June 27, 2007

Unbelievable

I cannot believe this.

Coach, 40, Weds 16-Year-Old Student
Anguished Parents Sign Consent Forms, Saying They Had No Choice

This is frakking statutory rape. Or just plain rape, without the statutory. Unfortunately, at the age of sixteen and up, statutory rape laws tend to be vague. In Arizona, with the scenario here described, the coach could have been arrested (the official charge would be "sexual conduct with a minor"). (This is an interesting, if very lengthy, PDF document describing the various state laws.) As far as I can tell, in North Carolina, the state of residence, the creepophile coach can't be charged. However, as a last resort, I suppose, the parents could have thrown the girl in the car, driven to the nearest airport, and taken her out of the country for two years.

At the very least, they could have refused to sign the consent forms, no matter how much she sulked. "No choice"? My lovely rounded tush.

Of course, I'm sure emotions were running high, especially with the relationship holding the lure of the forbidden. Nevertheless, if the parents had held firm, I think there would be a good chance in two years (or less) the girl would have come to her senses. Also, if in that time the parents had continued publicizing the all-around nastiness of a 40-year-old man professing interest in a teenager, perhaps the social stigma would have driven the coach away.

Ugh. The more I think about it, the more icked out I get.

9 comments:

gennimcmahon said...

It's truly an issue where only the law can protect people from themselves. How can the parents claim they had no choice? Where were they when this all got started? I would never, ever imagine allowing my daughter to marry at the age of 16, no matter how old the man in question is.

"You want to marry a pervy man who is 26 years older than you?"

"Yes, he loves me and he thinks I'm beautiful, Mom!"

"Oh, well, gee, how about NO WAY!"

Feliza said...

Perhaps what the parents meant by "no choice" was that, knowing that their child would be finding ways to see her 40-year-old boyfriend, they wanted to make sure they got married just so she wouldn't get a reputation?

Of course, all I know about this case is what I've read here, but that's just the picture that came to my mind. Perhaps they didn't think that they had the authority to stop the two from seeing one another and they were afraid that, in the event that she got pregnant, she wouldn't be taken care of unless the marriage contract was there.

Sounds effed up (and it is) but maybe?

Matthew said...

Why do we assume the man is a pervert? Harold and Maude is touching, but Claire's Knee is perverted.

PJ said...

I'm not sure what you're referring to--I know "Harold and Maude" is a movie, but if "Claire's Knee" is also a film, I've never heard of it.

Regardless, the fact remains that the girl is a minor, not legally an adult. The man, being forty years old, has a great deal more power, both from society and life experience. As such this is a situation ripe for manipulation and abuse.

Not to mention the fact that what on earth could a middle-aged man have in common with a teenager? Personally, I need someone of comparable intelligence and experience in order to have a stimulating conversation. Of course, he could always teach his wife to drive--now there's an opportunity to bond (sarcasm).

No, I think this is just another sad and familiar story of a man with a midlife crisis, caught up in the fantasy and the power-trip of having a young, nubile teenager infatuated with him. The only one, unfortunately, who will pay the price is the girl.

Matthew said...

The point is that we don't know what the situation is. We know two ages, 40 and 16. That's all. So why do we feel so called to pontificate on the lives of others? Maybe because it save us the trouble of actually learning the whole story. But then if we troubled ourselves to learn the whole story we'd realize, "Hey, this really doesn't concern me in the slightest."

PJ said...

Are you saying we shouldn't be concerned about an illegal activity? (It would be illegal in my state, and it should be illegal in all 50 states, in my opinion.)

If so, I find that variation of "mind your own business" unacceptable. When young girls are being exploited, it is (or should be) everyone's business.

Matthew said...

But it isn't an illegal activity. But it should be, right?

PJ said...

An underage girl with a 40-year-old man? Damn straight.

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that he really loves her (I can't imagine that, but let's grant the possibility). What would be the harm in waiting to marry her until she's 18 and a legal adult? If it's real, it'll last.

Also, did you read the entire story? This whole thing apparently started when she was fourteen. To quote:

During Windy's freshman year, her 38-year-old track coach, Brenton Wuchae, began taking a more active interest in her, offering to give the 14-year-old rides home from practice.

Maybe that's not definitive proof, but it sure is suspicious.

Just out of curiosity, where's your cutoff point? Is it 14 and 38, or 15 and 39? At what age would you say, "Yes, this is wrong, and yes, it is the community's business?"

Matthew said...

As a Christian and an anarchist, I think that marriage should (yes, I'm using that dirty word should) always be the business of the community. I merely know that I am not part of their community, I don't know the story, it is not for me to pass judgment. Yes, of course the ages seem fishy to me, as 16 is two years younger than that age when the state says we magically become adults, and we believe them. But I also know that in most cultures around the world this sort of situation carries no social stigma, so I'm open to other interpretations than that the man is a pervert and the girl is being exploited, though of course I do not exclude that interpretation from consideration.