The Thinking 

Criminal Charges Replace Common Sense

August 24, 2015

JAMES N. writes:

I don’t know how far out of New Hampshire awareness of the St. Paul rape case has spread, but it contains a number of interesting issues. St. Paul’s is a moderately elite residential high school, and apparently the senior boys compete with each other over how many freshman virgins they can seduce. In this case, the then 15-year old girl accepted an invitation for a “senior salute” from a young man, Owen Labrie, who had been accepted at Harvard and was quite popular. According to her testimony, she expected kissing and “making out” but things went a little too far. She helped by removing some of her clothes and was laughing, but her roommates have testified that she always giggled when she was nervous. See news links here, here and here.

New Hampshire has a modern and sophisticated age of consent law, so sex between a fifteen-year-old girl and an eighteen-year-old boy when a “power differential” is lacking is legal.

The things that particularly caught my attention were, in no particular order:

* This could not have happened to my mother, or grandmother, or HER grandmother, etc. You have to be a girl educated in the present time for this to happen to you.

* The man in question cannot be punished for being a cad or for not being a gentleman. That would be regressive, so, like, you know, like the fifties. He can’t be punished for statutory rape, because we don’t believe in that any more.

* So, in order to punish him (because he obviously did something wrong) he’s charged with aggravated felonious sexual assault, which, if he is convicted, will result in severe punishment.

* It doesn’t seem right if a girl goes willingly with you and laughs while taking off her clothes that you can go to State Prison for 25 years. Even in New Hampshire, State Prison is a very, very nasty place.

We seem to lack the vocabulary or the imagination to name his ACTUAL crimes (being a cad and taking advantage of a girl), and are therefore left with no good options.

I had a long conversation several years ago with Lawrence Auster about how modern girls and young women seem to lack the most elementary knowledge base about boys and men, and the dangers that can come from too familiar an association with them – knowledge that my mother, and her mother, and hers, and so on and so on back to antiquity seemed to possess easily. It still puzzles my why this is so.

— Comments —

Bert Perry writes:

Read through the links, and it strikes me that if indeed the defense has a string of romantic communications between the accused and accuser after the incident, and if indeed the prosecutor knew about these, the best conviction to be hoped for is statutory rape–and the prosecutor needs to face some very pointed questions about why she took a case to court she knew she couldn’t prove. If I’m reading this right, this is a shade of Mike Nifong.

Plus, the guy’s punishment is already clear. Any smart HR person or recruiter for a pastorate is going to google his name, find out he confessed to being a serial cad, and will pass on him. His pastoral/theological career is pretty much over, at least for a decade or so.

Mary writes:

Young men and women on campuses are allowed, even encouraged, to dabble in sin, to tinker with it, to wander close and run away (or try); to experiment, to indulge that passing fancy, or that bad inclination, and to make this easier by smoothing the way with alcohol. Then if one wanders too far, into edgy or even dangerous territory, the next day there is the liquor to blame. Sin is a game to be played and avoiding its consequences means, hey, you won! Whew, dodged that bullet – ha! Losing is something else entirely. Then we learn of sins immense power over us and of what we have lost: the healthy fear of sin and its consequences.

I hope I live to see the day when all young men and women put in this situation wake up and realize they are not enemies but in fact joint victims, who have been manipulated by the Ivy League – the petri dish for radical ideas about human sexuality – and it’s feeder schools like St. Pauls; and unite in outrage at how they have been used: how their minds have been corrupted, their instincts deadened, their souls made barren, and their bodies diseased, through unwitting participation in a colossal social experiment, i.e. the sexual revolution. In my dream, through this outrage a massive class action lawsuit is brought by these victims against the Ivy League and feeder schools for failing to protect them from the profound physical and psychological consequences of that revolution; for allowing professors free rein in the classroom to systematically desensitize them to sexual deviancy in the guise of serious study; for allowing the open promotion of sexual license through “sex weeks” on campus, exposure to corruption in the arts in the form of “The Vagina Monologues”, etc., etc.; and the toleration of rampant substance abuse that leads to empty, sad hook-ups and epidemic levels of STDs.

We are backsliding into barbarism, if it wasn’t already apparent through the Planned Parenthood revelations. From a piece called “The Closing of the American Mind Revisited” by R.R.Reno (on the twentieth anniversary of the book’s publication):

“The gist of Bloom’s polemic—and the book was nothing if not a long, erudite, and hyperbolic polemic—was a brief against the cultural revolution of the 1960s. He said out loud what liberal elite culture could only regard as heresy: The supposed idealism of the 1960s was, in fact, a new barbarism. Whatever moral and spiritual seriousness the long tradition of American pragmatism had left intact in university life, the anti-culture of the left destroyed.

The result? Higher education has become, argued Bloom, the professional training of clever and sybaritic animals, who drink, vomit, and fornicate in the dorms by night while they posture critically and ironically by day. Bloom identified moral relativism as dogma that blessed what he called “the civilized reanimalization of man.” He saw a troubling, dangerous, and soulless apathy that pleasured itself prudently with passing satisfactions … but was moved by no desire to know good or evil, truth or falsehood, beauty or ugliness.”

Laura writes:

This case reeks with so much hypocrisy it is sickening.

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