First, a Montana judge had to apologize for blaming a case of statutory rape, by high school teacher Stacey Dean Rambold, on the victim. Now the Washington Post has sparked an outcry with an op-ed on the same case. Former lawyer Betsy Karasik writes:
I don’t believe that all sexual conduct between underage students and teachers should necessarily be classified as rape, and I believe that absent extenuating circumstances, consensual sexual activity between teachers and students should not be criminalized. . . .
I do think that teachers who engage in sex with students, no matter how consensual, should be removed from their jobs and barred from teaching unless they prove that they have completed rehabilitation. But the utter hysteria with which society responds to these situations does less to protect children than to assuage society’s need to feel that we are protecting them.
Karasik goes on to reminisce about the days when her teenage friends had sex with teachers, and it was no big deal, because "these situations were all consensual in every honest meaning of the word, even if society would like to embrace the fantasy that a high school student can’t consent to sex." After all, "many teenagers are, biologically speaking, sexually mature."
The victim in the Rambold case killed herself, but Karasik argues that this just might have been because of the case being prosecuted. Because victims are always more traumatized by court cases than by the actual crimes, right? Or maybe this girl just wasn't "mature" enough to handle it.
I can do no better than to quote Wesley J. Smith's critique of Karasik: "This was published in the Washington Post. How low can we go? I am afraid we are going to find out."