What do you think of this? Teenager gets suspended sentence and has to sign the sex offenders register after having sex with a 12yo who told him she was 16....

(691 Posts)
RealityKicksArse Wed 28-Jul-10 11:43:50

If the article is to be taken at face value, he has been convicted as a rapist for not fully checking her age, despite her putting on FB that she was leaving school and telling him that she was 16. As far as I can make out it was never claimed that he raped her, other than the statutory rape aspect. He was 18 at the time.

Horrid case for all concerned I think, unless there's more to it.

RealityKicksArse Wed 28-Jul-10 11:44:26

I was just reading this.

I feel for the lad - he was told she was 16, all information on FB pointed to her being 16, the judge admitted hse could pass for 16 and AFAICS the sex was consensual between 2 people who were telling each other they were over the legal age to have sex.

What more evidence did he need? Do young men have to ask to see a birth certificate now?

And why hasn't she been punished for lying?

I think (very rusty knowledge here) that the issue is that she was 12. IIRC if the under-age party is 13-15 and the other party reasonably believes that he/she is 16 then that's a defence, but if the under-age party is under 13 then having sex with them is a strict liability offence (under a different section of the Sexual Offences Act) with no mens rea requirement.

But I may be misremembering.

RealityKicksArse Wed 28-Jul-10 11:51:56

So basically, the judge HAD to prosecute him as he WAS guilty?

Poor guy.

ladysybil Wed 28-Jul-10 11:55:40

youre correct. the issue is that she was 12.

I really feel for this boy. His entire life is in ruins. he wont be able to get far with law anymore. from both the artices ive read, she wasnt groomed, and there was no coercion. she willingly had sex with him. he thought she was 16. he bought her an adult ticket. true, he wasnt particularly clever or smart abou tit, but he will be paying for this for the rest of his life.

RealityKicksArse Wed 28-Jul-10 11:57:29

totally different slant on it here with no mention of the fact he was unaware of her real age.

PrivetDancer Wed 28-Jul-10 11:57:59

Seems devastatingly unfair on him. She was being deceitful if she was lying on her facebook page to back up her story, so I don't really see how he was expected to know she was younger than she said.
I doubt she meant for this to happen either (ie him getting in trouble for it).
A shitty outcome all round really.

i have no idea but is it really possible for a 12 yo to pass for 16, in looks, maturity or manner?

Chil1234 Wed 28-Jul-10 11:59:43

She hasn't been punished for lying because the law says that, as a 12 year-old, she wasn't capable of consenting to sex under any circumstances. The reason for the cut-off of 16 is to protect children - even if they look older than they are, lie their heads off or are even wantonly promiscuous.

Yes, the man should have taken more precautions to establish her age. The onus is always on the adult, not the child to behave responsibly. It's a cautionary tale.

TheCrackFox Wed 28-Jul-10 12:01:17

She might have looked 16yrs but she probably came across as 12yrs. Some men (he was 18yrs) see what they want to see.

not sure what to think...where were her p
arents in all this??

scaryteacher Wed 28-Jul-10 12:01:40

Yes it is Stealth - some of the girls in ds's tutor group in Year 8 could have passed for Year 13 in physical development, height, and in how they were dressed and made up.

You should see them now as they approach Year 10; I think jailbait was the term in my day.

ladysybil Wed 28-Jul-10 12:02:24

reality, the fact is that he did have sex with a 12 year old, which is why he was prosecuted. but that doesnt mean that he is the villain of the story. the idiot certainly, but not the villain who was grooming a child.

intention has a lot to do with british justice, something i have been told over and over again by mumsnetters with legal knowhow. hence the difference between manslaughter and murder.

i would quite like to see the parents prosecuted or at least cautioned for allowing the 12 year old onto a website that is meant for over 13's.

really scaryteacher, so if you spoke to them for a while you would genuinely think they were 16 rather than 12? Can udnerstand looks etc, but in manner and maturity of thought, iyswim.

rubbersoul Wed 28-Jul-10 12:04:20

I have worked with a few 12 year old girls who could pass for much older. I've seen teenagers outside of school that I swear could pass for at least 5 years older confused

ladysybil Wed 28-Jul-10 12:04:54

yes, when i was teaching, a fair fraction of the girls in year 8 looked and acted much much older.

Quite a few 16 year olds don't display immense maturity of thought.

ladysybil Wed 28-Jul-10 12:06:19

i really dont know why i am getting so involved in this discussion. i should back away.
the two didnt have much conversation did they? all they wanted from each other was sex. even the so called 'date' was to the cinema, hardly an excercise in conversation.

PrivetDancer Wed 28-Jul-10 12:06:46

Perhaps he's not the sharpest tool in the box though, i mean if he's meeting people by random friend requests then he's obviously a bit desperate.

Agree with idiot rather than villain.

That's really interesting, I have always thought it was just me who could never tell how old children are - seems like it's most people, including teachers!
In that case I'd go for idiot, but as the judeg pointed out, it has to be classified as rape.
How can a 12yo go off to the cinema with an 18yo though, and have sex with him without her parents knowing. I'd class that as neglect.

msrisotto Wed 28-Jul-10 12:09:09

This kind of rape should always be prosecuted. Otherwise it sends the message that having sex with underage children is acceptable.

rubbersoul Wed 28-Jul-10 12:09:52

StealthPolarBear, I have taught some 12 year old girls that come across as MUCH older in terms of maturity and manner. Many hang around with older teenagers anyway or have older siblings that may have had an influence on them- some are very streetwise and I have been shocked on many occassions!

Mollydoggerson Wed 28-Jul-10 12:12:48

he was only a child himself when it happened. very unfair.

LtEveDallas Wed 28-Jul-10 12:13:11

After reading the first link I feel for the boy, but after reading the second I feel he got what he deserved confused

Really confusing and hard to judge because the stories seem soooooo different.

(as an aside, I was a member of an over 18s nightclub when I was 13 - got a membership card with a photocopied and doctored birth certificate and went every weekend - to any guy in the club I would have been 'fair game' but in reality they would have been breaking the law. I would be horrified now if DSD did the same - and really feel for young lads in this day and age where it is the norm for 12/13/14 yr olds to dress and act much older)

addie81 Wed 28-Jul-10 12:13:19

If a girl is under 12 then it is automatically statutory rape because a girl of less than 12 is deemed not to have the capacity to consent to sexual intercourse. I am not sure if that applies to girls of 12 and under, or if she would have had to be 11 for that to operate.
I feel for the boy - that kind of criminal record will colour the rest of his life, and he will be deemed a rapist, which conjures up mental pictures of sneeking up behind women walking home at night and dragging them into bushes to attack them, which is hardly what we are dealing with here.

TheCrackFox Wed 28-Jul-10 12:13:45

Of course his defence team are going to claim that he had no idea how young she was. I would take it with a very big pinch of salt.

RealityKicksArse Wed 28-Jul-10 12:14:15

Yes I agree Sybil. he had to be prosecuted because he DID have sex witha 12 yo, which in the eyes of the law is rape (quite rightly). But the judge was unable to let him off even though he agreed teh boy had been deceived.

gorionine Wed 28-Jul-10 12:18:13

"is it possible for a 12 year old to look 16?"

I think it is

Not just look, talking, mannerisms, overal maturity.
I am willing to accept it is since so many people have told me it is!

After all if he'd asked her one question about her school/work I refuse to believe her answer wouldn't have raised a suspicion.

gorionine Wed 28-Jul-10 12:22:05

"After all if he'd asked her one question about her school/work I refuse to believe her answer wouldn't have raised a suspicion."

Very good point!

Because teenagers who have met up for a date always spend half an hour chatting about their geography coursework...

gorionine, the girls actually pictured in that article are 15 and 16. The 12yo is named but not shown (this is what she looks like).

gorionine Wed 28-Jul-10 12:27:37

Maybe not half an hour but a couple of minutes to actually get to know each other a bit before jumping in bed?

PrivetDancer Wed 28-Jul-10 12:30:14

they did it on a park bench, I don't think there was much small talk

Rockbird Wed 28-Jul-10 12:41:49

How come a girl of 16 (as it was thought she was)is an adult capable of making decisions about her sexual activities but the 18yo man who has sex with her is 'only a child' hmm. Double standards much. If she had been 16 no one would have batted an eyelid.

RealityKicksArse Wed 28-Jul-10 12:46:44

I don't think anyone's said that, Rockbird.

But I think there is a world of difference between an 18 yo having sex with a 16 yo, and a 24yo (for eg) having sex with a 16 yo.

Most of the 18 year olds I know (my brother and his friends) are still very very much children.

mamatomany Wed 28-Jul-10 12:49:18

talking, mannerisms, overal maturity

I doubt they talked much at all, at that age I was more interested in snogging than talk (I mean 18, not 12)
Very difficult if I was the 12 year olds mother I'd have wanted "something" to be done, but as for him not being the sharpest tool in the box he's off to Uni next year to study law so lets hope he is actually.

This is very sad, for both of them (whatever the actual truth behind it). It doesn't really sound as though this young man is a dangerous predator - a horny teenager who (probably) assumed, rather thoughtlessly, that the girl he fancied was older than she actually was is now going to be labelled a kiddie-fiddler for the rest of his life. And a young girl who (probably) liked the idea of being treated as more 'grown up' than she actually was - and FFS a lot of teens do this sort of thing - and may well have been attracted to him and not hated the sex, either, but panicked when the adults found out ; now she gets to spend the rest of her life labelled as either abuse victim or manipulative slut.

RealityKicksArse Wed 28-Jul-10 12:52:32

Intelligence has nothing to do with emotional maturity.

RealityKicksArse Wed 28-Jul-10 12:53:03

Exactly SGB.

Sad for all involved.

OrmRenewed Wed 28-Jul-10 12:55:29

Oh dear.

What was needed was the mother of the girl to give them both a bloody good talking to!Reminding him that he could get into serious trouble and to think with his head not his dick next time. And asking her DD wtf she was doing propositioning strangers on the internet at the age of 12.

scaryteacher Wed 28-Jul-10 12:55:55

Stealth - the sexual knowledge that some of these 12/13 yos have is scary - more than I have at 44. I taught 11-18s, and ds is going into Year 10, and when you look at some of those girls, you can't tell how old they are. They have clothing from Zara, shoes from Office or Hobbs, highlights, money, and an aura of sophistication that I have never managed to acquire, plus endless legs envy; they aren't what I would class as typical 12/13yo girls, but if you look at their mums you can see where it comes from.

right then my take on this is:

- he was unlucky to meet a child who pretended to be grown up and could pass for 15/16

- he was stupid and irresponsible to have sex with her before he knew her a bit better - at which point it would have become clear all wasn't as it seems. If you're going to sleep with someone before even conversing for an hour or so then this is one of the risks you take, sorry. Unfortunate for him, but reality.

- she was stupid to pretend to be 16, and to have sex with him (and this is assuming it was 100% 'consensual' as far as that word can be used about sex with a 12yo). But she is 12. 12yos do do stupid things. They lie and make up stories. Which is why, as for all children to some extent, they need to be protected from themselves by the law and by their families and the people responsible for them. She, too has been very unlucky, she is not a slut or responsible for this situation.

Orm, i doubt very much he met her mum!

PrivetDancer Wed 28-Jul-10 13:00:02

no - his defence said he 'wants to go to uni to study law' not that he necessarily is. I don't think that has any bearing on whether he is sharp when it comes to people / life.

Rockbird Wed 28-Jul-10 13:05:18

A previous poster said 'he was only a child himself when it happened'.

I'm not saying he's guilty of anything more than stupidity but to say that is a double standard.

TheCrackFox Wed 28-Jul-10 13:13:39

He wasn't a child he was 18. If he had been sent to prison it would have been an adult one.

Oblomov Wed 28-Jul-10 13:27:40

I am not comfortable with this. It just seems wrong. I appreciate that it might be seen that he has indeed committed a crime. BUT, I would liek to think, unless there is more to this than is currently being reported ( and that is highly likely), that

Oblomov Wed 28-Jul-10 13:28:37

sorry meant to say, even if he has committed a crime, would like to think that common sense, would prevail.

But Oblomov, plenty of crimes happen in ignorance of the law / circumstances and ignorance is no defence.
If she and her parents had set out to deliberately deceive him and had come up with all sorts of plans to convince him she was 16, I'd have sympathy. But he jumped into a situation without thinking through the risks - and is now living with the consequences, as adults have to.

PrivetDancer Wed 28-Jul-10 13:33:53

Yes it is unfair, but then again there has to be a line somewhere I think. 12 is very young.

I'm not sure what I would have done if I was the mother involved - in the other article it said she had reported the girl missing so perhaps she's not as feckless as some people have suggested with her not knowing what her daughter was up to. But who knows.

Would she have had to press charges against him or would the police have automatically done that once the facts came to light?

I think if it had been up to me as the mother and I knew my daughter had consented and had been deceitful about her age, I probably wouldn't have pressed charges if that was an option. Once I'd calmed down.

oh had she - yes that ewas me & if thats the case then i was wrong about the feckless parents. I agree with you about how id feel as the mother

Oblomov Wed 28-Jul-10 13:47:31

I don't have girls. But if i found out that she had told him that she was 16. and presumably, if mum had reported her missing ? the girl had deceived her mum ? not told her where she was going ?

i don't know , but this is all speculation.

I'm sorry stealth, I still think that the boy can not be held responsible.
I scorn on John Terry having sex with under age girls. But then , if they act and pretend to be old enough, by trying to get themselves into a club. a part of me wonders how JT or any other man, or this boy can be held responsible.

If a young girl wants to , intends to. gets dressed up and tells the boy she is 16. what do you expect him to have done, that he didn't do then ?

werewolf Wed 28-Jul-10 14:06:30

As an adult, he should have taken more care.

ISNT Wed 28-Jul-10 14:09:40

Gosh that second article puts an entirely different twist on it

He befriended her on facebook
He sent her obscene pictures
She was reported missing by her mother

So much we don't know here. Maybe he has form - who knows who his other facebook friends were/what he was sending them. None of us can tell TBH. That second report paints a completely different picture to the first.

Chil1234 Wed 28-Jul-10 14:10:54

The fact is that the adult (in this case the 18 year old man) is ultimately responsible for his actions. In a similar way, the onus is now on the men who use prostitutes to be sure that the woman has not been trafficked. "How can he be responsible?! How can he tell?!".... that's just the point. When it comes to these matters, if there's any doubt whatsoever, they have to have the good sense to keep their zips fastened.

So this case is an appropriate punishment and warning to any other man thinking 'oh she looks old enough... what the heck?'

ISNT Wed 28-Jul-10 14:13:21

Thing is girls have always "passed" for older than they are. I was getting served in the pub at 14/15.

men know this.

They know that a girl who looks 21 might well be 17, a girl who looks 18 might well be 15, and a girl who looks 16 is almost certainly underage.

ladysybil Wed 28-Jul-10 14:13:40

ISNT, the second report gives the same facts as the first, just dresses them up differently.

i dont think anyone is disputing that what the man/boy did was wrong. they are just discussing how bad it was. iyswim.

msrisotto Wed 28-Jul-10 14:15:15

How is this unfair? She is the child and he, the adult has broken the law. Ignorance is no defence, it is black and white.

Oblomov Wed 28-Jul-10 14:16:59

the 2nd article does put a totally different slant on him.

I understand that of course a 12 year old could pass for 16 if you saw her on the street, dressed up for a party or suchlike.

But I just don't beleive that an 18 year old could have an intimate relationship (intimate enough for consensual sex) with a 12 year old, and still be left under the impression she was 16. .

SomeGuy Wed 28-Jul-10 14:18:28

'befriending on facebook' - nothing wrong there, if she appears to be of age
'sent her obscene pictures' - again, nothing wrong with people of age exchanging sexy photos
'she was reported missing by her mother' - it looks like they agreed to meet in Bolton (presumably where the girl lived) and then they went back to his house in Preston, presumably to stay the night, without tellin the mother. Again, nothing wrong with two sixteen year olds doing this.

Nor indeed is this a crime: 'Detective Constable Brian Johnston, of Salford CID, said: "Bhuta manipulated the relationship and it escalated into a sexual one."' if they are of legal age

consenting adults 'maniupulate' their relationships to get sex all the time, it's what people do.

The issue from a moral perspective is whether he could have reasonably believed her to be of age, and from a legal perspective being 12 I guess that it didn't matter, although I suppose the CPS could have decided it wasn't in the public interest to prosecute.

Anyway difficult as ever to make a judgement on the basis of a media report out of a long trial and lots of evidence.

Oblomov Wed 28-Jul-10 14:20:09

she was mature enough to go onto facebook. she gott he texts. indiscreet ?lie about her age. met him TWICE. and then when discussing to her mum, who had reported her missing, mention she didn't plan on having sex in the park, but had hoped it was all going to be lovely with her furture husband.
this does tell of her imaturity. it doesn't add up.

Mollydoggerson Wed 28-Jul-10 14:21:02

If a 12 year old boy, who looked 16 and acted 16 and generally gave the impression he was 16 and even told a lie confirming his age as 16 had sex with an 18 year old would people's opinions be the same.Lets not forget the sex was consetual.

I know it's unlikelyu to happen given the differing physical maturity rates of boys and girls, but it could happen. Would tyhe 18 year old girl be branded a rapist and have to sign a sex offenders list and would people support that?

The only reason the law supports women more than men (in cases such as these), is the girl is at risk of pregnancy where a male wouldn't be.

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 14:21:12

I think people are making this over complicated. He was an adult who had sex with a child, of course he should be dealt with.

SomeGuy, very odd relationships you must have if you manipulate people into having sex.

I can see how a 12 year old could pass for a 16yr old with makeup and clothes on but surely her body would have given her away?He must have realised that she wasnt 16?

Mollydoggerson Wed 28-Jul-10 14:23:23

Sorry for ther terrible spelling. I really need to start reading my posts before submitting.

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 14:23:48

Mollydoggerperson, the sex was not consensual and yes the law would deal with a female in the same position.

SomeGuy Wed 28-Jul-10 14:24:18

? People manipulate each other into having sex all the time. Gifts, watching romantic movies, there are all manner of things people do, calculated to get the person into bed. Yes it's manipulation.

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 14:24:49

sorry Mollydoggerson, I got your name wrong blush

Mollydoggerson Wed 28-Jul-10 14:28:21

Really did she not consent. I know technically, given her age she didn't have the capacity to consent, but I thought she claimed to have consented and he accepted that consent as he thought she was 16.

I'll have to go and read the article again.

PrivetDancer Wed 28-Jul-10 14:30:09

it was consensual though? Unless you mean that the fact that she was 12 meant that she couldn't legally give consent. There's no implication that he forced her into it though.

welshandproud - I guess he wasn't too experienced (or sharp), again going back to the fact he's resorting to random friend requests to meet people, so quite possibly wouldn't know what a normal 16 year old was like. She could well have been quite developed though I guess.

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 14:30:27

She cannot consent because of her age, there is no "technical" about it.

MissAnneElk Wed 28-Jul-10 14:33:07

scurryfunge, according to the first link the sex was consensual. They had sex, then went to the cinema and then he bought her an (adult) train ticket home.

I don't know what to think really. On the basis of the first article I feel sorry for him and on the basis of the second article I don't.

Anyone with teenagers would do well to get them to read this article.

TheCrackFox Wed 28-Jul-10 14:36:29

Maybe he bought her an adult train ticket because it would look good if he ever got caught?

Mollydoggerson Wed 28-Jul-10 14:36:35

Well there is a technical about it, as this area of the law may change and has in the past so then the technical age of consent can fluctuate.

The law currently states a 12 year old is incapable of giving consent to a sexual act. It places a very high burden of proof on the male party to the act. The penalties are extremely harsh. It seems very unfair. Maybe it needs to be changed in order to make allowance for mitigating circumstances such as:

Lying about age

TheCrackFox Wed 28-Jul-10 14:39:18

Every single paedophile will use:

Lying about age

as part of his defence.

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 14:43:57

It doesn't matter, she was 12, she cannot consent. Why would it be harsh on the male? He was an adult who had sex with a child. I do not see what is so unfair about men being penalised for having sex with children.

If you are a mature responsible adult then you need to go about things in a responsible manner, which he didn't. He has made a huge error of judgement & has to face the consequences.

Oblomov Wed 28-Jul-10 14:53:00

scurry, i still don't get how it was not consensual.

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 14:54:46

oblomov....in law, her age puts her incapable of consenting....it does not matter what words or actions she used....the consent can never be there.

Oblomov, because a 12yo cannot consent to sex. I don't think anyone is arguing that she was forced though.
OTOH, I can't believe there was an equal balance of power in sex between an 18yo and a 12yo, no matter how old she looked/sounded/acted

Mingg Wed 28-Jul-10 14:57:46

She was 12, she cannot consent. She, however, it seems, had no problem lying about her age and claiming to be of legal age. Of course men who have sex with children should be penalised but this man/boy did not think he was having sex with a child but with a 16 year old. He (I hope) had no intention of having sex with a child.

Mollydoggerson Wed 28-Jul-10 15:09:00

At 18 people make poor judgments, and continue to do so for a long time. I don't think the human brain has fully matured until the age of 30 or so.

There seems to be a fault in the system if an 18 year old man is branded a rapist in a situation like this. His life is ruined, he is on a sex offenders list. You could argue that to a certain extent he was entrapped into the situation.

I agree (obviously) children have to be protected from paedophiles, but I also think the justice system has let this young man down, given the circumstances of this case. There must be a better solution.

I know ignorance is no defence but if simply asking a girl her age isn't enough to limit your liability then maybe there should be some sort of state sex education that explains the law fully to all children (of say 12+). Ignorance is no defence, but maybe the state should be obliged to inform youths of the reprocussions of having sex with young girls, even those that seem and look a similar age to themself. I think the state has left that boy down.

Yes stringent protections need to be put in place to seafeguard against paedophiles. But where are the protections to inform boys of the harsh realities of these laws in action?If the state is prepared to implement such harsh penalities it should also be prepared to actively seek out and inform youths of the consequences of underage sex.

It's sad for everyone involved.

MissAnneElk Wed 28-Jul-10 15:17:02

crackfox, of course he could have bought her an adult ticket on the basis it would look good for his defence, but given that they had been to the cinema after having sex I'm not sure that he would have any reason to think he was going to need a defence.

I'm not 100% on his side, none of us know the facts. In the first article the judge seems to be saying that he doesn't entirely believe that the 18 year old is really guilty of a crime, but that he no alternative in law but to find him guilty. In the second article the detective seems to believe he knew that the girl was under age.

I don't believe it's the responsibility of the state to educate children about this, it's the responsibility of parents imo.

