Sex

Childhood Now a Sex Crime

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Honestly, the prosecutors who keep bringing ridiculous charges like these need to be disciplined.

The two boys tore down the hall of Patton Middle School after lunch, swatting the bottoms of girls as they ran—what some kids later said was a common form of greeting.

But bottom-slapping is against policy in McMinnville Public Schools. So a teacher's aide sent the gawky seventh-graders to the office, where the vice principal and a police officer stationed at the school soon interrogated them.

After hours of interviews with students the day of the February incident, the officer read the boys their Miranda rights and hauled them off in handcuffs to juvenile jail, where they spent the next five days.

Now, Cory Mashburn and Ryan Cornelison, both 13, face the prospect of 10 years in juvenile detention and a lifetime on the sex offender registry in a case that poses a fundamental question: When is horseplay a crime?

Bradley Berry, the McMinnville district attorney, said his office "aggressively" pursues sex crimes that involve children. "These cases are devastating to children," he said. "They are life-altering cases."

The hell they are. A butt slap in the seventh grade is going to alter a kid's life forever?

To make matters worse, other students now say that there were as many as 14 other students engaging in butt-slapping. The two accused boys had their own butts slaps. One female student called it "just a handshake we do." The two boys—who had no prior behavioral problems—were brought to their initial hearing in shackles and prison uniforms. Their parents have had to take on debt to pay their legal bills.

The defense has filed prosecutoral misconduct complaints. Good. It's high time the idiots who bring charges like these are held accountable.

Thanks to Brian A. Courts for the tip.

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  1. this website just makes me angry

  2. We see the butt slap all the time in sports, particularly among and between big, burly, manly macho professional football players. The real question is whether the butt slap(s) in question were performed with an open or cupped hand. The former is the preferred method as the latter can give rise to confusion in the receiver as to the giver’s intentions.

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  3. where’s the damn link?

  4. Jesus, by these standards every single boy in my elementary school was a sex offender, and so were most of the girls.

  5. So you can’t even sexually assault your peers in junior high school anymore. What is this world coming to?

  6. “These cases are devastating to children,” he said. “They are life-altering cases.”

    I have to agree. Of course, I’m assuming that the children he’s referring to are the ones being charged, and I’m assuming that by “cases” he means the trial of these children for alleged sex crimes. Safe assumptions to make? Sadly, no.

  7. Thank god I send my kids to a private school where the administration is responsible to their customers and not the State!

  8. So,they interrogated these kids without a parent or a attorney and it’s still in court?they were Nifonged I guess.

  9. tms, remember; if you say “good game” or some variant thereof, it’s not homoerotic

  10. As you think hateful thoughts about Bradley Terry, the prosecutor, don’t forget to include Rhonda Pope… one of the “victims” mothers.

    “To Rhonda Pope, mother of Christian Richter, 13, a girl named in the court papers as one of the victims, the charges are justified. “Slapping somebody on the butt is sexual harassment, and it is a crime,” she said. “Considering what was going on and that my daughter was offended, it is a crime. And it’s not OK.”

    CB

  11. A butt slap in the seventh grade is going to alter a kid’s life forever?

    Indeed so. If someone had grabbed my can in Jr High, I might not have been so uptight. Maybe I could have gotten more action than I did.

  12. Following in Club Med’s wake, I, too, see the life-destroying aspect in this case to fall much more heavily on the “perpetrators.” If these boys had gone down the hall giving the old faithful “titty twister” to their male classmates, they most likely would have been charged with an anti-gay hate crime, punishable by life in prison.

    It’s a totally inappropriate thing to say, but some days it’s surprising how few prosecutors are murdered.

  13. It is the inalienable right of children to swat other children on the buttocks (I tend to only swat cocks myself). My argument for this is that children are human. In addition, Jefferson and Locke said so, and I believe it.
    My mother is preparing my lunch now, so I will have to go. I will return with uninformed yet deeply held assertions that I hope will provoke and give me attention.

  14. So you can’t even sexually assault your peers in junior high school anymore. What is this world coming to?

    Dan,

    My interest is piqued. Make a serious argument that equates an ass slap with rape, and why it should be punished as such.

  15. Parents,

    Teach your children to call out “No brumski!” and none of this would happen.

  16. Yeah.

    Well good morning to you too, buddy.

  17. Michael Pack: That’s an excellent point. No parents, no attorney, I don’t think anything the kids said to the cops is likely usable. Fortunately.

    Dan: How’d I know that you’d think 10 years in juvie and a mark as a “sex offender” would be appropriate discipline for middle school shenanigans? Telling the kids that’s not appropriate and giving them detention would never work! Send them to Jail!

  18. Boy – the Principal sure is strict. hier is his beginning of school speech!

    woah!

  19. It’s utterly shocking just how far things have come in the last decade with regard to behavior modification and control. Clearly, we’re oversexualizing everything that children do because some people out there never got properly laid.

  20. “because some people out there never got properly laid.”

    See: conservative, social (page 69)

  21. “So you can’t even sexually assault your peers in junior high school anymore. What is this world coming to?”

    Good one, Gidgit. Blurring the distinction between a sex crime and a butt slap (referred to by one of the females as ‘like a handshake), is demeaning to the victims of a real sex crime; in fact, it trivializes sex crimes.

    The prosecutor deserves to be locked up, preferably in a cell with a brainless, insensitive and smug clod like Dan T.

  22. How delightful that this happened at the Patton Middle School. Didn’t the schools namesake have some problems with slapping in his day?

  23. So sentence for snapping bra straps what would be what? Life?

  24. Right, guys, these kids must be guilty of nothing more than innocent hijinks. Because Radley said so, and he’s got the inside scoop on the investigation.

    Obviously, the police are simply going around looking to trump up charges on innocent kids. I’m sure they had no idea that grabbing girls breasts and buttocks was not appropriate behavior. And hey, a couple of them said they didn’t mind!

    And of course the school is under no obligation to teach our young ones what is acceptable behavior in our culture.

  25. Should read:

    So the sentence for snapping bra straps would be what? Life?

    Christ I’m hung over.

  26. “my daughter was offended, it is a crime”.

    That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it.

    CB
    (Also hung over).

  27. Dan: How’d I know that you’d think 10 years in juvie and a mark as a “sex offender” would be appropriate discipline for middle school shenanigans? Telling the kids that’s not appropriate and giving them detention would never work! Send them to Jail!

    And that’s probably what happens in 99.9% of incidents like these. So I think it remains to be seen if there were other factors involved that might have led to the more harsh course of action. Mr. Balko and everybody else here are jumping to the usual wild conclusions about how the police are full of motiveless malice.

  28. And of course the school is under no obligation to teach our young ones what is acceptable behavior in our culture.

    Teach yes. Send them to juvi for 10 years no.

    Why do I always get sucked into Dan T’s vortex of trolldom? He’s like a QB with a great hard count. Always draws you offsides even though you should know better.

  29. One thing is for sure, you have to step back from the first three paragraphs of the story and take a good look. The press likes to sensationalize, they want you to go “oh my God who in thw world thinks 10 years is appropriate for this.”
    We are not sure how “sexual” the “swatting” was. Was it a football type of light slap or a more firm swat/rub kind of thing? The story, designed to create outrage uses the word “swat.” What if it said “grope?” The law in question reads:
    “Sexual abuse in the third degree (Class A misdemeanor) (1) A person commits the crime of sexual abuse in the third degree if the person subjects another person to sexual contact and: (a) The victim does not consent to the sexual contact; or (b) The victim is incapable of consent by reason of being under 18 years of age.
    Punishment: Up to one year of incarceration per count.”

