Talk About Double Standards

It is not uncommon for female sexual predators who commit the same crimes as male sexual predators to be charged for lesser offenses. It is, however, rare for it to occur on the same day and the charges to be filed by the same person:

A 17-year-old Sheboygan girl was charged Thursday with misdemeanor sexual assault for allegedly having sex with her 14-year-old boyfriend.

Norma J. Guthrie, of 1034-A Michigan Ave., was in court a day after a 17-year-old Sheboygan boy was charged with a felony for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old girlfriend.

Guthrie admitted having sex with the boy between 10 and 15 times, according to a complaint charging her with fourth-degree sexual assault. She faces a maximum of nine months in jail, if convicted.

On Wednesday, Alan J. Jepsen, 17, of 1416 New York Ave., was charged for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old girl who he claimed told him she was 16. Jepsen is facing a count of felony second-degree sexual assault, which carries a maximum prison term of 25 years.

Assistant District Attorney Jim Haasch, who filed both complaints, said the misdemeanor charge was filed in part because Guthrie has no prior criminal record. But online court records show Guthrie has a pending charge of misdemeanor battery, filed in October.

Haasch would not say whether Jepsen has a prior juvenile record — which is typically sealed — but the boy has no adult charges listed in online court records.

Haasch also said the cases are different because Guthrie’s boyfriend is “almost 15,” with a birthday in February. Jepsen’s girlfriend turns 15 in April.

That is a pretty blatant double standard. The boy faces 25 years in prison while the girl faces only nine moths and the only reason Haasch can give is essentially that the girl’s victim turns 15 in a few weeks? One would think the difference in the charges would result from the crime itself. This just goes to show how deep the notion that boys cannot be harmed by female predators runs in the minds of even those elected to protect victims’ rights.

However, unless the acts of both these 17-year-olds were violent (which seems more likely in Guthrie’s case), neither of them should face charges. There is only a three year difference. It is normal for people that age to date older teens. Criminalizing it just comes across like another means of trying to prevent teenagers from having sex. Arresrting and inmprisoning them for doing something that honestly causes no one any harm is utterly ludicrous.

The purpose of the laws being used is to protect those who are actually being victimized. Branding them as sex offenders and potentially locking up young boys for 25 years for having sex with someone who is also in high school completely defeats that purpose.

2 thoughts on “Talk About Double Standards

  1. Pingback: Mass. boy to argue discrimination in rape case « Toy Soldiers

  2. Pingback: The teacher abuse double standard | Toy Soldiers

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