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Cops Can Arrest 14-Year-Olds for Having Sex in Kansas, But This Bill Would Change That

Let parents and teachers deal with inappropriate behavior, not the cops.

TeensPressmaster / DreamstimeA Kansas state legislator has proposed a bill that would decriminalize consensual sexual contact between kids under the age of 14—a much-needed update to the state's draconian laws, which currently criminalize sexual contact up to age 16.

Democratic Rep. Dennis Highberger's bill, HB 2738, would remove the criminal penalties associated with consensual sexual acts committed between kids ages 11 to 14. "Children of these ages are together in junior high school, and any sexual experimentation between them would be much better handled by parents, teachers and counselors than by the juvenile justice system," said Highberger, according to The Wichita Eagle.

The bill is partly inspired by the ordeal of Randy Masten, whose 14-year-old son was charged with a felony for engaging in mutual, consensual kissing and touching with a 13-year-old girl in a school elevator:

After the encounter came to light, he was contacted by a police officer who was investigating. Nearly a year later, in January 2017, Masten's son was charged. The charges were later dropped. Masten said he spent nearly $13,000 on an attorney and never found out why the case went away.

He said his son and the girl were 55 days apart in age.

"What if we did not have the means to defend our son? An overzealous DA and judicial system, following the letter of the law as it stands, could have destroyed my son's life and wrecked the lives of my wife and myself as well," Masten said.

It should be up to parents and teachers to decide what is and isn't appropriate teen behavior, and to deal with it accordingly. No one benefits when consensual touching between same-aged kids is a criminal offense: not the education system, not the overburdened criminal justice system, and certainly not the kids themselves.

Photo Credit: Pressmaster / Dreamstime

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  • loveconstitution1789||

    You are some kind of piece of shit if you want to send kids and the families of kids through the mostly corrupt criminal justice system for having sex when they are both under the age of consent and its not rape.

  • StackOfCoins||

    But loveconstitution1789, if kids can't consent, then all kid-on-kid sex is rape. BOTH kids are both rapists AND victims.

    Won't someone think of the children?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Spot on. In fact, every boy becomes both a rapist and a rape victim when he discovers masturbation.

  • Libertymike||

    Saving the children means subjecting them to the vicissitudes of the criminal justice system.

  • John||

    That is right Mike. We can't let these children do this. They could do real harm to themselves. So, instead, we will arrest them and ensure their lives are ruined and they are marked as sex criminals for the rest of their life.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I know and its sad that this cannot just be dropped as a national crisis.

    If you are over 30 years old, I would bet dollars to doughnuts that teenagers ever got in trouble for having sex with teenagers and even adults in the less than 21 year old range.

    I heard quite a few high school girls trying to get with college guys. So that would have been ~17 year old girls having sex with 18-22 year old guys.

    BTW: Where are the parents (1) letting this shit get so carried away (2) not standing up for their kid's friends or sex partners where the state will fuck them?

  • Griffin3||

    Someone maybe should show unnamed officer the difference between touching and kissing, and rape?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    The officer's probably never done the one without the other, and so has no grounds for differentiation.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Saying "there ought to be a law..." should be illegal. And severely punished

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    The girl in that picture sure looks like she's down for some inappropriate touching.

  • Rhywun||

    So does the boy.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    That boy looks like kind of a creeper.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    You angling to be the new OMWC?

  • John||

    There ought to be a very simple rule; anything that is legal for an adult to do is also legal for a child so long as they were not coerced into doing it by an adult and their parents approve. Whether children have sex is a matter for them and their parents. Absent some form of abuse or coercion, the state has zero interest in that issue.

  • EscherEnigma||

    There ought to be a very simple rule; anything that is legal for an adult to do is also legal for a child so long as they were not coerced into doing it by an adult and their parents approve


    So parent disapproval can literally make something a crime when it otherwise wouldn't be? I'm reminded of all the horror stories I heard as a teen from other teen boys that met their girlfriend's father.

  • John||

    In some cases sure. It is illegal for a child to drink alcohol unless it is in the presence of and under the supervision of their parents. And parental disapproval can make an adult doing something with a child a crime.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    What if the child wants to be emancipated? At what age should children be allowed to do that?

  • StackOfCoins||

    So parent disapproval can literally make something a crime when it otherwise wouldn't be?


    You raise an interesting point.


    I think the clear best thing to do in resolving this issue is to stop criminalizing sexuality. Make it a civil issue. Like John said, the state has no business dictating the sex practices of adults, and it should have no place dictating the sex practices of kids. We already have rape and sexual assault/molestation on the books as charges that can be filed when real abuse occurs. We shouldn't be throwing teens in jail or putting them on a sex offender registry for fucking, but there needs to be a way for the parents of the family to seek financial restitution when someone fucks their daughter without permission. Otherwise it's just gonna be open season out there.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    So you want to get rid of age of consent laws?