Rockbird Wed 28-Jul-10 15:21:59

Molly you are talking nonsense. Are you really seriously arguing that this poor sap of an 18 year old who was lured by the all knowing, devious 12 year old is less to blame than she was? That's what you are implying. Poor boy, how was he to know, what chance did he stand against this girl etc etc. He was the adult here, not her. Maybe when seducing '16 year olds' he should have been a bit more careful?

yes i agre
if people do stupid things ~& take risks it's their choice & responsibilty

lljkk Wed 28-Jul-10 15:29:13

There was another story last year about a different man getting on the SOR in a similar situation: he met a female who pretended to be 16, could easily pass for 16, and in the case I'm thinking of she actively pursued him -- all that according to the judge, but she turned out to only be 12 and her parents complained after they had sex, so he had to be prosecuted .

So yes, basically, a lad/man should ask for proof of age and have the documents verified by someone in the know, before having anything like sexual interaction with any female who looks under 25. This is exactly what I will be advising my sons, sadly.

We live in a VERY unforgiving era .

I believe (could be wrong) that if you drive after your drink has been spiked, you can and will be done for DUI. Ignorance is NO defence.

Mingg Wed 28-Jul-10 15:42:56

I believe you are right Stealth and ignorance is no defence but just imagine that he really truly believed her to be 16 and therefore really truly believed he was having sex with someone who was of legal age. He now has a criminal record, is on the sex offenders' register and if he wanted to study law will need to think of something else to do. The girl, child, lied yet will 'get away with it'.

yes, life is shit but this is not the only example of that.
Sorry that sounds really smug as life has yet to be shit to me, but what I mean is, he might have believed her to be 16, but in the absence of a adult-created planned attempt to deceive him, he acted irresponsibly and is suffering the consequences.

Oblomov Wed 28-Jul-10 15:49:22

He was 18 and she was claiming to be 16.
Rockbird is taking it to extremes. i am not saying he is an angel. not a sap. But 18-16. Come on.
And that can't be compared to paedophilia.
She was so upset by it all, that she went to the cinema with him and sat in his company for 3 hrs after sex. and then he walked her to the train station.

Stealth, I don't think there has ever an equal blance of sex in nay one i have ever had sex with. they've all been older thna me. i a tiny. most of them are huge men. i don't think that argument applies here.

i am not saying this guy is an angel. but i am not sure that this case is as bad as some are making out.
earlier we discussed if it was your daughter involved in this. but what if it was your son.

traceybath Wed 28-Jul-10 15:49:27

And so this is why I will be drumming into my DS's to only get involved with girls they know properly through school etc.

Very sad for all concerned.

I wonder why it was prosecuted if it was her parents who pursued it or more likely it was a police decision as she'd been reported missing.

Its just I imagine if it was my DD - I'd have had stern words with her about internet and personal safety and then wanted to have moved on. Assuming I agreed that she had lied about her age convincingly.

missedith01 Wed 28-Jul-10 15:49:47

Molly - lying about age might be mitigating if the child was 13, because in those circs the issue of whether the adult belived the child to be capable of consent becomes relevant. The question is, is it correct for us to draw the line somewhere and say, at this age and below there is no such mitigation?

I think it is correct to draw such a line. It is done to protect younger children from predatory or careless adults, and from the consequences of their own immaturity. The law assumes that adults need no such potection. I have no objection to 12 years of age being the line.

It seems to me a 12yo child is not to be expected to have regard to all the potential consequences of their actions in such a case. An 18yo should be capable of being more circumspect.

Of course there will be cases where a 12yo, an 11yo, a 10yo child looks as if they could be sixteen and there will be cases where young people misjudge a situation badly ... harsh results will then ensue ... but hard cases make bad law.

In saying this I don't regard the child as blameless ... but someone whose actions are better dealt with by their parents.

Mollydoggerson Wed 28-Jul-10 15:55:42

Rockbird. I don't think I am talking nonsense.

Maybe there was a joint seduction??? I think it is unfair that he is branded a rapist and she is branded a rape victim. Obviously we wont agree on that.He is a victim of her lies. Had she admitted to being 12 and had he proceeded to have had sex with her regardless, then in that scenario I definitely wouldn't be forgiving.

He made an error of judgment and the repercussions are huge, over and above what are necessary in this instance.

She wasn't raped.

He has been raped of future life opportunities as a result of his criminal record.

I think the system is letting him down.

exactly misse
and this is a good lesson to me to teach the DCs, as tb says, to only get involved with people they have got to know in some way. If you have one night stands (which is what this was effectively) you are taking a risk - the other person not being fundamentally who they say they are is only one.

Oblomov Wed 28-Jul-10 15:57:05

And the parents of this 12 year old girl ? allowing her on facebook ? she received indescent texts. the relationship went on by facebook and text for ? a few weeks ? they met twice. not once.
where did the mum think the girl was the first time. where did the girl tell her mum she WAS, the first time.
she's quite a clever liar, isn't she.
then off she goes. what she sneaks out ? no mention of where's she'd going ?
and she takes the train. has sex. watches a film. so shes' gone for 6 hrs ?
and mum reports her missing. and then she comes home. sobs and claims all innocence.
oh please.
oh shes' a poor defencsless 12 year old girl.
no shes' not. she clever. calculating. and knew exactly what she was doing, over a period of time, that could have been weeks, even a few months.

But molly at what age do you have to take responsibility for your own decisions, bad or good?

I messed around when I was 18, drank too much and got a third class degree as a result. The University let me down, I shouldn't have been allowed out, they should have made me work hmm

Let's remember that an actual paedophile would have no interest in a 12 year old who looked 16.

True TA. I do genuinely think he thought she was older than she was - maybe not 16, but 14/15, if he considered the issue at all. I also don't think he poses a risk to children in general, but he had sex with a 12 yo.

Mingg Wed 28-Jul-10 16:00:44

But you knew what you were doing Stealth. This boy - if he is to be believed - did not know he was having sex with with a 12 year old, he though she was 16.

Well I knew I was screwing up my education, same as he knew he was screwing a girl he barely knew. The fact it hadn't occured to him she might have lied about her age was only one of the issues.

If she had managed to keep up the deceit for 4 or 5 meetings (while they got to know each other) with him and then they'd had sex I would have a bit more sympathy. not making a moral judgement, but having sex with someone you hardly know is risky, and if he hadn't uncovered a 4 year gap in her age (at that age - difference between pre-teen and adult!), he hardly knew her

StayFrosty Wed 28-Jul-10 16:17:35

>>He has been raped of future life opportunities as a result of his criminal record.

i really hope this is a typo, because it looks to me as though you are using the word 'rape' to mean something that is patently not rape at all, and that is actually quite offensive.

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 16:22:00

Molly your views are seriously distorted if you blame the victim and accuse him of being raped.

Oblomov Wed 28-Jul-10 16:23:11

loads of people have sex with someone thya hardly know. its called a one night stand.
not ideal for a 12 year old, or for your first time admittedly.
becasue i am so old (37) i find it hard to acccept what goes on on twitter and facebook, especially socailly, parteis, meeting new people.
but stealth, i bet they were texting like mad, facebooking like mad.
alot can happen in a short space.
i think even an oldie like me can see this.
so, i don't think your argument of not knowing her is relevent.

actaully, i still think this is wrong. he is not a paedophile. for sure. and i think there is little to convict him of.

Oblomov Wed 28-Jul-10 16:24:24

no i see the relation. he has been denied chances, that he should have had. i agree. i think this is so wrong.

ColdComfortFarm Wed 28-Jul-10 16:26:19

Blimey, even when a girl is 12 - 12! - it's still always the woman's fault. The policeman quoted in the second link seemed to regard the bloke here as predatory, and I'd guess he knows more about the case than anyone here. But this girl (and her mother) are still coming in for some pretty vicious, personal abuse. Surely it is equally likely that she was naive, had her head turned by an older man, who approached her, sent her pictures, including ones of his genitals, and she felt flattered by his interest. She is obviously not in the habit of disappearing or going off as the minute she did, her mother reported her missing to the police.
Why do we always blame women - even when they are children of just 12?

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 16:29:10

I know, some posters are portraying this child as a cold , calculating vixen who lured an unfortunate male to commit an act.....unbelievable, but hey, we love victim blaming.

Mollydoggerson Wed 28-Jul-10 16:29:23

I don't blame the girl at all. I blame the justice system as I think the punishment does not fit the crime.

Oblomov Wed 28-Jul-10 16:30:33

"They became friends and would communicate through the internet and by mobile phone on a daily basis, even using a web cam so they could see each other.

He sent indecent images of himself to the young girl.

In February 2010, the pair met in Bolton and were publicly affectionate.

On 6 March 2010, they met again in Bolton, they then caught the train to Preston where Bhuta sexually exploited her. The young girl's mother reported her as missing that day, and when she returned the relationship came to light at which point the police were called in to investigate."

they talked on a mobile, texted. camed and facebooked. over a period of 3 months between jan and meeting in mar 2010.

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 16:32:31

Yes, it is called grooming, Oblomov.

Maybe it is sad for him, but what this comes down to is it is an adult's responsibility to ensure he is not having sex with a child - even a child who lies and dresses up.

gorionine Wed 28-Jul-10 16:35:18

Professor Thanks, I had not realisedblush.

After reading all the posts, I find it less ans less clear.

I do agree that the boy did something really wrong (even though apparently unknowingly) I am not sure that being on a sex offender register is actually appropriate for that particular situation. Some kind of sentence/punishment yes but sex offender register, I am not convinced.

msrisotto Wed 28-Jul-10 16:38:31

fgs, children lie sometimes, shock horror. STILL HIS FAULT.

toccatanfudge Wed 28-Jul-10 16:42:17

you see this is what I don't get about our justice system - a child of 10 can be tried as an adult if they commit a crime they are deemed old enough and responsible enough............yet a 10 or 11yr old child is deemed too immature to make the consensual decision to have sex.

You can have sex at 16 - but you can't vote until you're 18, or drive a car until you're 17.

And a whole host of other mismatched ages

Mollydoggerson Wed 28-Jul-10 16:42:21

The boy's name is published. Where is the evidence of grooming??? He has been convicted of statutory rape, not grooming, that is something totally seperate.

Are you prepared to accuse someone of being guilty of grooming? In the absence of any firm proof I wouldn't.

Disclaimer - Again I don't blame the girl.

ColdComfortFarm Wed 28-Jul-10 16:44:47

As far as I know, lying about your age is not yet a crime, at 12 or any age so I'm not sure what 'punishment' people think the law shoud dish out to this child.
I also wonder how exactly enthusiastically a virginal 12year old will agree to have sex for the first time on a damp bench in a freezing park(it was March, in Preston!). He was older, he was more experienced, he had taken her there, and he should have been at the very least, more careful. I see lots of 12 year olds, and even the tall ones don't look 16 to me. I think we need to start really talking to our sons about respecting women and taking sex seriously.

toccatanfudge Wed 28-Jul-10 16:47:37

although the sun say he was charged with grooming as well.

toccatanfudge Wed 28-Jul-10 16:48:55

ColdComfort........one of my peers at school woud probably have quite happily lost her virginity on a cold damp bench - she didn't have too much trouble having sex in a bed at boarding school with her peers in the room hmm

ColdComfortFarm Wed 28-Jul-10 16:53:36

She said she didn't like it. I bet she didn't.

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 17:08:17

Molly if he has any contact with her on at least two occasions and intends to meet with her for sexual activity, then that is grooming.

Mingg Wed 28-Jul-10 17:14:03

Even if he thought she was 16?

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 17:15:12

No it is relattion to children. I don't for a minute think he gave any thought to her age.

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 17:16:18


Having sex is risky. Having sex with people you barely know is more risky - as this story proves. Adults take risks and when it goes wrong they deal with the consequences. I do have sympathy, but it's a risk he took and it worked out very badly indeed.

If an 18 year old were cleaning a gun and it went off and shot someone, killing them, what would he be charged with?

I'm sure they had been in contact on Facebook but as we are told over and over again, people are not what they seem over the internet (oh the irony ) I do not count that as "getting to know her". There are people on here I have chatted to a lot but if I were to meet them IRL I would effectively be meeting them for the very first time.

silverfrog Wed 28-Jul-10 17:20:09

I owuld imagine involuntary manslaughter (if fatal shooting) - it's all about the intent, surely?

Mingg Wed 28-Jul-10 17:20:55

Then, if he though she was 16, he wasn't grooming her? If she said she was 16 and they were texting/inboxing why would he be wondering if she indeed was 16? Perhaps once they met if she did not look old enough but before that?

TheCrackFox Wed 28-Jul-10 17:23:39

He was charged with grooming her.

I personally do not believe that he had no idea she was so young.

yes exactly sf - there would be no intent to commit a crime but criminal charges would still be brought. To an 18 year old who hadn't considered the consequences of his actions.

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 17:24:21

He may still be manipulating the conversation to assist his sexual activity, it just wouldn't necessarily be an offence if she was an adult.

Mollydoggerson Wed 28-Jul-10 17:27:29

I suppose the way I view it is:

If a Paedophile grooms a child, they do so in the knowledge that the child is a child and is incapable of making their own decisions and can be manipulated due to their age. The grooming is co-ordinated and well thought out with the intention of takind advantage of the child.

If a boy talks to a girl online and arranges to meet her, even if he just casually swaps ages with her, he does so in an attempt to strike up some sort of a relationship on the understanding that the girl is capable of making her own decisions.

In my book there is a big difference between a paedophile knowingly manipulating a child and a teenager being reckless (can you even say that if he asked her age), but at worst reckless as to the age of his casual fling.

I think it's sad for all involved.

I'm sure the girl would have liked to have had a more romantic setting and timing for loosing her virginity, but to be honest I think the setting is irrelevant as I don't think she is claiming to have been forced.

It's sad all around.

Mingg Wed 28-Jul-10 17:27:44

Was he convicted of grooming?

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 17:33:24

There isn't much of a difference at all, that is why the law protects her.

Don't know if he was convicted of the grooming. That offence is usually used if you can't show any other more serious offence has taken place. There was clearly sexual activity so the grooming becomes secondary.

ColdComfortFarm Wed 28-Jul-10 17:42:09

I am not saying she was 'forced' in that there was violence, but I do think it is very possible that there was forceful persuasion, of the type that most 12 year olds, miles from home, alone in the middle of a cold dark wood with an 18 year old, would find hard to resist. Which is precisely why the law protects them. This virginal, inexperienced 12 year old with no experience of being away from home for any length of time may have been the enthusiastic seducer who chose the location and practically raped him, but I personally think that unlikely.

Another thing to consider is that the age at which a child enters puberty varies - it's supposed to be getting steadily lower due to better diets/too much in the way of artificial hormones in battery chicken/whatever.
A 12-year-old girl who has a menstrual cycle and breasts may also experience sexual feelings/desire (this is not AT ALL saying that means it's OK for adults to take advantage of her, she might be physically mature but culturally and emotionally she's still 12 and her feelings are all over the place) hence the pretending to be older and enjoying the Facebook stuff and, indeed, agreeing to a second date.
AN 18 year old man/boy is still at least partly ruled by his hormones rather than his brain and, depending on the age at which he hit puberty, may be more or less physiaclly mature than other 18 year old boys in terms of the testosterone levels etc.

Unless the bloke in this case had prior form for pursuing much younger girls, the fact that there's been a prosecution over what may well have been consensual sex between a ccouple of randy, mutually attracted adolescents that was al about more hormones than common sense, seems excessive.

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 18:59:01

I don't think we can excuse sexual assault because of hormones SGB.

edam Wed 28-Jul-10 19:11:06

The copper quoted in the local paper clearly sees this guy as an offender rather than a poor misunderstood ickle man who ever-so-innocently shagged a 12yo.

I'd lean towards believing the DC, who knows far more about it than any of us.

Sammyuni Wed 28-Jul-10 20:06:42

Unfortunate circumstance for both involved if the young man truly thought she was 16 as she portrayed then he has just messed up his life for nothing.

It does remind me of some things i remember in secondary school there were many girls around 14/15 who were getting fake IDs and getting into 18+ clubs/bars. Now in such a situation would a man who has sex with a girl he met in an over 18 establishment get in trouble?

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 20:16:27

If she was 12, yes but not necessarily if 13+.

StayFrosty Wed 28-Jul-10 20:26:30

the thing is, women are always being told 'watch your drink, take a taxi, tell your mates where you are etc' - and it is seen as reasonable advice on personal safety and risk. but if men are advised to make sure the person they're shagging is the age they say they are, that is somehow onerous and unreasonable?

I suspect this girl went home and said 'mum, I love him, I'm going to marry him and there is nothing you can do about it' etc. She will not have been old enough to understand the ramifications and depending on his background he might not be either. I've met boys of 19 who are not emotionally or intellectually capable of navigating adult relationships and I've also met 11 year olds who think they are (but aren't obviously). This is probably a story which will be repeated time and time again, the novelty comes from Facebook sadly.

I recall another recent case, a lad of 18 (and I say 'lad' for reasons which will become obvious) was out with his mates, getting quite leery in a club. He met a girl and they flirted in the club, kissed but then she had to leave as 'she had school work in the morning'. They swapped numbers. Over the course of the next four hours they exchanged about 20 quite lewd messages including one from him saying 'god I'd like to fuck you'.

Her dad checked her phone the next morning, and called the police. The lad was prosecuted for grooming a minor and put on the SOR as she was actually 14. He showed me a picture. I would have put her at about 19 in the photo (lots of make up, fluffed up hair etc). Personally I felt quite sorry for the lad. He thought he'd met a girl, kissed her and flirted harmlessly with her on the phone.

Her dad had known she'd gone to the club - underage - in fact he picked her up confused .

edam Wed 28-Jul-10 21:07:57

Very good point, Frosty.

However much people try to be sympathetic to him, there is a six year age gap between them which MUST be noticeable to someone that age. I could certainly tell the difference between a pre-teen and an adult when I was a teenager myself. Doesn't matter how many photos of young girls dolled up you can find on the net, when someone is there in the flesh I honestly doubt an 18yo would not notice a 12yo was a lot younger than him.

SomeGuy Wed 28-Jul-10 21:22:15

friend of my wife's, who is I think 30, was asked if her mum was home when someone knocked on the door. You reallly can't generalise.

There's a porn star who has appeared as a witness in child porn trials to testify that she was over 18 when the photos were taken, despite her looking developmentally much younger.

It really isn't possible to say 'he must have known she was underage'. 16 year-old girls look very different from 25-year-olds, they are still immature physically, and much closer to 12-year-olds than adult women.

Presumably she was dolled up when she went to meet him, only twice it seems. And if she was saying on Facebook she was 16, then treating her as legal was a reasonable starting point - from purely moral grounds, there would have to be something that made him think 'hmm, this girl is not actually 16'.

And while women might be advised to take precautions on dark nights, it's not a crime not to, it's really not a good analogy.

PrivetDancer Wed 28-Jul-10 21:40:59

It's not really fair to say you simply don't believe he didn't know she wasn't really 16.

The judge himself said "I think it is right to say she could pass for a 16-year-old and was able to speak relatively maturely."

StayFrosty Wed 28-Jul-10 21:56:32

>> while women might be advised to take precautions on dark nights, it's not a crime not to, it's really not a good analogy.

well, on the one hand no. but on the other hand, not taking precautions implies that the consequences will be to be raped. and you are right in that being raped is in no way equivalent to the trauma of being given a suspended prison sentence....... hmm

i am still waiting as well for molly doggerson to explain what she means by this:

"He has been raped of future life opportunities as a result of his criminal record."

see, on threads like these, some apologist for crappy male sexual etiquette will pop up and say 'it is sooo insulting to REAL rape victims to call x y or z rape'

as a 'real rape victim' i can tell you that what is insulting to real rape victims is for the effects of rape to be trivialised to the point that it beocmes comparable with the effects of getting a suspended prison sentence.

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 21:58:34

Molly has quite rightly fucked off.

Mingg Wed 28-Jul-10 22:04:03

This is a rape case though because of her age not because he forced her to have sex with him.

I presume Molly meant that he now has a criminal record and can forget about studying law.

Mollydoggerson Wed 28-Jul-10 22:20:56

What I meant is that his life has been irrevocably changed and the label of rapist and paedophile will attach to him forever. This will have huge ramifications on his life, on the choices that are available to him in the future. Whatever opportunities were available to him before are now gone.

The use of the word rape signifies a brutal, cruel, violent act which robs another of their dignity.

Sammyuni Wed 28-Jul-10 22:22:54

Should young men start being advised to ask for ID for teens they are with that look around 16-20ish just to make sure they protected from anything unexpected.

Although there are many people underage with fake IDs which they use to fool all sorts.

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 22:26:32

Perhaps responsibility should lie with men not to rape children?

edam, you'd think, but ther are teachers on here assuring me they would get fooled.

SomeGuy but he hadn't opened the door to her and glanced at her, we're talking about more than looks here - mannerisms, maturity etc.

I will repeat again - having sex with someone is risky. Having sex with someone who you have barely spoken to is incredibly risky. This guy has seen that for himself. As an adult he took that risk, and as an adult he faces the consequences. I REFUSE to believe that anyone who knows a 12 year old even on a fairly superficial level could mistake them for a 16yo. By the time you're having sex with someone that usually implies a degree of intimacy. If it doesn't, fine, but you are taking a number of risks

Yes, adults do have a responsibility to ensure the person they are having sex with is not a child.

I can't believe you've just had to say that

And yes, if you're going to shag someone before you've barely spoken to them, then ask to see photo ID.

Sammyuni Wed 28-Jul-10 22:41:23

Well he is being held responsible i just think it's kind of sad that he will be labelled paedophile from now on any future prospects pretty much over and all due to him unknowingly (i hope) sleeping with a girl he thought was legal due to what she told him and what he read on her profile.

She apparently look wise can pass for 16 according to the judge and to be honest 12 is not that far from 16 maturity wise you will see girls of 16 acting like 12year olds and girls of 12 acting like 16 it is not so clear cut at those ages.

If the guy involved was older then i would say well he was playing with fire and should have checked better.

Well it is a bit sad for him if it was genuine stupidity/a mistake on his part. But at the same time "I thought she was 16" can never be a legitimate excuse for having sex with a child. At 18 he is an adult.

dittany Wed 28-Jul-10 22:52:38

What a disgusting thread.

The people who feel sorry for this child rapist need to bog off to Afghanistan. I'm sure they'll feel a lot more comfortable there because the men there can fuck 12 year old girls no problem. It's legal there.

StayFrosty Wed 28-Jul-10 23:01:48

molly i find your use of the word rape in the context you used it massively offensive.

he has not been raped.

he will not be going to prison as his sentence has been suspended.

he has not been robbed of his dignity. he has pleaded guilty to a criminal offence and punished according to the law. if he is truly sorry and all that, there is no shame in putting it behind him and getting on with the rest of his life.

it is in no way comparable to being raped. i have actually been raped and i really htink you should think about the words you use. i am disgusted actually.

missedith01 Wed 28-Jul-10 23:02:21

"rape signifies a brutal, cruel, violent act" - no, it merely signifies intercourse without consent.

His life has irrevocably changed? Good grief, he had sex with a 12 yo child. Why shouldn't his life have changed?

StayFrosty Wed 28-Jul-10 23:03:07

miss edith you are much more succinct than i.