    It seems that there is evidence that they did it to quite a few girls (and touched some breasts), some who certainly were offended, and that the school has had problems with this before (which means they probably have tried detention, announcements, etc.).
    Don’t get me wrong. Criminalization striks me as almost always the wrong way to turn. I mean, how about suspension? If they do it again, supsension again. And again. In my middle and high school we got suspension for fist fights. Fistfights happened of course, but suspension was seen as pretty serious (especially in school suspension).
    On the other hand, I have a daughter, and middle school kids can vary greatly in how pronounced they are in terms of sexuality (a clumsy phrase I agree). I would not want her to be repeatdly groped by a bunch of punks…But, yeah, criminalization seems a bit knee-jerk and draconian here.
    I’m just saying that these events are almost always more nuanced than the press gives out…

  30. Feminista’s ru(i)n the schools – so what else is new?

    Here’s the police report. Funny yet quite sad.

  31. I’m offended by my misuse of the apostrophe, therefore it’s a crime.

  32. Dan,
    Even if it was ‘inappropriate’ – was it really a crime? Was it so bad that these 2 boys should be marked as sexual deviants the rest of their lives? No college, no university, no jobs?
    Maybe they should be offered a plea to name the others in the conspiratorial ‘butt-slapping’ ring.
    Give them some detention, make them pick up trash in the school yard for a month – but criminal records for this? C’mon…what if it was your 13 year old kid.
    If girls were offended (and yes, I’m sure there probably were some that didn’t want it to happen to them) then the boys should apologize. Ask one of those girls if they think the boys should go to jail or be handcuffed for what they did. Not one will say yes. Even tho their mothers might.
    Schools should teach and hold kids to acceptable behavior. But they should not end the futures of those who tread on the acceptable/unacceptable line. Handcuffs and shackles indeed.

  33. And of course the school is under no obligation to teach our young ones what is acceptable behavior in our culture.

    You’re right Dan! Send them to jail! That’ll teach ’em!

  34. Having read the police report, I’m even MORE pissed that none of the freaking girls (who admitted to the police that they themselves performed the dreaded butt slap on the boys) were charged with anything.

    If it’s a crime, it’s a crime. If it’s not, it’s not. Some of you (idiots – Dan T.) may argue that it’s a crime. If it is, then why aren’t the girls also being held on TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLAR BOND as well?

    CB

  35. As others have said, surely there must be some middle ground between laughing and winking at what these kids did, vs. giving them a serious criminal record.

    Have principals and parents really lost the ability to strike fear into the hearts of 13 year-olds, so that they must now resort to cops?

  36. “‘These cases are devastating to children,’ he said. ‘They are life-altering cases.'”

    I’ll say. Getting slapped into juvie and hauled into court in shackles and a prison uniform are almost guaranteed to scar a kid for life.

    The law is not only an ass. It is insane.

  37. Actually, now that Mr. Balko has posted the link he was talking about, I’ll retract a little of what I said and agree that the punishment doesn’t quite seem to fit the crime here, at least from what the story could tell us.

    Now, I’m not going to go so far as to conclude that these guys were innocent kids who had no idea at their age that grabbing and slapping others in their private parts is just good clean fun. It sounds like they were Duke Lacrosse players in the making.

  38. OK. Let’s say these boys had run through the halls tapping people on the tops of their heads.

    Would they be charged with felony assault?

    Would anyone think a 10 year jail sentence appropriate?

    Even if the only people they did it to were girls?

    Since they were not immediately arrested, but rather after a prolonged interrogation at the principal’s office, I can only conclude that they were arrested for something they said or refused to say in the principal’s office.

    These kids and their classmates are learning a lesson that is one of the fundamental goals of government schooling. When a governmet official says “Hop,”you’d better be putting dents in the fucking ceiling, or they will fuck you up but good.

  39. Well, the law does say that anyone who engages in sexual conduct without consent or to one whose consent would not be effective has committed the crime. It could be argued that butt and breast touching is not a crime, and that this law was probably written more with grown adults doing that kind of touching to minors in mind (please legislators, use very, very specific language on these things, remember prosecutorial discretion!!!).
    But in reading the police report one can see that these kids were doing this an awful lot to a lot of girls. I don’t think its fair to call Dan T an idiot over this as this is a much more complex issue than how the press story framed it (now SIV will think I’m Dan…more the merrier).

  40. After reading the police report, it still doesn’t look that bad. Nothing that some in-school/out-of-school suspension, letters of apology couldn’t handle. It evan appears that some of these boys even stopped doing to girls that asked. They also stopped when the teacher yelled at them in the hallway. School is for education. Part of that is learning how to act around large groups of people of the opposite sex. This kind of stuff happens all the time, it’s part of learning. A nice hard slap on the face by a girl who didn’t care for it would be the best teaching instrument.

  41. Okay once and for all, Dan T. you are either a sexless dork who gets off on playing devil’s advocate or you really have no clue whatsoever about the realities of the rough and tumble awkwardness of life as an adolescent. As a middle school teacher you roll your eyes and intervene countless times a day between students who do not yet have the understanding of acceptable social boundaries and yes, Troll Dan, you TEACH you don’t call the cops. The prosecutor in this case seems like a Nifong/Dan T. like twit who’s grandstanding on the backs of adolescents. And can you imagine having to spend five minutes in the presence of that mother who seems to be gleefully watching the persecution of kids because they “offended” her daughter? That would have to be worse than listening to a diatribe by Dan T. and his personal politics.

  42. Cracker’s Boy said, “‘my daughter was offended, it is a crime’.

    “That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it.”

    Back when I was in Jr. High and High School, we were taught that one doesn’t have the right not to be offended (that was what the First Amendment was all about, after all), but one did have the right not to be assaulted or injured. So are there serious charges of assault or injury here? So far, this is looking like a political crime, and isn’t that the kind of thing we used to make fun of the old USSR and Mao’s cultural revolutionaries in China for prosecuting?

  43. It sounds like they were Duke Lacrosse players in the making.

    Hut one…

  44. Dan T gets off on playing Devils’ Advocate, it’s good as it keeps debate sharp. However, as a result every so often he looks like a complete asshole. He doesn’t seem to mind though.

  45. Tarran-I think I see your overall point, that this has to do with (gasp) sex and that that is what lies behind the knee jerk response to charge. But, things are a little more complicated than your questions indicate. Your theoretical boys would not be charged with felony assault for tapping, as felony assault in most states involves using a weapon or assaulting someone like a cop. And the kids here are not charged with felony sex abuse, but with misdemeanor (the initially considered felony charge was dropped). No one here is facing a 10 year sentence (though I think you and I would agree that a one year prison sentence seems wack for this offense as well).
    These kids, 13, engaged in some serious grab ass over time with many girls many of whom explicitly told them to stop it. We’re not talking kids with toy guns or chicken fingers getting slammed for “weapons violations.”

  46. Well, it wasn’t just butts, it was also breasts that were being grabbed according to the police report. True, these acts don’t merit the charge of 1st-degree-sexual-abuse, but Radley is getting a little sensationalistic with the “Childhood Now A Sex Crime” headline. How many people in this thread did what these kids did at any point during their childhoods?

