Big crime, small sentence

Two years. That was the sentence Loren Morris received following her conviction on three counts of sexual intercourse with a child under 16. Morris raped an eight-year-old boy for two years starting when she was 16-years-old. News about the abuse surfaced when the victim allegedly “bragged” about it at school.

Morris smiled at the cameras as she waited for Judge Robert Juckes QC to issue his ruling. The judge explained his reason for the slap on the wrist:

‘I make no secret of the fact your case has given me cause for much consideration.

‘I have come to the conclusion that due to the concern and embarrassment caused to both you and your family that you will not be offending again, let alone committing sexual offences.

‘I am also aware of the effect this will have on your baby. I am pleased to hear your parents have started to build bridges with you.

‘That does not stop the fact though that you had full sexual intercourse with a child when he was eight to 10 years old – by his evidence it was upwards of fifty times.

‘It seems to me that I am bound to pass an immediate custodial sentence. I take into account what has been said to me and the fact that you stopped the activity yourself.

‘You realised it was wrong rather than being caught and forced to stop. Therefore my sentence is one of two years. You will serve 12 months in prison before being released on licence.’

None of the articles covering the case mention anything explaining why Morris stopped abusing the boy. Perhaps that information came out during the trial and was not reported in the news. It is more likely that the boy either aged out of Morris’ age range, she lost interest in him as she got older, or the boy responded in a way that turned Morris off.

It seems unlikely that Morris stopped because she knew it was wrong. It seems less likely that the “embarrassment” caused by the case will prevent her from offending again. After all, she did not get caught and she did not report herself. There is no reason to assume that she will not reoffend simply because of the media coverage and familial turmoil.

This is the kind of slap on the wrist that is the most dangerous. It not only sends the convicted the message that they will get a pass if the reoffend, but also that the system will not take the case seriously. They will simply go through the process and get the shortest sentence they can give under the law.

The sentence is the embarrassment, but it is unlikely that the judge will experience any of that.

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29 thoughts on “Big crime, small sentence

  1. @ TS: “It is more likely that the boy either aged out of Morris’ age range, she lost interest in him as she got older, or the boy responded in a way that turned Morris off.”

    Exactly, like old enough to “brag” to friends and/or get her pregnant.

    @ Judge Juckes: “I have come to the conclusion that due to the concern and embarrassment caused to both you and your family that you will not be offending again, let alone committing sexual offences.”

    Somehow this judge must have missed that whole Mary Kay Letourneau thing. Note how he is more concerned for her “embarrassment” than for the victim and his family. Did they make a statement? What was their reaction to the verdict?

  2. Integrity is what you do when no one is watching. If this woman wasn’t bothered by what she did before, I don’t see how she’ll be bothered by it now.

  3. Pingback: United Kingdom Female paedophile, 21, is jailed for one year after she had sex with an eight-year-old boy 50 times, starting when she was 16

  4. It astonishes me that such an atrocity is hardly addressed adequately at all in the court system. Raping a boy fifty times and she only serves one year in prison and another on probation? That’s the equivalent of stepping right in front of the judge, skinning a puppy alive while sodomizing it with a sex toy and the judge saying “She didn’t do much harm. Let’s go easy on her.”

    I mean, what does it take to call this point-blank child rape and sentence accordingly? If a woman like that can rape a boy fifty times over a period and still get off lightly…I don’t know. I really don’t know anymore.

  5. This case -esp. without more details- leaves me a bit conflicted.
    It’s true she DID stop by herself.
    It’s true, as others have pointed out that she didn’t turn herself in.
    It’s true the actual prison sentence was smaller than even I would have liked (and I’m probably the most sexually ‘liberal’ who comments on this site regularly). But she did get a ten year stint on the Sex Offenders registry and it DOES seem likely also that her contact with her child will be monitored and regulated – as it should be , as we have an actual pedophile here, not someone running afoul of ever increasing AOC laws involving near adult and fully sexually developed teens.
    Still, I think 3 to 5 years (and if we got more information I might have been ok with a longer sentence still) would have been more fair, esp given that we have people in jail for ‘child porn’ DRAWINGS that have actually served more time than she has gotten.
    Then there is the victim. Clearly she could have done more damage , or he wouldn’t be bragging about it 4 years later. She wasn’t a sadistic type of child rapist – in other words trying to hurt him doesn’t seem to have been part of her game. In short, while I’m almost always for prison for 12 and below I do think even then one does need to be able to take into account circumstances and other behaviors as well as what the victim thinks. If the victim is angry or fearful that would indicate to me that more punishment is warranted.