Whoever said it was 'sexual assault' - he was charged with rape on the grounds that a 12-year-old is not legally capable of consenting to sexual activity. We don't know whether he used force or pressure or coercion. He may not have done.
This doesn't make it right. It doesn't mean the girl is a 'slut' or dishonest or manipulative. It means that it's not impossible that a 12-year-old could have gone through puberty and at least thought that she was grown up enough to have sex (though psychologically she wouldn't have been), so calling the 18-year-old a child rapist at least may be excessive, emotive and inaccurate.

Mollydoggerson Wed 28-Jul-10 23:05:25

Stay Frosty I am sorry you are upset and that you have experienced rape.

StayFrosty Wed 28-Jul-10 23:07:40

molly i don't need you to patronise me thanks. i need you to understand that the way you used the word rape was offensive and inappropriate. i am not upset, i just find your attitude a little disgusting. this is not that upsetting to me as thankfully i do not know you in real life smile

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 23:10:29

Not so SGB...it is very accurate...he has raped a child and the law has convicted him of such. Please don't try to minimise child sex offences or apologise for a male who has no regard for how old his victims might be.

dittany Wed 28-Jul-10 23:16:01

I can't believe that people are taking the word of a child rapist who groomed a 12 year old, sending her a random friends request and then obscene photographs over the internet. So what that he lied and claimed he thought she was older? Rapists always do stuff like that - they are allowed to stand up in court and slander their victim anyway they feel like.

The police say they've caught a predator. Are people really that sympathetic to adult men who rape 12 year olds that they want to ignore that small fact?


Mollydoggerson Wed 28-Jul-10 23:16:02

I don't mean to condescend you at all. I used the word rape to mean an act of plunder, violent seizure or abuse.

Even the Judge was uncomfortable with the outcome in this case.

Good night.

dittany Wed 28-Jul-10 23:17:12

Yeah, because judges are so good on rape and sexual assault - they always ensure that justice is done and rapists receive proper sentences in their courtrooms. Wake up Molly.

dittany Wed 28-Jul-10 23:18:58

This is the sort of thread that Mumsnet should be ashamed of. Defenses for rapists of 12 year old girls. Appalling.

TheCrackFox Wed 28-Jul-10 23:19:13

Well said Dittany.

He is a child rapist and the police certainly seemed to think so. I know loads of, erm, advanced 12yr olds but they still act and look their age. Only with a ton of makeup on. An 18yr old man can easily tell the difference.

Oh, and it wouldn't be the first time that a judge was talking a load of shite regarding a rape case.

dittany Wed 28-Jul-10 23:23:06

I can't believe I"m reading it to be honest.

People talk about "pitchforks" but actually the reality is that a whole lot of people will line up and defend a young man who groomed and raped a 12 year old. We really aren't that far away from the barbarians in Afghanistan. 12 year olds are fair game, and if some rapist targets them, we blame the child, not the rapist.

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 23:23:49

I can't believe the fact that people make excuses for this male, even to the extent that that blame his hormones(and hers) for committing sexual offences. Absolutlely vilebut typical MN victim blaming yet again.

TheCrackFox Wed 28-Jul-10 23:26:59

Apparently rapists can never be held responsible for their own actions:

She looked older
She was drunk
I was drunk
She was wearing a mini skirt
She was out late at night

Really, they can take their pick from a very long list of excuses and jurors and judges lap it up.

She was 12yrs old!

I live in Scotland and she would still have been in primary school. A child. But apparently it is OK to begrudge her the legal protection from predatory males.

scurryfunge Wed 28-Jul-10 23:29:10

Yeah...girls are so much older now, they can fool the simplest of predators males so it can never be their fault, bless their little cotton rapist socks.

dittany Wed 28-Jul-10 23:34:34

Do we think this was the only girl he was targeting on Facebook? I'm thinking not.

How awful for this poor girl and her family. Even in the first news story it's clear the sex wasn't consensual:

"She told police she wanted to lose her virginity to her husband on her honeymoon, "not some damp, wooded area in the middle of a park with a person I met on Facebook"."

But I guess in the mad stampede to defend this scumbag, the small fact that she hadn't wanted the sex can be ignored.

ravenAK Wed 28-Jul-10 23:40:47

But it isn't accurate to talk about 'grooming' here (presumably why this charge was dropped as the investigation proceeded).

This young man met a girl online, they chatted, they went for one date in February, & another in March when the statutory rape occurred.

Throughout all this, he apparently believed that he was getting to know a 16 year old.

I think the sentence is entirely appropriate: he did have sex with a very underage girl, & ignorance is no defence.

But 'grooming' would indicate that he was knowingly pursuing her as an underage girl, whereas it seems in this instance that the first he knew that he hadn't just had a rather ungentlemanly brief encounter with a 16 year old was when the police came knocking.

& yes, I find it quite easy to believe that an inexperienced 18 year old could believe a 12 year old girl to be 16.

mamatomany Wed 28-Jul-10 23:41:50

dittany do you know any 18 year old lads ? or indeed 12 year old girls ... does that sound like the sort of thing a 12 year old would say about her husband and honeymoon, or does it sound like her mother talking ?
The 18 year old boys I know might well land themselves in hot water, you can see how it could happen and it's utterly wrong but they wouldn't be in the same category as Ian Huntley IMO

dittany Wed 28-Jul-10 23:46:23

You know 18 year old boys who would rape 12 year old girls mamatomany? Do you live in Afghanistan? If not, why haven't you reported them to the police? The sympathy being extended to a child rapist here is just beyond belief.

And nobody said anything about Ian Huntley, he was a rapist and murderer. This young man is a rapist.

"But it isn't accurate to talk about 'grooming' here (presumably why this charge was dropped as the investigation proceeded)."

It's absolutely accurate to describe an eighteen year old man targeting a 12 year old girl on Facebook and sending her obscene photographs of himself as grooming. The fact that the charge didn't stick is just a reflection of how pathetic our legal system is at prosecuting sex offenses.

dittany Wed 28-Jul-10 23:48:31

Child predators have been using the "I couldn't tell how old she was" defense for years. It's amazing how year after year the gullible are still prepared to believe them and how year after year more children are raped. That's the price that's paid for people's sympathy with child rapists - raped children.

TheCrackFox Wed 28-Jul-10 23:49:38

I know 18 yr old men (not lads, they are growns up) and 12 yr old girls. There is a huge difference.

A rapist will use, in his defence, that he thought she was 16yrs. More often than not he will get away with this only this time the charge was statutory rape not the "she said/ he said" farce that is the usual rape trial. He pleaded guilty and TBH is is bloody lucky he wasn't sent to prison.

If you are so keen on child rapists why not write to your MP demanding that 12 yr old girls should be able to shag grown me?

dittany Wed 28-Jul-10 23:53:13

I think that there are probably quite a few girls who plan to wait until they are married to have sex mamatomany. And the reporting sounds like a police interpretation of it, not a mothers. "Damp wooded area in the middle of a park" sounds like the kind of observational language police use. The police write down witnesses' statements and often use their own words rather than those of witnessess.

mamatomany Wed 28-Jul-10 23:53:20

I know boys who've slept with and got the girls pregnant when they've been under age, not 12 admittedly but there aren't degree's of under age, funnily enough it's all brushed under the carpet though if there's a baby involved.
This happens a lot in this country so presumably we'll see a lot more prosecutions especially amongst certain communities, hope they've got lots of space in the prisons.

mamatomany Wed 28-Jul-10 23:56:09

The police write down witnesses' statements and often use their own words rather than those of witnesses.

I hope they don't it's supposed to be the witness' account not the police's interpretation.

dittany Wed 28-Jul-10 23:57:25

It does seem like there are two rapist defenses - "she consented", if the victim is over 16 or "she looked older" if the victim is deemed too young to have consented.

The one thing that is consistent is that it's always the victim's fault not the rapist's.

The outrage and sympathy on this thread has been directed at the poor misled rapist, who was lied to, lied to I tell you! by a cunning 12 year old.

The 12 year old girl who was targeted by a predator and raped in a park gets no sympathy, only condemnation.

I'm used to seeing victim blaming against adult rape victims, but it is exponentially more disturbing to see child victims also blamed and their rapists offered sympathy and understanding.

ravenAK Wed 28-Jul-10 23:58:28

But dittany. He wasn't 'targetting a 12 year old girl'. He hadn't met her. He was talking to a FB page, on which she presented herself as being 16.

This being the case, it might be a bit naff to have sent her the pictures (from my own teens, I don't think I'd've found that terribly enticing tbh), but still not actually 'grooming'.

I agree that there's valid scepticism about whether he could've still believed her to be 16 after two dates - I think he could quite easily have done, but accept others may not be convinced - but the FB stuff is clearly NOT grooming.

The prosecution seem to have fully accepted that as far as the defendant was concerned, he was chatting up a 16 year old.

dittany Wed 28-Jul-10 23:59:51

This thread is the rape culture in operation.

ravenAK Thu 29-Jul-10 00:00:01

...& I'm not for a minute suggesting that he shouldn't've been convicted, or blaming the girl.

mamatomany Thu 29-Jul-10 00:00:50

I haven't read anything on mumsnet ever that suggests a rape victim or this 12 year old was to blame at all, what nonsense.

TheCrackFox Thu 29-Jul-10 00:01:58

The prosecution didn't accept his story, the judge did. Not the first time that a rapist has been believed over a child.

Apart from being on the SOR he has got away with it. He hasn't be sent to prison for 10 yrs. I am bemused as to the sympathy directed towards him.

dittany Thu 29-Jul-10 00:03:27

Do you understand the meaning of the word "grooming" ravenAK? You seem to be using words as if they have no meaning and acting as if you make a declaration that makes something so.

Befriending a 12 year old girl on Facebook and then sending her obscene photographs in order to put sexual ideas into her head that she wouldn't have had otherwise in order that you can move on to rape is grooming.

I don't care what the prosecution accepted, the CPS is shit at prosecuting rape cases and child abuse cases, and generally unless they can get admissions out of people they back away.

dittany Thu 29-Jul-10 00:07:03

What the police officer said:

"Detective Constable Brian Johnston, of Salford CID, said: "Bhuta manipulated the relationship and it escalated into a sexual one.

"Young users of social networking sites can be vulnerable and Greater Manchester Police is working very closely with these sites and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) to develop measures that mean children can go online safely and, if they do suspect they are being groomed, they can report it immediately to police.

"I hope this case sends out a message to people like Bhuta who use social networking sites to befriend underage girls for sexual purposes that we will arrest and prosecute you.""

Note the use of the word "groomed".

ravenAK Thu 29-Jul-10 00:14:29

Well, I was quite confident that I did dittany, but I've checked since you disagree with my interpretation of the term.

I won't bother cut'n'pasting definitions, but it does seem that it's specifically used to signify actions aimed at gaining a child's trust, with the subsequent intention of sexually exploiting that child.

So I'd argue that IF the defendant in this case had no idea that he was doing anything but flirting with a 16 year old, in a perfectly legal manner - then it doesn't constitute grooming.

It's entirely possible that we're overdue a test case, as social networking sites are positively awash with misleading 'personas'.

If he'd never met her - & her parents had discovered their internet interaction & gone to the police, would you still regard this as paedophiliac?

(& just for the record, I'm still not defending him, or wasting any sympathy on him)

dittany Thu 29-Jul-10 00:14:51

'I haven't read anything on mumsnet ever that suggests a rape victim or this 12 year old was to blame at all, what nonsense."

Maybe you just didn't read very carefully then Mamatomany. Third post on the thread:

"And why hasn't she been punished for lying?"

And there's more on the thread about how she lied and how she was willing. That's blaming a child victim for her own rape.

I think the reason why people are feeling some sympathy towards Bhuta is that he is 18 and and 18 year old having consensual sex with a 16 year old would not be illegal. A 30 year old man having sex with a 16 year old girl wouldn't be illegal but it would be pretty morally dubious.

dittany Thu 29-Jul-10 00:17:02

I don't know why you're talking in hypotheticals RavenAK. This young man groomed a girl online with obscene photographs, met up with her and then raped her. Why aren't you condemning him outright, instead of playing at abstract what ifs?

dittany Thu 29-Jul-10 00:19:52

She was 12 SGB. Since when does 12 suddenly become 16? We're living in denial world,:"if this", "if that", "if she was sixteen" as if repeating those enough will take away from what actually happened. Look I'll bold it too - 12 years old - rape. It was illegal

dittany Thu 29-Jul-10 00:27:36

Are people really that stupid and unaware that they don't know that there are predators on the internet looking for underage girls (and boys) because they are easy to sexually exploit if they find one who is vulnerable? Predators aren't always that old either.

To read this you'd think it was impossible for an 18 year old not to be raping children all over the place because pre-teens are just so hard to spot, what with being fully grown adults and all. The thing is most young men do not rape 12 year old girls, because they aren't criminals. The ones who do do things like that are criminals and rapists. It's not a grey area, no matter how hard the rapist's defense team try to persuade us it is. The police prosecuted this person because they knew what he was like.

Here's another one:

www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2010/02/12/internet-sex-predator-groomed-250-under-age-girl s-and-boys-or-sex-86908-22037217/

ravenAK Thu 29-Jul-10 00:30:22

Because it isn't hypothetical.

I'm making a distinction between the statutory rape which Bhuta clearly committed & was rightly convicted of, & the unevidenced allegation that he was a knowing paedophile who set out to groom a 12 year old.

I think the distinction's quite important, actually.

Sending rude pictures to an internet sprite whom you believe to be of consenting age, is a very different matter from committing rape.

dittany Thu 29-Jul-10 00:31:22

He was charged with sexual grooming:

"Preston man accused of raping girl he met on Facebook

A man has appeared in court charged with grooming and raping a 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook.
Junaid Bhuta, 18, from Frenchwood in Preston, Lancashire, appeared before magistrates in Salford.
He is accused of raping a girl under 13, two counts of sexual grooming of a child and two counts of engaging in sexual activity with a girl under 13.
Bhuta, of Manchester Road, was remanded in custody and is due before Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court on 24 May."


ravenAK Thu 29-Jul-10 00:33:42

& I agree with your post of 00:27 about internet predators.

Which is why we need to differentiate between them & the entirely different scenario where Person A believes that Internet Acquaintance Person B is 16/not a hairy-handed trucker etc...

dittany Thu 29-Jul-10 00:35:33

Do you really not understand that rapists lie RavenAK? And they lie most often in court when they face charges for their crimes?

"Sending rude pictures to an internet sprite whom you believe to be of consenting age, is a very different matter from committing rape."

Wow, what a creepy thing to say in a thread where we're talking about a 12 year old who was groomed and raped.

dittany Thu 29-Jul-10 00:37:06

"We" don't need to do anything. I steer well clear of people who believe the lies of rapists in court ravenAK. This young man has been convicted of raping a 12 year old, yet you're still mounting the same defense his own defense used.

ravenAK Thu 29-Jul-10 00:37:19

Charged with, yes.

At which point it would appear that he argued that he had no idea that she was under 16, & that this was agreed all round, but didn't constitute a defence as the victim was under 13.

dittany Thu 29-Jul-10 00:39:13

He lied. Courts regularly believe rapists' lies which is why we have a 6% conviction rate for rape. Your faith in the judge is touching, but misplaced.

ravenAK Thu 29-Jul-10 00:39:21

Why is it a creepy thing to say?

LOTS of people use social networking sites to send each other sexual material. I don't particularly approve either, as it happens, but that doesn't make it equivalent to rape.

dittany Thu 29-Jul-10 00:40:10

He lied and instead accused her of lying. How disgusting. How disgusting to believe him.

ravenAK Thu 29-Jul-10 00:44:50

OK, Dittany.

Maybe he did lie.

Maybe he didn't.

I don't know, & neither do you.

& I agree that the 6% conviction rape is scandalous. But in this instance, there HAS been a conviction, & quite rightly so.

The only basis on which I'm disagreeing with you is in your interpretation of the initial FB relationship.

dittany Thu 29-Jul-10 00:45:30

FFS, because he's a fucking predator sending obscene photographs to a 12 year old girl and he then went on to rape her. That's why it's fucking different.

"but that doesn't make it equivalent to rape."

What does that even mean? He's been convicted of rape. It was grooming.

dittany Thu 29-Jul-10 00:50:48

Your arguments are unrealistic and amoral RavenAK.

Why you think it's important to defend a child rapist from an accusation of grooming on a thread about a 12 year old girl being raped by that child rapist is beyond me. I just don't understand.

The police charged him with grooming. His behaviour fitted the definition of grooming. Just because a court didn't find him guilty means zero, all it means is that once again the legal system is absolutely useless in bringing rapists including the rapists of children to justice. And part of the reason for that is the fact that we live in a rape culture an example of which is this thread - full of defenses for the rapist and condemnation (including believing his lies about her) of his victim.

ravenAK Thu 29-Jul-10 01:00:42

Can you at least admit of a scenario where two teenagers meet via FB, start conversing, & progress to the sending of sexual images before finally arranging a RL date?

It does happen.

& it does sometimes happen that one of the participants is not who they claimed to be. This bloke could just as easily have been inadvertently sending pictures of his bits to the aforesaid hairy-handed trucker, for all he knew.

Unless you're determined that he knew her age all along, & I just don't see any reasonable basis to jump to that conclusion.

By all means, punish him for having sex with a 12 year old. FWIW, I think he got off lightly.

But without actual evidence that he knew, when he was chatting to her on FB/sending her pictures, that she was anything other than the 16 year old she presented herself as, it's inaccurate to talk about grooming.

dittany Thu 29-Jul-10 01:08:48

No, sorry, I'm still not getting why you think it's important to defend a child rapist from an accusation of grooming. Can't work out your priorities at all RavenAK.

The police charged him with grooming. The police can't charge anybody without evidence. As I already said, the fact that the court didn't convict him on that evidence means nothing - rapists lie all the time and get away with it in court. You don't even have the excuse that he hasn't been convicted of rape. He has - he's a criminal. Yet you're prepared to believe a criminal's lies.

So once again, why on earth do you care? Why are you expending so much energy trying to refute my posts. I didn't contradict you, you nitpicked mine and insisted I was wrong to use the term "grooming". Well I used it and then I found out that the police agreed and actually charged him with it. Given the pathetic rate of conviction for any kind of sex crime, why do you have so much faith that the justice system got it right on this one?

ravenAK Thu 29-Jul-10 01:20:48

I'm not defending him, tbh, it's the bigger picture.

I think that if you're convicted of a crime, you deserve to face the consequences for THAT crime, rather than be subjected to an internet witch-hunt over something for which there's clearly no admissable evidence.

I don't think it's productive to just say that someone's a criminal, & therefore a liar & clearly guilty of anything else you fancy projecting onto him.

Once again, I don't know, & neither do you, what transpired between these two people before he raped her.

What are you proposing to make the justice system more effective in rape cases? I'm rather interested because I've been conducting a long & heated argument with a colleague over the recently dropped nonsense of anonymity for defendants.

tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 29-Jul-10 01:42:22

Well, he did face the consequences of that crime. The grooming charge didn't stick, he pled guilty to statutory rape. Job done, ta dah!

Internet witch hunt. For FUCKS sake, internet witch hunt? A 12 year old was raped on a park bench and you're worried about the effects on the rapist of women discussing this on a parenting forum?

Dittany: I think people care about this particular case because it highlights how problematic the issue of adolescent sexual behaviour is. Adolescents (ie young people who are physically no longer children) may experience sexual desire, be curious, want to engage with other adolescents of the appropriate gender for their orientation; adults often take a punitive, condemnatory attitude towards this. It's not impossible that the adolescents in this incident wanted to have some kind of sexual interaction, hence the online flirting and sending of explicit messages, etc - but when adults found out, it became a big scandal.
TO acknowledge that adolescents may have sexual feelings is not to say that this means it's OK for adults to seek sex with them, but to treat adolescents as though any sexual desires/urges/behaviours they may have are bad, wrong, forbidden etc doesn't help them either.

ravenAK Thu 29-Jul-10 02:08:59

No, not at all worried about the effects on this particular rapist of having the circumstances discussed on a parenting forum. Don't know how much clearer I can be that I've precious little sympathy for him.

& I think the topic needs more discussion, if anything, & a bit less in the way of ad hominem attacks & general aggression.

I don't know what I can add, tortoise, to my earlier posts re: why I think that it's unreasonable to assume, based on the limited knowledge we have, that this young man was purposefully & knowingly corrupting a child rather than conducting a rather unsophisticated courtship of a girl he believed to be 16.

OK, I'll retract the phrase 'witch-hunt' if you feel it to be unjustified. That's rather how I felt about seeing 'grooming' used in this context.

SomeGuy Thu 29-Jul-10 04:06:45

There is not a 6% conviction rate for rape, that is a lie, the conviction rate is in fact 58%, higher than many other offences, though not the highest.

Rape is the only offence for which wilfully misleading figures are published as to conviction rates.

It's total bollocks to say 'Courts regularly believe rapists' lies', when in fact the courts believe the lies of rapists rather less than they do other accused offenders

scoutliam Thu 29-Jul-10 04:46:54

Where are you getting the 58% figure from SG?

tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 29-Jul-10 06:27:58

Yes, I'm looking forward to a cite for that one.

ravenAK, i do get where you're coming from, that grooming implies intent. After all, we could probably go on a Friday night bumsex thread and find a discussion between two particular posters, which, if it subsequently comes to light that poster B is 12 then Poster A could be in trouble. We do take people at complete face value on the internet - unfortunately again I think that's a risk we take (me too). It seems as thought the two defences are identical - if you believe him, he "didn't know" she wasn't 16, just as he "didn't know" she was 12 when he was sending her explicit material online. I find one a lot less believable, that's all.

dittany Thu 29-Jul-10 08:46:31

"There is not a 6% conviction rate for rape, that is a lie, the conviction rate is in fact 58%, higher than many other offences, though not the highest."

How dare you call me a liar and then go on to abuse statistics in the name of proving it. The conviction rate for reported rapes is 6%. Only one in ten make it to court and yes 58% of them result in a conviction, but that makes the conviction rate 6%.

For the hard of thinking for every one hundred women who report rape, only six of them will ever see any justice. You think it's OK to ignore those 90 women who've been raped and don't even get through the doors of a court. Your priorities - not mine.

Oblomov Thu 29-Jul-10 08:47:04

Dittany, why did the 12 year old girl claim to be 16. why did she tell him that she was leaving school that year ?

skidoodly Thu 29-Jul-10 08:54:08

Oh yippee SomeGuy is here to explain to all of us women that rape is really unfair on men. This should be fun.

dittany Thu 29-Jul-10 08:56:23

Why do you believe the claims of a defense prosecution of a convicted rapist?

Why did he send a random friends request to a girl online and then start sending her obscene pictures?