    I suppose the stock answer to those who are wondering why the girls weren’t charged is that a girl slapping a boy on the butt isn’t as threatening a gesture as the reverse, since a girl can’t forcibly rape a boy. That’s not my opinion, but that’s what people will say.

  47. “I suppose the stock answer to those who are wondering why the girls weren’t charged is that a girl slapping a boy on the butt isn’t as threatening a gesture as the reverse, since a girl can’t forcibly rape a boy.”
    I think he better anwer crimethink is that the boys in question just kept on and on. The report mentions at least on boy who did this but stopped, and he was not charged. Don’t get me wrong, there is certainly a chilvary/feminism mesh of thinking alive and well today that would think the girls need more or different protection, but that the ones who got charged just kept on is a simpler one. BTW-did anyone else notice how the police in their report did an excellent job, I mean they even set up many lines for the boys defense (getting several of the girls to mention they really did not mind, that girls and others did kind of thing as well, etc.). The police are not always lapdogs of the local prosecutor (and vice versa).

  48. surely there must be some middle ground between laughing and winking at what these kids did, vs. giving them a serious criminal record.

    I’m not so sure that laughing it off isn’t the right response, given what the students themselves have to say about the practice.

    Of course, the one whiney little princess who was ‘traumatized’ needs to be laughed at the most. Maybe it would help her get over herself.

  49. crimethink – “since a girl can’t forcibly rape a boy”.

    BEEEEEEEEP! Wrong answer. Thanks for playing, though.

    Rape isn’t about a boy putting his wee wee in a girl’s hoo hah. It’s about sexual violence. So, yes, a girl COULD rape a boy.

    We are all equally protected by, and responsible for obeying, the same laws. Why that might even be in the Constitution!

    So… why weren’t the girls charged?

    CB

  50. Mr Nice Guy, if that’s your real name,

    Oh, I agree. First of all, what these kids did was unacceptable. (Incidentally, my scenario was for hard taps, not soft ones, perhaps I should have used the word slap, but I wanted a downward connotation). The school was right to intervene, and I would not be upset by expulsions, suspension and the like.

    What I find fascinating is the prolonged interrogation. Obviously, when the kids were first detained , the administration had not yet made up its mind to arrest them. Nor did that change after a short interrogation. No, this was a prolonged affair, the kind that occurs when so-called law enforcement tries to extort cooperation.

    I suspect that the kids were given an ultimatum of some kind, refused to cooperate and had the book thrown at them, much like Randy Weaver in Ruby Ridge. The disproportion between crime and prosecution has more to do with striking fear into the hearts of others who contemplate refusing to cooperate rather than a search for justice.

  51. SIV,

    Btw, I notice that you have risen to “poster worthy of mock posts” on H&R.

    I will tell you up front (since you will assume it is the Mr. Nice Guy -Ken -Neu Mejican -sockpuppet -in -your -head that is posting with your name) that I am not involved in anyway. I don’t see a point in such behavior.

    Mr. Nice Guy,
    Please don’t confuse things by posting with my handle (even though I appreciate the humor).

  52. Of course, the one whiney little princess who was ‘traumatized’ needs to be laughed at the most. Maybe it would help her get over herself.

    Same goes for the two boys whose “lives have been ruined” by being charged with misdemeanors.

  53. Dan T gets off on playing Devils’ Advocate, it’s good as it keeps debate sharp. However, as a result every so often he looks like a complete asshole. He doesn’t seem to mind though.

    There’s a fine line between Devil’s Advocate and annoying, knee-jerk, contraian asshole. A good DA is honestly trying to sharpen the debate. A Contraian asshole is just trying to rile people up for their own amusement. It doesn’t take much skill to push hot buttons.

    I would much rather debate someone who believes in their position. joe for example. I rarely agree with his take, but he forces me to examine my own position more critically and more than once has manged to sway me. Dan T just manages to annoy me.

  54. Where is McMinnville? Is that a city in Saudi Arabia?

  55. Thirty years ago my son was suspended for skipping school. He was a happy lad for three days. During the time off he began plotting other ways of earning vacations. He got pretty good, too. Now he’s successful at hard work, fair pay and enjoying his earned days’ off. Don’t let an education get in the way of success.

  56. Where is McMinnville? Is that a city in Saudi Arabia?

    McMinnville is, to my shame, a city in Oregon.

  57. So when I was but a slip of a girl in middle school and, while standing at my locker, was pantsed by two older girls who had a history of bullying me, I should have called the police?

    Damn. All I did was cry. A teacher found out, the girls were made to apologize and (I thought this was too much) were not allowed to attend prom that year. In the end, we apologized to each other all by our wee little selves because we thought the grown ups had gone overboard.

    Then again, this was girl-on-girl assault which is hawt, right? Had it been boys who’d done the pantsing, I’m sure the adults would have pulled the wrath of God down on all our heads.

    See, I responded to boys who jeered and grabbed at me by jeering right back at them and then, when that didn’t work, I kicked them in the nuts. Hard. Imagine what would have happened to me if I’d done that in these here troubled times?

    An easy to-do list for the grown ups at Patton:
    1. Require the boys to apologize to the girls who were offended. (same for girls who did this to then-offended boys)
    2. Tell the kids that this sort of behavior is generally inappropriate, but that they certainly shouldn’t be touching someone who hasn’t explicitly given them permission to do so. To drive the point home,
    3. warn the boys that if they don’t cut it out one of those girls may just kick ’em in the nuts.
    4. Get over your big mean adult selves.

    /I realize how pathetic this post may make my 12-year-old self look, but I’m a big girl now and can admit it.
    //so you can save yourselves the trouble, should you be so inclined to point and laugh.

    Oh, go ahead with the pointing and laughing. This is H&R, after all 🙂

    Oh the second, this my schooldaze were spent in Saudi Arabia. If we’d reported this stuff to the real police, I suspect there would have been some daddies sent to jail and a planeload of mommies and kidlets deported.

  58. holy fucking supercomment, batman.

    My humble apologies.

  59. Good news is that as time goes by more and more kids will be on the sex offenders list so it won’t be such a stigma since everyone will be on the list.

  60. “There’s a fine line between Devil’s Advocate and annoying, knee-jerk, contraian asshole. A good DA is honestly trying to sharpen the debate. A Contraian asshole is just trying to rile people up for their own amusement. It doesn’t take much skill to push hot buttons.”

    Yeah i agree. But even though he doesn’t believe most of the stuff he spews he still usually provides a reasonable enough fascimile of what someone who does honestly believe would say.

  61. How many people in this thread did what these kids did at any point during their childhoods?

    Hundreds of times!

    We used to play a game called “guys catch girls” and “girls chase guys”in 7th and 8th grades (12-14 yrs old). It was sold as a game like tag, only you had to capture everyone on the other team (once captured, a non-captured member of your team could “free you”). In reality it was a way of “feeling up” the opposite sex.

    Ahh Good times.

  62. The consequences sound over the top, but at the same time I didn’t personally appreciate similar behavior when I was in junior high. Butt slapping, nipple pinching and invitations to play “fuck-tag” were constant and made me feel uncomfortable, since I didn’t want my butt slapped, nipples pinched or to be invited to play that game (even though no one actually played it at that point). When the staff at my school found out about this, or saw it, they ignored the people doing it and told the recievers to ‘toughen up’, “enjoy it while you can” or to “get over it”.
    And sure, it is fun and games for some but not all.
    ANd the handshake girl is just trying to look cool because she likes the attention – it isn’t a handshake.

