry and now the childern of this very lawful marriage were being shunned by vicious and judgemental people who did not want their child to be associating with the childern of a "sex offender". These hypertensive encompasing sex laws written by grandstanding politicians were meant to protect the young, but the result is a lot of crap that was never intended.

kimk 3 years, 7 months ago

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Ryan Wood 3 years, 7 months ago

Senior dating a freshman. Freshman gets caught by parents, claims it was rape to cover her own butt. Truth comes out. Senior is thrown in jail anyway.

The law is silly in this case.

Sigmund 3 years, 7 months ago

frwent (anonymous) says… "Just another case of where the sex laws writtten by politicians grandstanding for the voters backfire with collateral damage to unwary youngsters."

All laws are written by grandstanding politicians with collateral damage to the voters. But as for rape or unlawful voluntary sexual relations, 16 years old is the age of consent in Kansas. Now that isn't so hard to remember, is it?

Sigmund 3 years, 7 months ago

HowMuchRice (anonymous) says… "Senior dating a freshman. Freshman gets caught by parents, claims it was rape to cover her own butt. Truth comes out. Senior is thrown in jail anyway."

The freshman doesn't have to claim anything, it is age based rape even with consent. Read carefully, unlawful voluntary sexual relations

Sigmund 3 years, 7 months ago

caec (anonymous) replies… "Marriage is not a defense for rape. Marriage is only a defense to the charge of the rape of a child under 14 years of age that at the time of the offense the child was married to the accused (statutory rape). The Pattern Instructions for Kansas specifically say this and also say that the instruction is never given in cases of nonconsenual intercourse regardless of the relationship of the parties."

First of all, all rape is statutory. Second, your first two sentences contradict themselves. Your conclusion however is correct, marriage is a defense to age-based rape if the spouse is under 14 years old, but strangely not available in cases where the spouse is 15?!?!?! Finally, since the defense only applies when the charge of rape which is based solely upon the age of the alleged victim and the victim is a spouse, that is why the instruction is only given in cases where the charge is based solely on the age and the victim is a spouse, pretty narrow set of cases to be sure.

FYI, I believe Missouri allows marriage at 15 with parental consent and less than 15 under "special circumstances" and for "good cause."

Sigmund 3 years, 7 months ago

ebyrdstarr (anonymous) replies… "But the charge of unlawful voluntary sexual relations is inherently a crime of age. It would violate equal protection and substantive due process not to respect the marriage of a 17 year-old and 15 year-old but to respect a marriage with a wider age gap or someone under 14 (which can be legal based on being executed in some state other than Kansas)."

Excellent point that even a District Court should understand :)

DebTra 3 years, 7 months ago

It seems the Douglas County Kansas DA's Office and the Douglas County Kansas SRS Office can choose who they prosecute or protect from harm. I know of one family that has been turned in at least five times because the father allowed the 14 year old daughter to date an 18 year old man. The daughter then becomes pregnant a few months after turning 15. I’m not sure the DA’s office or SRS has it priorities straight when it comes to protecting children.

As posted above KSA 21-3522 says it is against the law to have sex (of any kind) with a child who is 14 years of age but less than 16 years of age, yet neither of these offices have deemed it necessary to remove the daughter from the home or prosecute the 18 year old for fathering a child with her or the father of the 15 year old daughter for neglect.

The 18 year old is not being charged with having illegal voluntary sexual relationship with a teen, and the father is not facing Failure to Supervise charges nor is he being charged with Criminal Neglect. At the very least he should be deemed an unfit parent and the daughter should be removed from the home.

I am sure none of this has happened because:

1) the father is friends with someone in the SRS office, 2) the father’s fiancé is a cousin to a Supervisor at the SRS office, & 3) the 18 year olds father is a local police officer.

It is pathetic when some people try to get children out of dangerous circumstances but do not get the assistance needed to do so by “those is charge of the public welfare.” This is akin to the Government saying “Don’t discipline your child, but you – the parent - will be held responsible when your child breaks the law.”

Don Whiteley 3 years, 7 months ago

Just because a 14-16 year is dating an 18 year old does not imply neglect on the part of the parent(s). This could simply imply that a sophomore is dating a senior and the two teens let their emotions and hormones get carried away. And since this law makes that illegal, we of course know that never happens. Right?

Sigmund 3 years, 7 months ago

DebTra (anonymous) says… "It seems the Douglas County Kansas DA's Office and the Douglas County Kansas SRS Office can choose who they prosecute or protect from harm."

File a complaint. There are lots of 14 and 15 year olds having sex with much older partners, but unless a complaint is filed and the charge can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt there isn't anything to be done.

tiredofcrazies 3 years, 7 months ago

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