Even that - people don't give a shit that this young man sent porn of himself to a 12 year old. Only in defending him from holding him responsible for the rape of a 12 year old.

dittany Thu 29-Jul-10 08:57:45

The stance of rape apologists is innocent even after the rapist has been proved guilty.

msrisotto Thu 29-Jul-10 08:58:36

Why does it matter what the 12 year old child said? 12 year olds say a lot of things but we don't hold them accountable for some unknown reason....oh wait, it's because they're children.

Kathyjelly Thu 29-Jul-10 09:15:11

I don't imagine for a second that he thought the girl was 16. I doubt he cared one way or the other to be honest but only he knows the reality.

Nevertheless, it is statutory rape and he deserves the sentence because he couldn't be bothered to find out.

Yes, there are very silly 12 year old girls around but the whole point is, as an ADULT, legally he is responsible for his actions.

Oblomov Thu 29-Jul-10 09:43:14

"Why does it matter what the 12 year old child said?"

well becasue it is important.
she told him thta she was 16.
We have to hold her partly responsible. she chose to be there. log on. chose to chat to him every day for 3 months. she chose to lie to her parents , two times, about her whereabouts.

I was 16, when I went clubbing. Got on the bus for a 'half' i.e 16, jumped off and into a club, for 18. I hold myself responsible. no one else.

edam Thu 29-Jul-10 09:47:00

Well said, Kathy. Shocking that some people are so quick to sympathise with the 18yo rapist and not the poor girl who was 12.

skidoodly Thu 29-Jul-10 09:51:53

So because you hold yourself responsible for something you did at 16 you think that means you can hold a 12 year old girl responsible for her own rape?


StayFrosty Thu 29-Jul-10 09:53:45

Shocking also that people want to see the 18 yr old adult as a daft wee thing who made a mistake, while at the same time demanding the 12 yr old child be held responsible for her actions.

RealityKicksArse Thu 29-Jul-10 09:54:31

He's only an adult in so much as he'd reached the magic number of 18.

Have you met many 18 year old boys? Of the broad sample I know I would call none of them adults, they are all immature, hormone riddled angsty teens.

Obviously what he did was ill advised and wrong, but this girl (as I said, if the facts are as reported) wasn't abused, or raped. She had consensual sex with a boy she had had an online relationship with for three months, who she had told several times she was 16, even posting on FB that she was leaving school.

FWIW I lost my virginity aged 15 to a 17 yo on a park bench in autumn. Would you like to suggest that he raped me?

Because as far as we can tell that's what this boy thought was happening, he was having sex with his girlfriend of 16.

He may indeed be a predatory machiavellian schemer preying on young girls. But he could equally (and fwiw I think more likely) just be a normal, awkward adolescent boy who thought he was having a relationship with a girl close to his own age.

We just don't know. But it's very sad all round.

Oblomov Thu 29-Jul-10 10:00:12

i am not holding her responsible for her own RAPE. I am saying thta she has to be held responsible for her actions.
She chose to go on their in the first place. Lied consistently before meeting him. lied to her parents about meeting him the first time possibly ? then again the second time, when she was missing for most of the day. she spoke to him, text him and the webcamed, it says in the papaer "daily". met him in feb. then chose to meet him again.
she's a very good liar. shes' got quite lot of innitiative. i didn't lie to my mum about my whereabouts. i didn't need to,.

and for all of you who are saying, shes' only 12. shes so innocent. this does not sound like the beahvious of a total innocent 12 year old.
shes' 12 and her mum must have had no idea she was up to all of this throughout jan,. febn and mar 2010. and her mum didn't know she's got on the train and gone to meet him. twice.

bet her mum was horrified when she found out. terribly hurt. but she was probably also shocked at the deviousness of her daughter. she probably looked at her and thought i'm not sure thta i knew yiou you at all.

because i might well have thought those things if she was my daughter.

skidoodly Thu 29-Jul-10 10:04:45

Being an immature adult doesn't change the fact that you are an adult.

This thread is full of talk of pre-teen and young teenage girls being all grown up and indistiguishable from grown women while adult men are called boys and children and excused serious crimes for being a bit daft. It's sickening.

At what age should we start holding men responsible for rape? I know some very childish men in their 30s.

Say 60? Then we can refuse to put them in prison because they're too old.

Kathyjelly Thu 29-Jul-10 10:05:42

No one is saying she is innocent but the law has to draw a definitive line somewhere.

Suppose it had been a 50 yar old man saying "I thought she was 16"?

StayFrosty Thu 29-Jul-10 10:10:37

12 year old girls have always beendaft though. And had crushes on or fantasies about much older men that seemed almost like real relationships - it is like a practise run for adulthood. The difference is that nowadays the Internet has made it easier to gain real intimacy with older strangers that no one else can police. And fantasy begins to blur with reality and this is where it ends up.

It is still the adult in the equation who bears the responsibility though.

Mingg Thu 29-Jul-10 10:12:41

Of course there has to be a line. He committed a statutory rape and got prosecuted and convicted for that - doesn't mean you can't sympathise with him considering that his intention was not to have sex with a 12 year old, he thought the girl was 16.

RealityKicksArse Thu 29-Jul-10 10:13:18

I think I said further up the thread that even if he had been 24 I would have felt differently.

I think I just feel uneasy about the whole thing because he was just 18 himself. And I struggle to see 18 year old boys (or girls) as adults.

That's not the same thing as holding the girl responsible, I actually hold them BOTH responsible along with their parents.

The girl shouldn't even have been on FB (I think the minimum age is 13?), lying about her age, let alone accepting friend requests from strangers and entering in to an online relationship with someone before meeting him twice. Where the fuck were the adults in her life?

callalilies Thu 29-Jul-10 10:18:14

With the grooming thing, surely it would only be grooming if at the time he had any reason to believe she was under 16.

Obviously when they met and had sex, it was rape, and he's been convicted, fine.

But just because he was convicted of one thing why automatically assume he was lying in his defence of something else? He may have been, yes. He may have had reason to believe she was lying and was in fact underage. But he also may have genuinely believed (at least during their Facebook contact) that she was 16. In which case surely it can't have been grooming? Point is we don't know.

skidoodly Thu 29-Jul-10 10:20:26

The adults in her life were probably right there not knowing her thoughts and every action.

12 year old children being online and going to parks and cinemas is hardly unusual is it?

It's not like she met him in a nightclub.

Pmsl @ "she shoudn't have been on facebook"

yes, how did she manage to tick the box to say she was of age?

RealityKicksArse Thu 29-Jul-10 10:29:42

I look after a 13 yo (my cousin).

She goes on our PC, which is in the living room, I know exactly what sites she visits and keep a close eye on who she is MSNing. She isn't allowed to go off on her own (not in my care anyway, although her shit mother lets her). At home with her Dad there is one PC, her time on it is monitored.

It's not that hard to be reasonably aware of who your DC are socialising with. The fact that she had a 3 month relationship with the boy and a FB profile stating she was 16 and her parents either knew nothing or ignored it is fairly shocking.

msrisotto Thu 29-Jul-10 10:35:49

Stop blaming the girl and her parents for this. They didn't rape anyone.

ravenAK Thu 29-Jul-10 10:40:34

I woke up thinking about this.

I think there's two separate scenarios re: the FB 'relationship'.


He genuinely believed he was chatting to a 16 year old. The girl consistently deceived him about her real age. Easily enough done - I reported the FB profile of a 12 year old pupil recently after being sent a friend request. Her stated age was 17, & looking at the profile picture (bikini, heavy make up, holding a beer bottle) I'd probably have believed her if I didn't know her.

If this was the case, are we saying that 'ignorance is no defence', & if an adult unwittingly forms an online relationship with a minor, who has sustained a convincing lie about their actual age, they are nonetheless de facto guilty of 'grooming'?

I can see the argument, yes - we're already saying that whether he knew her age is irrelevant in the statutory rape charges.

But given how easy it is to deceive people on the internet, I'm not sure it's very workable or desirable. We might do better educating teenagers more effectively on the dangers of sending obscene material over the internet to people they don't know...there's a LOT of it about, sadly.


He's lying - he knew all along she was only 12, & was deliberately manipulating her online behaviour in order to abuse her.

My problem with this is that there's nothing in the reports of the case to suggest that the girl or her counsel ever alleged this - it seems to have been agreed by both sides that she lied to him about her age, & he believed her.

Not believing a rapist is one thing, but I don't see why we should be expected to hold him responsible for something the victim hasn't actually accused him of.

& AGAIN - I'm not making excuses for him re: the actual rape; I fully agree that an 18 year old man bears the responsibility of making sure his sexual partners are of age, & taking the consequences if he doesn't.

RealityKicksArse Thu 29-Jul-10 10:40:39

Arguably, neither did the boy.

I just feel really sad about the whole thing.

Oblomov Thu 29-Jul-10 10:46:55

ski, what so funny about the suggestion that she shouldn't have been on FB. the fact is, she shouldn't have been there. she was only 12.

edam Thu 29-Jul-10 10:52:32

Ignorance is no defence in law anyway. For any crime. Otherwise every defendant would get off claiming 'oh, I didn't know the speed limit there is 30', 'oh, I didn't realise it was illegal to help myself to the contents of the Oxfam collection box, I just thought it was morally wrong', 'oh, I didn't know I had to tell Revenue & Customs about that particular bank account as it's held overseas'.

Oblomov Thu 29-Jul-10 10:52:33

I'm sure its been said before, but could someone just confirm, for me.
he's accused of rape, based only on her age ? becasue it turned out that she was 12. not the 16 she calimed to be. is that right. its not that it was unwanted, or that she was not compliant. she wanted to partake in sex. she chose to.
she wanted to ? but it it deemed rape becasue of her age ?

is that right.
am i reading this right.

RealityKicksArse Thu 29-Jul-10 10:55:20

That's how I read it too, Oblomov.

Oblomov Thu 29-Jul-10 10:55:35

edam where does the ignorance start and finish though. she said she was 16. If someone has gone to the trouble , not her, but generally, of getting fake id or a fake passport, can the person be convicted, a shop keeper for example, of selling them an age restricted item like booze at 18 or condoms or something.
where does checking and being responsible and being taken in, where are the lines. blurry ?

RealityKicksArse Thu 29-Jul-10 10:56:29

Edam, I get that and I do agree that as that is what the law states, he was rightly prosecuted.

But that doesn't stop me having sympathy for him.

Mingg Thu 29-Jul-10 10:56:36

Yes Oblomov, statutory rape because of her age.

msrisotto Thu 29-Jul-10 10:57:02

Oblomov: she wanted to partake in sex. she chose to.

She is only 12, she lacks the capacity in the eyes of the law to consent.

edam Thu 29-Jul-10 10:57:50

It's statutory rape because a child under that age is deemed incapable of consenting, i.e. unable to comprehend the consequences of such a decision. That being the case, I don't know whether there will have been detailed argument in court as to whether or not she consented. It's possible (but obviously I've not read the files) that discussion on this point was limited as it's irrelevant.

We know rape trials are extremely distressing for adults. Here there is a 13yo girl having to go through one. Yet many people seem to save their sympathy for the adult in this case.

Doesn't matter how immature some 18yos might be, fact is he's not only legally an adult, he's also six years older than the girl. Which surely makes it obvious she is far more immature than him.

msrisotto Thu 29-Jul-10 11:26:58

Basically the main consequence of sex is pregnancy. 12 year olds cannot comprehend this risk so cannot consent to sex.

mayorquimby Thu 29-Jul-10 11:31:01

"Ignorance is no defence in law anyway."

Ignorance as to the law is not, ignorance as to the facts can be.

msrisotto Thu 29-Jul-10 11:36:13

ignorance as to the facts can be.

No, if you buy something off someone and it is stolen but you didn't realise it was, you are still in the wrong.

mayorquimby Thu 29-Jul-10 11:41:04

No your not. Not if you're a bona fide purchaser. If you buy it and are reckless as to wether or not it was stolen then you may be in the wrong.
Similarly if you punch someone because you mistakenly believe they are in the process of carrying out a crime but they are in fact not your honest belief that you were acting to stop the commission of a crime will be a complete defence to any assault charges.
If however you bought stolen goods knowing they were stolen but you believed it was legal to buy stolen goods you would have no defence.

Mingg Thu 29-Jul-10 11:41:16

Ignorance is no defence but bona fide does apply

mayorquimby Thu 29-Jul-10 11:54:40

It's not correct to say ignorance is no defence because that implies that no ignorance is a defence. The maxim "Ignorantia juris non excusat" is specific to 'ignorance of the law'.
The obvious rationale being pointed out earlier on by Edam is that if ignorance of the law were accepted every criminal would simply say "I didn't realise it was illegal."
However ignorance as to the facts has always been accepted as a viable defence in criminal trials because most mens reas require intention or recklessness on the part of the accused. So for something like rape if the victim does not consent but the man honestly believes she is consenting then he is ignorant as to the fact that consent is not present and that would provide a full defence.
Or like the example I gave earlier on of the attack on someone you believe to be committing a crime, lets say you see someone forcing a door in unaware that it is their house, well in this case your ignorance as to the fact that it is their house would provide you with a full defence once it was your honest belief that you were stopping the commission of a crime.
These are mistakes as to facts.
Mistakes as to law would be a man claiming he thought it was legal for him to have non-consensual sex with a woman or someone claiming they thought they had a legal right to punch someone when they did not.

mayorquimby Thu 29-Jul-10 11:57:31

Am I right in assuming also that "statutory rape" (is it still referred to as such in English law) is still a crime of strict liability in England?
If so the points on ignorance of facts as a defence are largely irrelevant just wanted to address the point that was being made about ignorance being no defence in any law.
In Ireland it is no longer strict liability and as such an honest belief that the girl was of age can be raised in defence to a charge.

scurryfunge Thu 29-Jul-10 12:09:52

It can in England and Wales too but only between the ages of 13 to 15 years. Anything under there is no defence.

Mingg Thu 29-Jul-10 12:09:53

Yes, statutory rape is of absolute liability

Oblomov Thu 29-Jul-10 12:12:40

i get the point that she was too young to consent. i accept and agree with that. in t he eys of the law.

maybe i have the wrong image of what the word rape means. to me it would be so awful. non consenting on my part.
if it was a child, maybe 8 or 10, is forced to have sex, then thta is abuse. but maybe a 12 yr old girl who acted this way for 3 months. made her choices. i still can't get over the fact thta she chose. i can not see this in the same way. maybe becasue how grown up young girls these days are, also shocks me. i'm one of those that was riding around on her bike.

and whilst i am not toally convicned by his character ether. i not convinced that what he did was so wrong.
rape ? i am not talking in the eyes of the law, just in my eyes, i am not sure i can see it as that.
grooming ? i think it isn't grooming when somoen of similar ages, as he was told ahe was, was trying to start a relationship.

and paeophile?

no rape, paedophile and grooming. i am not sure i can agree with those.
if the circumstances were different and an older man, knowingly chases a 12 yr old girl, then that is of course, rape paedophile and grooming.

i went out with someone 18 at 15, nearly 16. he did seem very mature to me, but i was also very mature.

his life is changed forever. has hers ? is she traumatised by it. possibly. will her mum and dad take more notice of what texts she was receiving and sending. hopefully.

some 13 yr olds choose to have sex in the uk. we hear about them becasue they fall pregnant and we have the worst figures in europe for this, don't we.in some senses it soumnds like she is very mature.

scurryfunge Thu 29-Jul-10 12:17:17

The public like their rapists to be strangers in dark corners of an alleyway not people who we have just met or have relationships with.

Oblomov Thu 29-Jul-10 12:18:02

scurry, i did not know thta. he could have claimed thta he didn't know about her age. and he would ahve been believed if she had been say 14. right ?
but becasue she was so young. only 12. then there is no justification ?

i see. i did not grasp that before.

Oblomov Thu 29-Jul-10 12:23:17

no scurry i do know some of the facts on rape and abuse. i know thta abusers are more commonly people the child knows.

scurryfunge Thu 29-Jul-10 12:26:27

I think of it as anyone under 12 years old.....lump together the age group of a newborn up to the age of and including 12 years old. If you think of a child being within those bounds then you wouldn't ever question the same scenario with say a six year old. Within the law they are the same.

SomeGuy Thu 29-Jul-10 12:45:09

dittany you are the one abusing statistics

You claimed 'Courts regularly believe rapists' lies which is why we have a 6% conviction rate for rape. Your faith in the judge is touching, but misplaced. '

Which clearly isn't true. Evidently the courts regularly do believe rapists' lies, just as they believe the lies of fraudsters, burglars, murderers, and anyone else who can afford a lawyer, but that's simply a function of our legal system, and the fact is that the majority of rapists are not believed by the courts, given that the conviction 58%.

The 6% figure (Stern gives a figure of 14% for reported rapes ending in a conviction) that is often quoted therefore clearly is not a function of the conviction rate of the court, and to imply that it is because judges are all evil rapist-sympathisers is wilfully misleading.


Beachcomber Thu 29-Jul-10 13:07:31

Someguy, I took dittany's sentence to mean that the conviction rate of reported rapes is so low in part because so many cases do not even make it to court. The reason so many cases do not even make it to court is not because the women in question were not raped but because in our rape culture and with the current legal system and bias against women it is very difficult to get a conviction. Going to court is a very traumatic experience for a women - many are advised to just drop their case. This situation is unacceptable in a civilised society.

The fact that 58% of cases which make it to court result in a conviction is a pretty meaningless figure when you look at the fact that something like 80 to 90% of rapes are not even reported. Only the watertight cases (that's the ones where the police don't balls up the evidence gathering) make it to court and even then only just over half result in a conviction - not a figure to be proud of I think.

Beachcomber Thu 29-Jul-10 13:17:56

Just read your link Someguy.

It would appear that the 6% figure refers to reported rapes that end in a conviction for rape.

The 14% figure refers to reported rapes which finish in a conviction of some nature - that means either for rape or for some lesser offence.

I think the 14% figure is misleading - certainly when I discuss rape convictions I mean just that, rapes which result in a conviction for rape. Lumping in convictions for sexual assault/GBH/harassment or whatever is just intentionally blurring the reality which is that 6% of reported rapes end in a conviction for rape. That 6% figure is estimated to be 6% of the 10 to 20% that even get reported.

This situation is utterly pathetic and just goes to show that rape is easily tolerated by society and is only nominally illegal.

SomeGuy Thu 29-Jul-10 14:03:31

Well the figures are low for all crime. As a society we tolerate high levels of crime. I tried reporting a seller of millions of pounds worth of counterfeit goods and the police didn't give a shit and did their best to fob me off. I realise this is not as serious of rape, but the point is that crime as a whole is tolerated to a high degree in this country and crime in general is a fairly low-risk activity.

The point made by Stern is that constantly quoting 6% makes rape victims think that the court won't believe their accusations, which is not true, and it's not helped by saying that 'courts regularly believe rapists' lies', when in fact it's no different to any other offence.

I'm not sure think the 14% figure is necessarily misleading as with any kind of criminal case it's quite usual to start off with a more serious charge and then downgrade it (for instance in return for a guilty plea, or because the evidence is insufficient to support the original charge).

It's all very well to complain about rape conviction rates, but it's wrong to do as dittany does and imply that accused rapists are somehow privileged or protected vis a vis other types of criminals: any given crime is unlikely to end up in a prison sentence.

dittany Thu 29-Jul-10 14:08:38

58% is a meaningless figure because only one in ten reported rapes ever make it to court. 90% of reported rapes are never prosecuted in a court room.

The figure for unreported rapes makes the six per cent conviction rate look even more pitiful, but that wasn't my point.

If only 6% of all reported rapes result in a conviction, pretending that it's all OK because 58% of the one in ten that do make it to court is as dishonest as it comes.

I can't believe we're on day two of rapist defending here.

SomeGuy Thu 29-Jul-10 14:11:31

No it's not ok, but neither it is ok to constantly tell rape victims, of which there are plenty on Mumsnet, that they won't be believed in court.

MrsC2010 Thu 29-Jul-10 14:17:25

A friend once worked on a case where a young man (18 or 19) met his girlfriend (14 I think) through his friendship group and they had a sexual relationship. It was condoned by parents etc etc, he used to stay in the family home with her etc. When they broke up the parents had charges brought against him for stat rape. The saddest thing was that developmentally he was around the same age as her, when it was suggested that he plead not guilty due to mitigating circumstances (parents' knowledge, his 'mental age' etc) he said he wouldn't/couldn't because he was guilty...he had slept with her. He couldn't see the grey between the black and white. He's on the sex offenders register now.

Beachcomber Thu 29-Jul-10 14:19:01

Nonsense. Telling rape victims that they will probably not be believed in court is telling them the truth as the situation stands.

What is not ok is that rape victims are not believed in court (or just about anywhere else).

SomeGuy Thu 29-Jul-10 14:21:47

Well no it's not true, rape victims are believed in court, that's quite a different thing from not making it to court in the first place, although rape is no different from any other crime.

SomeGuy Thu 29-Jul-10 14:22:14

in that most cases don't make it to court.

tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 29-Jul-10 14:24:07


Trust me, SomeGuy, most of us rape victims already know that we wouldn't be believed in court. That's why we didn't report - or, if we did, it didn't make it to court.

Beachcomber Thu 29-Jul-10 14:25:33

In a second we'll be blaming rape victims for the low conviction rates just as we blame women for rape in the first instance.

Honestly what do women want huh? If they want better rape conviction then they should be prepared to be smeared, traumatised and lied about in court right? They should be prepared to be intimately examined for evidence gathering by a male doctor right? They should be prepared to be interviewed by male police who may or may not believe rape myths right?

We have low conviction rates because rape is not treated seriously in this culture because it mostly happens to women and children.

cestlavie Thu 29-Jul-10 14:28:44

It's interesting from a jurisprudential perspective about the right age.

The 12 year old age limit is predicated on the fact that a child of that age or younger cannot appreciate the gravity of sexual intercourse and, being unable to appreciate, cannot therefore consent technically even if they consent in practice.

What is interesting (apart from the fact that obviously any age limit is arbitrary and will vary from individual to individual) is how this fits with the age of criminal responsibility which currently sits at 10, on exactly the same ground - that a child under 10 is unable to appreciate the gravity of certain criminal offences.

Confusing eh

SomeGuy Thu 29-Jul-10 14:33:23

That's a baseless statement. Men are more than twice as likely to be a victim of a violence against the person offence as women, and yet the comparable figure is 4%, barely half as high as the rape figure.

Beachcomber Thu 29-Jul-10 14:38:32

I would imagine that that is because sexual intercourse is so open to abuse, coercion, manipulation, etc. especially in young people.

Sex is for adults and therefore not something that we discuss a great deal with young children in terms of ethics, boundaries, right and wrong.

My 6 year old DD knows that is is wrong to steal or hurt somebody. She does not yet know that it is wrong to coerce someone into having sex with you because she is too young to have discussed these issues and does not have the maturity to process the concepts correctly.

She knows that people are not allowed to touch her if she doesn't want them to but she would be unable to defend herself against grooming. My niece who is 12 is only marginally less vulnerable.

Beachcomber Thu 29-Jul-10 14:43:09

Someguy I don't understand your last post.