  63. True, these acts don’t merit the charge of 1st-degree-sexual-abuse, but Radley is getting a little sensationalistic with the “Childhood Now A Sex Crime” headline. How many people in this thread did what these kids did at any point during their childhoods?

    I remember playing doctor when I was a kid. Some of the examinations that I perfomed were very, um, thorough. I also gave wedgies, snapped underwear and pulled down swim trunks.

  64. I think threads like this one about today’s schools are popular not because anybody cares about a couple of young punks getting sent to juvy for a few days, but rather because it gives people a chance to wax nostalgic about how much better it was back during their school days.

    Granted, it seems that half the time the old days were better because kids were polite and well-behaved and the the other half of the time the old days were better because kids were allowed to be rowdy and rough each other up…

  65. To Rhonda Pope, mother of Christian Richter, 13, a girl named in the court papers as one of the victims, the charges are justified. “Slapping somebody on the butt is sexual harassment, and it is a crime,” she said. “Considering what was going on and that my daughter was offended, it is a crime. And it’s not OK.”

    OK, that’s it. We’re going to have to take away your sexual harassment laws. You clearly cannot be trusted with them. When you can’t tell the difference between sexual harassment, which is a civil offense, and sexual assault which is a crime.

    If your daughter was offended, that’s harassment. If your daughter used the word “offended”, she was not assaulted. If she’d been assualted, there’d be a whole different vocabulary, and she would be so traumatized by the situation that a mundane, suburban word like ‘offended’ wouldn’t even cross her mind. And if someone suggested she’d been ‘offended’ she’d have flown off the handle at them for belittling her experience with such a weak word.

    Harassment is bad. Those kids should be punished pretty harshly by the school. Expulsions for first offenses are probably out of line, but suspensions and probation with immediate expulsion for a second offense is reasonable.

    But to even bring the school police officer over (and seriously, if this is the kind of thing that gets the school police officer involved, the school doesn’t need a police officer) should be fined for wasting police time. The prosecutor should be cited for prosecutorial misconduct.

    Again, the worst condemnation from a victim is that these kids ‘offended’ a girl.

    If people can’t tell the difference between sexual harassment and assault, then maybe they’re not capable of using sexual harassment law responsibly, and need to have it confiscated.

  66. Dan T. | July 23, 2007, 11:20am | #

    Of course, the one whiney little princess who was ‘traumatized’ needs to be laughed at the most. Maybe it would help her get over herself.

    Same goes for the two boys whose “lives have been ruined” by being charged with misdemeanors.

    Dan,

    even with misdemeanors, the boys have to register as sex offenders. So yes, their lives would be ruined. The girl on the other hand is going to end up flat on her back for some guy who pats her butt one day.

  67. Don’t let an education get in the way of success.

    I would add:

    Don’t let school get in the way of education.

  68. McMinnville is, to my shame, a city in Oregon.

    I’m glad it isn’t the one in Tennessee.
    The spelling did seem off.

  69. The documents also show that the boys face 10 misdemeanor charges — five sex abuse counts, five harassment counts — reduced from initial charges of felony sex abuse. The boys are scheduled to go on trial Aug. 20.

    The prosecutor needs to be disbarred for ever bringing a felony charge on this one.

    That he’s reduced it to misdemeanors shows that he’s not completely brain dead, but that’s not a mistake you can just make honestly, unless you are completely unfit to practice law, either on grounds of stupidity or dishonesty.

  70. Dan,

    even with misdemeanors, the boys have to register as sex offenders.

    According to Oregon law, they “may” have to, whatever that means.

  71. I went to prison because I was looking at the floor and a girl walked right by my line of sight and said I was sexually harassing her.

    Ok I’m joking but that’s about what this seems like.

  72. When is horseplay a crime?

    When you actually use a horse.

    At least, in most states.

    😉

  73. Hey, Dan T.,

    You’re still dodging my inquiry from about two weeks ago. You stated that there are areas of our lives which government cannot regulate. Please list those areas and your reasons for choosing them.

  74. Aresen wins the thread.

  75. Actually, now that Mr. Balko has posted the link he was talking about, I’ll retract a little of what I said and agree that the punishment doesn’t quite seem to fit the crime here, at least from what the story could tell us.

    Guilty until proven innocent, right Dan?

  76. Hey, Dan T.,

    You’re still dodging my inquiry from about two weeks ago. You stated that there are areas of our lives which government cannot regulate. Please list those areas and your reasons for choosing them.

    My position is that those areas are, as the founders might say, “self-evident”.

  77. How would we go about getting in touch with the prosecutors in this case? I’d like to send them a strongly worded letter of disapproval. Anyone got a link?

  78. I can remember my parents always telling me not to be ‘playing grabass’, turns out it’s a crime.

  79. “If people can’t tell the difference between sexual harassment and assault, then maybe they’re not capable of using sexual harassment law responsibly, and need to have it confiscated.”
    Uhh, lunchstealer, no one was charged here with assault. The offense the boys are charged with is Sexual abuse in the third degree, a misdemeanor. And as I posted above it has the following elements. (1) A person commits the crime of sexual abuse in the third degree if the person subjects another person to sexual contact and: (a) The victim does not consent to the sexual contact; or (b) The victim is incapable of consent by reason of being under 18 years of age.

    If you buy that the butt and breast touching were “sexual conduct” (which I think is debatable either way) then technically these boys have committed that crime. Now people everywhere “technically” commit all kinds of crimes and police/prosecutorial discretion gives them a pass (thank goodness I should think), and maybe it should have been used better here. But cut the girl and her mom some slack, confusion about what happened seems to be plentiful on all sides.
    Neu Mejican-sorry for the handle theft, but glad you appreciated the humor. That guy is just the worst of trolls with his paranoid, intentionally provocative and arrogant while incoherent rambles.

  80. These kids are a bit long in the tooth for this sort of thing, though. I think I was doing this sort of thing in the second grade, not the seventh. Then again, Mr. Thompson, the principle of my primary school, had a big paddle, and was unafraid to use it. Not so these days. It’s possible that the lesson that this was inappropriate didn’t stick due to insufficient re-enforcement at a younger age.

  81. I have posted the contact details of the mayor, district attorney and police cheif at the Classically Liberal blog. You can find those at freestudents (dot) blogspot (dot) com.

  82. “You’re still dodging my inquiry from about two weeks ago. You stated that there are areas of our lives which government cannot regulate. Please list those areas and your reasons for choosing them.

    My position is that those areas are, as the founders might say, “self-evident”.”

    This threadjack is more interesting than the school case. I don’t know about Dan T. but I think that government should not regulate any activity that does not have a direct and rather obvious link to harming others (and even some activities that do include obvious and direct harm to others should be off bounds when that other consents). So drug use, porn, or mere gun ownership, or “dangerous” speech or consensual sexual relations of all types should be protected.
    This of course is just the view from On Liberty, but I state it because I think it a great measure. It might get a little tricky in areas where consent may be coerced to some degree or in the area of “affirmative duties” (like child neglect cases).

  83. MNG –

    Point taken, but the misdemeanor charges are the current charges, which are reduced from the first charges brought. The article doesn’t state what the original charges were, or if it did, I missed it, but the prosecutor initially brought felony charges – one assumes sexual assault.

    Either way, sexual abuse doesn’t leave its victims ‘offended’. I think it’s reasonable to say that if the worst a victim feels is ‘offense’ then jail time – even a night in the pokey, probably isn’t warranted. A 10 year sentence and a lifetime on the sex offender roles, forced to live under bridges or have people try to burn your house down.

