From Consensual Teen Sex to Solitary Confinement. Plus: An Explanation of the “Peter-Meter”

.

This week’s New Yorker contains possibly the most devastating article I’ve ever read: Sarah Stillman‘s, “The List,” subtitled, “When juveniles are found guilty of sexual misconduct, the sex-offender registry can be a life sentence.”

Stillman calmly details just how shocking and sadistic our sex offender laws are, from arresting tweens who played doctor, to treatment that’s a mish-mash of pop psychology and medieval torture. For instance: One treatment involves measuring an offender’s response to pornography with a “penile plethysmograph” — a.k.a. the “peter meter.” (See below.) Do we really want our government measuring the circumference of people’s penises?

Stillman also tells the stories of several young people betrayed by the laws ostensibly enacted to make our children “safer.” Below I’ve excerpted one. You’ve read about another one of Stillman’s subjects here on this blog. But I hope you will read the entire article. You may never be the same. I’m hoping our lawmakers won’t either, which is why at the bottom of this post I have a link to a Change.org petition asking state legislatures to decriminalize young people who have sex with or sext each other. Meantime, here’s the story of Anthony Metts:

In July of 2003, not long after his senior year of high school, Anthony Metts got a summer job at the lakeside camp where he’d once been a camper. Metts, who grew up in Midland, Texas, was adopted; at school, where he was one of its few Mexican-Americans, he’d been taunted for being a “wetback.” But things were different at the camp, and as a counsellor he was in heaven. He ran archery sessions and visits to the Blob, the camp’s famous floating trampoline. Then, one afternoon, a Texas Ranger and a Midland cop arrived at the camp and asked to speak with him. After driving him to a local police station, the officers told him that they were investigating the illegal sale of items from a Midland Police Department evidence room, and an informant had tossed out his name as a potential source of information.

Officers noted that Metts had been keenly coöperative. But he knew nothing about the theft, which, it later emerged, had been perpetrated by a rogue employee of the police department. Eager to get a confession, and seemingly convinced of his association with the crime, the officers pressed him on another tip they’d heard: Hadn’t Metts been hanging out with younger girls the previous year? Was it possible that he’d had sex with them?

Metts told them that when he was eighteen he dated a girl who was three years younger. And he’d also had a brief sexual relationship with a girl more than three years younger, whom he met during his junior year of high school, when she was a freshman. Metts helped the officers proofread his statement, oblivious of its significance. When the officers turned the information over to the Midland District Attorney’s Office, the D.A. filed two felony indictments for sexual assault of a child, based on the age-of-consent laws in Texas at the time. (A third charge of sexual assault of a child was raised, then dropped.)

*

Consent was irrelevant—in fact, impossible—before the law. Not too far away, in the town of Caldwell, a young man had been convicted, at nineteen, for a consensual relationship with a girl who was four years younger, and who later became his wife. Metts’s case was messier; it involved more than one relationship, and he’d left a trail of adolescent misbehavior—speeding tickets, pot, and pranks. His lawyer told him that he would face life in prison if the case went to trial. He decided to take a plea deal: a suspended sentence and ten years of probation.

Metts, who was twenty-one by then, read the terms of his post-plea life. For the next decade, he’d be barred from alcohol and the Internet; from entering the vicinity of schools, parks, bus stops, malls, and movie theatres; and from living within a thousand feet of a “child-safety zone.” A mugshot of his curly-haired, round-cheeked face would appear for life on the Texas sex-offender registry, beside the phrase “Sexual Assault of a Child.” And he would have to start sex-offender treatment.

*

The treatment plan was extensive. He was told to write up a detailed sexual history, and then to discuss it with a room full of adults, some of whom had repeatedly committed child assaults. On his first day of class, he recalls, he entered a group circle beside a dentist who had violated several patients while they were under anesthesia. To graduate, he would have to narrate his “assaults” in detail: “How many buttons on her shirt did you unbutton?”