SomeGuy Thu 29-Jul-10 14:46:55

Sorry I was saying that the comparable 'conviction rate' figure for 'violence against the person' is only 4%, so to say that rape is not treated seriously because it mostly happens to women and children is unlikely to be true, given that there is a lower conviction rate for violence against the person, which mostly happens to men.

Sammyuni Thu 29-Jul-10 14:50:13

He(i believe male) is comparing rape statistic of 6% conviction with violent crimes against males which occurs more often and is saying that has a conviction rate of 4%

So he is saying that conviction rates are not solely due to this:

"We have low conviction rates because rape is not treated seriously in this culture because it mostly happens to women and children."

as there are other crimes which have similar conviction rates and occur more to males. Well thats what i got from it anyway.

Beachcomber Thu 29-Jul-10 15:00:18

But violence against the person crimes encompass everything from harassment, threats to kill, infanticide, physical racial attack, domestic violence, rape, weapon possession and sexual offences to cruelty and neglect of children - so I'm not sure what you mean.

Violence against the person is a vast category which touches all sexes and ages.

mayorquimby Thu 29-Jul-10 15:02:40

out of interest beachcomber regarding your post at 14:25, how do you suggest we improve rape convictions.
"Honestly what do women want huh? If they want better rape conviction then they should be prepared to be smeared, traumatised and lied about in court right? They should be prepared to be intimately examined for evidence gathering by a male doctor right? They should be prepared to be interviewed by male police who may or may not believe rape myths right?"

The smears and examinations go a long way to help get a conviction. without them it becomes much more difficult so to forego them merely helps the accuseds defence and not the woman who is stating that she has been raped.
Being lied about in court? the accused is enttled to mount a defence, if their defence is that they didn't rape the woman it will inevitably involve claiming what she is stating is untrue.
The examinations and interrogations do not necessarily have to be performed by a male doctor or police officer so I'm not sure why you are beinging up that point.
As for the police officers believing rape myths that's complete conjecture.
should the accused have the right to only be interviewed by officers who believe their statements also?No women officers allowed to interview him in case they automatically believe the woman has been raped and so will treat the suspect in a hostile manner?

I'm honestly interested in what can be changed to make the process less traumatising for the woman involved without jeopradising the efficiency of the system or the defendants rights.

Beachcomber Thu 29-Jul-10 15:04:25

Link to 67 page document which demonstrates how vast violence against the person is.

Note lots of it involves crimes predominantly against women and children - perhaps that is why the conviction rate is so low?

SomeGuy Thu 29-Jul-10 15:08:38

The British Crime Survey counts violence against the person as wounding, assault and robbery (only), and says that 67% of victims are men; for instance 68% of victims of muggings are men.

Beachcomber Thu 29-Jul-10 15:18:30

But the police themselves clearly state that they know that rape is not treated as a priority (despite its serious nature) and that there is often carelessness in evidence gathering. The majority of the UK public believe rape myths and the evidence in expert reports suggests that the police force is no different.



I have to go out now but I will try to come back later and post the long list of things that could be done to improve the treatment of rape victims.

The very first would be a cultural shift from the idea of women in a state of permanent consent to women in a state of nonconsent unless she clearly states otherwise of her own free will.

SomeGuy Thu 29-Jul-10 15:23:00

The crimes in that document are not predominantly against women and children at all, of those offences harassment is the only one that conceivably predominantly occurs to women (I couldn't find any stats for this, this is just my suspicion) - the other offences are either specific offences relating to children or occur to men in the majority.

Beachcomber Thu 29-Jul-10 15:34:08

Just got time for number two on the list.

The police not laughing at rape victims might help somewhat in terms of convictions.


mayorquimby Thu 29-Jul-10 15:39:53

Well I'd disagree with your assertion that there is such a cultural belief or that the law reflects such a cultural belief.
The law is quite clear, the Actus reus for rape is the act of non-consensual sexual intercourse.
The mens rea is that the man is aware that the woman is not consenting or is reckless to the fact that she s not consenting.There is no requirment for the woman to explicitly state "no" or a variation of it. There is also a responsibility on the man that he must not act recklessly.
To what degree would this clear statement of her own free-will be extended? If the assumption is that women would be in a state of non-consent without clear a clear statement otherwise what would that do to stable loving relationships.
As it stands it is not assumed women are in either state constantly but are viewed with regards to the individual instance in question.

scurryfunge Thu 29-Jul-10 15:47:38

Mayorquimby, that defintion regarding mens rea relates to the old Act. The SOA 2003 means recklessness does not play a part. (unless you are not in Engalnd or Wales).

Beachcomber Thu 29-Jul-10 15:48:53

More on police attitudes.


Ok, really going out now - sorry not to address your latest post MQ.

mayorquimby Thu 29-Jul-10 16:03:06

Sorry I'm in Ireland. What's the current mens rea requirments in England then?
No worries beachcomber. interesting convo none the less.

scurryfunge Thu 29-Jul-10 16:27:59

Shameless copy and paste:

Recklessness no longer plays any part in the mens rea of rape under section 1 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 which requires an intentional penetration and that the defendant did not reasonably believe that the victim was consenting. Section 1(2) of the 2003 Act states:

“Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A [the defendant] has taken to ascertain whether B [the victim] consents.”
Only reasonable mistakes will negative mens rea

Before the enactment of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, in the contentious case of DPP v Morgan [1975] UKHL 3 (30 April 1975) the Court ruled that an ‘honest mistake’ that the victim was consenting could vitiate mens rea, even though the mistake was not reasonable.

scurryfunge Thu 29-Jul-10 16:29:28

All to do with reasonableness, MQ

mayorquimby Thu 29-Jul-10 16:32:18

Yes well we are still by and large operating off the Morgan principle. I.E. that an honest belief that the defendant was consenting will be a defence. There's no need for this belief to be reasonable however but the more unreasonable a belief is the more unlikely it is that it is honestly held.
This stands for all crimes in Ireland for which consent is a defence.

scurryfunge Thu 29-Jul-10 16:34:32

It makes sense but it seems there is a little more onus on the defendant to show what steps were taken to gain consent,which is what I like about the Act.

dittany Thu 29-Jul-10 17:43:53

I bet there wouldn't be people lining up to defend this rapist if it had been a 12 year old boy who he raped.

RealityKicksArse Thu 29-Jul-10 18:04:02

Whyever not, Dittany? If it were a 12 yo boy in the same circumstances I would feel exactly the same. What a very odd comment.

SomeGuy Thu 29-Jul-10 18:35:04

If it had been an 18-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy there'd be a sizeable contingent thinking him a very lucky lad.

scurryfunge Thu 29-Jul-10 18:44:46

What lucky for being a victim of sexual abuse? hmm

SomeGuy Thu 29-Jul-10 19:12:39

Certainly, virginity for adolescent boys is seen as worthless, and sex with women, especially older women is seen as a sign of masculinity and virility.

Sample of attitudes, and this from a 38-year-old teacher accused of having sex with a 13-year-old boy, not a teenager accused of having sex with a girl claiming to be 16:


scurryfunge Thu 29-Jul-10 19:15:07

Maybe the sizeable contingent are uninformed apologists for child sex offences then.

SomeGuy Thu 29-Jul-10 19:17:29

Maybe they are.

Regardless, the idea that a boy in this situation would be given more support than this girl is clearly wide of the mark.

ColdComfortFarm Thu 29-Jul-10 19:22:01

Really? So he was abused and called names and accused of being manipulative and much worse on a parenting website?

ColdComfortFarm Thu 29-Jul-10 19:24:01

Were there calls for him to be punished and treated like a criminal? I don't know, I haven't read the stuff, but I just wondered?

I think people would be a lot more condemnatory if the 18 year old boy had sex with a 12 year old boy.

People have to accept that we have very complicated views on sex.

And that's one of the reasons we have laws.

I have a 12 year old sat opposite me - she could certainly fake being 16 for a few hours and is definitely stupid enough/vulnerable enough to do it. And that's why it's up to me to make sure that doesn't happen. Parents/carers should be checking internet so that this doesn't happen.

SomeGuy Thu 29-Jul-10 19:35:45

I don't see any calls for this girl to be punished and treated like a criminal.

scurryfunge Thu 29-Jul-10 19:37:15

There are plenty condemning her behaviour SG

SomeGuy Thu 29-Jul-10 19:44:21

that's not the same thing now is it.

People condemn children's behaviour all the time. Parents do it several times a day 'don't do this', 'don't do that'.

If someone posted here saying 'my daughter set up a facebook account and put a false age in' (a 12-year-old would have to lie about his/her age to get an account, as you have to enter your birthday and 13 is the youngest age, due to US privacy laws), then people would say 'tell her off', 'tell her how dangerous that is', etc.

ColdComfortFarm Thu 29-Jul-10 21:01:45

FYI Someguy:
And why hasn't she been punished for lying?

where did the mum think the girl was the first time. where did the girl tell her mum she WAS, the first time.
she's quite a clever liar, isn't she.
then off she goes. what she sneaks out ? no mention of where's she'd going ?
and she takes the train. has sex. watches a film. so shes' gone for 6 hrs ?
and mum reports her missing. and then she comes home. sobs and claims all innocence.
oh please.
oh shes' a poor defencsless 12 year old girl.
no shes' not. she clever. calculating. and knew exactly what she was doing, over a period of time, that could have been weeks, even a few months.

He was the one who was raped...

Janos Thu 29-Jul-10 21:28:11

This thread and many of the attitudes displayed on it make me feel quite sick.

Horrible, just horrible.

18 year old men are poor wee souls, just children really...yet 12 year old girls are conniving, sophisticated liars.


Hmm. A friend of mine once told me that she had had sex with a boy who turned out to be 13 when she was 21 - he had looked older and been enthusiastic, indeed had instigated the sex. AFAIK she was never prosecuted or even investigated by the police, she told me that they had met, gone back to her hotel room and had sex and then afterwards he had told her his age or she found out somehow. (She told me this story about 15 years ago so I cannot remember many of the details). She felt guilty and odd about the whole business years later.
FWIW I don't think what she did was so terribly wrong; she was acting under a genuine misapprehension, she certainly didn't use any force or coercion or pressure. But I can also understand why, having found out his age, she felt bad about it.

SomeGuy Fri 30-Jul-10 01:56:10

Presumably had he been a few weeks/months younger, it would have been a very much more serious thing.

nooka Fri 30-Jul-10 07:04:35

I think that's crap really. I had a friend at university who had a 16 year old girlfriend for a while (he was 21) it was obvious that she was incredibly young (although she wasn't immature, just 16) and that the relationship was inappropriate. It was very hard to understand why he was with her, and we certainly let him know that we thought it very wrong. It has been the law that sex with someone under 16 is illegal for a long time, and if you choose (and it is after all an active choice to initiate sex) to have sex with someone very young (and 16 is very young) then you run a high and stupid risk of getting caught, and screwing your own life up and more importantly you run a high risk of screwing someone elses life up. Unless you think that having sex with someone very young is a benign act.

It's not that difficult to check someone's age - just ask to meet their parents before having sex, or a few questions might do it, as 12/13 years (in general) have very little life experience.

In this case I find it very hard to understand how an 18 year old, still at school (so generally surrounded by kids) couldn't tell the difference between someone almost a peer, and someone who would probably have been at the first year of the school he was just about to leave.

Decorhate Fri 30-Jul-10 07:34:52

I know I will be viewed as hopelessly old fashioned but I think this was "wrong" even if she was 16, though obv not illegal. When I was a teenager boys were brought up to respect girls and most of the boys I knew would have despised a boy who did something like this, regardless of the age of the girl.

Am I the only person to have wondered about a "cultural" element to this? Obv we don't know the girls background but it is not unheard for male members of certain communities to think white British girls are fair game simply because they dress less conservatively & have more freedom than girls from their own community.

nooka Fri 30-Jul-10 08:12:44

Sorry SGB that came out a bit strong. I was sexually assaulted in a park when I was about 12 by a man who was probably at most in his early 20s, so this feels a bit close to home I guess. I'm just fairly horrified by all the "poor boy" posts earlier in the thread. Oh, and I do think that older women having sex with very underage boys is just as damaging to the victim as men having sex with very underage girls. There is a very odd double standard at work there.

I'm not sure that consensual sex, with someone close to you in age, actually is that terrible a thing just because you're young. I think maybe that more damage might be done by the fuss and scandal that follows discovery.

Janos Fri 30-Jul-10 15:08:23

Agreed nooka.

And 18 is not so young after all. A 21 year was jailed up here in Scotland for child porn offences - including offences against girls who were around the same age as the girl in this particular case.

I don't buy the 'he couldn't tell her age' defence at all tbh and am saddened so many people jump on this as an excuse.

Oblomov Fri 30-Jul-10 15:14:25

Coldcomfort, if you're going to quote me, please make sure you make it clear its me. and not lump me in with other posters saying totally different things.
I stand by everything i have said. i never said she deserved to be raped. I said she has to be held responsible for some of her actions.

she wasn't raped in the park, on a one off day, by somebody she'd never met before. she has consensual sex with someone that she talked to daily.
she choose to do this every day for 3 months.

she lied about her age and must have lied many many times. this doesn't mean she deserved to be raped. i never said she did. but she lied. many times. can you dispute that ?

Oblomov Fri 30-Jul-10 15:28:31

"In this case I find it very hard to understand how an 18 year old, still at school (so generally surrounded by kids) couldn't tell the difference between someone almost a peer, and someone who would probably have been at the first year of the school he was just about to leave."
Actually, until this point, i thought that he had reasonable grounds to not know her true age. But Nooka's comment has hit home with me. When I was in Sixth form, doing my a levels, the difference between even , say my lower sixth and the year 5's was huge.

dittany Fri 30-Jul-10 18:41:03

"she wasn't raped in the park, on a one off day, by somebody she'd never met before. she has consensual sex with someone that she talked to daily."

She was raped. 12 year olds can't consent to sex. Please stop saying things like this Oblomov. It's disgusting.

Dittany: are you saying that 12 year olds have no choice and no agency? And that they couldn't possibly have sexual feelings or want to act on them?
I am not AT ALL saying that it's fine and dandy for people to have sex at 12, or for adults to have sex with adolescents, but I think it is important to acknowledge that people who are under 16 but who have achieved a significant degree of physical development are going to be thinking about sex, starting to flirt etc. So attention from others may not be horrifying and distressing to them in the same way that lustful attention would be incomprehensibly frightening to an 8 year old.

SomeGuy Fri 30-Jul-10 19:43:45

12-year-olds can consent to sex, they are (generally) not mute or incapable of thought.

The law in this country says that the consent is invalid, but that's not the same thing at all.

If you unknowingly buy stolen goods, while you don't acquire legal title to them, you certainly haven't committed a crime, and no-one would consider that you were wicked or immoral for let's say buying a bicycle on ebay that turned out to be stolen, if there were no indications that the seller was a crook.

The commercial transaction would be invalid, and you would be required to return the bicycle to its true owner, but you wouldn't be getting a criminal record for that.

It's a little silly to say that a 12-year-old 'cannot' consent to sex, where someone one day older can. You could have a child adopted from with inaccurate birth records, and be prosecuted on the basis of documents saying 'DOB August 1st 1997', investigate and discover that it was actually 'DOB July 1st 1997' and be facing a completely different charge. It's entirely arbitrary - 'you can't consent to sex, you are 12 years 364 days, but your friend, 13 years and 1 day can'.

dittany Fri 30-Jul-10 20:27:27

"12-year-olds can consent to sex, they are (generally) not mute or incapable of thought."

Do you realise what you're saying? Think about it for longer than two seconds.

I can't believe this thread.

SomeGuy Fri 30-Jul-10 20:51:43

Do I realise what I'm saying? Well yes. A child of 12 years and 364 days is no different mentally, physically, whatever than one of 13 years and 0 days. There's nothing magic about that extra day.

dittany Fri 30-Jul-10 21:04:27

Sorry, are you arguing that 13 year olds can consent to sex?

WTF is going on on this thread?

Just as a small reminder - sex with anybody under 16 is illegal.

SomeGuy Fri 30-Jul-10 21:13:49

do you think 13 year olds don't decide to have sex? Are their bodies being manipulated by invisible marionette strings?

Are you saying those under-16-year-olds getting pregnant (about 10,000 or so a year) have all been raped? That all they didn't want to have sex.

consent - 'to permit, approve, or agree; comply or yield '

Mingg Fri 30-Jul-10 21:20:52

Agree with you someguy

dittany Fri 30-Jul-10 21:31:48

This is just the most disgusting thread I've ever seen on Mumsnet.

Do you think they've got it right in Afghanistan Someguy? It's legal to fuck 12 year olds there.

scurryfunge Fri 30-Jul-10 21:43:59

SG, 12 year olds cannot consent to sex....it is complete bollocks to suggest that they are mature enough. They do not have the freedom or capacity to consent. I don't see why you are arguing that they may have.

It does not matter what they say or do, they cannot consent.

Mingg Fri 30-Jul-10 21:59:36

12 year olds cannot consent in law and having sex with under 16 year old is illegal. Yet it happens and kids do consent and do have sex. If two 12 year olds had sex and both said they consented who would have raped who?

StayFrosty Fri 30-Jul-10 22:06:04

but this case wasn't two children having sex with each other. this was an adult having sex with a child, i cannot believe there are people trying to make out it's ok.

scurryfunge Fri 30-Jul-10 22:08:43

Mingg, if two 12 year olds have sex then they both commit offences against eachother though it is unlikely that either would be prosecuted.

This incident is about an adult having sex with a child.

dittany Fri 30-Jul-10 22:09:25

They're trying really hard as well.

I was joking about Afghanistan, but I'd ask anybody who feels sorry for this rapist whether they think they've got the law right there.

Mingg Fri 30-Jul-10 22:10:36

No, I am asking a genuine question. In law 12 year old cannot consent so if there were two twelve year olds having sex to which both consented but obviously couldn't who would have raped who?

scurryfunge Fri 30-Jul-10 22:13:15

Mingg, they both commit offences and they are both victims too.....there would not be a prosecution.

Mingg Fri 30-Jul-10 22:13:15

Scurry x-post, my question wasn't about this case it was a general question.

WinkyWinkola Fri 30-Jul-10 22:18:33

Someguy, the point is that 13 year olds don't really know what they're getting themselves into regarding sex, however precocious they might seem. They might want sex whatever. I mean, children have sexual feelings but it doesn't mean that they're capable of dealing with all the complications it brings.

That is why the law is there to protect them. They might think they know everything - a lot of teenagers do - but they really don't. And teens want to take drugs, they might want to steal cars, they might want to do all sorts of things but the law is there to stop that. And also to protect those who don't necessarily understand the ramifications of what they're getting into.

IMO, if you have to ask to check how old someone is before you have sex with them, then I'd assume they were too young.

I too am shock at this thread.

Mingg Fri 30-Jul-10 22:18:55

Yes I suppose you are right. Yet the age for criminal liability is 10 so in theory both could get prosecuted

SomeGuy Fri 30-Jul-10 22:36:29

'If you have to ask to check'? But what if you have already checked. If someone says they are 16, you would be reasonable to assume that is the truth, unless something came up to the contrary.

WinkyWinkola Fri 30-Jul-10 22:39:14

But why would you ask if you had any doubts? Checking does not mean taking someone's word for it especially a child's.

And people say all sorts. Young girls like to impress by making people think they're older. It doesn't mean they are older.

If you have to ask, you have doubts and therefore should stay away and take responsibility as an adult. And not take advantage of young girls.

Janos Fri 30-Jul-10 22:45:53

I'm with you winkywinkola and dittany.

You know my first reaction when I read about this case was - oh yeah, typical case of blame the victim.

The police themselves describe him as a predator but no, apparently people on here know best.

I refer people again to the Andrew Byrne case.

Utterly, utterly depressing, and on here of all places.

scurryfunge Fri 30-Jul-10 22:48:48

Janos, there is a frightening amount of people who cannot see the situation for what it is....an adult having sex with a child.

WinkyWinkola Fri 30-Jul-10 22:51:36

It really bothers me too that people are trying to defend a man having sex with a child because the child said she was older, appeared knowing etc.

Excuses, excuses.

The responsibility lies with the adult. Always. Always. Always.

Because that's what being an adult means - taking responsibility for one's actions.

grapeandlemon Fri 30-Jul-10 23:13:15

Some of the comments on this thread are truly disgusting. I think the most revolting comment being that someone felt he was the one who had been raped.

Truly sickening. She was twelve ffs.

HerBeatitude Fri 30-Jul-10 23:15:07

It is pretty typical that all the rape apologists are demanding a higher level of responsibility for her actions from the 12 year old girl, than from the 18 year old man. I do wish people would stop saying she had consensual sex. She didn’t, she made it quite clear that she hadn’t wanted to lose her virginity in the circumstances in which she lost it. It's pretty obvious that she was coerced into sex, as is normal in our society.

The problem here as I see it, is that for a boy / man to coerce a girl/ woman into sex is so normal and unexceptional, that when you have a situation where there might be some confusion as to ages etc., you have a danger that for once, boys and men may actually be held accountable for the habitual coercion that they employ to get sex from girls or women who may not actually want to go the whole hog, but who find themselves out of their depth because the man or boy they are with, is determined to have sex and not that bothered if the girl or womna he is with, doesn't want to.

Usually when that happens, the girl or woman concerned simply accepts the fact that she's had sex she didn't want and tries to put it behind her. If this girl had indeed been 16 as she said she was, she would, like thousands of other girls, simply have had to put up with the fact that a man had fucked her when she didn't really want him to; but because she was 12, she actually had recourse to the criminal justice system and she doesn't have to rationalise having been made to have sex she didn't want.

For once, a man coercing a girl into sex has been punished (though not particularly heavily) for that coercion. Well bloody hell, what a fucking outrage eh? What next? Are all the other uppity women out ther going to start expecting men to not manipulate or coerce them into having sex they don’t want? That would be ... well... a total overturning of sexual relations, wouldn't it. Can't have that. hmm

dittany Fri 30-Jul-10 23:23:11

Good post HerBeatitude. I think you've nailed it.

People didn't even have a problem with this guy targeting her randomly and then sending her porno pictures of himself. Apparently that's just something 16 year old girls have to put up with.

SomeGuy Sat 31-Jul-10 00:07:59

'Targeting her randomly'

Is that how we define an 18-year-old student sending a Facebook friend request to an apparently 16-year-old student?

Yeah it's all so black and white - rape apologism clearly; evidently men shouldn't be allowed to chat up women at all, if we're not apologising for rape we're coercing women into having sex they don't want.

Never mind that she spent nearly a year chatting with this guy on the phone and webcams, claiming she was of legal age, and then had sex as a 'willing participant', it's all coercion from him, clearly.

And obviously him buying her an adult ticket was just a cunning ruse because he anticipated that when she got home she'd tell her mother and he'd spend the next three months in prison on remand.

Obviously the next time a boy finds a 16-year-old girl on facebook, he should ask for a copy of her driving licence before going any further.

