Monday, April 30, 2012

It's Complicated: Apparent GSA Case in California

On this blog, we make a distinction between sex, which involves consenting participants, and abuse. We also call on journalists to give us enough information. Some news organizations err on the side of providing too little information so as to prevent abuse victims from being identified, so they won't name the alleged or convicted crime perpetrator's name or picture. Not so in this case, and I have to wonder if would post the name and picture of a father accused of abusing his 16-year-old daughter? Check out this article by Kerana Todoro, "Authorities charge woman with incest."

Mistie Atkinson
A 32-year-old woman faces charges of incest and other allegations in Napa County Superior Court after she was arrested on suspicion of having sex with her 16-year-old biological son, according to court documents.
If this was sexual assault or statutory rape, charge her with those crimes. Instead...

She was charged on March 2 in Napa with incest, oral copulation of someone under the age of 18, contact with a minor for a sexual offense, and “sending harmful matter” to her biological son, according to the complaint.

The "harmful matter" it turns out, was images of her. Hardly harmful. "Incest" should not be a crime. Sexual assault, rape, or molestation should be, regardless of the relation of the perpetrator and the victim. as i've said before, I would support enhancements in sentencing for those crimes for guardians. She wasn't a guardian.
“Atkinson and the victim are aware they are biological mother and son,” police state in the complaint.
The way the article was written, with repeated references to their biological connection, made me wonder...
The father of the boy, who has full custody, has obtained a restraining order against Atkinson, court records show.

If she did not raise the boy, this could very well be a matter of Genetic Sexual Attraction. If the boy's father is his genetic father, then I have some questions. She is 32. That means she was pregnant with this biological son when she was 15 or so. How old is the biological father? I understand the age of consent in California is 18. While this blog argues against laws against adult consensual sex, I do not generally argue for changes to age of consent laws. Still, I have to wonder... why was it apparently OK (since he was given custody) for the father to have sex with a 15-year-old 16-17 years ago? One of the questions I have is to why she didn't have custody. Did she willingly give up custody? Were her rights taken away from her?

The article doesn't make it clear what the nature of the relationship between the mother and son, other than they have proof it is sexual. Did they have any contact while he was growing up?

There are16-year-old  boys who dream of this sort of thing, but that shouldn't matter. What matters is how the 16-year-old in this case feels. Under California law, he can't consent to (unmarried, anyway) sex with 32-year-old. As I said, I don't generally argue for changes to age of consent laws because the line has to be drawn somewhere. However, I don't think they should always be applied. Just as I do with cheating and GSA, I give special consideration here. Has she, as an adult, ever done this with any other 16-year-old? Is she likely to do this with anyone else? Is she generally law-abiding? Did she coerce him? (Some would say sending the images to a 16-year-old boy, with the raging hormones and all, would be coercion enough.)

Even if he pursued her, I do believe that it is the older person's responsibility to say "no" or "not yet." If he was 18, of if this was somewhere else where the age of consent is 16, I would say the law should not be involved in this at all. But he's 16 in California. The law needs to make sure they don't have a predator on their hands. If they don't. the law should go easy on her. Ten years down the line, they could be a happy a couple, for all we know now.
— — —

No comments:

Post a Comment

To prevent spam, comments will have to be approved, so your comment may not appear for several hours. Feedback is welcome, including disagreement. I only delete/reject/mark as spam: spam, vulgar or hateful attacks, repeated spouting of bigotry from the same person that does not add to the discussion, and the like. I will not reject comments based on disagreement, but if you don't think consenting adults should be free to love each other, then I do not consent to have you repeatedly spout hate on my blog without adding anything to the discourse.

If you want to write to me privately, then either contact me on Facebook, email me at fullmarriageequality at protonmail dot com, or tell me in your comment that you do NOT want it published. Otherwise, anything you write here is fair game to be used in a subsequent entry. If you want to be anonymous, that is fine.

IT IS OK TO TALK ABOUT SEX IN YOUR COMMENTS, BUT PLEASE CHOOSE YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY AS I WANT THIS BLOG TO BE AS "SAFE FOR WORK" AS POSSIBLE. If your comment includes graphic descriptions of activity involving minors, it's not going to get published.