Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

17 year old guilty of sex with 13 year old girl

A 17-year-old boy from western Manitoba has been convicted of sexual assault for having consensual sex with a 13-year-old during a game of Truth or Dare.

The soft-spoken teen confessed in Brandon court this week by writing a note to Judge Krystyna Tarwid describing what he did. He then apologized.

"I'm sorry for what I did, I know it was wrong," said the teen, who can't be identified under the terms of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The incident happened Dec. 30, when the boy was invited to stay over at the girl's home in the Rural Muncipality of Oakland. He was a friend of the girl's brother.
Crown attorney Marycia Sieklicki said the boy, 16 at the time, and the girl were playing Truth or Dare. It began with kissing elbows but escalated when the boy dared the girl to lose her virginity to him, and the girl agreed.
The youth admitted to having sex with the girl and apologized when her parents confronted him the next day.

Defence lawyer Philip Sieklicki added his client asked the girl six times before they had sex and she never denied consent.
However, Judge Tarwid noted that at 13 years old the girl wasn't legally old enough to consent. If the girl had been one year older, it wouldn't have been a legal issue.
Sieklicki also told court the boy has a troubled background. He was abused by his older sister and his grandfather was a convicted pedophile.
Tarwid gave the teen a two-year conditional discharge with an order requiring him to take sex-offender counselling.
Tarwid said the counselling will help the boy to better understand issues such as consensual and safe sex.

Teen sentenced in truth or dare sex assault

A 17-year-old boy in western Manitoba has been convicted of sexual assault after a game of truth or dare went too far.
The teen admitted Tuesday in a Brandon courtroom to having consensual sex with a 13-year-old girl in December.
The girl was the sister of one of his friends.
The 17-year-old was staying overnight at his friend's house, south of Brandon, and was playing truth or dare with the girl. Court was told he dared the girl to lose her virginity to him.
Although the girl agreed, at 13 she was not legally old enough to consent to sex.
The teen admitted to the act the following day when he was confronted by the girl's parents.
On Wednesday, the teen — who cannot be named under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act — told the judge he knew what he did was wrong.
The judge sentenced him to a two-year conditional discharge and ordered him to attend sex offender counselling.

This act shouldn't have even been a criminal act! The girl was only one year younger than the age of consent. I can't even believe this is an issue that the courts had to deal with. It was consensual. The boy was 16 at the time and the girl was almost 14. That is a normal dating range for many teens who have consensual sex! He should not have been charged with sexual assault, because he did not assault her! If they both consented to the activity, why wasn't the girl charged as well? They were both young and impressionable. The boy is no more guilty than the girl who also agreed to it. I have sympathy for the boy, considering his troubled background of being abused. Abuse can alter your brain chemicals while still under development and can cause criminal offending later on in life. I completely agree with the conditional discharge, so this boy is not given a criminal record. I also agree with the sex offender counseling.

This 17 year old's sexual act with consent, does NOT fit the criteria needed for sexual assault. This shouldn't have even been a crime! I am shocked that a judge found him guilty of sexual assault. You would think they would know the legal elements needed for the crime... you would think....

For all we know, she could have been just a few months or weeks shy of her 14th birthday, not a whole year. It's not like the article said she just turned 13, her parents were obviously miffed. He was 16 on Dec.30, but the headline screams 17 year old charged. So there is more than likely just a little over 2 years difference in age not like the 4 years that could be so easily assumed (headline). There are hundreds of kids in that normal dating range of 14 to 16 and I'm sure at least half of them are having consensual sex! Check out the pregnancy stats of MB! 

Many of the girls that I knew lost their virginity when we were in Jr. High, many of them to guys who were in high school and had a car, most were 12 and 13 years old.
Teens will explore their bodies with themselves or others (hopefully of roughly the same age), as they are experiencing the affects of hormones coursing through them.
A good point brought up is where were the parents? Supervision would have negated this from ever being an issue.

This would have been a different story if the boy was over 18. I don’t think it is right to try and legislate sex among minors as long as they are 12 and older, if you are not their supervising what is going on, then you need to expect this kind of thing to happen. I think that many readers would agree if they look back on their youth and the things that they did.

Though he was given a conditional discharge, which for the most part relinquishes any sort of criminal record (as its not a conviction), I'm curious if he had to register his name with the Sex Offenders Registry.
Though counseling would be a good idea I'm sure, a lot of people lose their virginity at this age or a year or two older, consensually (and legally), and don't need counseling. Let's not forget that as young as she may be, had she been just a year older there would have been no crime here whatsoever. 


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