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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Teacher Pleads Guilty to Having Sex with 14-Year-Old Student

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Author Topic: Teacher Pleads Guilty to Having Sex with 14-Year-Old Student
Gumdrop Girl
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From CBS News
quote:

A female teacher pleaded guilty Tuesday to having sex with a 14-year-old student, avoiding prison as part of a plea agreement.
...
The former Greco Middle School reading teacher apologized during the hearing, saying "I accept full responsibility for my actions."

The boy told investigators the two had sex in a classroom at the Greco school, located in Temple Terrace near Tampa, in her Riverview town house and once in a vehicle while his 15-year-old cousin drove them around Marion County.


okay, so chew on that for a moment. The teacher's 25, the boy is 14. How do you feel Did you immediately feel disgusted? Did you think, "Way to go, guy!" What do you think of her penalty? Is it enough?

now how's this for some choice quotes...

quote:
After Tuesday's hearing, her attorney, John Fitzgibbons, said the plea was "a fair resolution of this case." Asked how she felt afterward, Lafave said "tired."

Fitzgibbons said in July that plea negotiations had broken off because prosecutors insisted on prison time, which he said would be too dangerous for someone as attractive as Lafave. He said then that she planned to plead insanity at trial, claiming emotional stress kept her from knowing right from wrong.


Now how about this part? How does the justice system treat "attractive" people. Did you know that there was a Scott Peterson (killed his pregnant wife before Xmas) fan club who proclaimed his innocence because he's a good looking guy?

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Heather
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In truth what I thought was, "Isn't it interesting that there are loads of these cases every year, all over the globe, btut the ones where the adult is female always get so much more airplay?"

And yes, those quotes are seriously dreadful. But I think those sentiments also derive from the cultural mythology that criminals, especially sex offenders, always are expected to look unattractive, which is a pretty dangerous idea to promote, since for the most part, they look just like anyone else, no matter their gender.

Of course, we can safely infer from the "too attractive" comment that what's being implied is that she'd be raped in prison, by women (unattractive women are apparently what prisons are full of, based on this comment), when, in fact, what SHE did was a form of rape and to boot, given stats at women's prisons, her getting sexually assaulted by women in prison is still less statistically likely than her being raped in daily life. Ugh.

Per her sentence, it's on par with what most get: in fact, a lot of violent rapists never serve real time, either. So, I'm no more or less disgusted than usual, really.

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 11-24-2005).]


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Ghosty
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What she did was rape, according to the law. What makes it even more wrong is that she was his teacher. He is dependent of her and thus the power balance isn't good at all.

When it comes to punishent I don't have anything to say in general. However I do know what looks affect how you get treated by the system.
At least here is a diffrence between how an immigrant is treated when he/she commits a crime and how a native person is.
I believe that her punishment is quite based on her looks.
And I feel that's wrong.

I really doubt that she would have any "more dangerous" situation in prison than other women. However her status won't be high. At least in men's prison, rape, child abuse, beating women isn't very popular. But hiding taxes, drugs, and money is higly rated.

So I do believe looks has to do with her punishment. But I doubt that she will have any "harder" time in prison, simply because she commited a rape.


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gabit
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Maybe they were concerned that she'd be raped by the guards? I mean, come on, don't we have to protect criminals from the people guarding them, too?


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Ghosty
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quote:
Originally posted by gabit:
Maybe they were concerned that she'd be raped by the guards? I mean, come on, don't we have to protect criminals from the people guarding them, too?


I think that they've thought about that and that they use female guards. That's what I've seen at least. And it sounds reasonable, but I'm not 100 % sure


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waldo55
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he had sex wit her more then once he knew wat he was doing
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lizenny
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It's awful how sex crimes by women are taken so lightly. If she were a man we wouldn't be discussing this right now and the matter of attractiveness would have never been brought up. Her actions are quite obviously not being taken seriously because she is 1. a woman and 2. because she is "too attractive" (read feminine) and sex with her couldn't possibly have any negative consequences for any teenage boy right?

When a man goes to prison for rape no one worries about what happens to him there. Many of us would hope he gets raped and say so. Now I'm sure none of us know anyone who would openly say the same thing about some frail harmless pretty lady. Otherwise her attorney would not have portrayed her as some fair damsel in distress.

I get the feeling that if she were the stereotypically ugly (read less feminine) woman people would expect to find in prison, her case would be looked at generally with at least a little more of the concern it deserves.

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[This message has been edited by lizenny (edited 02-06-2006).]


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Heather
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...I'd suggest, liz, that you then take a few extra steps from where you've gone with this. Because what you've said is a really good opening to take it further.

As in, WHY is her attractveness or gender an issue? Her attractiveness and gender are an issue because attractive women, by prototypical, mainstream, mostly-for-men, feminine standards, are supposed to be sexually SUBSERVIENT. THEY are not supposed to have the POWER to sexually abuse anyone: if anything, they're supposed to be the VICTIMS. Men of all ages, even boys, are STILL supposed to have the upper hand.

Mind you, by no means am I suggesting that the cultural mess that is women and sex should mean she gets let off, or NOT held responsible for sexually abusing anyone. Not at all.

But I think a lot of why it's taken so "lightly" is that the men in charge -- again, the whole judicial system is still majority male -- cannot truly believe this happened because women who look like that are supposed to behave differently. Women who look like that are supposed to behave in as scripted a manner as they present. Men, even young men, are supposed to be the ones who decide when sex happens with women.

