Sex

Woman May Lose Her Home Because of Decade-Old Blowjob

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Wendy Whitaker, 29, has been on Georgia's sex offender list for more than 12 years.  Her crime?  She performed oral sex on a high school classmate just after turning 17.  The boy was just shy of his 16th birthday.  Both were sophomores.  Whitaker is now suing, claiming that given her crime, her sex offender status is cruel and unusual punishment.

After the international uproar associated with the Genarlow Wilson case (Wilson, you'll remember, was convicted of a similar crime—having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old while he was 17), Georgia's legislature clarified state law to prevent these sorts of cases—what Whitaker did 12 years ago is no longer a crime in Georgia.  But because some Georgia lawmakers stubbornly wanted to keep Wilson in jail, the legislature took a separate vote to keep the law from applying retroactively.  Wilson and Whitaker are still convicted felons.  Whitaker's suit cites the Georgia Supreme Court's ruling in Wilson's case, which found that Wilson's 10-year sentence and mandatory sex offender status amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.

The question is whether the court will consider the registration requirement in and of itself cruel and unusual punishment for people convicted of consensual oral sex as minors before the law was changed.

Whitaker is also involved in a second lawsuit—this one to keep her house.  In 2006, she and her husband scoped out neighborhood surrounding the Harlem, Georgia home they eventually purchased to be sure they were in compliance with Georgia's sex offender law at the time.  That law prohibited offenders from living within 1,000 feet of any area where children congregate.  Despite their efforts, local authorities ordered Whitaker and her husband to vacate shortly after they moved in.  They had overlooked a nearby church, which was running an unadvertised daycare service.

That law was struck down by the Georgia Supreme Court last year, giving Whitaker a brief reprieve.  But Georgia's legislature then passed a revised law earlier this year, one lawmakers apparently believed is in compliance with the state supreme court's decision, but that still manages to rope in Whitaker.  Last week, she was told she has to move out of her home by Thanksgiving.  If that happens, she'll likely have to foreclose.

reason's Jacob Sullum wrote on Georgia's sex offender law here and here.  Kerry Howley wrote on sex offender exile laws here.

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  1. I think there’s a retroactive punishment problem with kicking her out of her house. When the Georgia Court struck down the old one, she was legal. Then, the legislature passed a law that made her illegal.

    I’m not an expert on ex post facto doctrine, but that sounds pretty frickin’ ex post facto to me. If she had bought the house while there wasn’t a law on the books, I don’t see how she could get kicked out, after all.

  2. I don’t understand it either, for the same reasons as RC Dean.

    1. the word “blowjob” makes me giggle !

  3. shouldn’t we be encouraging the type of behavior Wendy engages in? Talk about perverse incentives…

  4. It’s for the children.
    Mass hysteria (OMG, consensual sex between students!) always amazes me.

  5. Old people get pissed off when young people fuck, because they’re thinking “why wasn’t I getting that action when I was young?” There’s a massive jealousy component which they mask with supposed moral/health concerns.

  6. Epi, Totally agree. It’s territorial, like when the bull chases off the younger males.

  7. WTF? This is the shit that gets my spice rack in a jumble. Is it a Southern thing? Is it a Christian thing? Just plain stupid thing? What is it that drives these ass hats to persecute this woman? Who does it benefit to drive her from her home? What purpose is being served by labeling her a sex offender?

  8. WE NEED TO TERMINATE ALL PERVERTS INCLUDING PEDOS

  9. Bill Clinton reference in 3…2…1…

  10. Because “sex offenders” have NO RIGHTS. Get with the witch hunt. It is only out of “decency” that the state doesn’t kill them all out right upon conviction.

    /sarcasm off

    I see regular headlines on cnn, fox, etc. websites about how “the fight goes on to make tougher sex offender laws”. It makes me sick. Yes, of course, there are dangerous sex offenders but a consentual blow job on a peer?! Get out of the 17th century please Georgia!

  11. Surely Bob Barr has some friends in the Georgia State Legislature he can contact to point out this injustice? Maybe Alan Buckley can talk to Sen. Chambliss about getting his support, too, or he loses the libertarian vote?

  12. That law was struck down by the Georgia Supreme Court last year

    Needs a “s.”

    Thank goodness she got caught; another dangerous rapist off the streets. I hope that poor boy got the therapy I’m sure he desperately needed after his sexual assault.

  13. Old people get pissed off when young people fuck, because they’re thinking “why wasn’t I getting that action when I was young?” There’s a massive jealousy component which they mask with supposed moral/health concerns.

    I’m not feeling it. I’m getting old and I’m totally pissed off over my lack of action, from puberty to the present. I’m jealous as hell of anyone with an active sex life. But I don’t feel any great need to punish them for it. Unless of course, their doing it on my lawn.

    HEY you kids gid oudda my rose bushes!

  14. Epi, Totally agree. It’s territorial, like when the bull chases off the younger males.

    Yup. How dare she suck a dick that wasn’t [dude in power’s]!

  15. In happier news, I see that Citi got its bailout.

    Oh wait. Fuck.

  16. Is it a Southern thing? Is it a Christian thing?

    No

    Scroll down a few posts till you see something about a Connecticut school teacher.