    If she had gotten 3 or more years as well as the other stuff she has gotten I would have been 100 percent OK with the sentence. But all this is based on limited information, the fact that she was a legal minor herself at the time of the original offenses and the fact she doesn’t sound like the very worst type of offending pedophile.

  6. “Clearly she could have done more damage , or he wouldn’t be bragging about it 4 years later.”

    In my experience a neutral reference to having the experience will be deemed bragging by many. I’m calling bullshit on these claims.

  7. “In short, while I’m almost always for prison for 12 and below I do think even then one does need to be able to take into account circumstances and other behaviors as well as what the victim thinks. If the victim is angry or fearful that would indicate to me that more punishment is warranted.”

    Did you miss the part where she raped an eight year old child?

    Of all the things to play Devil’s Advocate for, you couldn’t have picked a worst one.

    And bragging about it to his friends? Doesn’t mean jack because there’s a ton of cultural enforcement out there that influences how boys view these criminal acts.

    She raped this boy fifty times and got off lightly. This is child rape we’re talking about here.

    “Almost Always” for prison for 12 and below. “Considering the circumstances and other behaviors”. You’ve got to be trolling.

  8. Tamen:

    “Those two (damaged and bragging) is not mutually exclusive. The alcoholic who brags about how much liquor he can handle is one example that comes to mind. ”

    And yet one couldn’t conclude that a person who brags about how much liquor he can handle is an alcoholic.

    Here’s a problematic sentence:
    “In short, the ill effects of child sexual abuse are wide ranging. There is no one set of symptoms or outcomes that victims experience. Some children even report little or no psychological distress from the abuse, but these children may be either afraid to express their true emotions or may be denying their feelings as a coping mechanism. Other children may have what is called “sleeper effects.” They may experience no harm in the short run, but suffer serious problems later in life.”

    What’s the difference between this and assuming that ‘abused adolescents’ suffer from
    ‘false consciousness’?

    I’m sorry but as they say at the very top : “There is no universal definition of child sexual abuse. However, a central characteristic of any abuse is the dominant position of an adult that allows him or her to force or coerce a child into sexual activity.”

    So only coercion or force matters? Clearly not, because we’ve decided that actually looking for evidence of this is too hard and we’ll just ASSUME it in some cases. And those lines are, currently, arbitrary and based on no science at all.

    This isn’t scientific, or rational. That is a problem.

  9. Eagle35:
    I have never trolled here or at any of the places you’ve seen me at.

    “Did you miss the part where she raped an eight year old child?”
    Did I miss the part where she drugged or somehow used force on this child?
    Did you miss the fact that probably half (if not more ) of the campaigners against ‘child’ sexual abuse are perfectly happy calling a 16 year old a child, and that this is statutory law in some countries (where 17 or 18 is AOC) and some US states? Do you want to punish a ‘child’ as if they were an adult?
    Sorry, Eagle, but even though I DO support some forms of statutory rape law (this case would be included) there is still a tremendous difference to me between cases where threats,drugs, or force were used and cases where they weren’t. There’s a child who whimpers and withdraws into him/herself or lashes out angrily, and there’s a child who, to all intents and purposes seems to be happy and thriving. And then there’s most child victims who fall somewhere in between. Since the damage done should be part of the punishment and also tends to correlate to the actual amount of abuse and type of abuse , that should influence the punishment in my view. That is not a heartless nor an irrational stance to take, and it places child sexual abuse on the SAME MORAL CONTINUUM that every single other crime (including freaking murder, with it’s first, second, third degrees and manslaughter variants) exists on, instead of some special Plane of Victimhood all to itself as sexual crime currently occupies.