  • StackOfCoins||

    I didn't say that. You could still punish adult-child relationships, but unless the victim is complaining of rape, it should probably just be a fine.

    A stiff fine (see what I did there?).

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Masten said he spent nearly $13,000 on an attorney and never found out why the case went away.

    So how is the Kansas legislature going to compensate attorneys for lost wages? How is it going to compensate law enforcement for lost prurient entertainment?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    How is it going to compensate law enforcement for lost prurient entertainment?

    By going to war with strip clubs.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    The fact that they are brother and sister make his erection all that more stimulating.

  • ||

    The fact that they are brother and sister

    With a 55 days age difference?

  • StackOfCoins||

    I think that's just an unfortunate pants-tent, the standing-up version.

  • StackOfCoins||

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Stop excusing his perversion.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I had to go back and re-read your comment after reading the replies below, because I read it as "this erection." I am relieved.

  • Tony||

    In this episode of Days of our John, John plays the role of permissive libertine.

    Tune in next week when wacky, inconsistent John explains why a middle-aged lesbian shouldn't have the same basic rights he does.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Is Days Of Our John the gritty, hit-you-in-the-gut, emotional roller-coaster origin story of Tony?

  • Tony||

    I was neither conceived nor born in a bathroom if that's what you're getting at.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    John's always been strongly against punishing teen sexuality, Tony.

  • Tony||

    As long as it's the penis-in-vagina kind though.

  • Zeb||

    any sexual experimentation between them would be much better handled by parents, teachers and counselors than by the juvenile justice system

    Or just maybe, if they aren't too dumb, the kids can handle it themselves.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "Let parents and teachers deal with inappropriate behavior, not the cops."

    That's just crazy talk right there.

  • Tionico||

    I have met people who were married at 14, here in the US, in white anglosaxon christian culture. Its not that big a deal. Long lives, productive, contributors to society, large families of their own, happy and blessed in their old age......

    Our culture does a grave disservice to youth by forcing them to perform all these "requirements" and hop all the proper "hurdles" on the rocky road to adulthood..... which many still never acheive even in their late twenties or thirties. I've known fifteen year old daughters of friends who are far more ready to marry and raise a family than many tjirty year olds I've also known.... one of those, an older sister of the fifteen year old, now in her forties and still an impetuous ornery self-centred child in a middle aged woman's body. Prolly a good thing no one ever tried to marry her. Her younger sister did marry at 17, and a decade on is doing very well. Bit sister? Well, not so much.
    Two generations back, marriage at 14 to 18 was very common.

  • Tionico||

    But when federal labour laws prohibit a sixteen year old driving a tractor or combine on the family farm "because he's too young and irresponsible", its no wonder we've a generation if teen age infants. If they want to have sex, let them marry and have all they want. Eliminate the age minimums for marriage, leave that for the parents of the pair involved. The Mum of that 15 year old I mentioned above declared that daughter is fully able and ready to marry, and if anyone approached them on the matter, provided he as a decent man, she'd not object. Her older daughter, on the other hand.... she declared she would pity the man who married HER. Her own daughters......

  • Tionico||

    so, what to the schools expect when they teach kids, starting at a VERY young age, that sexual exploration and experience is a good and normal thing? These kids are only doing what they've been taught at school, and in the media they consume on a daily basis. Examine their idols and models.... tramps, predators, sex hungry animals..... strutting their stuff in ways that are certain to arouse curiosity and desire. So WHY are adults, who promote or at least allow, such trash, surprised when their own kids behave exactly like they've been taught?

  • Robert||

    Not only that, but I remember when parents were trying to encourage their children of that age to date the opposite sex. It's as Alan Watts (quoting someone else IIRC) said: society makes sex good-bad.

  • Robert||

    I'm sure partly it was an effort to discourage homosexuality.

  • Tionico||

    so, what to the schools expect when they teach kids, starting at a VERY young age, that sexual exploration and experience is a good and normal thing? These kids are only doing what they've been taught at school, and in the media they consume on a daily basis. Examine their idols and models.... tramps, predators, sex hungry animals..... strutting their stuff in ways that are certain to arouse curiosity and desire. So WHY are adults, who promote or at least allow, such trash, surprised when their own kids behave exactly like they've been taught?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    The CDC reports that a large portion of Americans loose their virginity before graduating from high school. Teen sex happens. The law should reflect human nature.

  • MaleMatters||

    Re: "14-year-old son was charged with a felony for engaging in mutual, consensual kissing and touching with a 13-year-old girl"

    Imagine the earthquake had the girl been charged instead even if she'd been 14 and he 13?

    See more anti-male bias in:

    "A Comprehensive Look at Gender Equality: The Doctrinaire Institute for Women's Policy Research" www.malemattersusa.wordpress.c.....-research/

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