And just FYI? A LOT of people are concerned about rape, no matter someone's gender. As a feminist and a rape survivor, I don't want ANYONE to be raped. heck, even if my rapists had ended up in prison, I wouldn't want THEM to be raped. People do worry, it's just rarely discussed, and usually for a whole gost of reasons very pertinent to the things I said above: namely, men are not supposed to be sexual victims. Acknowledging they can be, usually by men, but even sometimes by women, is pretty threatening to the status quo.

Of course, too, it's questionable to say sex crimes by women are taken more lightly than those by men. The incredible majority of male rapists -- and that is who most rapists are, in the millions -- never even get brought up on charges, let alone serve any prison time. It is far more common for male teachers to do what this female one did, and it is incredibly rare for those cases to make the news at all. People who live by mainstream media can probably tel you the name of almost EVERY female rapist-of-men (mind you, there are so few) over the last ten years, but would be hard-pressed to think of the names of even a couple male rapists: male rapists RARELY are even publically identified. Saying she got off lightly in compariosn is a pretty big misnomer: she got off even less lightly than most men who violently and forcibly rape multiple women do.

And Waldo?

Someone having sex or being sexually victmized more than once BY NO MEANS implies informed consent, all by itself.

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 02-06-2006).]


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Gumdrop Girl
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Update. All charges against Debra Lafave have been dropped. The boy in the case did not want to testify. Without him, there is no case.

The rapist goes free. That's just sick.

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kindascared
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Gumdrop, i totally agree, I was watching the news tonight about it, and I was unaware of the case before this, but it made me so angry to watch this. It makes me wonder why he didnt want to testify. If not for his safety, then how wbout for the safety of others!
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Heather
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This happens every day.

The VAST majority of victims of any sort of rape -- violent rape, forcible rape, date rape, rape during war, statutory rape -- do not even ever report, let alone testify. The VAST majority of every kind of rapist is never even CHARGED, let alone brought to the point in the justice system where charges are dropped. Even in cases UNlike this one where severe violence is in place, and the risks to others are far, far higher, you rarely will have a victim reporting or testifying.

Already, MORE responsibility and visibility of the criminal here occurred than occurs, ever, in the vast majority of rape cases.

Why don't victims want to report or testify? In this case it may have been for all the same reasons we talk about in any other case: rape of any flavor often brings about shame, most rape victims don't want the whole world knowing they were victimized. The reporting process can be brutal. Many victims fear their attacker enacting revenge upon release, which is not a vain fear, since most rapists (actually, I don't know the stats on this for female sex offenders, only male, so they may differ or they may not) DO reoffend after release, usually within just a few years. And the court process for victims tends to be pretty horrific: defense attorneys WILL put the character of the victim on trial. Many victims want to do everything they can to NOT be reminded of their assaults. Many victims do not get to the point where they can think about the safety of others for quite some time because they are, validly, fixated on their own discovery of their own lack of safety. In this particular case, I'm sure that some of the why may also have been because with a male victim of a sex crime particularly, admitting to being a victim is feminizing in some regard: is admitting that one was treated "like a woman," and for young men, that can be a very, very potent form of shame, however screwed up that is per our culture's views on and treatment of women.

So yeah: it's all sick. It is every single hour of every single day: this is nothing unusual. This is how it has always been with rape, save that a case like this actually got far further than even most violent rape cases do.

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Heather
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And in this case, per your questions on the young man's why's...

"Prosecutors, defense attorneys and the boy's mother wanted to avoid trial for the teenager's well-being because the case has received intense media coverage around the world.

A psychiatrist previously told a Marion County judge that the boy has suffered extreme anxiety from that and does not want to testify.

Assistant State Attorney Richard Ridgway later said [of why charges were dropped ] he was not willing to risk the well-being of the victim in this case to force it to trial."

And more:

"Stancil said victims of sexual offenses rarely want to testify and this victim, now 16, is no different.

The order came almost two weeks after Stancil heard testimony from Dr. Martin Lazoritz, a psychiatrist and associate chairman of the department of psychiatry at the University of Florida, who evaluated the alleged victim.

Lazoritz testified the boy was dealing with "adjustment disorder" as a result of the case and that it was difficult for the teen to talk about the case.

"The victim in this case would be re-victimized in the system," if required to testify, Lazoritz said."

Just to put a tangible face on the things I was explaining above.

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September
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quote:
It makes me wonder why he didnt want to testify. If not for his safety, then how wbout for the safety of others!
I'm sure you didn't mean for this to sound offensive, but to a certain degree it still does. There is a vast array of reasons why someone would not want to testify, or even report a rape to begin with. I berate myself even today for not reporting any of the things that have been done to me, but I had my reasons and they seemed valid to me at the time. I thought I would be called a liar, that I would not be taken seriously, that it would be laughed at. I did not want to have to recount my tales to unsympathetic police officers and be subjected to their scrutiny.

I know I could have potentially saved others what I have gone through. One man who abused me had children of his own and to this day I feel guilty for leaving them at his mercy. But back then I felt terrified, helpless and alone. I just wanted to get away and put it behind me.

I am impressed by and proud of every girl/woman who has the guts to speak out. I remember a case in France several years ago where some girls were held captive and raped repeatedly. They testified in court and gave TV interviews and I could imagine how much that cost them and I was so impressed that they had the strength to fight back. But not everyone has that strength and I don't think it's fair to look down on those who don't.

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