    Anger can be useful for getting attention for one’s cause. Esp causes that are often ignored or actively dismissed by the powers that be. But anger is almost never good when it comes to making criminal or legal policy. And you seem to be consumed by it.

  10. And yet one couldn’t conclude that a person who brags about how much liquor he can handle is an alcoholic.

    That is true, but what you said was that the boy wasn’t hurt that much since he bragged about it – the above statement does not support that assertion at all.

    Nevertheless, if the bragging is about an alcohol consumption beyond what can reasonably be considered normal consumption one has a red flag (or indication if you will) which one might want to heed before hiring said person to operate heavy machinery for instance.

  11. “Did I miss the part where she drugged or somehow used force on this child?”

    So if a child wasn’t forced or drugged, you still think it’s no big deal?

    A child is incapable of giving consent. Period. Let alone an eight year old boy.

    “Sorry, Eagle, but even though I DO support some forms of statutory rape law (this case would be included) there is still a tremendous difference to me between cases where threats,drugs, or force were used and cases where they weren’t.”

    I repeat: This was an eight year old child. Having sex with an eight year old child, boy or girl, is child rape. There’s no ifs ands or buts about it. The fact you keep bringing up how there should be threats, drugs or force in order for it to count as something harmful is very alarming.

    “Anger can be useful for getting attention for one’s cause. Esp causes that are often ignored or actively dismissed by the powers that be. But anger is almost never good when it comes to making criminal or legal policy. And you seem to be consumed by it.”

    I’m consumed by common sense. In this case, we’re talking about a boy was raped at eight years old continuously. This isn’t some grey area where you can bring up veribles like threat, consent, drugs, and cohersion as something to debate about. Children have zero capacity to fully understand what happened to them, the ramifications, the consequences when it comes to sex.

    I’m also angry, no doubt about it. I’m angry at people making all sorts of excuses for what this woman did in the past.

  12. I’m sorry , Eagle but as a simple matter of fact a child (certainly the average 8 year old) is capable of giving consent to some activities. They aren’t mindless little animals. Now they are more easily mislead and they are not at the point they can abstract all the consequences of their choices as well as an adolescent or adult which is why we do not consider or let them make certain types of more consequential decisions (whether to drive a car, possess alcohol or consent to sex) but they can make choices and they do know how they feel about something.

    And the question here is ‘what is the appropriate punishment’ NOT whether sex with 8 year olds should be legalized. I stated my opinion that the current punishment wasn’t that far off (based on the extremely limited information we have been given) and my idea of why. I mentioned factors in determining punishment level, not factors in whether there should be any punishment at all.

    Why is this crime worse than, say, a murder? An aggravated assault that leaves lifelong crippling injuries? If you want extreme extreme sentences for this crime than what do you want for someone who has repeated sex with a six year old? A four year old? Howabout someone who not only had sex but also inflicted actual injury? What about child killers? Should we add more punishment if they sexually abused the child first? What about mitigating factors such as the fact that as I pointed out -quite a few people would consider her a ‘child’ herself?

    These questions aren’t necessarily easy. And I think you are underestimating the amount of punishment the “modern day scarlett-letter” of being on the SO registry is going to do to this woman and her family. Regardless of the fact that she got a bit less prison time than I would have liked , I can hardly imagine that she isn’t being and won’t continue to be punished for quite some time to come.

  13. “I’m sorry , Eagle but as a simple matter of fact a child (certainly the average 8 year old) is capable of giving consent to some activities. They aren’t mindless little animals. Now they are more easily mislead and they are not at the point they can abstract all the consequences of their choices as well as an adolescent or adult which is why we do not consider or let them make certain types of more consequential decisions (whether to drive a car, possess alcohol or consent to sex) but they can make choices and they do know how they feel about something”

    Not when it comes to sexual activity. I’m sorry, Clarence, but I’m afraid we’re never going to see eye to eye on this. It boggles the mind why you suddenly think it’s perfectly reasonable to look at something that’s clearly Child Rape and add in variables like consent and choice here when a child is too young to make an informed choice nor understand the implications of that choice. If this is your mentality then you might as well question how harmed Toysoldier was when he was raped as a child based on this metric, along with all the other male and females who were raped as children. You don’t want to go down that route.

