Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Alabama Prosecutes For Consensual Sex

It is possible that this is a case in which a young man raped or sexually assaulted his mother and she is now covering for him. If so, he should have been tried for rape. Or, it could be a case in which this was consensual sex, in which case it is ridiculous to apply laws against incest.

Gary Helms Jr. and his family were spared further embarrassment and pain as he entered a guilty plea Wednesday morning on charges of incest.

Helms, 24, of Albertville was facing first-degree rape charges in a case dating back to 2006. At that time, Helms was accused of raping his mother as she allegedly lay drunk and passed out on the family's couch. The act was a way to get back at Helms' brother in an argument over a woman, according to police reports at that time.

The article doesn’t say how this was brought to the attention of authorities. It is possible that the brother was jealous of the consensual sex and played the rat.

From the beginning, Helms' mother, Vickie Helms, had argued the event was not rape and she never swore out a warrant against her son or pressed charges, said Gary Helms' attorney Mike Mastin.

"Gary Helms was charged initially with the rape of his mother. It has been our position from the beginning that it was consensual sex, as weird as it may sound," Mastin said.

It only sounds weird that consensual sex would still be prosecuted.

On Wednesday, Helms agreed to a blind plea in front of Judge Tim Jolley and now faces sentencing on Nov. 7. A blind plea means court officials have not guaranteed any type of sentencing agreement at the time of the plea.

It will be interesting to see how this turns out. If this was consensual, it is unjust that it was prosecuted at all. Fines, imprisonment, or being placed on a sex offender registry for consensual sex? With any luck, the court will be lenient.

Testimony began in the case Tuesday afternoon and Abel said Helms' mother was slated to give testimony Wednesday.

"This event happened in 2006 and Mr. Helms was indicted in 2007," said Jolley.

"Since that time, there has been considerable trouble getting his mother to court. At this time, we had to put her in jail to ensure she would be available to testify."

Mastin confirmed Vickie Helms had left Marshall County after the incident.

"Her intent was not to be found," Mastin said. "Her testimony would have been difficult for her to give and for the court to hear."

Rape and sex are two very different things.

Mastin said witnesses testifying on Tuesday helped his client more than it helped the prosecutors.

"The witnesses the state put on (Tuesday) helped us and gave some background into the family and its relationships," Mastin said.

"We were prepared to put on additional testimony to show there was no force involved.

"I think the District Attorney's Office came to the same conclusion and dismissed the rape charge. We agreed all along that incest is what happened. If (Gary Nelms) would have been charged with that, we would have pleaded to that. Incest is sexual intercourse between the mother and son, and he never denied that."

An adult should be free to have sex with any consenting adults. The deciding factor should be consent.
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