Woman gets away with rape by marrying her victim

This is a first:

A former Brunswick County teacher charged with having sex with a student pleaded guilty last month to a lesser charge after she married the victim, preventing the state from compelling him to testify against her, a prosecutor said this week. […] [Leah Gayle Shipman] was a married Brunswick County Academy teacher when she was arrested in January 2009 on charges of sexual offense with a student, statutory rape and taking indecent liberties with a student. Shipman was immediately suspended from her job and her contract wasn’t renewed.

According to court records, Shipman divorced her husband on January 19, 2011 and six days later married her victim. Apparently the boy had his mother’s permission. The tricky issue is this: the boy was 15-years-old when Shipman began the abuse. She should be charged with a sex offense, but:

Under North Carolina law, the spouse of a defendant cannot be compelled to testify against the defendant in criminal cases or grand jury proceedings except in cases of bigamy; domestic violence; trespassing, when one trespasses upon another’s property during a separation; abandonment or criminal offenses against a minor child of either spouse.

That seems very odd, and I wonder if the law will be changed in light of situations like these. The police were left with only being able to charge Shipman with an offense based on text messages they found on her or the victim’s phone.

It is unclear whether Shipman married the boy out of genuine interest in him or just to avoid going to jail. She waited until the boy was 17 to get married, and one wonders why it took so long for the case to finally reach the point of prosecution. Had they proceeded with the case sooner, they might have been able to prosecute Shipman. Of course, given the boy’s choice, it is likely that he would have refused to cooperate anyway.

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10 thoughts on “Woman gets away with rape by marrying her victim

  1. Databass, Shipman did not plead guilty to rape. She plead out to a misdemeanor charge for resisting a public officer. That carries a far less sentence than breaking and entering and larceny. That said, it is quite sad.

  2. They’ll get her. The accusations been made, the school has taken action and they have people who can testify.

    My thoughts go to the mother who I worry is endangering her son!
    I’d like to know what she has said about their relationship

  3. Madhippy, without the boy’s testimony the prosecutors cannot go forward. It is unlikely that while he is married to the woman he would testify, so there is no way for the state to do anything about ti.

  4. This is sick beyond belife.

    Obviously this female predator knew what she was doing by marrying him to get a lesser sentence instead of being thrown in jail with the rest of them.

    Just one more sad example of how disgusting this world is.

  5. As a thought experiment, flip the genders in this story and re-read it. A male adult has sex with a 15-year old girl and then, when brought up on charges, dumps his current wife and marries his now 17-year old victim in order to ensure that she can’t be forced to testify against him.

    Now, can you predict the media reaction and feminist analysis of the case?

  6. Could someone let GWALLEN know *I have no way of contacting him* that figleaf is at least pretending to care about (because we all know figleaf NEVER criticizes feminism) the CEO he mentioned in his last comment on TS’s post “Just stop helping”? I don’t think GWALLEN has seen it, because there’s no updating of posts to reflect new comments anywhere on this site. I’d like to know what Figleaf would do when confronted with actual evidence of a feminist or feminist group behaving badly.

  7. Clarence and TS…I wasn’t particularly interested in responding and I’m particularly not interested in naming anybody as he demands. As I said I was describing the political dynamic in my country and the feminist involvement in that dynamic. It isn’t up for debate. It simply IS. I have a position, and a level of respect which has surprised me, in my state’s network which I don’t need threatened. I’m chipping away slowly at a residual that remains from a time prior to those services including males. Ten years down the track they probably should be doing better. The boardroom discussion that lead to the CEO’s mention of “convenience” stemmed from my questioning the wording of the organisation’s formal “philosophy”. The references to “male privilege” as a cause of rape, which were what I questioned, have now been removed.

    figleaf is making the mistake of assuming that the aggression I display on the internet is indicative of how I behave in more formal settings. He couldn’t be more wrong. I’ve been on committees and in meeting rooms since I was a kid and I do know what I’m doing. I’ve gone into it assuming that the necessary changes will take years. The last thing I need is him, or anyone else for that matter, communicating with that CEO or the network itself in a way that threatens MY position. I’m getting to a point where I seriously have to consider ceasing any internet engagement at all in case that opportunity is lost.

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