    Now if this were a 16 year old boy, you might have some point here and then we can debate about consent and choice. But not an eight year old. Not here nor anytime on this planet.

  14. Clarence and Tamen, it is not stated in the article what the boy stated that was construed as “bragging.” He could have said that he had sex with an older girl or said he shagged her rotten or said an older girl touched him. We have no idea, so I am hesitant to assume that he actually bragged about it.

    However, let us assume he did brag. That does not mean he was less harmed by the abuse. That may be his way of coping with it. Perhaps he assumes that other boys will make fun of him if he says he did not like it. Perhaps he heard the boys talking about the sexual (non)conquests and decided to share his abuse in an effort to fit in. As you can see, even if the boy bragged, it does not mean he did so because it did not hurt him.

  15. If this is your mentality then you might as well question how harmed Toysoldier was when he was raped as a child based on this metric, along with all the other male and females who were raped as children. You don’t want to go down that route.

    Eagle, in Clarence’s defense, this is a fair route to go down. Every person is not harmed to the same extent as others. Some are not harmed at all. That does happen. I think, however, we must be careful in assuming how hurt or unaffected a person was by an event based on limited information. All we know is that the boy is reported to have bragged about the abuse. We do not know what he said, how often he did it, or why he did it. It could be benign or horrific. We have too little information to go on. Based on available information about abuse victims, I am not inclined to think the boy bragging about the abuse is a sign he was less harmed. But it is possible that he was.

    As for judging how my experiences affected me, that would be most difficult given that I show little emotion. I do find it humorous when people try to guess, although I know Clarence has far too much class to do that. Besides, there is a 20+ page thread on Manboobz dedicated to doing that. Why waste the extra time?

  16. I just don’t want the narrative that boys cannot be harmed by girls and women (whether by sexual abuse or just physical abuse, bullying, whatever) to be aided and abetted. This is what we’re talking about.

    I told Clarence once that I do this because everyday of my life I’m reminded of what happened to me, how little information there is on the subject, and worst of all societies apathetic approach.

    Like I said, I feel like I have some kind of disease here that no one is bothering to research about. And every time I attempt to advocate about it, they just look the other way or throw the whole “This is worse. You’re an anomaly” in my face.

  17. I mean, think about it. Minimizing what happened to the boy because he “Bragged” about it?

    Jesus, if people look to this as an example of how to treat male survivors, you can’t blame a survivor like myself for being frightened.

  18. Toysoldier: The way you started your comment with “Clarence and Tamen, ” makes it appear that I’ve as well as Clarence argued something that you refutes with your last paragraph:

    However, let us assume he did brag. That does not mean he was less harmed by the abuse. That may be his way of coping with it. Perhaps he assumes that other boys will make fun of him if he says he did not like it. Perhaps he heard the boys talking about the sexual (non)conquests and decided to share his abuse in an effort to fit in. As you can see, even if the boy bragged, it does not mean he did so because it did not hurt him.

    I just want to make it crystal clear for everyone that I am not in disagreement with the paragraph quoted above. In fact it is in principle the same as my argument although it includes speculation as to why this boy said whatever it was that others perceived as bragging about it.

    Perhaps you could’ve prefixed that paragraph with “Clarence:” as he is the one who as implied that the bragging proves that no real harm was done.

    Your first paragraph is sound and I didn’t touch on that part because as you later wrote – even if he actually bragged it doesn’t disprove that any real harm was done to him.

  19. As always, a simple gender-flip and reread of the story reveals how female privilege is in operation. How many THOUSANDS would have been howling for the 16-year old boy’s head on a platter for his despicable act of molestation, child abuse, pedophilia, etc. etc.?

  20. Even better, copyleft.

    Would they actually accept that it was less harmful because an 8 year old girl bragged about it to her friends?

    Nope. They’d hang the man responsible for it.

  21. Well:
    I don’t feel like adding anything to this conversation tonight except to say that I’d treat a 16 year old male in this situation the same way. Clearly, we don’t know if the Judge didn’t because we don’t know all the details.