  84. I fogot, Mike wanted reasons for why these areas should be open. I’ll say the reasons given in On Liberty are the ones I share: this allows for the maximum of expermination of lived human experience by the individuals most in touch with whether the expermination please them (the ones doing it), which maximizes individual happiness (since people are so diverse the are free to find what makes them happy) and societal happiness (this freedom to experiment can inform society over all about new and better modes of living).

  85. “Either way, sexual abuse doesn’t leave its victims ‘offended’.”
    Point well taken. And I’ll add that the kid probably did not use the word “offended” herself (my 12 year old daughter would not), but that some grown up said “and were you offended by that” and she nodded her head…

  86. Mr. Nice Guy,

    Neu Mejican-sorry for the handle theft, but glad you appreciated the humor. That guy is just the worst of trolls with his paranoid, intentionally provocative and arrogant while incoherent rambles.

    No problem.
    I don’t really care so much about SIV one way or the other. He doesn’t bother so much, just brings out the pedantic prick in me.

    I don’t, however, want his accusation to stick in the minds of others here at H&R.

    I do find it interesting that Dan T. and SIV are singled out for mock posts. Dave W on occasion too, I guess.

    Do they feel proud of the attention?
    Will SIV be surprised to join the ranks of those that are mocked openly around here?
    Is SIV the libertarian contrarian counterpart to Dan T’s non-libertarian contrarian? (He did praise Dan T’s skills, maybe they are the same person).

    I think we could make a reality series where we have Dan T and SIV live as room mates. Each week the switch who gets to make the house rules. Hijinks ensue.

  87. Are we going to bring in a DA when toddlers throw toy trucks at their classmates? What’s the difference?

    What ever happened to good old fashioned Playground Etiquette? (that’s french for “kids solving their own problems unless an ambulance is required”).

    Remember, back in the olden days, how we dealt with the inevitable junior high “butt slapping” antics?:

    Girls

    1) If you enjoyed it, giggle-scream, while pretending to be offended / shocked.

    2) If you didn’t enjoy it, kick offending boy in the shin.

    3) If you were actually pissed off, knee him in the balls.

    Boys

    1) Learn crucial distinction between girls who like you and girls who think you’re gross.

    2) Relearn that lesson.

    3) Relearn that lesson.

    Teachers

    1) If you catch boy slapping girl’s butt, grab him by the hair, ear, or arm. Shake for 10 seconds while telling him to cut it out, “or else”.

    Those were the days…

  88. Is the “butt” really a sexual area? Since all teen boys masturbate with their hands, does that mean that shaking their hands is sexual abuse?

  89. Tiki –

    actually, hands is beginning BATIN. As you get more advanced, you’d find that there are a whole slew of BATIN techniques that don’t involve hands.

    This includes the “daisy wheel” method, the “rotary phone”, and the highly-advanced “John Cocktosen gorilla suit mask”.

  90. For years I was the kid that got picked on.I was almost 2 years younger than my mate’s [I was excelerated] and didn’t state to grow .I never thought the cops shoud Aresst my tormenters.I took ti qon do,learned to box and after dishing out a few beatings I was left alone.Maybe that’s why my veiw on lie si you leave me alone and I’ll do the same.

  91. Why not shot them too? Those 2 pose true danger to today society. /sarcasm off

    I don’t know what to say.

  92. Having read the police report, I’m even MORE pissed that none of the freaking girls (who admitted to the police that they themselves performed the dreaded butt slap on the boys) were charged with anything.

    That surprises you? A drunk man and drunk woman have sex. Only the man will be charged with rape, though both satisfy its legal description. This is no different.

    As to the case in question, it’s like all zero-tolerance regimes, where rules are applied without discretion or intelligence and where theories of punishment that were once directed to adult criminals are applied to children.

  93. look.

    i realize this is supposed to trump up some good red-meat righteous outrage, and to some extent it does. facing felony charges and the sex-offender registry is NOT the proper response here.

    however – dismissing it all as simply childhood hijinx sends the bad message also. this, from one of the students:

    “I do believe it should not have happened,” she said. “Everybody knows about sex and our private parts. Our butts are our private parts, and I don’t want mine touched.”

    the girl’s right! blowing this off is the first step down the path of excusing inappropriate behavior toward women. seventh grade is far too early to be threatening kids with the sex-offender registry – but it IS the right time to fix these patterns of behavior before juvenile sexual harassment grows up to become ADULT sexual harassment.

    (then again, wasn’t there a comment thread a few years ago here about the bill o’reilly bullshit where people were arguing that if there’s no contractual provision against sexual harassment, there’s no foul? maybe this is the wrong audience.)

    at any rate, you can’t keep blowing things off as just “kid stuff”, because eventually they’re not kids anymore and they’ve reached late adolescence and then adulthood with the knowledge that you can always get away with harassing women just so long as it’s all in fun, what’s the big deal.

    now, as to these kids, and the situation in general: i don’t think any legal-system stuff should happen to them AT ALL. the police obviously questioned them before arresting them , and they sang like birds. seventh graders don’t know enough to ask for a lawyer when the police start asking them questions, and shouldn’t have to.

  94. QFMFT, Mr. Crane!

    “you can always get away with harassing women just so long as it’s all in fun, what’s the big deal.”

    and it also leads to “well, it was her fault” or “she should lighten up”.

    Well spake, Mr. Crane. And typed with one hand, so that makes it even more impressive!

    (for those who are unaware of why Mr. Crane is typing with one hand, hier
    und hier)

  95. Crimethink: “a girl slapping a boy on the butt isn’t as threatening a gesture as the reverse, since a girl can’t forcibly rape a boy.”

    Go to askjolene.com and type in “strap-on”, then see if the above sentence still makes sense.

  96. More and more of these meaningless cases keep coming up. This completely devalues the meaning of a “sex offender”, since the scope now engulfs everyone with a pulse.

  97. Rapist don’t emerge over night, they grow into it, testing the limits, just as a drug addicts will. Some will progress into an addiction slowly; others will take no time at all. Accepting this is saying it’s socially OK. Go ask the opinion from a victim not a predator’s standpoint.

  98. I agree with Steven Crane. The fact that this was horrifically mishandled doesn’t change the fact that the kids need to learn to keep their hands off people who don’t want to be touched.

  99. Sexually molesting little girls is not ok, no matter the age of the attacker, or whether the abuse was “in good fun.” If boys are taught that girls don’t deserve enough respect to walk down a hallway without being groped, I don’t want to know the kinds of men they will grow up to be or how many women will suffer under their abuse.

  100. Women have been groped and harassed by men since the dawn of time. It’s natures way. The man chases the women, and don’t give me any crap about “no means no”, because that’s a bunch of bullshit. Women WANT to be coerced into having sex. That way they can say “Oh, he seduced me so I’m not a total slut and I can go on living my lie of a life”. I wonder how much longer before the ugly girls file suit for NOT being butt slapped. They will call it “Fugly Discrimination”.

  101. bill, you’re a misogynistic moron.

    here’s your sign.

  102. Jane’s post has a lot to it.

    Too bad it doesn’t connect with the facts in this case at all.

  103. We need more discussions about ass-slapping.

    Indeed.

  104. “bill” notwithstanding, I do not believe anybody here is seriously proposing this sort of behavior should be ignored, or laughed at. Most of us do, however, believe bringing the police in is an absurd overreaction.