  17. I personally encourage as much dick sucking as possible among the women folk. Making the practice as socially acceptable and common as shaking hands would benefit us all immeasurably.

  18. Now I know what boiling blood feels like.
    It really hurts.

  19. Hate to break it to all the parents, but nobody wants to f*ck your kid. Seriously.

  20. What if she forces her way into the church day care and forcibly fellates the young boys? Won’t you naysayers look silly then?

    She needs to be kept at least 1000 feet away, since sex offenders don’t own cars, and she would have to run that distance to reach the kids, then would be too tired to force herself on them.

  21. “Old people get pissed off when young people fuck, because they’re thinking ‘why wasn’t I getting that action when I was young?'”

    Thanks for reminding me. I’m going to go get drunk now *sob*.

  22. “I personally encourage as much dick sucking as possible among the women folk. Making the practice as socially acceptable and common as shaking hands would benefit us all immeasurably.”
    I second that proposal.

  23. Please, Georgia, stop me before I suck again!

  24. “I personally encourage as much dick sucking as possible among the women folk. Making the practice as socially acceptable and common as shaking hands would benefit us all immeasurably.”

    Motion has been seconded. Let’s have a vote!

    I vote Aye!

  25. I hope that poor boy got the therapy I’m sure he desperately needed after his sexual assault.

    Eh, or maybe just a nap.

  26. LOL, Only in Georgia! yeeee hawwwww

    http://www.privacy.de.tc

  27. It’s not fair, dammit, it’s not fair at all!

  28. Why couldn’t I get any?

  29. Honey, ACT-UP sucks.

  30. Whom would Jesus banish?

  31. Hammer Tyme, how much are they paying you?

  32. Only downside is watching wife blow like 5 guys a day, but I figure hey – it all evens out on the end.

  33. She needs to be kept at least 1000 feet away, since sex offenders don’t own cars,

    Correct. They own vans.

  34. …ice-cream trucks.

  35. Correct. They own vans.

    Frank: What do you see?

    Dee: I can’t see shit! Why would you tint the inside of the windows?

    Frank: I don’t want anybody to see in.

    Dee: We can’t see out, Frank!

  36. Free cookies for anyone who figures out what else Whitaker and Genarlow Wilson have in common.

  37. Mike: are they both black? are the “victims” both white?

    Epi – I need help with that reference

    1. No she’s white and wilson is black but theboy she was with was black and the girls wilson was with was white wendy’s mom she is no longer on the SOR she is free from this mess and you all are right the boy’s parents called the police because she was white they did not want him dating a white girl

  38. innominate, that is from “The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis” episode of Always Sunny.

    “It’s not a rape van! It’s a spy van!”

  39. This is terrifying, and I agree with the commenters who believe this is nothing but a witch hunt. The law exists so that repressed adults can convince themselves that their high-school children are completely chaste, and allows them to punish the “sluts” who don’t behave in an acceptable way.

    I’d love it if this woman and her family camped out in front of the house of her high-school boyfriend’s parents, with a sign saying, “I am homeless because these people are vindictive, prudish, and narrow-minded.” Sure, that would probably net her a trespassing arrest, but it would draw even more attention to the stupdity of such a law.

  40. I just don’t understand – don’t we want to encourage blow-jobs?

  41. So to clarify, Wendy Whitaker is getting kicked out of her home, because in high school she and her classmate tried out something their health teacher presented to them as a legitimate option.

  42. As I understand it, she was 17 and he was 16. Both high school students. Is the age of consent in Georgia 17 then?

    Age of consent laws do exist for, in my mind, a good reason.

    I do not favor getting rid of them and that does mean having some actual enforcement behind them.

    Yet, I would think — thought even — that their were different levels of sex offenders (that came with specific punishments and restrictions).

    In this situation, from what is given, I would think that the woman should have been given a very low level, with minimal punishment.

  43. Epi – thanks, I don’t have cable

  44. I thought a BJ wasn’t sex…

  45. The main problem is that the LAW (along with jesus freaks, religious zealots, Conservatives, and many libertarians[i hate to say] ) insist on treating a 17yo girl giving a 16yo boy a blowjob ten years ago the same way as a 40yo man raping a 9yo.

  46. As I understand it, she was 17 and he was 16. Both high school students. Is the age of consent in Georgia 17 then?

    Age of consent laws do exist for, in my mind, a good reason.

    I do not favor getting rid of them and that does mean having some actual enforcement behind them.

    Of course age of consent rules are good. The problem is that you can’t really apply them the same everywhere — A 30 year old man having sex with a 13 year old girl is far, far different than a 17 year old boy having sex with a 15 year old girl.

    Most states (and even Georgia now) have “Romeo and Juliet” exceptions to their age of consent laws that state that as long as both parties are over a certain age (usually 13-15), and there’s no more than 2-3 years between them, that if they have sexual behavior, it’s not a crime.

  47. I love how when these states are eventually forced to pull their heads out of their asses, they go out of their way to make sure that it won’t help anyone who’s already been fucked by the stupid law in the past.

    Also, I might have to stop reading this website soon. It consistently makes me want to withdraw my participation from this so-called “society” altogether.

  48. Statutory rape laws and spin off laws from that offense are far too complicated to adress here, but you can go to a website called “my5th” and get more info.

  49. the word “blowjob” makes me giggle

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