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 00:14:33

FFS this girl was 12. Why aren't you able to get that into your head?

Did you read what the police had to say about him - that he was a predator? Why are you so keen to defend this scumbag?

Do you think that Afghanistan has its laws correct, in the fact that it is legal for men to have sex with 12 year old girls there Someguy?

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 00:17:35

"Obviously the next time a boy finds a 16-year-old girl on facebook, he should ask for a copy of her driving licence before going any further."

Yes it's totally outrageous that we could expect men to conduct even the most basic checks in order to ensure they don't rape 12 year olds. Or how about even more simple, don't target young girls on Facebook with groomign and porno photos. I can see why you're being sarcastic about that.

Your posts are disgusting.

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 00:20:47

Clearly 12 year old female rape victims are just collateral damage in the drive for men to be able to stick their penises where they want. Nothing should get away with that.

HerBeatitude is right. The outrage here is because a male who coerced a young female, which is common, actually had to account for his actions - although he didn't even really, he didn't even get sent to prison for what he did.

I'm just going to repeat myself. What is being said on this thread is completely unbelievable. Barbarism is alive and well and living in the UK.

SomeGuy Sat 31-Jul-10 00:28:30

Why do you talk such shit? The age of consent in Afghanistan is 16, not 12. It's 13 in Spain, 12 in Mexico, 14 in Germany. You can't invoke the spectre of Afghanistan to support your arguments.

It's the police's job to say the person they are prosecuting is an evil criminal, that's how the legal system works. They are not going to stand up and say 'M'lud, I don't think we should be prosecuting this chap, he's actually an awfully nice guy'

It's the judge's job to decide between two polarised arguments and come to a decision, and the judge said:

"It doesn't seem to me to be fair to call you a predator or you groomed her."

"I think it is right to say she could pass for a 16-year-old and able to speak relatively maturely."

It's nice that things are so clear in your world, and that you can condemn him even for the initial act of adding (apparently) a teenager as a Facebook. Like I said, obviously he should demand she send him a birth certificate.

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 00:44:50

It's scary that you even have that kind of information at your fingertips. Why do you care about something like that? Why would you want to know the ages of consent in various countries? How old are you?

Children are married off to old men in Afghanistan - it happens all the time. The culture there approves of institutional child sexual rape of girls. It appears that there is a similar view here, that an injustice is done if an 18 year old rapist is held accountable for the rape he committed against a 12 year old girl.

So I'll ask again. Do you think that countries whose age of consent is 12 have got the right idea?

"It's the judge's job to decide between two polarised arguments and come to a decision, and the judge said:"

Not really up on the law are you? That's a jury's job. A judge's job is to administer justice and inflict proper punishments on the guilty.

It's nice that in your world a lot judges are totally shit at punishing rapists, and even when there are guilty verdicts, regularly find ways to mitigate them for the rapists and instead attack their victims. It gives you the opportunity to appeal to their authority to bolster your barbaric arguments. Unfortunately the authority in this case has no credibility given that judges and the legal system have been unable to address rape in our society or hold any but a handful of rapists accountable for their crimes.

SomeGuy Sat 31-Jul-10 01:05:39

You really are beyond parody.

You started ranting on about the age of consent in Afghanistan, so I looked it up. It's not rocket science. 'Information at my finger tips'. What the fuck do you think the internet is?

No scratch that, you know perfectly well that typing "age of consent afghanistan" into google would give access to the information; it just suits your purposes to make disgusting comments implying that I am some sort of age of consent shopper or paedophile. You really have no shame.

It's not sufficient for you to come out with a statement along the lines of 'he should have realised when he met her in person that she was only 12' (even though the only available evidence states that she looked older), you're determined to go the whole hog and make out that every act he took was that of an evil grooming rapist, regardless of the fact that 12-year-olds can't even register on Facebook, and that he can't possibly have known her age initially; nuances don't matter because everything is black and white in dittanyland.

nooka Sat 31-Jul-10 02:52:00

I think the "I had no idea that children lie about their age" is an absurd defense from an 18 year old. Children lie about their age all the time. The defendant almost certainly did so himself only a few years ago, to buy alcohol or cigarettes or get into a club or see a film underage, and the likelihood is that most or all of his friends dd to. So taking the fact that she presented herself as 16 at face value was very stupid to say the least. And of course once a lie has been accepted it's incredibly difficult to back down. Many adolescent girls fantasize about going out with older boys, who can take them to places they can't access alone, might drive or have money for nice things etc, and they might well be scared to come out and say "actually I'm 12".

Totally agree with HB. In surveys many many girls say that they were coerced into their first sexual experience, and generally the younger they were at the time, the less they enjoyed having sex and the more likely they are to say that they didn't really want to do it. There is a significant power difference between a 12 year old and a 18 year old (size alone is likely to be a factor, but also confidence and experience too) and that alone woudl be deeply worrying.

If either of these children were mine I would be devastated. For a dd because they had deceived me, got herself into a terrible situation, and probably had terrible memories and scars to carry forward for the rest of her life. For a ds because they had behaved despicably. For both because somewhere along the line something had gone wrong with my parenting, and they had to live with the consequences. However with a ds I'd have to live with the additional knowledge that they had terribly wronged a child (and if they took no responsibility/had no remorse then that would be even worse).

ravenAK Sat 31-Jul-10 02:57:48

'People didn't even have a problem with this guy targeting her randomly and then sending her porno pictures of himself. Apparently that's just something 16 year old girls have to put up with.'

FB works by encouraging you to add 'friends of friends'. It's much more likely that he simply 'profile hopped', sending friend requests out to every nice-looking '16 year old' whose picture caught his eye.

If you use FB, whether you're 12, 16, or 90, then yes, you do have to 'put up' with the odd random friend request.

You don't have to accept them; you can flag them as 'I don't know this person'. & you can report any unwanted material you're sent, whether the sender is a friend or not.

I generally allow 'random' friend requests, personally. (Most of the ones I get turn out to be from someone who's into dh's band). If I then got sent rude pictures, I'd either laugh or report them, depending on what it was, & probably delete the 'friend' - because I'm a robust & reasonably unshockable old lag where the internet is concerned.

This is why children shouldn't be using networking sites without supervision.

I don't actually much like the idea of 16-18 year olds sending each other obscene photographs of themselves, tbh, although I'm not sure how one would go about stopping it.

But, well, it's not something 16 year old, or 12 year old, girls have to 'put up with'.
The first thing you teach 'em before you let them online is that you don't accept random friend requests...

I also strongly suspect that - 'random' friend requests being what they are, if she'd at any point said 'Oh by the way - I'm really only 12. Can we still be friends?' - he'd've deleted her sharpish & pursued someone else.

It's perfectly possible to condemn the rapist's behaviour without also needing to make a calculating paedophile of him, & it's perfectly possible to say that the girl behaved foolishly/lacked supervision without making her in any way responsible for her rape.

HerBeatitude Sat 31-Jul-10 08:19:52

"if we're not apologising for rape we're coercing women into having sex they don't want."

Someguy, are you denying that coercive sex is pretty normal in our society? (1 in 4 women are victims of sexual assault or rape in their lifetime and yet most of them don't tell anyone about it - the idea that they have recourse to law to stop this happening to them, is the furthest thing from their minds, because it doesn't occur to them that it is a matter for the law.)

Of all my friends, now in our forties, only one of them had non-coercive sex as her first sexual experience. All of us for the first few times, did not want to have the sex we had. The boys/ men we were with, did want it, so it happened. Not one of us went to the police, or our parents, or even our friends. We just put it down to experience, blamed ourselves for putting ourselves in a position where a man could force us to ahve sex we didn't want, and accepted the fact that there's nothing we can do about it.In some cases we continued going out with the men/ boys who had coerced us into unwanted sex, because we had been brought up with the rape myth that as long as he didn't actually hit you, it wasn't really rape and that's just how sex was - men are moer forceful than women and if we'd really fought him off (not something girls are trained to do), then he'd have stopped... wouldn't he? And anyway, apart from sticking his dick into us when we don't want him to, he's quite nice really.

Are you actively denying that that's a reality and quite a common experience for thousands of girls and women? I'm not saying it's the experience of everyone, just for far too many girls, for me to be comfortable that we're getting teenage sexual relations right (not to mention adult ones).

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 10:11:25

"You really have no shame."

Shame Someguy? Shameless is stating that 12 and 13 year olds consent to sex. It's the most disgraceful thing I've seen. It is fucking disgusting to bolster that argument with a "oh it's legal to have sex with a 12 year old in Spain". Once again, why would you even think along those lines?

You won't answer my question if you think that countries which have an age of consent of 12 are correct. I assume you think they are because you've already said that 12 year olds can consent to sex.

As for what I'm "determined" to do - the police officers who investigated this thread said this man was a predator and charged him with grooming as well as rape. And just because that charge in court didn't stick you've been able to grab that and pretend that this bloke did nothing wrong and he was just "unlucky". Well tough shit, he's a rapist and the people who came into contact with him (well apart from his defense team and a sexist judge) thought the same thing and judged that he'd planned his attack. Why don't you think about that instead of scrabbling around to find excuses for a child predator?

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 10:26:06

Guess there are two views, one is that 12 year old girls shouldn't get raped and if people do rape them they should be punished and excuses not made for them, and the second view, that if oops! an 18 year old man, sticks his penis in the wrong place, he shouldn't be given a hard time for it, raped 12 year old girl, notwithstanding.

Would people accept a 28 year old man making the same excuse? After all if it's so impossible to spot a 12 year old then there's no reasons why 28 year olds, 38 year olds, or 48 year olds should be any better at it. Those 12 year old girls had better just watch out.

grapeandlemon Sat 31-Jul-10 10:44:29

"Would people accept a 28 year old man making the same excuse? After all if it's so impossible to spot a 12 year old then there's no reasons why 28 year olds, 38 year olds, or 48 year olds should be any better at it. "

Spot on. Absolutely spot on.

KarmaAngel Sat 31-Jul-10 11:05:58

I really feel for the poor lad, his life is ruined now. As for not being able to pass for 16, when my DSD was 12 she could easily pass for 17. Now she is 17 she looks younger because she doesn't feel the need to dress older. I met my DH when I was 16 and he was 20. It could have been possible I was younger, he didn't check or ask to see my birth certificate. hmm

I think the girl should be punished for ruining the lad's life!

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 11:07:14

A lot of this thread reminds me of that case recently where an 8yo was in court and two 10yo were accused of rape, and after a long day of hard questioning by the defence council she started to agree with everything the defence council said, and when the defence council asked if she'd made it up she nodded.

Cue headlines in all the media and threads on here saying why hasn't the case been dropped, she's a liar, she wanted sex, those poor boys.

The boys were eventually found guilty of attempted rape and after that, after the guilty verdict, there were still articles saying that the sex was consensual, the girl has led them on, that she was a manipulative lair. After the guilty verdict. And not a guilty verdict because of her age - it was (attempted) "rape rape" (as whoopie goldberg would have it).

I don't understand this attitude at all. On here people were arguing that an 8yo was very likely to go out of her way to coerce innocent older boys into sex. And on here this 12yo is being painted as a manipulative liar who got what she wanted and then turned on the male, making this accusation maliciously. She's 12 FGS.

I also agree with whoever said earlier, that if this was a 12 year old boy who had met up with a man he met on facebook and been buggered in a park, there may be a different response.

KarmaAngel Sat 31-Jul-10 11:08:24

Ok clearly the thread has moved on somewhat an d I should have read it all first. blush Off to read the rest before commenting again.

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 11:09:07

Karma angel

"Thing is girls have always "passed" for older than they are. I was getting served in the pub at 14/15.

men know this.

They know that a girl who looks 21 might well be 17, a girl who looks 18 might well be 15, and a girl who looks 16 is almost certainly underage. "

Your own post about your DD would seem to agree with this.

But you think this 12yo should be punished? What punishment do you think would be appropriate?

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 11:13:41

Burning always worked for wayward women in the past.

Assuming we believe that 12 year old girls are women now and hence fuckable/rapeable/burnable.

maryz Sat 31-Jul-10 11:16:46

I don't understand how in the other case the 10 year old boys can be convicted of the attempted rape of a 10 year old, whereas a 12 year old can't give consent to sex, and therefore it is statutory rape whether or not the man thought she was 16, or not.

I don't know enough about the original case to comment, but it does seem to me that the law is different for boys and girls. No 10 year old girl would be convicted of the attempted rape of an 8 year old boy, I wouldn't have thought.

Also, I think the parents who allowed their 12 year old daughter to have unchecked access to facebook should be held responsible.

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 11:17:43

Why can't grown men be expected to have the nous to know, that girls are often younger than they appear? Because they do know, don't they. They just pretend they don't.

Maybe people's perceptions are (deliberately?) skewed by something. Some kind of desire to make girls older than they are?

If 12yo girls look 16, and 16yo look 20, and 20yo look 25, then clearly the scale is wrong.

As then that is what 12yo girls look like. In real life. What ideas are people comparing these girls to? Is it that if a girl has a short skirt then she "looks 16"?

I don't get this aspect TBH.

Is it that if young girls don't want to be targetted by older men, they must go around dressed like an amish person or something?

It's not that these girls have older faces, is it. Or older bodies. Is it about clothing/makeup? This is just all about rape myths at work - that if a female is dressed in a certain way then she's "up for it".

KarmaAngel Sat 31-Jul-10 11:17:59

Punished by her parents definitely. Sorry should have put that in.

Yes men know girls are usually younger than they say they are. But unless the girl actually looks really young most would assume she was about 15 at the youngest.

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 11:21:03

Rape means penetration by a penis. The law is different for rapists and attempted rapists, not boys and girls.

If it had been a 12 year old boy who had been raped rather than a 12 year old girl, the 18 year old boy would still have been prosecuted. Boys and girls are equally protected under the law.

"No 10 year old girl would be convicted of the attempted rape of an 8 year old boy, I wouldn't have thought."

No, because it's not physically possible for a 10 year old girl to rape an 8 year old boy. If a girl had acted as an accomplice to a rapist of an 8 year old boy, she could also have been prosecuted.

You're trying to prove bias where none exists. Do you think it was wrong to prosecute this rapist maryz?

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 11:22:58

"I don't understand how in the other case the 10 year old boys can be convicted of the attempted rape of a 10 year old, whereas a 12 year old can't give consent to sex, and therefore it is statutory rape whether or not the man thought she was 16, or not."

The age difference. The girl in the first case was 8 and the boys 10. So none could consent. So in the case that "consensual" sexual activity took place, there would be no prosecution. The reason there was a prosecution was that the 8yo was not consenting (in law or in practice). This case, the girl was 12 and the man 18, he is an adult who has had sex with a child, so there is a prosection.

"I don't know enough about the original case to comment, but it does seem to me that the law is different for boys and girls. No 10 year old girl would be convicted of the attempted rape of an 8 year old boy, I wouldn't have thought."

hmm if a 10 yr old girl violently sexually assaulted an 8yo boy, of course action would be taken.

maryz Sat 31-Jul-10 11:28:42

I think he had to be prosecuted because that is the law. But I also think that boys should be warned much more about this. And I think that girls who deliberately lie about their age should have some kind of sanction against them.

I think the law in England is better (I think, though I stand to be corrected) that there is some type of 3-year age gap thing, where if a boy of 17 has sex with a girl of 15 he can't be prosecuted). Here in Ireland there was a boy of 17 prosecuted and convicted for statutory rape having had sex with his 15 year old girlfriend. There was less than 2 years between them, it was consensual, the girl's parents pushed for prosecution.

You are right about the rape. But if I had said "No 10 year old girl would be convicted of the sexual assault of an 8 year old boy, I wouldn't have thought.", does that make sense?

I seem my daughter's 14 year old friends going out to discos, and I fear for the boys who meet them, to be honest. Some of them do use boys, and the boys of 16/17 are just too stupid to cope with it all.

Janos Sat 31-Jul-10 11:30:42

What a world we live in when women (presumably ault, intelligent, educated women) are lining up to defend this man (oh sorry, 'boy' hmm).

This thread really does plumb the depths.

As for the age thing. I was a rather naive and unworldly eighteen year old and I sure as hell had NO problem spotting 12 year olds!

Janos Sat 31-Jul-10 11:31:19

ault = adult

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 11:34:20

Don't know were to go with that last post TBH.

Maybe the govt were right, and all females, from puberty to grave, are malicious sexual predators, who zealously go about ruining the lives of innocent males by leading them on and making them have sex and then making up lies for the police.

How does that tie in with the stats I wonder? Is it really true that millions of men are being sexually assaulted by women all teh time, and the rape and sexual assault of females actually isn't a problem, as they're all lying?

It's starting to look that way.

An 18 yo man has sex with a 12 yo child and apparently he is the one who has been mistreated.

Two 10yo males violently sexual assault an 8yo girl and apparently they have been led on by a girl who knows exactly what she's doing, then she lies about it.

This thread is making me very sad.

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 11:37:09

"I seem my daughter's 14 year old friends going out to discos, and I fear for the boys who meet them, to be honest."

I just don't know what to do with this comment, I really don't.

ladysybil Sat 31-Jul-10 11:37:59

Janos, you must be psychic then.

I occasionally run into the girls who were in ds's primary class, so I KNOW EXACTLY HOW OLD THEY ARE. Yet they still look over 16 in quite a few cases, andi find myself chatting to them as if they were. Its not the same with the boys. the still look exactly the same babyfaced, but taller. at this time in the school year, they are all bar one 13.

Janos Sat 31-Jul-10 11:41:18

It's incredibly sad ISNT, not to mention thoroughly disturbing.

No wonder adult victims of rape are treated so shabbily when even young girls are regarded as having some level of culpability for being raped angry

I simply can't believe people are defending this...I just can't...There aren't the words to express how I feel sad

maryz Sat 31-Jul-10 11:42:41

My reason for fear ISNT, is that in Ireland if my 16 year old son sleeps with his 16 year old girlfriend (who is 1 day younger than him), he can be prosecuted for statutory rape, put in jail, put on a sex offenders register, and have the rest of his life ruined.

The boys simply don't seem to understand that.

And I am not referring to the original case at all in this - I am simply saying that sometimes things aren't black and white.

I am certainly not blaming the girl, and if you read my posts properly you will see that. In the first case I think her parents should take some blame though. And my comment about girls/boys is that I feel the law should be clarified re the fact that 10 years olds are legally fit to be convicted of adult crimes, but 12 year olds can't give consent to sex.

I am, I repeat, not defending a man having sex with a child. I am talking about the law (which here in Ireland, I feel is very unfair on boys).

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 11:43:32

Is there some kind of idea that as soon as a girl passes puberty, she "must be over 16"?

Because if a female looks physically ready for sex, then she must legally be so?

If people are thinking that 12 and 13 yo look 16, then what needs adjusting is surely peoples preconceptions of what a 12/13 yo looks like. Not an acceptance that if older men have sex with them it's fine because everyones perceptions of age are up the spout.

Maybe men need a "think 25" message, like with buying alcohol.

Janos Sat 31-Jul-10 11:45:42

lady sybil - sorry, not following you there.

I said I had no problem telling how old people were at that age (I'm now 35) and I didn't. Nothing to do with being psychic.

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 11:47:59

"My reason for fear ISNT, is that in Ireland if my 16 year old son sleeps with his 16 year old girlfriend (who is 1 day younger than him), he can be prosecuted for statutory rape"

Really? What's the age of consent in Ireland? Is there a different age of consent for boys and girls? Sorry I'm not following this.

Janos Sat 31-Jul-10 11:55:29

ISNT - there are of course men who deliberately target girls of that age, groom them, and hide behind this 'oh but I thought she was older'.

They like that fact that younger girls have less experience, are unsure about boundaries etc because they can be more easily exploited/coerced. And if the girl comes away from the experience feeling violated/uncomfortable/disturbed then that's just too bad, isn't it? And anyway it's her own fault really for being young and attractive.

And then of course they get away with it because people just accept 'that's what men are like'.

maryz Sat 31-Jul-10 11:56:21

The age of consent in Ireland is 17, but according to the most recent case it should be applied to girls, not to boys, because, according to the judge "the consequences are more severe for the girl". So a boy of any age can be prosecuted for statutory rape of a girl under 17, not the other way around.

As far as I can see, what happens is that a consensual relationship between two teenagers is discovered by the girl's parents, who insist on a prosecution. This happens not infrequently here. I feel in that case, then yes the girl should take some of the responsibility.

And please read my messages - I am not saying the first case shouldn't have been prosecuted. I am, however, saying that the 12 year old, via facebook at least, told him she was 16. Her parents should have been keeping an eye on her facebook and should bear some responsibility for not knowing what was going on.

A number of dd's friends went to an over 21 night club recently, by the way, were let in by bouncers, and bought drink. They are 14/15. Any men meeting them couldn't have known they were underage.

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 11:58:07

maryz also there is no "3 year rule". In the UK anyone who has sex with anyone under 16 has comitted an offense. It is up to the prosecutor whether to pursue a prosecution. In a case where 2 15yo are in a sexual relationship, and it comes to the attention of the authorities, the prosecutor usually decides that it's not in the public interest to prosecute.

In fact, there have been many threads on here with people at their wits end with their underage daughters, who are in relationships with older men, and they can't do anything about it, and SS and the police are not inclined to assist.

If prosecutions happen more readily in Ireland, then that is due to the stance of the prosecutors, not because the law is different, AFAIK.

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 11:58:21

"My reason for fear ISNT, is that in Ireland if my 16 year old son sleeps with his 16 year old girlfriend (who is 1 day younger than him), he can be prosecuted for statutory rape, put in jail, put on a sex offenders register, and have the rest of his life ruined.

The boys simply don't seem to understand that."

That's a problem with the boys then isn't it? Their parents obviously aren't explaining to them properly that they musn't commit sex crimes. After all your sixteen year old son doens't have a "right" to penetrate his girlfriend, not if it's illegal. Does he not understand that he musn't do things that are against the law?

Anyway, please feel free to link to news stories about poor innocent Irish boys who were sent to prison because they just didn't know they weren't supposed to commit sex crimes. I"m sure there must be many of them, given your "fear".

ladysybil Sat 31-Jul-10 12:00:03

i repeat janos, you must be psyhic. i ceratinly cant tell the difference between some 12 year olds and 16 year olds. and i'm 37.

I havent beenon this thread for a while, but i dont think anyone has defended the boy/man at all. at least not early in the thread. What he did was wrong, and the rule book should be thrown at him, but that doesnt mean that he is to be condemned as an evil kiddie fiddler. some compassion for his plight is a sign that mumsnetters are human beings and not a lynching mob.

as for the girl, i dont believe anyone can reasonably blame her, but neither is she a little victim in all this. but she is twelve, and as a society, we have decided, rightly so imo, that a twelve year old is a child and needs to be treated as one

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 12:00:55

"Is there some kind of idea that as soon as a girl passes puberty, she "must be over 16"?"

I think this is it. If some bloke decides he wants to fuck a female, the logic goes, she's fuckable, therefore she must be sixteen, because nothing men do to girls or women is criminal.