    I suppose one could make a compelling case, on behalf of the school administration, that they were merely acting to protect themselves and the school from legal action by the “victims.”

    I cannot help it; I miss the speedy, case-by-case, (ear-tweaking, arm-grabbing, command-voiced) justice in vogue
    in the schoolyards of America before the lawyers took control of everything.

    privatize!

  105. To fully understand how ridiculous this case is try imagining it as an episode of “Law & Order”.

    BTW, this method works on most ridiculous prosecutions.

  106. Eryk-

    The dialogue would be so awful that it would probably flow even worse than a blog comment thread.

  107. You don’t understand. If they criminalize everything, then they control everything – either they have a cowed, terrified bunch of kids, or they have something the can hold over the heads of everyone who moves or breathes. Then they can have their little classmates in the Inquisitorial Squad spying on the rest and getting brownie points for ratting them out. For further details, there is a kid’s movie currently showing whose villain is a fluffy pink petty tyrant … whose office is guarded by painted kittens on china plates (I am NOT making this up!)

  108. “My position is that those areas are, as the founders might say, ‘self-evident’.”

    Nice cop-out. I doubt you have an articulable position on individual rights—other than that they can be overridden by the whims of the majority.

  109. Uh, yeah, you don’t have to condone or leave unpunished what these kids did to think that jail time is inappropriate.

    They should be punished – smacking people on the ass is inappropriate, and they need to learn that. But tell me how shackles and jail time are less damaging than a smack on the ass.

  110. fuck, this whole things disappoints me so much I can’t even write a cohesive comment.

    fucking morons of political correctness

  111. Mr. Steven Crane,

    You must never get laid.

  112. The law is the law and it MUST be enforced EXACTLY as written. These kids are felons and need some SEVERE punishment for ruining the lives of the girls. The psychiatric damage done to the girls is the worst torture and abuse that can exist.

    Don’t do up the crime and you wont do up the time.

  113. NO YOU NEVER GET LAID, “bill”.

    BACKATCHA. YOU’RE GLUE. BOUNCE BOUNCE. STICK STICK.

  114. “””After hours of interviews with students the day of the February incident, the officer read the boys their Miranda rights and hauled them off in handcuffs to juvenile jail,””””

    If the kids were read the Miranda rights after being questioned by a police officer, their rights were violated. Miranda is about being questioned, not being arrested.

  115. lunchstealer – smacking people in the ass is indeed wrong…the kid deserves a good spanking

  116. “bill” notwithstanding, I do not believe anybody here is seriously proposing this sort of behavior should be ignored, or laughed at.

    Really? I think you have to be some kind of idiot to think 7th grade “ass slapping” warrants any more than a “hey knock it off!” from the teacher. I’m truly shocked that there are sentient human beings who are actually trying to defend the prosectors here. Have we at long last, gentlemen, no sense of proportion?

  117. TrickyVic – Miranda is about being questioned in the inherently coercive environment of police custody.

  118. It’s beginning to remind me of the Beavis and Butthead episode where they sued a girl in class for sexual harrassment cause she gave them a stiffy.

  119. McMinnville, heh, doesn’t surprise me much.

    The prosecutor said the following:

    These cases are devastating to children. They are life-altering cases.

    I cannot argue with that POV. After all, it is going to be devastating and life-altering for the boys being prosecuted. Rather than turn this into a teaching moment with perhaps some suspension within the school, the officials chose to turn this into a crime that will affect these kids for the rest of their lives. It’s clearly a case where the punishment is out of proportion to the offense.

  120. Reminds me of a true story:

    it is 1984, all of us boys liked to grab ass all the time. the girls who got their ass grabbed whined a bit but loved it. the girls whose asses were too huge or hideously mis-shaped never got it and they hated us worse.

    anyhow, a buddy named Bushey is right ahead of me in the hall and he gooses a really cute little ass right in front of us.

    The cute ass belonged to one Ms. Pasti, who was a MILF math teacher! She blushed and NEVER SAID A WORD.

    Moral of my stupid, (but true) story: the country is going in the wrong direction.

    Mac is a shithole town really, but this is just hard to understand. That fucking DA and his foot soldiers have got way too much time and way too much of my fucking taxes. Period.

  121. Mr. Steven Crane,

    You must never get laid.

    hahaha, ha.

  122. “Kids will be kids” is not excusatory language meant to exculpate children. It’s meant to imply that children need to be dealt with as though they are children.

  123. In the future, after Dan T. has become Dictator of the World, boys and girls will live on separate continents. Thinking about the opposite sex will cause a person’s Bergeron Alarm to sound, resulting in a mandatory incarceration and rehabilitation period. Physical contact between the sexes will be prohibited by law and punishable by death, lest someone become offended by inappropriate touching. Eventually each human being will live out his or her life in a sealed plastic bubble to prevent contamination by others of the species. Every male child born will be automatically placed in a sex offender registry in case he falls prey to his baser instincts and touches a girl. E Pluribus Unum will be replaced with Not One Person Offended.

  124. In my school, there was a girl who was doing this butt slapping to other girls. But this was in Germany, so she’s probably still running around free to this day.

  125. Does this mean ball tag is now illegal? If so, it won’t be missed.

  126. Mr Steven Crane,

    I believe that was not an expository statement, but rather a command. bill is telling you to never get laid again. Sorry, bro. We’ll all chip in and get you a subscription to that latex fetish magazine we saw you take into the bathroom at Barbara’s.

    Or was that a Martha Stewart mag at Women and Children First?
    I must not remember.

  127. I sometimes wonder what the attitude of a writer or contributor is, (or someone who comments, for that matter)

    when no mention is made of an action that would make a difference. Who do we call, or e-mail in order to register our outrage?

    It’s fine to feel upset, but it does little good in the real world. Anybody know is there a District Attorney usually… If I don’t hear anything by tomorrow, I’ll find out something and post it here.

    Thanks everyone, and don’t spend so much time complaining, but more doing constructive things!

  128. This is a little ridiculous. Swatting a bottom = sex crime? Every football time in the country would get life in jail after every game.

    One Man. One Year. $100,000 online. So I can hire enough attorneys to play football.
    http://www.oneyeargoal.com

  129. BOUNCE BOUNCE. STICK STICK.

    Very inappropriate, considering the SubjectMatter. You may as well just have run through the thread grabbing all protruding body parts.

  130. Lil’ Cheney: even with misdemeanors, the boys have to register as sex offenders.

    Dan T.: According to Oregon law, they “may” have to, whatever that means.

    According to the attorney for one of the boys conviction on any of the five counts of sex abuse would require registration.

    If the McMinnville boys are convicted of any of the counts of sex abuse, they will have to register as sex offenders, which could have a devastating effect, McFarlane said.

    I would suspect that means the harassment charges would not require registration. I assume that is what is meant by “may” have to register. It depends on which charges, if any, they are convicted of. But I don’t believe there is any option which would get them out of registration if it is a sex abuse conviction.

    So yes, the boys are facing a very real possibility of having their lives ruined over typical obnoxious teenage behavior. As others have pointed out, I don’t think we have to completely excuse them from facing some reasonable consequences for being jerks. But, it is mind-bogglingly absurd that we have to consider the very real possibility of saddling these two kids with a lifetime label of “sex offender” which, after all, is precisely what the State of Oregon is employing its legal arsenal to accomplish. As someone noted, it might be that these stories are intended to provoke outrage but regardless of intent, this story certainly warrants whatever outrage it does indeed provoke.

