17-year-old gets 10 years in prison for consensual blow job from 15-year-old
Zuzu of Feministe reports a disgraceful ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court (or a fair ruling according to a disgraceful law, depending on how you look at it). The Court has upheld a 10-year prison term for a 17-year-old boy who received a consensual blow job from a 15-year-old girl.
Genarlow Wilson was 17 when he received a consensual blow job from a 15-year-old girl. He was charged not with statutory rape, but with aggravated child abuse. [AP]
Eugene Volokh has some startling legal details about the case. Sexual intercourse between a 17-year-old and a 15-year-old was a misdemeanor when Wilson received the sexual favor in question. In 2006 the Georgia Legislature changed the law to make oral sex between kids that age a misdemeanor as well. According to the AP story linked above, Georgia legislators declined to retroactively apply the misdemeanor status to cases like Wilson's:
Wilson’s case was one of two cases that were cited earlier this year when lawmakers passed a law that otherwise strengthened penalties for sex offenders, but reduced the penalty from a felony to a misdemeanor for some teenagers convicted of sodomy.
Presiding Justice Carol Hunstein noted that in easing the penalties for teens, ‘‘the Legislature expressly chose not to allow the provisions of the new amendments to affect persons convicted under the previous version of the statute.’’
Hunstein added she was ‘‘very sympathetic to Wilson’s argument regarding the injustice of sentencing this promising young man with good grades and no criminal history to 10 years in prison without parole and a lifetime registration as a sexual offender because he engaged in consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old victim only two years his junior,’’ but said the court was bound the by limits set by the Legislature. [AP]