The plan also included a monthly polygraph (a hundred and fifty dollars) and a computerized test that measured how long his eyes lingered on deviant imagery (three hundred and twenty-five dollars). He would also have to submit to a “penile plethysmograph,” or PPG. According to documents produced by the state of Texas, the PPG—known jokingly to some patients as a “peter meter”—is “a sophisticated computerized instrument capable of measuring slight changes in the circumference of the penis.” A gauge is wrapped around the shaft of the penis, with wires hooked up to a laptop, while a client is presented with “sexually inappropriate” imagery and, often, “deviant” sexual audio. Metts would be billed around two hundred dollars per test.

*

When Metts balked at what felt to him like technological invasions—not least the prospect of having a stranger measure his penis—he was jailed for ten days. A new round of weekly therapy sessions (thirty dollars for group, and fifty dollars for one-on-one) then commenced.

*

In Midland, Anthony Metts continued to struggle with treatment. He acknowledged that his behavior as a teen had been reckless. He told me, “Do I think I needed some sort of therapy? Yes. But do I think I needed sex-offender therapy? Hell, no.” Still, the rules left few options. Eventually, he agreed to acknowledge how he’d “groomed” his “victims”: in one case, they’d gone to dinner, a movie, and—for a Halloween date—to a local haunted house.

His life, meanwhile, increasingly felt like a series of derailments. He had been fired from a job he loved at a local radio station when an advertiser learned of his status on the registry and protested. The best gig he could find was in Midland’s oil fields, working dispatch. His mother began to worry about whether he’d make it through a decade of probation. She recalled the judge’s warning, on the day that Metts took the plea: “It’s a good deal if you make it, or else it’s a pretty lousy deal if you don’t.”

*

Metts settled into his new life in the oil fields, reluctantly accommodating an array of strictures that he regarded as pointless. Each Halloween, for instance, he reported to the county probation office with dozens of other local sex offenders, and was held from 6 to 10 P.M. and shown movies like “Iron Man 2,” until trick-or-treating was over. “If someone’s that dangerous that they need to be locked up, what about all of the other three hundred and sixty-four days of the year?” he asked me.

In 2006, he fell in love with a deputy sheriff’s daughter. One night, he took her out to his favorite Italian place in Odessa, ordered two steaks with risotto, and arranged for the waiter to bring out a dessert menu that read, among the à-la-carte selections, “Will you marry me?” She said yes, and a baby girl soon followed. “My daughter was a blessing and a miracle to me,” Metts told me. But it also introduced him to a troubling new aspect of his life on the registry.

Metts, then twenty-four, learned that he wouldn’t be allowed to see his daughter. His status banned him from living with her, and thus with his wife. Still, Metts sneaked visits, breaking the rules. His mother, Mary Helen, obtained formal certification as a chaperon so that he could see his daughter in her presence, spending Saturday mornings by the duck pond or having brunch at Fuddruckers. Eventually, as his daughter grew, Metts says that his probation officer granted him approval for simple, unchaperoned outings, like crafting trips to Hobby Lobby, with a stop for doughnuts.

*

One night, a former classmate saw Metts buying a sandwich at Walmart and shouted a slur at him; she’d seen his face on the registry for “Sexual Assault of a Child.” Rattled, he went to Buffalo Wild Wings to down a beer, and got busted. Metts had a record of technical violations, so a judge ordered him to wear an electronic ankle bracelet, administered by a private monitoring company that charged several hundred dollars a month. The device would notify the authorities of any infractions—stepping too close to a mall, park, bar, or church, or leaving the county without permission.

The circumference of permissible life kept shrinking. “A flame inside of me just went out,” Metts told me. In the darkness that followed, he recalls, “I hermited myself.” He moved back in with his parents, to save money for his child and for his electronic-monitoring bills. Most days, he’d drive straight home from work to play Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on his Xbox. Within a year and a half, he had gained a hundred pounds. He didn’t want his scarlet letter to further affect his wife and child; the couple got divorced.

