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#153896 - 05/02/07 05:21 AM Perps Charter
reality2k4 Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
How defining is the law, if it can be manipulated this way?
An abused kid would be stir crazy reading this one, and barristers will have a field day.

Quote:
Paedophiles who abuse children of 12 or under may receive shorter jail terms if their victims "consent" to sex, according to sentencing rules published this week.

The law currently considers such youngsters incapable of giving consent - so sexual intercourse is automatically classed as rape.

However, judges have now been told that it may be "material in relation to sentence" if the child agreed to intercourse.

The guidelines, which are binding on crown courts in England and Wales, astonished and outraged children's campaigners who warned they risked becoming a "paedophiles' charter" - enabling child abusers to escape with lighter punishments.

They claimed the rules gave credibility to the idea that a 12-year-old girl could properly decide whether to have sex with an adult.

The rules, drawn up by the Sentencing Guidelines Council, tell judges how to hand out punishments for some 50 crimes under the Sexual

Offences Act 2003, setting out "starting points" for jail terms for each type of offence, along with factors which should shorten or lengthen sentences.

For the first time they set out a minimum jail term for rape, stating that for a single offence against an adult victim the starting point should be five years in jail, which could be cut to four where there are mitigating factors.

Where a rape victim is aged under 13 the starting point is ten years, rising to 16 if aggravating factors are involved.

A life sentence can still be applied in the worst cases.

But the guidelines also urge judges to take into account whether a child victim consents to sex, stating: "There will be cases involving victims under 13 where there was, in fact, consent where, in law, it cannot be given.

"In such circumstances presence of consent may be material in relation to sentence."

The rules state that this would apply particularly where the offender was also very young, but they also leave it open to judges to give the benefit when sentencing adult paedophiles.

Criminologist David Green, director of the social policy think-tank Civitas, said: "The whole point is to make it a principle of law that a girl of 12 or under is too young to know her own views or give consent.

"This sentencing rule undermines the legal principle which is there to protect her.

"If a boy and girl are both aged 12 then yes, one would expect a light sentence, but where the man is 20 for example it's a very different matter.

"It is asking for trouble. This will encourage sexual activity among under-age girls. It will encourage older predatory males to induce young girls to have sex."

Mr Green called for a clarification, setting a maximum age difference of a year between the child victim and the offender where "consent" could be still be taken into account in sentencing.

Hugh McKinney of the National Family Campaign said: "Unless there is urgent clarification this risks being seen as a paedophiles' charter."

Dealing with other types of sexual offences, the guidelines make clear that rapists can expect a slight reduction in their sentences "if the offender and victim engaged in consensual sexual activity on the same occasion and immediately before the offence took place."

Factors which will increase sentences include repeated offences, rapes or assaults involving gangs, cases where the victim was abducted or drugged or where the offender knowingly passed on an infectious disease and the use of threats to try to stop a victim reporting their ordeal.

Peter Neyroud, of the National Policing Improvement Agency and a member of the Sentencing Guidelines Council, said: "The guidelines should not lead to any reductions in the average length of sentence imposed.

"Indeed, they set out a range of aggravating circumstances that should attract higher sentences."


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#153908 - 05/02/07 08:14 AM Re: Perps Charter [Re: reality2k4]
Nobbynobs Offline
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Registered: 06/26/05
Posts: 1286
Loc: Toronto
That news story is misquoting the Sentencing Guidelines. The actual text reads:

"2.17 Notwithstanding paragraph 2.11 above, there will be cases involving victims under
13 years of age where there was, in fact, consent where, in law, it cannot be given. In such
circumstances, presence of consent may be material in relation to sentence, particularly in
relation to a young offender where there is close proximity in age between the victim and
offender or where the mental capacity or maturity of the offender is impaired."

This is pretty standard. Canada has similar guidelines. It's intended to protect teenagers who have consenting sex, but who are below the age of consent. It also helps protect people of "diminished mental capacity" (ugly legal term) who may not be aware of the culpability of their acts, but who obtain consent from an underage person for sex. These situations generally require a lot of sensitivity and understanding, so the new guidelines allow judges some flexibility in sentencing.

I don't think that it in any way leaves a loophole for pedophiles, especially given that the new Guidelines clearly establish that abuse of power is a factor when judging culpability, and that the minimum sentences for offenses against minors were increased.

I checked the rest of the sentencing guidelines, and they are actually very good. They are very close to the Canadian guidelines, and they cover such topics as grooming, female offenders and abuse of power.