  131. You, American people, are the craziest people in the world. Source of all evil in the world, I believe. (correction: not the people, mean government)

  132. It’s fine to feel upset, but it does little good in the real world. Anybody know is there a District Attorney usually… If I don’t hear anything by tomorrow, I’ll find out something and post it here.

    marc di minno, I am reposting the 12:20 comment from CLS because it links to a blog with all the contact info. Also, here is a direct link to the blog he cites below.

    I have posted the contact details of the mayor, district attorney and police cheif at the Classically Liberal blog. You can find those at freestudents (dot) blogspot (dot) com.

    CLS | July 23, 2007, 12:20pm |

  133. Quote:
    “Juanita | July 23, 2007, 3:39pm | #
    The law is the law and it MUST be enforced EXACTLY as written. These kids are felons and need some SEVERE punishment for ruining the lives of the girls. The psychiatric damage done to the girls is the worst torture and abuse that can exist.

    Don’t do up the crime and you wont do up the time.”

    Yes, kill them when they are still young. What do you think Juanita? How will they feel if they get 10 yrs? And get fu..ed by other prisoners?

  134. european guy (if that is your real name),

    Don’t mess with the Juanita. Source of all righteousness in the world, I believe.

  135. I believe she’s righteous. But the life is not black and white. Sometimes it is grey. So kids do deserve some words of rebuke. But that’s it! Prison? Come on… be serious. Have you ever been thirteen?

  136. It was retoric question. Not mean you, highnumber.

  137. If the kids were read the Miranda rights after being questioned by a police officer, their rights were violated. Miranda is about being questioned, not being arrested.

    Miranda is only about being questioned while in custody. If the kids weren’t in custody when they were questioned, then there was no requirement that they be read their rights.

    Of course, it might be argued that, even before they were arrested, they were in custody because a reasonable person under those circumstances would not have believed he was free to leave.

  138. Then again, Mr. Thompson, the principle of my primary school, had a big paddle, and was unafraid to use it. Not so these days.

    That’s right. These days, we think that corporal punishment of schoolkids for playing grabass would be barbaric, but throwing them into juvenile detention for up to 10 years and onto a sex offender registry for life is A-OK.

  139. Oh. I was lying anyway. Fooled you!

    Seriously, Juanita is somebody’s idea of a joke. Her posts always take the POV that laws are laws and must be followed exactly, and you deserve whatever punishment comes to you. You don’t have to try to argue with her. If she responds, she will say essentially the same thing again.

    That’s your Hit & Run lesson for the day. Come back tomorrow and I’ll teach you all about the mighty URKOBOLD?, troller of trolls, gnasher of teeth, and grinder of monkey organs.

  140. Rape isn’t about a boy putting his wee wee in a girl’s hoo hah. It’s about sexual violence. So, yes, a girl COULD rape a boy.

    So what if that’s what rape is “about”? The legal *definition* of rape, in all the statutes I’ve looked at, *does* require that a boy put his wee wee in a girl’s hoo hah. Maybe modern statutes have another offense called “sexual assault” or something similar, with elements that don’t require actual penile penetration, but that’s a different offense.

  141. Look, it’s rough on me to have to argue the criminalization side, since I think that is sincerely overdone these days (see the zero tolerance policies that equate chicken fingers pointed as guns as weapons or aspirin as having drugs on school property). However, this case strikes me as way more nuanced than many of you are treating it. So let me ask you which is the basis of your objections:
    1. That a law like this is silly (please take the time to actually read the law, I posted it above and it’s on the link Balko gives).
    2. That one of the elements of this crime were not met here (since only folks as or more impaired as SIV would argue the consent element was not met this would mean arguing that “sexual contact” did not occur here).
    3. You are fine with this law and think it technically occurred, but think kids should get a pass.

    I’m not trying to catch anyone in a “gotcha.” I feel uneasy about the charge and would base my opposition on 2 or 3. However, it strikes me that touching a breast or butt can certainly be “sexual conduct” (and how!) and that at times these kinds of laws have to apply to kids (some of you have too sanguine a view of children, you should see that film “kids”.)
    Also, the “I can’t stand it why didn’t the girls get charged” along with the “my god these women should get over this and learn to enjoy molestation” stuff strikes me as some sour grape stances on women. I mean, did you read the police report? Did any of the girls engage in the behavior in question to the extent of and as often as these two boys? There was at least one boy mentioned in the report who was not charged because he did not do it as much or as badly. So let’s drop the whole “I hate uppity women and their ability to effect rules” line. It’s a bit misogynistic…

  142. You, American people, are the craziest people in the world. Source of all evil in the world, I believe.

    Maybe, but you guys still have to answer for men wearing Speedos to the beach.

  143. MNG,

    I would argue that the criminal justice system specifically, is the wrong place to deal with this behavior in the case of a 7th grader. 13 year olds do NOT have the emotional control of a 25 year old. Their brains are literally still developing. So there should be somewhat higher of a threshold for actual criminal charges.

    Second, I am of the opinion that if consent cannot be given by the ‘victim’ due to age, that to claim that the perpetrator of the same age is culpable would be throwing logic into Abu Graibh for a couple of months of ‘hard interrogation’, although we know that H&R posters would never torture logic*.

    If you were talking about drunk 25 year olds doing this through a hotel lobby, I would probably argue that that’s exactly the time to call the cops. But a 13 year old just can’t be held to that level of culpability. At least not on a first offense. If these kids were to do it, get suspended for a few days, do it again, get expelled, and then do it again in some other circumstance, then yeah, I’d say that they were showing a clear enough pattern of incorrigibility that the DA might need to get involved. But almost any one-time misbehavior can be handled by normal in-school disciplinary measures.

    * We have been known, however, to torture metaphors.

  144. Quote:”You, American people, are the craziest people in the world. Source of all evil in the world, I believe.

    Maybe, but you guys still have to answer for men wearing Speedos to the beach.”

    This is exactly what I mean 😉

  145. Bradley Berry, the McMinnville district attorney

    Why is this being handled by local authorities?
    With a patchwork crazy quilt of different laws and policies around the country justice is surely being denied and our most precious resource, the children are suffering. Here is an issue for the Democrat Congress to show they aren’t “do-nothings”, the lax un-even enforcement of school rape laws on the Republican watch must end…NOW. Surely interstate commerce is involved in some way in this sexual harassment and assault. Call your Congressperson, email, write, march….
    We need a Federal Law to stop this outrage , after all it is for the Children.

  146. Mreh Mreh Mreh, like Lil’ Condi, Mreh Mreh

  147. I really hit a nerve with some people.
    Well it is nice to have fans!

  148. I live in Salem, OR. I think only one of the boys spent the 5 days in lockup. They kept him there with a 17 year old delinquint. The young boy said on the TV news he was so scared he kept throwing up. There are more and more stories like this every day. I think Harry Browne, the Libertarian, wrote a book called The Criminalization of Everything. Teach the children to be prisoners.

  149. My son who is 13 brought up a very good point. Sex offenders don’t even get ten years. Most are let off on house arrest, yet these boys will have to spend the next tens years behinds bars, worse yet have a record? I think they should have been punished, but the school should have handled it.

