Thursday, January 27, 2011

Indiana Man Gets Prison Time For Incest

Anthoney Sims, 23, or Terre Haute, had been found guilty of rape and incest charges. If I recall correctly from previous coverage, one of his parents caught Sims with his sister.

During his sentencing hearing, Sims' father testified for the defense asking for lenience in the sentencing because it's become a family tragedy. He also stated he's "not sure rape occurred."

Is the father in denial? Is his son a monster? Or do we have a situation here in which shock of the parent resulted in a call to the police, and once the police were involved the sister had the option of either admitting to what is still a serious crime (consensual incest) or covering her own rear by telling the police it wasn’t consensual (= rape)? It is easy to imagine someone being caught by a disapproving parent having sex with a sibling and affirming the parent's assumption that it must have been a sexual assault. It is easy to imagine someone would be reluctant to tell a police officer, a judge, or a jury that they were willingly engaging in a felony by having consensual sex with a sibling, especially given the social bigotry towards people who do such things, in addition to the law against it. Maybe this really was a rape, but given the situation, there is an opening for a false conviction.

This article clarifies the sentencing…

A Terre Haute man convicted by a jury of rape received a 16-year prison sentence Wednesday in Vigo Superior Court 6.

Anthony Sims, 23, also received a five-year sentence for the Dec. 1 incest conviction, but that sentence will be served at the same time as the rape sentence.

But there’s more…

Judge Michael Lewis also recommended that Sims receive counseling for anger management and sex crimes during his prison stay, and ordered Sims to register as a sex offender.

He should have to register if he did raped her. The incest charge is superfluous, and someone who has consensual sex with another adult is not a threat to anyone.

In announcing the sentence, Lewis noted that Sims has had numerous run-ins with the law both as an adult and a juvenile.

Sounds like a troubled guy. It also sounds like the police and district attorney would be more apts to press for charges even if this wasn’t really a rape.

During the trial, the jury heard a taped interview with police in which Sims admitted that he had sex with a female relative in April 2009, and that he knew it was incest. But Sims said he did not rape her, and claimed that the sex was consensual.

The victim submitted a written statement to the court on Wednesday requesting leniency for Sims. But she also noted that she fears retaliation from family members if Sims were to receive a long prison sentence.

Is she like one of those abused wives who stick up for their batterers? The verdict on the rape charge would indicate that.

Defense attorney Christopher Shema called the case “one of the most sad” cases he has ever dealt with.

Shema had argued that the convictions of rape and incest were a double jeopardy issue for Sims, but Judge Lewis ruled against that.

Since both charges are felony sex crimes, Sims must serve 85 percent of the prison sentence. However, he will receive credit for the 654 days he has spent in the Vigo County jail on the charges.

Incest is a felony sex crime, even when everyone consents and enjoys it. How messed up is that? If not technically double jeopardy, the incest charge is indeed superfluous. The act is the very same thing for which he was convicted of rape.

Whatever the truth is in this case, a rapist should get serious prison time for the crime of rape. Consensual incest, or consanguineous sex, should not be illegal. Indiana needs to change its laws.
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1 comment:

  1. While I would never sleep with someone in my family, I do not agree that incest should be a crime. Definetily, when it is consentual.


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