Anyway, if you like, you can read the Guidelines here. They are 144 pages long.

http://www.sentencing-guidelines.gov.uk/

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#153987 - 05/02/07 04:15 PM Re: Perps Charter [Re: Nobbynobs]
reality2k4 Offline
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Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
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OK, I read a "factual" story, or did I?
No matter what I quoted, perps will have taken this
on board as their charter.
Worst of all, kids who read this would think!
WTF, is the point of reporting it to the cops.

Thanks for the link, I will read it, but dont get
me wrong, I am quoting the media in this country.
That is why I dont buy papers here, or listen to
the media, we are fed a tissue of lies, loosely
based on the inability to police such heinous crimes
against kids.

Nevertheless it will be read by those who will process
it as an excuse to carry on abusing,

ste


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#153994 - 05/02/07 05:18 PM Re: Perps Charter [Re: reality2k4]
Nobbynobs Offline
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Registered: 06/26/05
Posts: 1286
Loc: Toronto
Maybe, but I doubt that perps are that sophisticated. And like I said, the new guidelines are pretty hard on child molesters, so I don't think the perps will be too happy about them.

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#154017 - 05/02/07 07:35 PM Re: Perps Charter [Re: Nobbynobs]
melliferal Offline
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Registered: 11/03/05
Posts: 1159
Perps will think this is a break for them, and they will try to use it. I have a feeling they will be disappointed, when push comes to shove, though. I agree with Nobby that the spirit of this law is to make it a little easier on, say, two 13-year-olds who have sex (which really shouldn't happen, but nevertheless does).

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#154028 - 05/02/07 08:29 PM Re: Perps Charter [Re: melliferal]
Nobbynobs Offline
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Registered: 06/26/05
Posts: 1286
Loc: Toronto
I think judges will make it quite clear that this is not going to be a loophole for perps. I can't imagine any judge being so naive to think that a 12 year old can give anything like informed consent to sex, especially when it is with an adult.

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#154182 - 05/03/07 03:07 PM Re: Perps Charter [Re: Nobbynobs]
reality2k4 Offline
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All that is fine, but perps dont read law, they do read papers, and so do kids who have been abused.

The perp will think he has a way out if he gets caught, but the kids will think it is just a big letdown and will stop them telling for fear of ppl thinking they wanted it,

ste


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#154190 - 05/03/07 04:32 PM Re: Perps Charter [Re: reality2k4]
Nobbynobs Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/26/05
Posts: 1286
Loc: Toronto
I doubt it. I haven't heard of anyone using the consent excuse and getting away with it here in Canada, and we've had that law for years.

Really all that guideline does is draw a difference between "legal" consent, which minors cannot give, and "real" consent. The criminal code does not consider children capable of giving "informed" consent, therefore if you have sex with someone under the minimum age, you could be found guilty of statutory rape.

However, there may be situations where the minor did actually consent to sex, and the offender took that as real consent. In general, it is incumbent upon the defence team to prove that the offender was incapable of understanding that children cannot give consent.

So for example, a 14-year-old boy who has consenting sex with a 13-year-old girl may have believed that he had consent, and quite possibly the girl could have been completely willing. In such cases the judge would probably be lenient, because it is a matter of young people experimenting. It might still be a punishable offense, but the level of culpability would be quite low or even non-existent. This is probably the most common occurrence where the "consent" rule comes into play.

In the case of an adult having sex with a minor, the adult would have to successfully argue that the minor gave informed consent to having sex, and that the offender had good reason to believe that the minor was serious about giving consent.

Since the offender is already in the precarious position of having had sex with a minor, who cannot legally consent, they would have to somehow convince a judge that the minor was fully aware of what they were doing, and that the offender did not exercise any undue influence over the minor. In reality I can't imagine any situation where an accused could put forward such an argument, since in the vast majority of adult/child relationships the adult is in a position of power and authority.

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When you go up to the bell, ring it! Or don't go up to the bell.

- Mel Brooks

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#154192 - 05/03/07 04:48 PM Re: Perps Charter [Re: Nobbynobs]
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Scott, please read my reply in this thread.
You have not discussed the issues on, who,
reads papers,

ste

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Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#154194 - 05/03/07 05:34 PM Re: Perps Charter [Re: reality2k4]
Nobbynobs Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/26/05
Posts: 1286
Loc: Toronto
Sorry, you're right, I jumped on my soapbox without replying to your post. Even if the perps do read the papers I don't think this will work as a strategy for them, since prosecutors will be wise to the trick.

They are much more likely to just manipulate/threaten the children into keeping silent, which is more their style. Perps aren't bright enough or brave enough to go before a judge and argue that they got consent.

_________________________
When you go up to the bell, ring it! Or don't go up to the bell.

- Mel Brooks

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