*

In the eighth year of his ten-year probation term, Metts decided to reënter the world. He returned to college, began to party, and made friends for the first time in years. On a warm afternoon in May during his final year of probation, he invited some of those new friends over to his parents’ swimming pool. He tossed back several beers and took a dip. He’d failed to charge his ankle bracelet properly, and the battery died at around 5 P.M. Shortly before midnight, his probation officer arrived at his door: she’d be filing to revoke his probation. A few weeks later, Metts was led into a courtroom in hand-cuffs, leg cuffs, and a chain around his waist connecting them. “I looked like Hannibal Lecter without the mask,” he told me. The judge’s name sounded familiar: she had helped prosecute his original case. (The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has since agreed to consider whether her involvement in the earlier proceedings disqualified her from presiding over Metts’s fate.)

The prosecutor pushed for two years in prison, arguing that the long list of Metts’s technical infractions was “not just a fluke . . . not just ‘Oops, I messed up.’ ” Metts’s attorney urged alternatives that would be less costly for taxpayers. None of Metts’s violations, he noted, had any connection to the original charges of sexual assault of a child. A typical mistake was failing to charge his ankle bracelet’s battery. The judge took some time to think it over. The next morning, she sentenced Metts to ten years in prison.

*

This past July, I drove around Midland, Texas, trying to find the girls—now women—who were involved in Anthony Metts’s case. Having no luck with doorbells, I left notes, and two days later I got a call from one of them. “I never wanted Anthony to be prosecuted,” she told me. “It was a consensual relationship—the kind when you’re young and you’re stupid. My mom knew about it. We’d go on dates, drive around, hang out.” She was shocked to learn of Metts’s fate: his nine-plus years of probation, his current decade of incarceration. “I told [law enforcement] that I didn’t feel like he should have to be prosecuted,” she said.

That same month, I made plans to visit Metts in prison, at Fort Stockton. For nearly two years, I’d routinely spoken with him by phone. But now Anthony’s calls had mysteriously stopped. His mother told me that he had been assaulted by two inmates after they took his I.D. number and found out that he was a sex offender. He was hospitalized and then moved to solitary confinement.

Several weeks later, he was transferred to a remote penitentiary in deep East Texas, eight hours away, built on farmland cleared by former slaves and now maintained by prison labor. When I drove there for an interview, guards shuffled Metts, tall and monkish in his prison whites, into a small booth with a partition between us. The night before, he learned that he’d lost a pending appeal in his case. His eyes were puffy from tears and sleeplessness.

*
“I thought, by the time we finally met, we’d be on the rooftop at the Hilton,” he said, laughing halfheartedly. For most of the next four hours, he spoke of how he planned to get through the coming decade. “In my mind, I don’t live here,” he told me. He spends his days reading business and life-style magazines and making plans to return to his daughter, who is now eight. “I look forward to being the dad she deserves, the dad I feel I am,” he said. “I miss reading her stories. Getting doughnuts with her, helping her with her homework, brushing her hair. Everything. Everything.”

He began to sob. “It’s a son of a bitch,” he said. Eventually, guards came over and recuffed his hands. After he’d been shuffled back to segregation, it occurred to me that if Anthony Metts serves out his full sentence he will have spent more than twenty years—nearly half his life—under state supervision.

Okay, clearly allowing this type of thing to happen in our country is an outrage. And it all stems from the single, wrong belief that some consensual sex or sexting between young people above the age of puberty (each state decides exactly what it will and won’t tolerate) is evil and deserving of punishment. Enormous punishment.

If you’d like to protest this, here’s my petition. And meanwhile, spread the word. – L.

.

Shall we send these folks to prison?

Shall we send young people to prison for having sex or sexting?

.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

36 Responses to From Consensual Teen Sex to Solitary Confinement. Plus: An Explanation of the “Peter-Meter”

  1. BL March 13, 2016 at 5:11 am #

    “According to documents produced by the state of Texas, the PPG—known jokingly to some patients as a “peter meter”—is “a sophisticated computerized instrument capable of measuring slight changes in the circumference of the penis.” A gauge is wrapped around the shaft of the penis, with wires hooked up to a laptop, while a client is presented with “sexually inappropriate” imagery and, often, “deviant” sexual audio.”