  150. lunchstealer-that seems reasonable to me, as I said it was my third reason not to charge. But how could legislatures do this, could they write that the law only implies to adults? What would we do if we got some 13 year old who did something that was “sexual contact with a non-consenting underage person” but was much more egregious than what happened here? What I’m getting at is that it would be hard to write a law that would do justice to the latter kid but not be applied to situations like the one in Oregon…
    “Sex offenders don’t even get ten years. Most are let off on house arrest, yet these boys will have to spend the next tens years behinds bars, worse yet have a record?” Rose, read the article. The charge was dropped to a misdemeanor with a max punishment of one year. And almost nobody gets the max punishment, especially juveniles and first time offenders. These kids are looking at probation. The worse thing is they may have to register as sex offenders (those programs are usually crazy broad).

  151. So is buggery in boarding school no longer allowed then 🙂

  152. “I really hit a nerve with some people.
    Well it is nice to have fans!”
    More like with your simply mindnumbingly lame performance in the animal abuse thread you’ve actually entered the H&R lexicon with your moniker now synonomous with “arrogantly making an uninformed assertion and then copping out to cover for it for the rest of the thread.” In fact, Dan T. pulled a SIV at 12:04 above(of course, as Neu Mejican mentioned, Dan T may well be SIV).

  153. So, if the kids come back to school and hold up a “Breast Gropes 4 Jesus” banner, can they be suspended by the principal?

  154. Most of this issue comes from the increasing body shame being created by the government and parents. “Your butt is a private part!!!” what happened to the kids who would moon people from the car? Please.. We all have an Ass, it isn’t that private. Hell, I think kids should be nudists. A good majority of our issues come from the draconian and puritanical belief that the body is something to be ashamed of. So what they slapped a couple of butts. Detention and Sentences on the board…

  155. Ohh yeah, lets not forget that at the age of 13, kids (most) still don’t have the cognitive capabilities that adults do. An adult looks at these things from a completely different perspective. Maybe we should start remembering that kids are not adults, nor do they have the cognition of an adult.

  156. This makes me angry. So they slapped a couple of butts. Were the girls offended? No, it doesn’t seem like it. They’re only kids. It really pisses me off.

  157. This is absolutely ridiculous. WTF. They’re in the middle of puberty, this is what kids do – there was no malice intended here… I put responsibility on the judge to throw s**t like this out of court – the prosecutor is just trying to pump up his track record. Idiot.

  158. Thanks so much for the info / reminder.

    Reading this, I see that there is a great deal of time and energy being put forth in expressing one’s opinion, saying what should have happened, decrying how bad things are, etc.

    Expressing your anger and frustration is all well and good, but it won’t make much of a difference in the real world. Sometimes we should wonder
    what is behind all of our complaining and blaming… it’s not always what we might discover.

    So, if you are reading these comments or writing a comment of your own, that means you care about this and willing to take a few minutes to read or write here….

    Correct?

    Ok, good. So if you take 2-3 minutes less to read or to write comments, you can then make a call or send an e-mail that might make a difference, in the REAL WORLD.

    Here’s something you can do:

    Contact Police Chief Ron Noble to complain about the actions of Officer Roach at 503-434-7307
    or email ron.noble@ci.mcminnville.or.us. Y

    you can also complain to Mayor Ed Gormley at 503-472-4101 or email him at ed@gormleyplumbing.com.

    Bradley Berry, (who brought the abuse charges against the children), can be reached at his office at 503-472-9371

    and emails can be sent to him at da@co.yamhill.or.us.

    lots of details on the case on
    Classically Liberal blog. Entry is at freestudents (dot) blogspot (dot) com.

    the article there is not objectively written, but its info is useful

    Thanks everyone for taking this on!

  159. Bum-slapping children should be taught a real lesson by having the guilty hand chopped off.

    Forcing all students to wear body armor would stop the practice too, but losing limbs is surely a more practical approach as it will train the offending kiddies about taking personal responsibility for some busy-body’s sanctimonious overreactions and intrusion into their personal relationships in later life.

  160. In the new world order, no physical contact will be allowed, past the age of 2 years old!
    Kids, you have been warned…
    Obey and submit to your new Lord… the Neocons!

  161. Sorry, folks, but is there anything going wrong with you in the US? Why is it that one hears more and more of these stories from your (ex-)great nation? The land of the free? Oh c’mon, take a look around you, you’re heading into the wrong direction.

    What kind of society are you developing into?

    Why has everything (!) be deducted into sex and/or crime?

    Many people seem to have lost a feeling for when to shut up. Or to think before yelling at least.

    Greetings from the “old Europe”…

  162. Jesus, what next? Those perverted little 1st grade jungle gym skirt peekers? Again, the social argument applies…”How come we can be subject to Abercrombe and Fitch adds, but you jail us for a social behavior?” —A shared social behavior seen as acceptable by the ones you are claiming are victims—

  163. “”””That’s right. These days, we think that corporal punishment of schoolkids for playing grabass would be barbaric, but throwing them into juvenile detention for up to 10 years and onto a sex offender registry for life is A-OK.””””

    And for some reason, that makes sense to many people.

  164. TrickyVic, I couldn’t agree more. When I was a lad the Vice Principal would have grabbed the offender by the ear lobe and marched him to the office. He would have gotten a couple of whacks with a paddle or a couple of weeks detention after school. And he’d be damn glad the PE coach didn’t get to him first because the coach would have twisted his arm up behind his back and marched him off to the office. But that’s barbaric and violates his civil rights, which incidentally, do not include the civil right to not attend school. OTOH, throwing him in jail doesn’t violate his rights because, FUCK YEAH, the Mirandized him before hooking him up.

    Be careful what you wish for you just might get some bastardized version of it that you don’t recognize.

    I blame the lefties for this shit. Forty years of don’t you touch my little dahlin’ or I’ll call the ACLU and sue your ass.

    Well try suing them over this.

  165. Sorry, folks, but is there anything going wrong with you in the US? Why is it that one hears more and more of these stories from your (ex-)great nation?

    Perhaps in other countries, the authorities find it easier to keep this sort of thing quiet.

    Speaking of which does anyone know what happened to Operation Ore ?

  166. “””I blame the lefties for this shit. Forty years of don’t you touch my little dahlin’ or I’ll call the ACLU and sue your ass.”””

    I can’t place blame only with the lefties. Plenty of righties have been in power and done nothing to reverse the trend.

    I don’t play the left vs. right game anymore. The last six years have proven to me the righties are just as bad as the lefties.

    Those who want to rule, want to rule you, and desire to expand their power to rule. L vs. R or red vs. blue is a red herring these days. Or I should say it’s become nothing but a personal attack tactic.

    That’s what I like about Ron Paul, he don’t want to be a ruler, he wants to be a President.

  167. Mr. Berry and the rest of the raving bureaucrats involved in this farce had better cut this shit out before they Nifong themselves.

    -jcr

  168. This article reminded me of an article I read in “Reader’s Digest.” There was a five-year old accused of sexual assault. I don’t remember exactly what he did, it was awhile ago, but it’s ridiculous. At five, you’re simply imitating what you see… and having you’re butt slapped isn’t going to hurt kids “little personalities.” We have much worse things to worry about.

  169. Well, it is sexual harassment and parents need to teach their spawn this is not a greeting, but taking adolescents to court is overboard. They need to be reprimanded on the first count, but if it persists, a talk about personal space and privacy of the body is suitable. Also, young girls need to be taught their body is for no one but them. It seems to be a lesson that’s lacking these days.

  170. This is so ridiculous. There comes a point where people just need to use common sense, look at the situation and realize that the legal system is taking things way too far.

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