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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Update on Alabama Prosecution of Son


I last caught news on this case in December. Stephen McLamb reports at waff.com that a man convicted on a charge of incest for an encounter with his mother was criminally sentenced and released. Two important things to note about this are that...

1. It wasn't clear in earlier reports if this was a case of consensual mother-son sex or whether the son sexually assaulted his mother. At at least one point, she claimed it was consensual. Perhaps that is why the charge is "incest" and not for sexual assault or rape.

2. If this was an assault, the sentence and time served are ridiculously lenient. If it was consensual this shouldn't have been a criminal matter to begin with.

What's going on in Marshall County?

Gary Dean Helms was sentenced Monday afternoon to 10 years in jail, but the judge split the sentence to serve 1046 days, which is the time he has already served.

Ten years. Ten years for consensual sex is ridiculous. Serving only five years for sexual assault is infuriating. Which is it?
Helms pleaded guilty to incest from a 2006 incident where Helms became upset with his brother and then had sex with his mother.
Rapists don't "have sex" with their victims. They assault them.
His mother at first had said she was raped and later said it was consensual.

Was she initially trying to protect herself from bigotry and prosecution? Or did she move away from the truth to protect her attacker? We don't know.
Helms was ordered to serve five years supervised probation and register as a sex offender.

If he's a predator he should be registered as an offender. But if this was consensual sex he's no threat to anyone. This is why laws criminalizing consensual adult sex need to be removed.

If this was consensual and they still want to be together, nobody should be able to stop them.
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