    If operating this device isn’t sexual assault, I don’t know what is.

  2. JR March 13, 2016 at 9:36 am #

    I took the PPG. I refer to it as the dick detector. It’s a joke and pathetic voodoo science. As are “lie-detectors” which I have long argued should be required to referred to as polygraphs as they detect no lies at all only changes.

    The unfortunate issue is that the machine is far too large and those like Metts will never win. They are swallowed into the process.

  3. James Pollock March 13, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

    I still think the legal fix for this is amazingly simple.

    As it stands now, the “fact” that an underage person cannot meaningfully consent to sex is an “irrebuttable presumption”… the law does not care if the underage person actually CAN give meaningful consent, legally, they cannot and that’s the end of it. All the prosecutor has to prove is that the sex actually took place, and the person was underage.
    This is so because it is MUCH easier to prove that someone is or is not a certain age, than it is to prove that a person truly understands the potential impact that having sex will have. How do you test for that?

    Now, a simple fix for this would be to make consent an absolute defense. This isn’t going to happen, for a couple of reasons. The first has to do with the nature of the crime, the second, with practical considerations. Statutory rape is a crime because (we believe) that young people are readily fooled by the older and wiser. The fact that the victim “consented” is meaningless if they are unduly influenced, and statutory rape laws are a manifestation of the belief that undue influence is ALWAYS present if the victim is young enough. It’s PROBABLY true that undue influence is always present, although it is definitely not true that undue influence is always the deciding factor. The second has to do with practicality: Sometimes the victim is economically dependent on their abuser, and sometimes the abuser has sufficient means to “buy” consent testimony. For these, and other, reasons, I don’t think you will see consent as an absolute defense written into statutory rape laws.

    On the other hand, you could make a substantial difference by making a tiny change. If the presumption of incapability were rebuttable, then consent COULD become a defense. As it stands now, the prosecutor does not have to prove that the victim was incapable of consent… this is settled as a matter of law if the “victim” is underaged. That presumption is not subject to argument… the law does not recognize the possibility that a person who is under the age of consent is nonetheless fully capable of deciding for him- or herself. But, if the presumption remains, but is rebuttable, then the defense may raise a claim that the “victim” is not a victim at all, but made a decision that he or she is fully capable of making.
    So, why don’t the laws work this way? A couple of reasons. First of all, raising a claim of this sort would allow the defense to inspect the victim, the victim’s capabilities, and we tend to want to protect the victim from further interaction with the defendant. This is not a big deal if the “victim” already sides with the defense, but it is if they do not (or the case where the victim sides with the defense, but the victim’s parents do not.)

    Of course, we already have the ordinary kind of rape, which includes having sex with someone who is incapable of giving meaningful consent. What is different about those prosecutions is that the prosecution side must prove whether or not the victim is or was capable of consent.

  4. J March 13, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

    The past 15 years have been hell because I consensually fingered a girl 1x when I was newly 21, I thought she was 18.

  5. sexhysteria March 13, 2016 at 3:45 pm #

    A life destroyed by government psychopaths! The government is not only wasting taxpayers’ money, they are making a profit on people’s suffering by requiring testing and monitoring. Signed the petition.

  6. Travis March 13, 2016 at 3:57 pm #

    I do believe a great part of the problem is that, while the age of consent is sixteen in some states, no states allow sex with someone who is over the age of eighteen unless both of the people involved are eighteen (There are Romeo and Juliet laws, but not everywhere, and to my understanding one has to fight for them to be applied), so while the younger person involved might be old enough to consent, they are still treated like children by the law.

  7. Curiuos March 13, 2016 at 4:59 pm #

    Who is responsible for these brutal laws that target and destroy young people? I thought we were a civilized country.

  8. Curious March 13, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

    What would be a just punishment for a lawmaker who voted to pass all these draconian “Megan’s Laws” and “Adam’s Laws” and “Jacob’s Laws” that target young people for harsh prison sentences and living death on the registry?

