As parents, we raise our children to be honest. To understand that there are consequences to lying, including some you may not expect. You will still be in trouble if you did something wrong but, tell the truth and we will go easier on you. Honesty is the best policy.
But what about when it’s not.
I had a conversation with my son this week…. With no criminal history Jace is looking at a minimum of 6 years imprisonment for wanting to ‘hook up’ with a consenting adult. I’m not sure about you all but I can honestly say I have had my share of ‘hook ups’. Used to be the bar scene (meat market), online dating apps, blind dates. Hook ups came in many forms – remember ‘looking for Mr. Goodbar?’ and ‘fatal attraction’? We all heard about being careful, especially us women. But never did we consider being careful BEFORE meeting someone, other than not giving your real last name and address.
It is a crime to say anything sexual to someone who claims to be underage. Even is they say they are over 18, then 13, then an adult, and back to 13. It’s a crime. Not believing doesn’t matter. I was told by an attorney in Minnesota this morning, that in his state that proactive police stings also send a picture of an adult woman to ‘bait’ men. The evidence is always circumstantial, but because the police had claimed, even once, to be a minor, the burden of proof falls to the defense. And ‘mens rea’, meaning intent, a cornerstone of our countries judicial system, is null and void in these cases.
How can that be??? It just is.
I had a conversation with my son this week…. Not sure if you all know this but the mass majority of cases result in a plea deal. The judicial system cannot hold trials for all their cases. There are very strict, mandatory sentences for crimes. The idea is to deter people from going to trial. Plea deals offer less consequences. To my knowledge, all of the other defendants in the sting Jace was arrested in, have plea bargained. Some of these people responded to ads from ‘parents’ who wanted a man to help ‘teach’ their children (multiple) about sex. With each of their plea deals, they will receive less jail time than Jace. Because the have admitted guilt to take the deal. Its a requirement in a plea bargain.
Say you are guilty and we will go easy on you?!?!
I had a conversation with my son this week…. In which I asked him if he would rather take a deal for two and one half years jail time, and say he is guilty – or six years jail and continue to proclaim his innocence. By now all of you parents should be cringing. You can see where this is going. I raised my son right. He is strong, proud, generous to a fault, intelligent, and steadfast to his beliefs. I used to think those attributes were very American. I have always been proud of his kind heart and giving nature.
My son’s reply, verbatim, is:
“no. i refuse to say im guilty. i am innocent. i want it all gone.”