Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another Superfluous Incest Prosecution

In Idaho, Chad R. Streeter abused his infant daughter to the point of breaking multiple bones, but received a much longer sentence for “incest” with his adult sister.

Fourth District Judge Ronald Wilper sentenced Streeter to 23 years in prison for the incest charge and 10 years in prison for the felony injury to child.

I thought this was way out of line – giving him much more time for the incest than the child abuse - until I read further and realized that he raped his sister.

Prosecutors dropped a rape charge against Streeter as part of a plea agreement reached earlier this spring.

Rape is the main crime here. “Incest” shouldn’t be a crime unless it involves a child. And that would be child abuse, child molestation, or rape – all of which are illegal and should be stronly prosecuted. There’s no reason to criminalize all incest, or report on incest as if there’s no difference between consensual sex and rape.

Streeter has been held in the Ada County Jail since April 8, after Streeter’s adult sister told Boise police she had been sexually assaulted by him at a Boise Bench home.

Police established the probable cause to arrest Streeter on the felony rape charge and book him into the jail that day.

Streeter later admitted to investigators that his sister did not consent to sex, according to court testimony.

That’s rape.

He’s a rapist and child abuser. But the headline only refers to “incest.” The laws and the media need to make a distinction between consensual consanguineous sex and rape, between relationships enjoyed by consenting adults and child abuse. Unfortunately, even when loving consanguineous couples are portrayed in the media, they are usually presented as freaks. All of this keeps people closeted.
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