    At a minimum, they should be recalled. Every one. And banned from political office forever.

    And the President who signed the International Megan’s Law ? Same. He should never be trusted with public office again.

  9. Donald March 13, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

    I’m not so sure it’s sadistic or that the problem is that there are psychopaths in the government. (there are some but I argue that it’s not the root of the problem) I think it’s mechanical. The system is as unfeeling as a mousetrap. I’m not trying to split hairs or get trivial. I just want to highlight that this is bureaucracy gone mad.

    Common sense will tell you how ridiculous this is. However we built a system where common sense is not allowed to be used. The rigidity of Laws and regulations has become absolute. This is the case even if the laws were passed from political grandstanding, or an emotional tidal wave of revenge. Whether the intention is there or not, (to be cruel or sadistic) it still happens. We criticize the middle east for public stoning but we do things like this.

    We need to listen more to Philip Howard.

    http://commongood.org/

  10. Vaughan Evans March 13, 2016 at 5:12 pm #

    People blow things “completely out of proportion.
    Our judges, police and courts are not “looking for customers-Even though a law firm is a “business’ a well as a professional organization.

    There are too many lawyers. The lawyers are even suing one another.
    Just like policemen are trained to be even-tempered and circumspect-and allow for GENUINE mitigating circumstances. So should our judges.
    Our courts should use discretion-about what cases to accept-and how much money to award a successful plaintiff.

    I made up a play called “Step On A Crack, Youll’ Break Your Mother’s Back
    It is about a woman who steps on a crack and breaks her hip-and sues her city for $500,000
    But the judge will not give her one cent.

    Would you like to see a copy of my play?
    If so, send your e-mail address to:

    [email protected]
    -Mr. Vaughan Evans

  11. Mano March 13, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

    Teach your children: NEVER TALK TO THE COPS.

  12. Donald March 13, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

    The justice system has evolved over many centuries. One of the big reasons behind it are so that punishments were uniform. They weren’t subject to emotion. You couldn’t have a kangaroo court and quickly hang somebody just because the people are angry and we need a ‘show’ in order to satisfy the crowd.

    However we’ve done a 180 turn on that. We now pass laws based on revenge. When we run out of sensible laws to pass, we keep going even to the ridiculous. A politician can ‘ride a wave’ out outrage.

  13. Diana March 13, 2016 at 5:46 pm #

    Thanks, Lenore. I do hope people will read the entire article. The case of the little nine year old girl who was sent to prison for a school yard prank and spent twenty years on the registry is especially compelling.

    Thanks also to the researcher and writer Sarah Stillwell and to the New Yorker for
    bringing these stories to the attention of the public.
    Can’t something be done to stop the hemorrhaging?

  14. Donna March 13, 2016 at 6:48 pm #

    “I do believe a great part of the problem is that, while the age of consent is sixteen in some states, no states allow sex with someone who is over the age of eighteen unless both of the people involved are eighteen”

    That is not true. Once you hit the age of consent, you can have consensual sex with anyone else over the age of consent. A 16 year old can have sex with a 16 year old, 18 year old, 28 year old or 98 year old (in states where the age of consent is 16). There are certain relationships that may be verboten (student/teacher, doctor/patient) in some states, but in general it is fine.

    “There are Romeo and Juliet laws, but not everywhere, and to my understanding one has to fight for them to be applied”

    Romeo and Juliet laws are for situations where one party is under the age of consent and the other partner is over the age of consent, but within a specified number of years (2-4 depending on state). Romeo and Juliet laws vary depending on state. Some make relationships within the age differential not a crime at all. Some make it a misdemeanor. Some make it a lesser felony. However, they are all statutory. There is no fight to get them to apply.

  15. Papilio March 13, 2016 at 7:19 pm #

    Christian’s story had me in tears.

  16. David March 13, 2016 at 7:35 pm #

    The “hardometer” (as I call it) is an absurd device with a professional credibility at least as questionable as the polygraph. Alternatively, it can be referred to as the “bonometer”.

