Saturday, October 10, 2009

Abuse - Statuatory rape is taken more seriously


At the end of "Manhattan," the celebrated movie romance from 1979, a teenager played by Mariel Hemingway delivers some good news to the 42-year-old television writer, portrayed by Woody Allen, with whom she has had a long-running sexual affair.

"Guess what, I turned 18 the other day," said Ms. Hemingway, in what was framed as a poignant encounter. "I'm legal, but I'm still a kid."

That was then.

Roman Polanski's arrest on Sept. 26 to face a decades-old charge of having sex with a 13-year-old girl stirred global furor over both Mr. Polanski's original misdeed and the way the authorities have handled it — along with some sharp reminders that, when it comes to adult sex with the under age, things have changed.

Manners, mores and law enforcement have become far less forgiving of sex crimes involving minors in the 31 years since Mr. Polanski was charged with both rape and sodomy involving drugs. He fled rather than face what was to have been a 48-day sentence after he pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor. [...]

1 comment :

  1. Fascinating article. I really didn't have a sense before reading the article that the collective American sentiment and attitude toward statutory rape had changed so drastically over the last 30 or so years. I feel that it is impossible to deny that this change reflects an improvement in society. That being said, I feel that I've gained something important in knowing that there has, in fact, been a change in national sentiment. It shows me that the revulsion I feel toward perpetrators of statutory rape does not solely arise out of my innate being, but is also strongly shaped by societal forces and influences that surround me.


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