When I moved from New York to California so many years ago, what really bewildered me was when I discovered that under their statutory-age-of-consent laws at the time, a 14-year-old boy could have been charged with statutory rape for having consensual relations with a 17-year-old girl. I had never heard of such a thing. I had thought that in those kinds of criminal cases, the perpetrator was always supposed to be older than the victim.
In a situation wherein a boy that young had been charged with a crime for having a rendezvous with a girl three years his senior, the boy’s parents would have become appalled with the criminal justice system; and they would be wanting to know why the girl wasn’t charged with a crime instead. In figurative words, fireworks would be going off everywhere to seek justice for this young boy.
It is difficult enough when a mother first finds out that her 14-year-old son is no longer a virgin. However, could you even imagine how that mother would feel if her 14-year-old son were arrested for having sexual relations with the older girl who took her son’s virginity? There would be picketers surrounding the courthouse where the boy would be scheduled to stand trial.
For this reason, we, as Americans, need to come to an awareness that statutory rape is nothing more than a legal construct rather an actual act of sexual brutality. I would not doubt that California has changed these laws since then. However, it is not to say that archaic sex laws like these still exist elsewhere in the United States. In any event, it gives us all additional reasons to question the fairness of sex-offender registration.
Recently I had gotten wind that Governor Ron DeSantis had been pushing a bill through his state legislature to seek out a law that would allow for the state of Florida to execute individuals for sexually-based offenses. After hearing about it, I discounted it as gossip inasmuch as I had remembered reading about a ruling in the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) that prohibited any American court from imposing the death sentence against anyone whose crime didn’t cause the loss of human life.