"Because if a female looks physically ready for sex, then she must legally be so?"

Men must be allowed to take what they want. 12 year old girls just have to watch out. If they've been deemed fuckable by a man, that means they must be over sixteen, even if the reality is completely different.

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 12:01:50

"The age of consent in Ireland is 17, but according to the most recent case it should be applied to girls, not to boys, because, according to the judge "the consequences are more severe for the girl"."

That's a matter for the Irish legislature, and it certainly sounds unfair to me. However, maybe the thinking is that the consequences are more severe as abortion is illegal, in which case that seems to make more sense.

TBH thinking of it like that, it seems pretty crappy for both boys and girls. That's a consequence of a legislature highly influenced by religion, I guess.

maryz Sat 31-Jul-10 12:03:25

Oh, I give up. You obviously aren't interested in listening to what I have to say.

I repeat, I am not defending any men having sex with 12 year olds.

I am saying that if a 16 year old boy can be classified as a rapist because he sleeps with his willing 16 year old girlfriend, then why can she not be prosecuted because she has "sexually assaulted" her 16 year old boyfriend.

Just because boys have penises they are automatically assumed to be the instigator of sex. I don't believe that is always the case. I believe that in at least some cases the sex is by agreement.

I will find the cases and link in a bit. It is hard to find them on the net though, because they are "children" so reporting is limited, but there have been two high profile cases recently where 17 year olds have ended up in jail. I will look in a bit when I have time.

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 12:03:49

Every woman who claims she is "fearful" for men and boys becasue they might get held accountable for criminal behaviour when it is girls and women who are routinely being sexually assaulted and raped by that group, is a traitor to women and girls.

"i ceratinly cant tell the difference between some 12 year olds and 16 year olds. and i'm 37."

I think it gets harder when you get older. I certainly could tell who was younger than me when I was 18, particularly a 12 year old given that I would have been a full half of their life older than them. I don't buy that any 18 year old can't spot a 12 year old.

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 12:05:10

"I am saying that if a 16 year old boy can be classified as a rapist because he sleeps with his willing 16 year old girlfriend, then why can she not be prosecuted because she has "sexually assaulted" her 16 year old boyfriend."

Give us an example please. This must be happening a lot in Ireland given your "fear".

maryz Sat 31-Jul-10 12:05:48

FGS dittany, can't we be fearful for our boys at all? What if a 16 year old boy ends up having a relationship with a 35 year old woman. As the mother of a boy can't I be afraid for him? That is a ridiculous generalisation.

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 12:06:26

I don't understand this at all.

Everyone knows the females "look older" than they are. So people need to change the way they perceive age of children, as the way they are perceiving it at the moment is obviously incorrect.

When I see a group of teenaged girls in teh high street on a weekend, I am well aware that I have no idea how old they are. If someone made me guess, I would also be aware that however old I thought they were, I'd need to knock a few years off, and even then I'd probably be guessing too old.

Surely everyone knows this? it's strangely just men who want to have sex with underage girls who lose this mechanism of rational thinking.

I'm sure I have read of men claiming they had no idea that someone was under 16, when she was in school uniform. I think the idea was that she must be at a school with uniform in the sixth form, even though there weren't any, and everyone went "oh well then, fair enough". Sorry no links...

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 12:08:40

But that's not what you were afraid of Mary. You said you were afraid that boys might commit criminal acts against girls because they just don't understand they're wrong and then be held accountable for them.

Anybody who commits a criminal act should be punished.

If you're scared your son might commit crimes you shoudl be giving him a moral education, not thinking it's unfair that he would be punished if he committed them.

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 12:10:50

maryz this case was in teh UK.

i think that you would need a different thread to talk about the laws surrounding sex and age and things in Ireland, as things are so different there. For eg what the judge said about "the consequences being more serious for girls" only starts to make sense if you know that abortion is illegal in Ireland. it's a completely different culture and I think a different discussion.

Sammyuni Sat 31-Jul-10 12:48:25

Simply becoming 18 does not suddenly make someone some age spotting guru. There are girls that are younger than the age they say but they do look that age sure in most cases you might be able to guess they are younger based on behaviour alone but not everyone is the same and there are those who act older than their years.

I really don't think this is some malicious child hunting teenager and it is just a case of stupidity sometimes things are not black and white no matter how we want them to be.

I am not defending either the guy or the girl, both did something stupid the girl for misinforming the guy and the guy for sleeping with an underage girl.

Lets be honest think of any teenager relationship you know or have had where one is around the age of 16 have you ever checked their age by asking for passport/ID etc. Most teens really do not think that way.

It's a case of early sexulisation of girls and boys not making sure they are in a safe position as ignorance won't help them. I think it is kind of a double standard that girls are more likely to be ignored when they are older than the boy and he is below 16 and i have known of this, it does happen. Girls are often warned to avoid older boys i think boys should be warned to make sure their girlfriend is 16 before they allow anything to happen.

MmeRedWhiteandBlueberry Sat 31-Jul-10 13:26:07

I don't feel sorry for this young man. It takes two to tango. He can only be responsible for his own behaviour, not anyone elses.

The right thing would be for him to get to know the girl before getting caught with his pants down.

WinkyWinkola Sat 31-Jul-10 13:37:47

"...as for the girl, i dont believe anyone can reasonably blame her, but neither is she a little victim in all this.."

Why not? Why isn't she the victim in this? Because she's a twelve year old harlot, just gagging for sex?

Why can't she be the victim? You see, if she's not the little victim, then you're blaming her too.

She might think she knows it all, acts provocatively, actually has sex but I'm 1000% certain she doesn't have a bloody clue about what messes she's getting herself into and how it'll effect her psychologically and physically.

It's well scary some views on here, defending sex with little girls.

And I echo what dittany says about men deeming girls fuckable and therefore they're going to do it. Regardless of the law or morality. And then the girls are regarded as the temptresses, regardless of their age. It's revolting.

WinkyWinkola Sat 31-Jul-10 13:38:23

affect her, not effect her. Grrr.

StayFrosty Sat 31-Jul-10 14:11:20

>> I occasionally run into the girls who were in ds's primary class, so I KNOW EXACTLY HOW OLD THEY ARE. Yet they still look over 16 in quite a few cases, andi find myself chatting to them as if they were. Its not the same with the boys. the still look exactly the same babyfaced, but taller. at this time in the school year, they are all bar one 13.

Well duh. Girls tend to reach puberty before boys. This explains why they often look older than their male peers. It is biology, not some innate drive to be a manipulative Lolita, which makes them so. There is just this tone of well girls should watch out, who do they think they are, on this thread. Girls often cannot help how old they look. Nor are they responsible for the skewed age perceptions of those around them.

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 15:21:05

"I am not defending either the guy or the girl, both did something stupid the girl for misinforming the guy and the guy for sleeping with an underage girl."

Use the right language. They didn't both do something stupid. He groomed and then raped a 12 year old girl. He committed a crime. Doing something stupid is getting on the train to Edinburgh when you meant to go to Birmingham. We're talking about a crime here, a crime which he was convicted for.

scurryfunge Sat 31-Jul-10 15:54:26

Dittany, some people will just never get it.

The responses on this thread are actually making me feel sick.

HerBeatitude Sat 31-Jul-10 16:05:08

It is really frightening how much compassion people have for a man who coerced a much younger virgin into sex, and how little compassion they have for the child he coerced into sex. She probably didn't know what hit her. sad

And oh god will you people stop saying her parents are to blame. She's to blame, her parents are to blame, the internet's to blame - everyone is to blame for men's decision to ignore the signals that women give them that they don't want sex, except the men themselves. Suddenly, all these people who are so keen to emphasise personal responsibility of victims, lose all interest in personal responsibility when it comes to men who choose to coerce women or girls into sex. It really is remarkable. Ask yourselves why you value his life so much more than her's. Why is it tragic that life is "ruined", why isn't her's "ruined" and if it is, why isn't that quite as tragic?

HerBeatitude Sat 31-Jul-10 16:06:34

Sorry that should say: " Why is it tragic that his life is "ruined""

Janos Sat 31-Jul-10 16:47:02

ladysybil - why is it so out of the ordinary that an 18 year old would be perfectly able to work out how old another teen is it? It's hardly outlandish or indicative of pyschic abilty.

Sammyuni - I don't agree. It's a matter of simple common sense. As I said, I had no problem working out relative ages and I wasn't a particularly savvy or clued up 18 year old.

OTOH it's a great excuse to trot out isn't it? Plenty of people are happy to believe that 'can't tell how old' line as evidenced on here.

MmeRedWhiteandBlueberry Sat 31-Jul-10 16:51:39

LOL about lying about age on Facebook.

All 12 year olds lie about their age on FB.

Janos Sat 31-Jul-10 16:57:54

"I think it gets harder when you get older. I certainly could tell who was younger than me when I was 18, particularly a 12 year old given that I would have been a full half of their life older than them. I don't buy that any 18 year old can't spot a 12 year old. "

Thank you dittany - what I was trying to get across but more succinctly put.

scurryfunge, I agree

Sammyuni Sat 31-Jul-10 17:02:46

"Use the right language. They didn't both do something stupid. He groomed and then raped a 12 year old girl. He committed a crime. Doing something stupid is getting on the train to Edinburgh when you meant to go to Birmingham. We're talking about a crime here, a crime which he was convicted for."

Yes i said i am not defending him he did do a crime i am saying that if he honestly believed she was 16 then it was a stupid crime and he is being punished for it but it is a crime which he would not have done if only he had been more aware.

MmeRedWhiteandBlueberry Sat 31-Jul-10 17:05:04

It is hard to believe that someone can't tell the difference between a 12 year old and a 16+ year old if they get to know them before jumping into bed?

I am interested as to what other people tell their teenage children. Do you tell your sons to respect girls they come across and progress through a relationship rather than taking short-cuts straight to fourth base? Do you teach them to curb their animalistic instincts? Do you teach your girls to respect their bodies, and to respect vulnerable young men who could end up on the sex register if they give in to temptation?

It takes a village to raise a community - we are responsible for instilling values in our children and the individual boys and girls both have responsiblity for their actions.

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 17:05:55

The police didn't believe he "honestly" believed it, they charged him with grooming.

There is a world of difference between a 12 year old girl and a 16 year old girl, in looks, manner, temperament.

Sammyuni Sat 31-Jul-10 17:20:35

That's because it does not matter what he believed he committed a crime and so he is punished. He might have really thought she was 16 but it does not matter the police deal in facts and so he is charged with grooming even if he did not think he was doing so at the time.

Is it right he was punished, yes but could this crime also have been easily avoided, another yes.

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 17:31:56

He's a predator so it's unlikely it would have been easily avoided. People like this continue until they get caught.

Janos Sat 31-Jul-10 17:39:10

Why are people having such a hard time believing this man was a predator? Is it because of his age and they can't believe someone young can act in such a calculating manner?

Is it because they have sons/brothers the same age and they just can't believe it's possible because they can't imagine them doing that?

I'm just trying to understand why people are making excuses for him.

HerBeatitude Sat 31-Jul-10 18:28:57

You know, the police are parents too, with sons, brothers etc. and they are mostly sympathetic to rapists and not v. sympathetic to rape victims (hence the failure to investigate rape properly in most cases and the piss-poor conviction rate).

So the fact that they treated him as a predator who groomed the girl, is really quite a good indicattor that he probably was one, and not just a misled young men with few social skills who couldn't tell the difference between a 12 and a 16 year old.

The police are really not known for their militant feminist approach to rape. It speaks volumes that even they thought he was a predator. People who keep on insisting that he was simply unfortunate, don't you feel slightly uneasy that you are taking a more sympathetic approach to a rapist than that bastion of sexism, the police? Doesn't it make you question your attitudes at all?

SomeGuy Sat 31-Jul-10 18:48:06

What a disgusting post. You condemn all police as loving rapists and hating their victims, in spite the fact they did exactly as you would have wished. Clearly you will blame the police for everything no matter what, never mind that the 'piss-poor conviction rate' for rape is actually higher than a lot ofther crimes.

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 19:02:47

someguy re the police, institutional sexism, widespread belief of rape myths and a terrible attitude towards rape victims was reported recently in the report that Baroness Stern produced for the government regarding rape in the UK.

She called for the police to be trained better, for specialists to deal with rape, for rape myths to be dispelled etc etc. I am not sure why you disagree with her findings so vociferously.

Oblomov Sat 31-Jul-10 19:06:46

the judge said:

"It doesn't seem to me to be fair to call you a predator or you groomed her."

"He groomed and then raped a 12 year old girl." as per Dittany
Dittany and others keep going on and on and on about how he groomed her.

He did NOT Groom her.
The judge said it was unfair to say he groomed her.
I.e. the judge could NOT say that he HAD groomed her.
If he had clearly groomed her the judge would have said "you are a predator and you groomed her."

But this is NOT what the judge said.
The judge said he was NOT a predator. AND THAT HE DID not groom her.

Are you not reading the words.
There is all this talk of the fact that he was a predator and groomed her. BUT the reverse it true. But the judge said he was NOT.

How can i spell this out ?

I am not saying the boy did nothing wrong. I am not saying that the girl deserved to be raped. where did i say such things ? i have not.
Dittany keeps going on and on about how this is disgusting.
I thought it was a civilised discussion and nothing disgusting has been written.

HerBeatitude Sat 31-Jul-10 19:23:02

What a stupid post Someguy.

Of course I'm not condemning all police officers as loving rapists and hating rape victims, anymore than Judge McPherson was condemning the police as all being racists when he described them as "institutionally racist".

That would be stupid. But by all means, work yourself up into a lather of righteous indignation so that you can avoid discussing the issues.

Do feel free to address any of my direct questions, won't you.

SomeGuy Sat 31-Jul-10 19:23:38

ISNT, I didn't say anything about Baroness Stern's findings (although I would note that she recommended that the misleading 'conviction rate' (actually 'attrition rate') statistic, quoted only for rape cases, not be employed as it was deterring victims from pressing charges - a finding that is widely ignored by those supporting the police's viewpoint in this particular case (note: supporting their viewpoint only, not the police force as a body, because obviously the police all hate women and love rapists, and it wouldn't do to say anything nice about them, even when they are in fact doing exactly what you would wish them to do)).

All I'm saying is that it's stupid to suggest or imply that 'police' are all rapist-sympathisers. You might as well say 'Jamaicans are all drug dealers' or 'men are all rapists'. Statistics would show that Jamaicans are many times more likely to be in prison for drug offences, but that doesn't give you the right to say 'a given group of Jamaicans must be drug dealers', any more than you can say that a specific police force must have negative attitudes towards rape victims.

Obviously generalisations and offensive caricatures are unacceptable - except when employed against your opponents.

HerBeatitude Sat 31-Jul-10 19:32:18

Oblomov, judges are rather famous for talking out of their arses when it comes to rape. Which is why I think, many of us will take what the judge said with a pinch of salt. He may be right; without knowing more about the case, it's hard to tell. But let's just say that judges have form on this, so it's reasonable to withhold judgement about whether what he said about the man - oh sorry, boy, because an 18 year old rapist is a boy isn't he - is reasonable.

Whereas the police have a track record of not taking rape seriously, so the fact that they looked at this bloke and didn't immediately sympathise with his claim that he didn't know the girl was 12 and took the investigation further and charged him with grooming when they really didn't need to - they could have accepted at face value his claim that he honestly believed she was 12 and just charged him with the minimum they could have done - does rather indicate that they had serious concerns about him. More serious than the judge, obviously.

No doubt SomeGuy will now accuse me of hating all judges. hmm

SomeGuy Sat 31-Jul-10 19:33:03

HerBeatitude the logic of your post was clear:

1. the police are unsympathetic towards rape victims, and rapists are likely to get away with it
2. despite their attitudes, the police charged this man with rape
3. therefore, he must be an evil beast

Which is bollocks, because you have no idea what the attitudes of the police involved with this case are, whether they are in fact 'militant feminists'.

As for your 'direct questions', given that I think it's ludicrous to think that all police are sexist/racist/bigoted/whatevered, I don't see that their charging this man proves anything at all.

You could just as well argue that they're terrified of being accused of not taking rape seriously (this case occurred immediately AFTER the Stern Review was published, and most likely within the time frame of memos being issued and such like), and decided to throw the book at this man, regardless of the fairness involved.

Do you seriously think it's easier for the police to say 'not interested' to a 12-year-old's mother saying that ther daughter regretted having sex with an 18-year-old, NOW after all the terrible publicity that the police have been having about rape cases?

This case would have been a political hot potato and doing anything other than taking the harshest possible line would have been risky for those involved. Does that make it right? Maybe, maybe not, but your conclusion that the police are always sexist rapist lovers now, always and forver, in every case, is simply ludicrous.

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 19:36:41

So when reports say things about public bodies, they should not be allowed to do so, as these are generalisations and therefore wrong?

Where does that leave us then.

The response to Baroness Stern's comments about "the police" and other parts of the criminal justice system, is "oh you can't generalise"?

HerBeatitude Sat 31-Jul-10 19:37:21

"your conclusion that the police are always sexist rapist lovers now, always and forver, in every case, is simply ludicrous"

Yes, it would be, if that were my conclusion.

Please try to read my posts a little more carefully Someguy, there's less chance of you misrepresenting them then.

I was referring to my direct question about the relative normality of coercive sex.

Oblomov Sat 31-Jul-10 19:38:56

Janos :
Why are people having such a hard time believing this man was a predator?
Doesn't it make you question your attitudes at all?

I took the Judges comments to mean that the conclusion was that the boy was neither a predator or groomer.

If the Judge had said something like "that it would appear that you are a predator, you groomed her, took advantage of this poor girl who is clearly not 16."

But i took the judge said, to mean, that :

he was NOT predator
he did NOT groom her
she could be mistaken for a 16 yr old.

that was what i read when i first came to the thread and read the two articles.

did i mis-read ?

nooka Sat 31-Jul-10 19:43:48

Don't all responsible parents of adolescent boys tell them to be incredibly careful not to rape girls, let alone younger girls? To be totally and utterly sure that anything they do together is altogether wanted, and that their partner is 100% happy about every step they take? To get to know their girlfriends as people and not to think of them as a sex object? To understand that girls might be younger and more vulnerable than they initially appear?

In fact basically not to be a bully?

These seem fairly normal aspects to bringing up a boy, and not that dissimilar to the conversations to have with a daughter. If we teach our girls to expect to be respected then surely we need to teach our boys to respect them?

I find it interesting in this thread that there is a lot of her parents are to blame, but absolutely no his parents are to blame for bringing up someone who apparently thinks nothing of sending girls obscene photographs or raping them in parks. Probably because neither sets of parents had an idea what was going on.

HerBeatitude Sat 31-Jul-10 19:48:44

No you didn't Oblomov.

Fair enough that you take the judge's word for it. You may be right to do so, he may be right; I don't know enough about the details of the case to know whether I agree with him or not. All I'm saying, is that there is a possibility that he is talking bollocks, as it's happened before with judges and their pronouncements on rape. And the fact that the police were convinced that he was a predator and he did groom her, is evidence of that; however I do take Someguy's point that in the wake of the Stern enquiry, they may well have been being more careful than normal. However, I'm not convinced that they would have gone to the trouble of preparing a case for grooming, if they thought a young man had made a genuine mistake. Contrary to Someguy's florid assertions, I do actually think the police are normal human beings and wouldn't necessarily seek to fuck someone over who didn't deserve it, just to tick a box. I suspect they were just doing their job.

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 19:49:53

Let's try another tack.

So he shouldn't have been prosecuted, as the girl lied about her age. The fact that she was actually 12 is neither nere nor there.

Should the age of "not able to consent" be moved?

Should there never be a case to answer if the child has lied?

Oblomov Sat 31-Jul-10 19:49:58

HerBea, sorry x-posts with you. did not see your response to me.
I did take the judges comments as reported in the paper at face value.
What was he accused of ? he was found guilty of rape, right ?

the judge said he was not a predator and did not groom her.
I took that at face value, to assume that it had been decided that he was not a predator and did not groom her.
If there had been any evidence to suggest he was also guilty of these things, surely thta would have been commented upon ?

but throughout this thread people kept insisting he was a predator and had groomed her.

HerBeatitude Sat 31-Jul-10 19:50:45

Good point Nooka.

And actually, depressingly, I think you are probably wrong - I suspect that lots of people don't have that conversation with their sons.

<Makes note to have that conversation with DS when the time comes>

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 19:53:22

Here's another similar case that I remember. The same arguments apply. Certainly the judge really felt for the poor men. I would like to know how people on the thread think these cases should be handled - because it does seem to be a problem that happens. If men cannot be expected to be able to tell when a female is under 16, then what alternative approach is required?

HerBeatitude Sat 31-Jul-10 19:58:17

Farkin' Ada that judge is a nut.

But not a one off.

Mingg Sat 31-Jul-10 20:04:26

"Don't all responsible parents of adolescent boys tell them to be incredibly careful not to rape girls, let alone younger girls?" Whereas I agree with the rest of your post the thought that boys/men are somehow predisposed to raping girls is really truly depressing.

Mingg Sat 31-Jul-10 20:05:30

Should read all boys/men

Oblomov Sat 31-Jul-10 20:08:41

dressing provocatively ? oh please.
But it did aslo say thta she looked 16. that she was promiscus, and gave oral sex and sex to one man. and then sex to another.
so she chose to. but she can not consent due to her age.

I did not know about the 12 thing no consent rule until i came to this thread.
I am struggling with this. becasue obviously the age of consent is 16. you are not supposed to be having sex at all until 16. but if you choose to, at a younger age. choose to say many times. then i guess to me this is consent. but it isn't in the eyes of the law. and i do get that. am a bit confused in my own head on this.

by the way was it herbea who said most girls say their first time was pressured ? I think i know 40 women. many of them schoolfriends of mine. and not one of them felt pressurised. we all did it when we wanted to. so we don't fit the stats !!

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 20:16:38

That link is shocking ISNT, I remember that judge claiming the victim was dressed "provocatively". I'd forgotten he claimed that a 10 year old girl looked sixteen.

Sixteen is definitley looking more and more as meaning fuckable/rapeable, not anything to do with actual age.

At every stage of the reporting and prosecution of rapes the legal system works to let rapists off. Even at the very end when an adult man has raped a child, there is still room for the judge to hand out a derisory sentence.

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 20:20:53

"that she was promiscus, and gave oral sex and sex to one man. and then sex to another.
so she chose to."

Oblomov, read the fucking report. She was raped by two adult men. She didnt even know what consent meant. In fact the police shouldn't even have asked her that question, because ten year olds can't consent to sex. The law is there to protect them from predators like these two men.

Two adult men raped a child and all you can say is "she chose to". No - they chose to. How can a 10 year old girl defend herself against two men.

That word disgusting keeps coming up, maybe I'll try a different one. Your attitudes and posts are utterly foul, unbelievably foul. How have you come to the point in life where the only thing you can do when you are confronted with the reality of the rape of children, is to blame the victim and let the attackers off the hook?