    Such instruments are introduced into the “forensic psychology” realm as a means of convincing society, and the courts, that there is, underlying the pseudo-science, actual science.

    It’s as fake as the entire field of sex offender “treatment” which others in the psychology world regard with deep embarrassment.

  17. Abigail March 13, 2016 at 8:48 pm #

    @Mano, yes…you are right. We should teach our children to never speak to cops without a lawyer. It should be the new stranger danger. “Go to a police officer if you need help. If they ask you for help, you NEED a lawyer.”

    This story gave me such an unsettled feeling.

  18. Paul Bearer March 13, 2016 at 10:01 pm #

    James Pollock- Certainly this is the most rational and evidence-based course of action, but I’m not optimistic we’ll ever get there when we have obstacles like paranoid parents, the sensationalist media, and corrupt lawmakers/law enforcement standing in our way.

    We are a society that is so desperate for drama that we’ll readily turn our sons and fathers into monsters just to point a self-righteous finger at them.

  19. Resident Iconoclast March 13, 2016 at 11:31 pm #

    We appoint victims of horrific crimes, people such as John Walsh, to lead the creation of public policy to deal with “sex offenders.” Of course John Walsh was the victim or a horrible crime, who has suffered almost unimaginable misery as a result of the crime of a sociopathic child murderer. The victim of someone so rare that his lack of conscience abides the murder of a child. Statistically, such people are very, very unusual.

    So we appoint the man, Walsh, to opine as to what laws we should have. Someone so anguished that he may even be considered mentally ill. Someone who might not care about the civil rights of anyone, even 9 year-old child “sex offenders.”

    What happens then? Walsh, whose immense misery has distorted his view of everyone, goes on to advocate laws that create thousands of times the misery he has suffered. Inevitably, the sociopath who murdered his son will be lumped with the hormone-driven, teenaged “registrant” who didn’t do a think different than 80% or more of the lawmakers who arranged to put him on the registry. This victimization of normal people, who do things that most teenagers will do, makes criminals out of the majority of kids. All they have to await is being caught.There are now over 800,000 people on the sex offender registries. The way the laws are written, this easily could go to over 30,000,000.

    How is this enabled? Lawmakers, who grew up in our warped culture here in the United States, bang the drum to eliminate the “defectives.” This is a bipartisan urge, simultaneously advocated by the most conservative and the most liberal legislators. If you were the kid who was picked on or beaten up in high school for being a “queer” or a “fag,” then you know well the kinds of people in our state capitals pushing this disease.

    Of course it’s child abuse to do this. If we all read all the way through the New Yorker piece we will see just how many thousands of times the personal misery that John Walsh and his bigot-legislator enablers have created.

    I would like nothing more than to have the money to interview all of the childhood friends of my legislators, and to publish the facts about all the sexual misadventures that those legislators did as children. This is hypocrisy of the highest order. Many if not most of them should, given their own “medicine,” be on the registry or in prison.

  20. oncefallendotcom March 14, 2016 at 12:06 am #

    The bad news for men is that we think about sex roughly 90 seconds on average. The average PPG test is obviously longer than 90 seconds.

  21. Donald March 14, 2016 at 2:43 am #

    “Many politicians still won’t go near the issue, but a growing number of parents—along with legal advocates, scholars, and even law-enforcement officials—are beginning to ask whether the registry is truly serving the children whom it was designed to protect”.

    It’s a dangerous area for politicians to take a stand. Putting children on the sex offender list is controversial. They will eventually become brave enough to take action. They get brave enough to take a stand when the see that the public stop ‘shooting’ at them.

    What I mean by shooting is assault through the media. For example of the politician Joe Blow proposes changing this law, the headlines will read, JOE IS TRYING TO ALLOW CHILD RAPIST TO GO FREE!

    The media only does this because we are soooooooooooo gullible. It doesn’t matter if people believe it or not. It still sells newspapers, increases ratings, or get lots of online hits. When we see that WE ARE THE REASON why politicians are timid, things will change.

