The Court and Juvenile Sex Offenders. Tom C. Rawlings Director, Office of the Child Advocate State of Georgia [email protected] www.tomrawlings.com. Unruly schoolboys or sex offenders?. Sunday, July 22, 2007 SUSAN GOLDSMITH The Oregonian Staff
The Court and Juvenile Sex Offenders
Tom C. Rawlings
Director, Office of the Child Advocate
State of Georgia
Sunday, July 22, 2007
The Oregonian Staff
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."
Last year, in a previously undisclosed prosecution, he charged two other Patton Middle School boys with felony sex abuse for repeatedly slapping the bottom of a female student. Both pleaded guilty to harassment, which is a misdemeanor.
Could this happen to your child? Your brother? Your friend?
“Genarlow Wilson sits in prison despite being a good son, a good athlete and high school student with a 3.2 GPA. He never had any criminal trouble. On the day he was to sit for the SAT, at seventeen years old, his life changed forever. He was arrested. In Douglas County he was accused of inappropriate sexual acts at a News Year’s Eve party. A jury acquitted him of the allegation of Rape but convicted him of Aggravated Child Molestation for a voluntary act of oral sex with another teenager. He was 17, and she was 15.
Along with the label “child molester” which will require him throughout his life to be on a sexual offender registry, Genarlow received a sentence of eleven years — a mandatory 10 years in prison and 1 year on probation.”
In the early 1980s, a therapist named Robert Longo was treating adolescent boys who had committed sex offenses. Their offenses ranged from fondling girls a few years younger than they were to outright rape of young children. As part of their treatment, the boys had to keep journals – which Longo read - in which they detailed their sexual fantasies and logged how frequently they masturbated to those fantasies. They created "relapse-prevention plans," based on the idea that sex-offending is like an addiction and that teenagers need to be watchful of any "triggers“ (pornography, anger) that might initiate their "cycle" of reoffending. And at the beginning of each group session, the boys introduced themselves much as an alcoholic begins an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting: "I'm Brian, and I'm a sex offender. I sexually offended against a 10-year-old boy; I made him lick my penis three times.“
Sex-offender therapy for juveniles was a new field in the 1980s, and Longo, like other therapists, was basing his practices on what he knew: the adult sex-offender-treatment models. "It's where the literature was," Longo, a founder of the international Association for the Treatment of SexualAbusers, told me not long ago. "It's what we'd been doing.“
As it turns out, he went on to say, "much of it was wrong."
New York Times, 7/22/07
In the first year of life
From two to six years of age
Sexual interest during the middle childhood years waxes and wanes with the degree of sexual stimulation and sexually sensitizing experiences
The offender uses his/her greater power to exploit his/her victims
(Breer, 1987 )
Greater than 3 year age difference
Sexual involvement with pre-pubertal child
Difference in status and sophistication
between the sexual partners
Exploitation and control are features of offending and not experimentation.
Force clearly identifies an offender.
Sexuality with focus of control, domination, and /or humiliation is not a characteristic of experimentation
sexual acts ?