SomeGuy Sat 31-Jul-10 20:25:38

Nooka 'Don't all responsible parents of adolescent boys tell them to be incredibly careful not to rape girls, let alone younger girls? '

Well no I don't think parents do say 'Now then Johnny, don't go out doing any raping tonight'. It's something people understand to be wrong.

That said, this is not case of 'raping a girl, let alone a younger girl', it was, legally speaking, rape only because she was younger.

Per the CPS 'Those accused of child rape can no longer argue that the child consented. Any sexual intercourse with a child under 13 will be treated as rape'.

The same is true of the offence of the grooming defence. There is no defence to it.

Had the girl been a few weeks older, he would have had a defence:

'A person aged 18 or over (A) commits an offence if— .
(a) he intentionally causes or incites another person (B) to engage in an activity, .
(b) the activity is sexual, and .
either— .
(i) B is under 16 and A does not reasonably believe that B is 16 or over, or .
(ii) B is under 13.

You could meet a 13-year-old on her birthday in a bar and have sex with her, and say 'I believed she was 16', but had you done it the night before there would be no defence.

So in terms of 'educating your adolescent boy', it's not that 'rape is wrong' (which is self-evident), but that 'you've got a defence if a girl tells you she is 16, but it is in fact 13, but not if she is 12', so just don't go chatting up strangers on facebook/elsewhere, because you've got no way of knowing how old they really are.

Janos Sat 31-Jul-10 20:29:19

Oblomov - judges are often sympathetic to rapists and give them light sentences. The comment linked to above for example.

As for the not grooming comment, here is a quote from a policeman in the Manchester Evening News report:

"Bhuta manipulated the relationship and it escalated into a sexual one"

In other words - grooming.

(the bolding is mine, not in the report)

HerBeatitude Sat 31-Jul-10 20:34:01

Oblomov are you serious? She chose to? At 10?

I didn't say most girls say their first time was coerced. I don't know of any widespread studies with reliable data on that. I did say that too many are coerced and that it's fairly normal, particularly when you are young and inexperienced. I know very few women who haven't had at least one reluctant sexual encounter in their time, but I know only one woman who actually reported a sexual assault to the police (and that was a classic stranger jumps out of bushes rape).

I'd be interested to know how widespread coerced sex actually is mind you. I wonder if anyone reliable has done any studies? The 1 in 4 figure for rape and sexual assault probably doesn't include pressurised or coercive sex, does it?

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 20:34:19

Obomov the girl in the second link was 10. If a girl is behaving like this at 10 then the chances are that she has been subject to sexual abuse, really.

So what is to be done?

If a child has been sexually abused and they are 6, and and they "behave provocatively" etc, then is it understandable if men have sex with her?

10, oblomov, she was 10. Not 14, not 15. 10.

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 20:38:05

I am really interested to know what alternatives to the current rules people would like to see in place.

Janos Sat 31-Jul-10 20:41:04

"Well no I don't think parents do say 'Now then Johnny, don't go out doing any raping tonight'. It's something people understand to be wrong."

Sadly, I would suggest that there are many men out there who don't think it's wrong at all, Someguy.

And before I am accused of something I haven't said can be quite clear in stating that I don't think all men are rapists.

LadyBiscuit Sat 31-Jul-10 20:43:20

Ignorance is no defence under the law. And anyone who thinks that a 12 year old girl would like to lose her virginity in a park is insane.

That bit about hoping to study law is utterly vile too, implying that the nasty unfair law has ruined his successful life. He's a fucking child abuser.

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 20:46:21

I dont think that many parents do spell out to their sons stuff like, don;t "take advantage" if a girl is drunk or drugged, don't pressurise, don't use threats (I'll chuck you if you don't) etc. I really don't think they do. I think many people in general still believe that there are different "sorts" of girls and that boys can and should get what they can when they can. I think it's all still terribly old fashioned TBH.

HerBeatitude Sat 31-Jul-10 20:49:30

I also think a lot of people simply don't recognise what rape is.

They're not going to say "Johnny don't go raping tonight" because what they understand by rape, is Johnny hiding behind a bush and jumping out at a girl and raping her and of course Johnny's not going to do that.

The much more subtle, more normal coercion that is used, is not something that comes within their concept of rape, so they don't consider it or discuss it with their teenagers.

Janos Sat 31-Jul-10 20:54:57


Anyone remember that case where a security guard took a girl who was insensible with drink home and raped her? The case collapsed

The general view was, IIRC, that it was her fault for getting that drunk.

Link here

The more things change the more they don't change, eh?

WinkyWinkola Sat 31-Jul-10 20:56:27

She chose to? That's risible. Christ, do you think there really are little 12 year old girls who choose to have sex randomly and promiscuous way? Do you really think they understand what they are doing? Really? Truly?

I think that's a pretty f*cked up view of little girls, frankly. Because 12 year olds are 12 year olds however knowing they can appear.

Why on earth do you think such little girls would be at all sexually active in the first place?

Because some man has already been at them, raped them, abused them when they were god knows how young.

But hey, I guess that's their fault too because they chose to.

My arse they did.

Oblomov Sat 31-Jul-10 20:56:36

"is to blame the victim and let the attackers off the hook?"
I never said anything of the sort Dittany. and please stop swearing at me.

StayFrosty Sat 31-Jul-10 20:56:46

>>So in terms of 'educating your adolescent boy', it's not that 'rape is wrong' (which is self-evident), but that 'you've got a defence if a girl tells you she is 16, but it is in fact 13, but not if she is 12', so just don't go chatting up strangers on facebook/elsewhere, because you've got no way of knowing how old they really are.

uggggggh some guy your posts are making my skin crawl, sorry.

firstly, as janos says, i don't think it is at all self evident to many men and boys that rape is wrong, as many women and girls experience rape, unfortnately - there was a thread on this a while back and it was utterly astonishing and depressing how many mners had been raped, or who had had coerced sex.

secondly, i think perhaps when the time coems, i will not be telling my ds he's 'got a defence' for having sex with girls of 13 and over, thanks, if it's all the same to you. i will be telling him not to have sex with underage girls.

you seem very hung up on the fact that there is a specific cut off point of age, in law, for sex, keeping on about girls and their 13th birthdays and so on, as though this is arbitrary and ludicrous and unreasonable. may i ask you what do you think the cut off point should be, and how it should be enforced?

Swishswish Sat 31-Jul-10 20:59:26

I actually feel a bit sick reading some of this thread. It doesn't matter that she lied about her age, or that she 'consented'- because she couldn't legally consent. She was 12! An 18 year old grown man had sex with a child. That is why he is being prosecuted.

She cannot be to blame. Whether she looked physically ready for sex or not!

And I don't for one moment believe that he couldn't see she wasn't 16. I went to an all girls' secondary school and remember the first/second years. Even with their makeup and straightened hair they just were tiny little girls.

Janos Sat 31-Jul-10 21:00:23

Btw have reported my last post as I realise the case collapsed and therefore he was not convicted. Brief summary, man was accused of raping drunk student.

Will post the link back up about the Wales case here for anyone who wants to read it

Oblomov Sat 31-Jul-10 21:00:24

ISNT , yes, i guess thta promiscous at 10, then there is a very very high chance of having been abused.

WinkyWinkola Sat 31-Jul-10 21:02:37

And even if little girls could choose to have sex (promiscuous or not - god, that's a Daily Mail concern), wtf is wrong with men that want to have sex with children? That they'll go for it regardless.

And those people who think little girls of 12 are really really up for it. There's something wrong with them too.


dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 21:02:48

"I never said anything of the sort Dittany. and please stop swearing at me."

If you think that a ten year old rape victim "consented" to what was done to her, that's blaming the victim.

As for swearing, well those raped children have been through a lot worse than reading a post with a swearword in it but you don't give a shit about them.

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 21:05:19

Yet the judge felt sorry for the men who had sex with the 10yo, the same as people feel sorry for the man on this thread, and for the two boys who were convicted to attempting to rape an 8yo.

All the time the sympathy for these convicted males, and very very little for the victims. And the same comments about the girls lying, and knowing what they're doing, and being more to blame in some way than their older abusers.

I really struggle with this TBH.

Janos Sat 31-Jul-10 21:09:13

Sickening isn't it really.

It's incredibly disturbing that so many people are quite content to put the responsibility for this on a 12 year old girl

She was 12. 12!!!!!!

FFS angry

SomeGuy Sat 31-Jul-10 21:09:21

why are you distorting my post?

My point was not that it is ok to have sex with 13 year old girls, but that you can't have sex with a girl unless you have proof of age, because if a girl lies to you then there is an arbitrary distinction based on her birthday as to whether you are potentially going away for life or getting found 'not guilty', in the case, quite reasonably, that you thought she was of age.

Of course the distinction is arbitrary, there is a defence to the charge one day, but not the night before. Has the girl changed over night? No she has not.

I'm not sure how far this girl was from her birthday, but they spent 11 months taking on facebook, webcam and telephone, so you would assume not too far. It's quite possible that had this happened a week later it would be a different set of charges entirely.

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 21:14:32

How have we got to the point where a ten year old girl who has been raped is regarded as having a "sex life" and is called "promiscuous" in court? How can people even think about a child in those sorts of terms when they are so far from the reality of what it is to be a child.

I agree with you ladyblablah about insanity being the reason for these kinds of beliefs/excuses for rapists.

I'm just scared of all these people sitting on rape juries or people in the legal system sharing the same attitudes.

I really thought it was an agreed social belief, except amongst rapists, that it is wrong to rape children, but apparently in some/many circumstances it's not a problem.

Janos Sat 31-Jul-10 21:19:59

"I'm not sure how far this girl was from her birthday, but they spent 11 months taking on facebook, webcam and telephone, so you would assume not too far"

Well, that's just speculation isn't it?

He could have doing it before she turned 12.

grapeandlemon Sat 31-Jul-10 21:20:27

Oh. My God.

Some of the attitudes on this thread make me want to throw up.

"Chose to" have oral sex with two adult men at 10 years of age.

Oh. My God. sad

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 21:23:16

confused at this 12 yr old 13 yr old thing

People shoudn't be having sex with 13yo either

Where there is any relaxing of the consent laws is around the ages of 14/15 when people are in consensual relationships with partners of a similar age. In that prosecutors often do not believe that it is "in the public interest" to prosecute such cases.

An 18yo man having sex with a 13yo girl should be clobbered really, surely. I find the idea that he'd have "got away with it" if only she were a few weeks older pretty <yuck>

If you're going to teach a teenaged boy to check how old someone is before having sex, why the need to detail the 12yo/13yo thing?

WinkyWinkola Sat 31-Jul-10 21:25:00

Someguy, if you have doubts that you have to ask for age, then I would assume not to go there. I think many of us on this post are questioning the "quite reasonably you thought she was of age". That, imo, is absolute cobblers. It seems that a lot of people want to go for sex with young girls and will take any word that she is of age.

Quite simply I think men need to work a lot harder to protect young girls. All of us do but men also need to learn that young girls who they suspect are not of age should not be shagged but protected.

Additionally, there simply has to be a line drawn somewhere regarding the age of consent. I mean, age is probably a good way of doing it.

Can you suggest another less arbitrary means of distinction? How would you evaluate if someone is adult enough to engage in sex? A case by case scenario? Who decides?

The day before the girl's birthday is against the law. How else can it be? Oh, she was very nearly age of consent so it's ok?

And just like speeding - if you're driving 3 mph over the limit, you're done for speeding.

If you have sex before the age of consent, you're breaking the law.

It's not hard.

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 21:27:50

There does need to be a "think 21" rule or something doesn't there.

i think it's cobblers that men don't know anyway.

hands up who had grown men proposition them when they were in school uniform?

<puts hand up>

The girl's behaviour is irrelevant.
How old she pretended/appeared to be is irrelevant.
Some 12-16 year olds dress older and act older than their age - always have, always will.
The correct response from older males is to WALK AWAY.

SomeGuy Sat 31-Jul-10 21:30:55

The relevance of the 12/13 year old thing is that while 'thinking she's 16' is a defence sometimes, other times it's not, so actually it's not a defence you can rely on at all, so you must know that she is 16, because if you thought you knew but were in fact wrong, you're going to go on the sex offenders register.

And that people on the internet or in a disco saying they are 16 are probably lying.

Well make sure you know then. What's the problem with that?

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 21:35:07

<puts hand up too>

I also got followed by men when I was wearing my school uniform, flashed at, groped by older boys at school in the corridors. It was probably something I "chose" though. angry

This idea that there are these poor innocent boys and men out there who just can't keep be expected to keep their hands or dicks to themselves is one of the most ridiculous/disgusting things I've read. The thing is the predators know that they have a whole army of people to protect them, some of them are posting right on this thread.

WinkyWinkola Sat 31-Jul-10 21:38:02

Yep, Someguy. But I'm not convinced the "But I thought she was 16" defence is ever valid.

In fact, the age issue is indicative of how seriously (I think) people should take sex in terms of age, stds etc.

I mean, I'm not anti promiscuity or anything. I'm just very pro responsibility. Particularly with those who attack the vulnerable - and a drunk woman is vulnerable, for example.

SomeGuy Sat 31-Jul-10 21:40:42

Well for most offences Winky, you can say for instance 'I didn't commit murder, because it was self-defence', or 'I was speeding to get to hospital to save my child's life', and you won't go on the sex offenders' register.

Let's take this for example:

[http://www.wokingham-berkshire.org.uk/site-admin/events/2006/09/under-18s-night-set-up- at-wokingham.html]]

Under 18's disco, for ages 13-17. You, a 16 year old bo, meet a girl, she tells you she's 16, she looks 16, she's got a fake id that says she's 16, and you have sex with her. Turns out afterwards that she was 12 and shouldn't have even been allowed in, her parents find out, and your life gets ruined.

What really is the lesson there? Like I said, you can't have sex with girls you don't know, because you can't prove their age.

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 21:43:27

Is that an actual case that has happened someguy? Your link isn't working very well for me.

You can't have sex with girls you don't know if you're not sure of their age.
Particularly if you are frequenting places that are known to attract underage clientele.
Tough shit.

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 21:46:11

Who is the "you" in that scenario SomeGuy.

I take it there isn't anybody on Mumsnet who is planning on going to teenagers discos and fucking/raping a 12 year old. Why would any of us identify with someone who did something like that.

It is not hard to tell how old a 12 year old is, no matter what lies the rapists try to fob us off with.

WinkyWinkola Sat 31-Jul-10 21:47:41

Ambulance men are done for speeding!

With regards the case you cite, I think that men/boys should simply assume it's not safe to have sex with girls you don't know, particularly if it's with someone you met at a disco for 13-17 year olds.

I think it's called common sense especially if a "ruined for life" tag could come with it.

And these rules, I believe have to be tough, strict and sometimes appear unfair because there are those out there who will take full advantage of the young for their own gratification.

You educate people to believe that sex with a minor brings heavy penalties then I reckon you'd see a lot more men taking good care not to rape try it on with young girls.

Janos Sat 31-Jul-10 21:48:34

"Like I said, you can't have sex with girls you don't know, because you can't prove their age"

Well, that sounds quite reasonable, doesn't it?

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 21:50:36

At a 13-17 disco, friends would go together in age groups I'd have thought, and not mix much (if my school disco days were anything to go by). it should be pretty easy to see which groups are 17 and which groups are 13. In fact I doubt you'd actually get anyone over 15 at a disco like that, they'd all be in the proper clubs.

LadyBiscuit Sat 31-Jul-10 21:51:56

Why are people so keen to exonerate this man? I don't get it. He fucked a 12 year old in the park. And given they spent such a long time corresponding on fb, she must have been just 12 (or only 11) when they started. If that isn't grooming I don't know what is

HerBeatitude Sat 31-Jul-10 21:54:28

I remember being chatted up by a guy of about 30 when I was 16. We talked for about an hour, he then asked me back to his flat for "a cup of tea".

I said OK, but I'd have to phone my parents first and check it was OK with them. (Of course I thought he just wanted a cup of tea and more conversation.) He looked amused and said "oh you live with your parents?" and then the light bulb flashed and he asked "how old are you?" When I said 16, he didn't breathe a sigh of relief and say "phew, that's OK then, you're legal", he looked stricken and said something along the lines of "I am so sorry, I had no idea you were so young, I really, really am very sorry, you look after yourself now, really sorry, nice talking to you, so sorry... bye... sorry... sorry..." and rushed off, couldn't see him for dust. (Was quite disappointed actually! grin

He was obviously a decent man. It obviously didn't cross his mind that he could get away with fucking me and not be prosecuted for it, it crossed his mind that I was too young for him. It is just so insulting to normal decent men like him, when people pretend that men and boys can’t be expected to use their judgement and have some bloody integrity when they get wind of the fact that the girl they’re talking to may be younger than they first assumed. That man didn’t need to know what his defence options were and that he didn’t need any, because he knew what was the right thing to do. As do most men and boys. It's only a minority who insist that they can't be expected to behave with integrity.

SomeGuy Sat 31-Jul-10 21:58:14

Dittany: 'You, a 16-year-old boy'. The people at 13-17 discos will be of that age, possibly not even 13.

Some of them will have sex with each other, some legally, some illegally, and when judging them, the lines won't always be clear-cut about which are the evil rapists or not.

Anyway, I suppose you could just as well argue that the 13-year-olds should be given the same status as 12-year-olds really.

But TBH, I doubt this case made much impression on a national scale, so I doubt much will be learned. Perhaps children should be taught in school that they could get banged up for life for having sex with others of apparently the same age, that would make a difference. As it is, this case will have a big impact on this one man, but very little on any others.

LadyBiscuit Sat 31-Jul-10 22:02:56

'banged up for life'? Oh FFS that is a stupid and gross exaggeration and just undermines anything you have to say really.

He wanted her to be 16, it suited him.

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 22:03:49

<applaudss herbeautitude>

Quite right.

someguy "Perhaps children should be taught in school that they could get banged up for life for having sex with others of apparently the same age"

This is the second time you've talked about being banged up for life. Has this happened? I haven't heard of any cases where anyone has gone to prison for life for this. Even the two men who had sex with that 10yo, and they were much much older, they only got a few months. And in this case then man convicted was an adult, not a child.

Has it happened that a child over 13 has been sent to prison for life for having sex with a child under 13?

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 22:03:50

Look if a sixteen year old boy is going to a teenagers disco to try and pick up a child for sex when he knows that 13 year olds are there, then he deserves everything he gets. Think about it.

I can't even believe that you're trying to get us to identify with a hypothetical 16 year old boy who rapes a 12 year old, although I guess you'll have some people on here who would think he's done nothing wrong.

Oblomov Sat 31-Jul-10 22:15:20

"but you don't give a shit about them. "
what nasty thing to write. why would i not give a shit about someone who has been raped or abused. of course i give a shit.

what nasty nasty thing to say Dittany.

Oblomov Sat 31-Jul-10 22:17:16

being more to blame in some way than their older abusers.
I never said that ISNT.

Oblomov Sat 31-Jul-10 22:21:09

"that it is wrong to rape children, but apparently in some/many circumstances it's not a problem."
Dittany, where did ANYONE say it was o.k. to rape.
did any poster say thta.
no. of course not. how ridiculous.
people are twisting others posters words.
making out that people are saying that rape is o.k.
no one said that. EVER.

ISNT Sat 31-Jul-10 22:21:46

It was a generalisation about the tone of the threads and newspaper articles about those 3 cases I mentioned, obs, not about you.

There was someone on the TV, for example, who after the 10yr old boys were found guilty of trying to rape the 8yo, said she'd "probably enjoyed it". That sort of thing, it seems to be quite a common attitude.

Oblomov Sat 31-Jul-10 22:31:21

I never sais he hadn't done anything wrong. of course he has.
and she didn't deserve to be raped.
i never said she did.

all i said was that the case is more complicated becasue she lied to him and then went onto have a 3 month relationship with him, all the time claiming to be 16.
all i said was that she had to be responsible for some of her actions. not that she deserved to be raped. thats not what i said.

i'm not making myself understood here. i seem unable to put into words what i eman without someone called me disgusting.

i am not disgusting.

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 22:32:16

"of course i give a shit."

You're not demonstrating it. You said that a 10 year old girl who was raped by two adult men "chose" what they did to her, in fact you described her as the actor in the scenario and you called her promiscuous.

Have you any idea how cruel that is to a rape victim, let alone a raped child, to blame them for the crimes committed against them and to slander their character?

Oblomov Sat 31-Jul-10 22:33:30

ISNT, you and i were on thta htread. we were all appauled at the suggestion thta she 'had enjoyed it'.

Oblomov Sat 31-Jul-10 22:36:08

Dittany, I didn't say she was promiscous. the newspaper articel linked, said that. NOT ME.

You are putting words into my mouth.

Oblomov Sat 31-Jul-10 22:38:42

i never said she chose it, like she bought it upon herself. i never said thta. you seem to be implying thta i am one of those silly people who say the rape victim was wearing a short skirt, so she deserved it.

thats not what i think. or said. give me some credit, FGS.

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 22:38:49

I'm not putting words in your mouth, you repeated the slander without comment as if it was the truth.

WinkyWinkola Sat 31-Jul-10 22:41:22

If you have a three month relationship with someone, I find it hard to believe you have no inkling how old they really are. Especially if they are really young.. .. .. .. .and if you thought they were young, you'd check it out.

If you were a morally responsible person, that is.

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 22:41:30

Do you want to explain what "so she chose to" in this paragraph means then Oblomov, apart from the victim "chose" what was done to her:

"But it did aslo say thta she looked 16. that she was promiscus, and gave oral sex and sex to one man. and then sex to another.
so she chose to. but she can not consent due to her age."

Oblomov Sat 31-Jul-10 22:47:45

well it said that one man forced her. but when asked if she had consented tot he other, i read it that she had. she had chosen to. becasue it made the distinction in the other case that the other one was forced.
she chose to. that was all i was pointing out. nothing more.

I always start reading your comments on threads and think 'Yes, that's a really good point, well put" etc.
Than you seem to pick up on some other poster's comments and attempt to drive them into the ground!
You don't need to, you can let your opinions stand alone, without misrepresenting other peoples' words.

Oblomov Sat 31-Jul-10 22:53:22

I seem to have been painted as some sort of rape loving, they deserve to be raped activist.
what kind of person do you take me for.
I never said anything of the sort.

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 22:57:49

I'm not misrepresenting anything Beertricks. If I was misrepresenting what Oblomov said I woudln't have quoted her. It's right there in back and white. And if someone is slandering child rape victims, I'm going to challenge it and keep challeging it until they stop. There's a line. Oblomov is about a mile over it.

"she chose to. that was all i was pointing out. nothing more."

You're saying it again. There was no choice. She was RAPED. By two ADULT MEN. Stop calling it a choice. Stop it. Seriously stop it.

dittany Sat 31-Jul-10 22:59:55

A ten year old being described as having "chosen" to be orally raped and raped by two adult men who targeted her. What the hell is the world coming to?