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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Canadian court rules sex with minors is okay, sort of

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Author Topic: Canadian court rules sex with minors is okay, sort of
Dzuunmod
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A man named Cass Rhynes who had previously been found guilty of inciting sex with minors has had his conviction overturned.

Basically, a 12-year old and 13-year old girl performed oral sex on Rhynes, who's 19. One of them did it twice. The age of consent in Canada is 14, so he was found guilty, initially. But, on appeal, the conviction was overturned as the judge ruled that Rhynes was a passive participant - that Rhynes had essentially just allowed the girls to perform oral sex on him, but that he hadn't pressured them into it, or even initiated it in anyway.

I really don't like the ruling, here, but what do you think? I'm uncomfortable with the ruling in a big way, but I'm having trouble articulating it right now... anyone agree with me and want to help me make sense of it?

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"Like a bat out of hell, time has come for you!"
-Ballad of a Comeback Kid, The New Pornographers


Posts: 1515 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bobolink
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If the Crown is smart, they will appeal higher. So what if he was "passive"? He knew that they were underage. Unless they held a gun to his head, he could have stopped it.

This reminded me of a lower court ruling in Quebec a few years ago where a father was found not guilty (by a female judge) of sexual assault by having anal sex with his daughter on the grounds that he hadn't violateed her virginity. That also was overturned.
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We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

- Albert Einstein

[This message has been edited by Bobolink (edited 05-01-2004).]


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Dzuunmod
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Isn't he claiming, Bobo, that he thought they were 14? Not that that's a defense, I realize - the onus is on the older person to know that someone's of age...

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"Like a bat out of hell, time has come for you!"
-Ballad of a Comeback Kid, The New Pornographers


Posts: 1515 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bobolink
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Agreed he didn't "card" the two girls but I believe it is his responsibility to do so. I wonder who turned him in to begin with?

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We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

- Albert Einstein


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KandyKorn17
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"Carding" your sex partners? Look, if one is dealing with 12 and 13 year olds here, I would assume it would be obvious to an older partner to realize they are very young... then again, I've had partners lie to me about their age- a couple years' difference is a big deal in high school, and a bigger deal (legally speaking) if they miss the age of consent. And while, as a resident of the US, 12 and 13 seems pretty young for a 19 year old, I'm not used to such a low age of consent (everywhere I have ever lived it has been 17 or 18), and attitudes about the circumstance must be adjusted accordingly. Meaning, basically, yeah, I can't see this guy mistaking these people as 18 year olds, but, yeah, 14, I can see that. Legally speaking, it sounds like this guy was in the wrong, but obviously Canada made a ruling based on circumstance instead of some sort of "zero tolerance" law, and I am totally in favor of that. How many times (on this very board) have we heard horror stories about crazy zero tolerance age of consent laws that labeled people as sexual criminals for the rest of their lives? I don't know if my PERSONAL opinion agrees with this ruling, but legally, I'm glad people ARE looking at the circimstances rather than just making a quick ruling based on a law written in stone.

Maybe this is the wrong circumstance, which is what I think Dzuunmod was trying to get to, but this is going in the right direction with age of consent laws. These laws are abusive if they are used for anything other than IMPROVING individuals'lives and society as a whole, and if it is meddling in consentual relationships rather than prosecuting actual sexual predators, that's not improving any aspect of society, and that is not making any individual's life any better

[This message has been edited by KandyKorn17 (edited 05-07-2004).]


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Milke
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While our age of consent is pretty low, I really can't say that meant adults having sex with minors was ever considered really socially acceptable or okay. I don't think that number was chosen to somehow legitimize taking advantage of kids, but rather, to avoid causing legal trouble for consenting teenagers. That said, I'm really, REALLY not cool with the verdict in this case. Anyone who wants to be sexually active with someone else should at very least know a bit about that person, and be responsible enough to protect themselves and that person both physically and emotionally. In much the same way the more educated partner in a relationship has an obligation to make sure condoms are used, the older and more experienced partner in an age-disparate coupling has a moral obligation to not take advantage of the other person, or bring them into situations they're not ready for. While I don't want to imply that being of a certain age means someone doesn't know their mind, I think it takes a certain amount of time in this world before someone is ready for certain things.

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Milke, with an L, Mrs BD to you, RATS, TMNTP, MF, CWCD, WAOTA

Everything's been sold to others' revolutions


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MNtomboy
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Ahh...to go against the flow of the tide

I'm going to say I have to sort of disagree. Although the 19 year old didn't have a gun to his head, neither did the 12 and 13 year old. Only THEY are resoponsable for what THEY did to him. If he pressured them a lot or physically forced them to that would be a different story. Minor or not those kids have judgement and if they regret it later, I don't think it's fair for only the 19 year to get in trouble. In my opinion they ALL should get in trouble. The younger ones since they were the ones who chose to do it (take responability!!) and he since he knew they were underage or should have asked!!


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logic_grrl
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But the whole deal with age of consent laws is that it's assumed that people under a certain age can't make a mature judgement and give informed consent to sex - and that older people shouldn't take advantage of that.

And, while many people disagree about where the age of consent should be placed, most people do agree that very young people can't give valid consent.

I know one girl who as a kid, got her first kid's book about "where babies come from" and promptly waltzed up to an adult and demanded "make love to me!". She was about 5 or 6. Should that have been taken as "consent"? Of course not - everyone understood that she had very little idea what she was talking about and, at most, was acting on a childish crush. If an adult had taken that as "consent" to sexual activity with him, it would have been the most appalling abuse. See the point?

A 12-year-old may have more of an idea of what sexual activity involves and more of an ability to make decisions, but there's still a huge difference in power and knowledge between a 19-year-old and a 12-year-old. In my book, that makes the 19-year-old responsible for not exploiting that power.


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