    What came first the chicken or the egg? Did we become slaves to outrage because of the media or did the media start publishing crap like this because we buy into it.

  22. Diana March 14, 2016 at 10:28 am #

    This list is a hate crime against children.

    And is getting worse.

    The US Justice Department recently proposed a new harsher set of laws and registry penalties for children caught sexting.

    Sexting! Kids! Little kids!

    The Crime is Felony Child Pornography, the children, some as young as eight years old, will, going forward, be tried as adults and be jailed accordingly. And face life on the registry.

    The first case in the New Yorker story, the little freckle-faced girl, did not commit a “sex crime” by any reasonable stretch of the imagination, but the knee-jerk legal system convicted her of one so she could be jailed. For a prank.
    She was nine years old. Her so called victim a little boy, was also prepubescent.

    What is the motive of the Justice Department? Of Congress? Of the police? The Probation Brutes?
    Could it be their own personal self-interest?

  23. Jason March 14, 2016 at 1:50 pm #

    Sexting is serious business according to an open letter just released by the L.A. County Sheriff. Apparently, he has a whole crew of detectives who do nothing but look at minors’ naked selfies all day, because they all lead to child pornographers, blackmailers, and other predators who “trade these images like baseball cards.”

    This is basically a call for more laws against this sort of thing, along with harsher punishments. And more money for the Sheriffs’ Department, too, of course.

    Welcome to the new Spanish Inquisition, just as corrupt as the first one.

  24. Tiny Tim March 14, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

    While the age of consent is 16 in Pennsylvania, people (some people of course) are snagged on a “corrupting the morals of a minor” charge which is much more ambiguous. So the sex is legal unless it isn’t.

    I’m over 40 and haven’t sex with anyone under 18 since I was under 18, but the ambiguity in the law is disturbing.

  25. AmyO March 14, 2016 at 5:03 pm #

    That article was so disturbing. I gasped out loud reading Anthony Mett’s story. How awful.

  26. holocaust21 March 14, 2016 at 5:46 pm #

    Resident Iconoclast, one thing that you might not be aware of with John Walsh, but is very important, is that he himself is a self-confessed “paedophile”! Taken from wikipedia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Walsh_%28television_host%29 ):

    In his book Tears of Rage, Walsh openly admits being in a relationship with 16-year-old Revé when Walsh was in his early 20s and aware of the age of consent being 17 in New York.[17] Critics of Adam Walsh Act have pointed out that, had he been convicted, Walsh himself would be subject to sex offender registration under the law which he aggressively promoted.

    So when we talk about Walsh what we are talking about is someone who is nothing short of a sickening hypocrite. I think it’s important for everyone to point out that Walsh is a paedophile, by his own definition, and in so doing we show the general public his true colours.

    I don’t think it’s unusual at all for these paedohysterical twats to be paedophiles themselves. In the UK we had a high profile media figure, Max Clifford, jailed for sexual offences. The irony was that he had been responsible for hounding down and jailing others as “paedophiles” such as Gary Glitter (now in prison pretty much for life under the most ridiculous charges) and Jonathan King (known for speaking out against the “false allegations industry” the police couldn’t resist arresting him again. Yes, Britain and America both take political prisoners. Don’t let them tell you otherwise).

    At the other end of the socio-economic spectrum is self-styled vigilante Stinson Hunter who was celebrated by the media for his work on arresting men who talk to imaginary 15yo girls on the internet. It has transpired however that he has been abusing his nearly underage girlfriend and showering with her 2yo son. He was also previously sentenced to a decade in prison for burning down a school as well as assaulting a previous girlfriend. And he has been caught bullying children on videogames on the internet. A charming chap I’m sure you’ll agree. Shows the “child protection” industry in its best light!

  27. Donald March 14, 2016 at 9:43 pm #

    The penile plethysmograph (hard on ometer) sounds like something from the comedy cartoon ‘Family Guy’. Also the judge is worried that Metts is sexually perverted. How about her fetish?

    The prosecutor pushed for two years in prison……. …..she sentenced Metts to ten years in prison.