  22. And let me add my final say on the subject:

    The mere fact that people are looking at “Bragging” as a metric to determine how seriously harmed the boy was sets a dangerous precedence.

    Let me ask you Toysoldier. Do you want people becoming increasingly skeptical of a boys’ claims that he was hurt because another boy bragged about his abuse? That’s going to set advocacy for these victims back to the stone age all over again if it ever becomes a trend.

    It’ll also aid the narrative that girls are the only ones harmed by sexual abuse. Unless you’re all willing to interrogate said girl with equal attention on the Bragging metric.

    If not, then god help all those male survivors who were abused as boys and current boy victims of child abuse.

  23. Let me ask you Toysoldier. Do you want people becoming increasingly skeptical of a boys’ claims that he was hurt because another boy bragged about his abuse? That’s going to set advocacy for these victims back to the stone age all over again if it ever becomes a trend.

    I do not think that is going to happen. There are enough organizations and advocates to prevent that message from catching hold.

  24. “I do not think that is going to happen. There are enough organizations and advocates to prevent that message from catching hold.”

    Oh it will, Toysoldier. If powerful special interest groups and movements can wave their magic wand and make countless male victims and survivors disappear with their defining “Envelopment against their will” out of rape statistics and research, you can bet your rear they’ll now start referencing “Bragging” as a metric to exclude boy victims as well.

  25. Eagle, excluding male victims from one study is not the same as preventing people from understanding that what happened to those men and boys is rape. There were numerous people who complained about the language of the study and numerous people who talked about the findings of the study. There are also dozens of other studies specifically about sexual violence against males that make the news. That is not to say that there are not people intent on minimizing male victims, only that they will not be as effective as they once were, especially since even random people are beginning to call them out on it.

  26. Jesus Freaking Christ, Eagle:
    Bragging is a form of behavior. One tends not to BRAG about things that one is ashamed of or that one did not enjoy.
    That’s not to say that bragging means all that much in this case – it may be the boy saw something on TV and felt he ‘had’ to brag about any sexual experiences he had even if he didn’t particularly like them.
    Who knows?
    No one, except in your head, is arguing that a singular form of behavior means anything. In this case I’ve REPEATEDLY SAID that there is a heck of a lot we do not know and that I would be discussing the PUNISHMENT in this case only in light of the information we were given.

    But more to the point, I’m disgusted by the fact that you seem adverse to let behavior imply motive EXCEPT where it suits your argument. This isn’t arguing logically or fairly.

    Hell, do I think we sometimes (and to the detriment of victims) overstate the amount of damage that sexual abuse victims suffer? Why yes, I do. “Ruined for life”…we might as well be in Victorian England, when we can’t differentiate between drawings, upskirt photos, consensual sex with 15 or later year olds, stuff like this, stuff like this involving even younger children and the use of force or drugs, etc. There’s tons of outrage for this stuff to go around. This is mostly on the female side of things of course: there is still a lot of popular culture and entrenched interests who will declare that men and boys can’t suffer from sexual abuse no matter what. That has never been MY opinion.

    Once again, I repeat: I do not think she got enough prison time even given the extremely limited information we have, and I DO SUSPECT (but only suspect) the Judge in this case would treat a man or young man (16 year old teen) differently. I’m disgusted that guys guilty of nothing but DRAWINGS have in some cases ended up with more time behind bars, but then I’m disgusted that the state thinks it has the right to imprison people for their thoughts or artworks. That being said, I do not doubt she is being punished simply because a ten year stint on a Sex Offender registry is nothing to sneeze at, her safety is not guaranteed when she is in the brig, and she will have extremely limited contact with her own child from now on.

  27. I have come to the conclusion that due to the concern and embarrassment caused to both you and your family that you will not be offending again, let alone committing sexual offences.
    So the judge believes that the perp suffered a degree of embarassment and took that into account when sentencing?

    I’m wondering where the people that were so morally outraged over a CNN anchorwoman expressing sympathy for the Stuenbenville rapists are on this. Its one thing for someone that is not involved in the case to say such things but when one of the parties involved in the very judicial system that is tasked with making sure perps are held responsible say them?

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