  28. Donald March 14, 2016 at 11:26 pm #

    It’s cruelty is inhuman. This is why I say that the decision wasn’t made by a human – sort of. I compare the bureaucracy to that of a mousetrap. It does not have any feelings. The bureaucrats that do have feelings are not allowed to use them. They must blindly uphold laws and regulations. This is the case even if those laws are the results of political grandstanding or an emotional tidal wave of revenge.

    I made these cartoons that explain the situation. They can be printed out as a 4×6 photograph at a photo kiosk at Wallmart

    http://www.onmysoapboxx.com/wp-content/uploads/usa-map-w.jpg

    http://www.onmysoapboxx.com/wp-content/uploads/autopilot-w.jpg

  29. andy March 15, 2016 at 4:59 am #

    @holocaust21 Peadophilia is attraction toward prepubescent children, 11 years old or younger. It has also nothing to do with this topic, this topic is about children lives being destroyed by overly broad laws and harming institutions/companies.

  30. Vaughan Evans March 15, 2016 at 3:03 pm #

    In December 1979 I went to the Christmas Concert-at the school-the children of whom I had taught a game.
    The children greeted me in the foyer.
    One boy said, “The girls likes you.
    The little girl(aged about 9)gave the boys a slight tap and said quietly, “Shut up.
    Nowadays, children seem to be prohibited from touching or being touched.
    NOTE: I think the game Red Rover has been prohibited not because of the danger. but because they do not want children to give or incur physical contact.

    I am going to put a Freedom of Information Request-to find out why the schools are banning this game

  31. Lauren March 15, 2016 at 11:54 pm #

    THIS IS WHY I’M FUCKING PISSED OFF!

    1) Ass Clown-Ernie Allen(who took 1.5 million dollars from NMEC) believes children should be registered sex offenders, regardless of the fact that a young male killed himself with a gun after having to register as a sex offender for indecent exposure( the young male-14, i believe at the time, flashed his privates to some girls on his way to the school bathroom)-(yes stupid-but four months in Jail? 25 years of registration?)-well, now he’s dead.

    2) Mark Lunsford-the other child advocate-had child pornography on his computer, and his son, Joshua Lunsford, molested a 14 year old girl when he was 18 years of age. Neither of the two Lunsfords are registered sex offenders. But Galen Baughman did 9 years in prison for teenage consensual sex!

    3) Jeffrey Epstein trafficked children to his island for sex. That was just one of the things he actually wasn’t even convicted for. Epstein does a year in prison. Is able to leave the prison every day to fly in his jet plane.

    4) Galen Baughman had to rot in prison for 9 years for teenage consensual sex!!!

    FUCK YOU CHICKEN ASS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!!!!

  32. Brooks March 16, 2016 at 12:50 pm #

    With great sadness, I’m going to have my 14 year old son read this article. And then I have to tell him, that as a young male, he is going to spend a significant number of years with a target on his back. I don’t expect a kid like mine to make that kind of mistake, but he needs to be aware, and unfortunately, afraid.

  33. Eddy Gilmore March 16, 2016 at 11:23 pm #

    What a thoroughly heartbreaking story…. I’ve never heard of anything like this. Thanks so much for sharing. My goodness….

  34. Bill W. March 20, 2016 at 11:46 pm #

    So Ernie Allen receives 1.5 million dollars from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, doesn’t say a damn thing about the Jeffrey Epstein issue(probably afraid that his “scarring the shit out of everyone business” may go belly up if his questions lead back to the Clintons). Ernie Allen should work for the Wounded Warrior Project-Ernie would be great at helping people make millions who weren’t actually wounded in battle.

  35. JND March 21, 2016 at 6:05 pm #

    What else do you expect from the pigs in government?

  36. TruthBTold March 24, 2016 at 9:52 pm #

    Ernie Allen got his millions after he testified before congress that he had lied about 400 cases of missing children. Ernie Allen wasn’t punished for fraud and walked away from the NCMEC-racket with 1.3 million! God Bless America!