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"The Kansas City Star" quoted Law Professor Leslie Garfield Tenzer in "Hundreds of Missouri’s 15-year-old brides may have married their rapists"

03/13/2018

"The Kansas City Star" quoted Law Professor Leslie Garfield Tenzer in "Hundreds of Missouri’s 15-year-old brides may have married their rapists"

...Overall, statutory rape cases come in three varieties, said Leslie Garfield Tenzer, a law professor at Pace University in New York:

“There are the sick cases,” she said, “the teacher sleeping with the child, or the 29-year-old sleeping with the child. That’s an easy case.

“Then you have the case in which the parent alerts the authorities and pushes for it. The parent is irate.” Those, too, tend to get prosecuted, she said.

But the third and thornier type is one in which the law has clearly been broken, but neither the child, partner nor parents are complaining.

“When you have a crime,” Tenzer said, “basically you’re saying that the defendant wronged society. Convicting someone gives the family of the victim some sense of retribution, it maybe rehabilitates the defendant and it is a deterrence to society: Don’t do this.

“But if you have this girl who’s in love with this guy, we really don’t need to rehabilitate them. We don’t necessarily need retribution if the parents understand that there’s love there. And the question is, ‘Do we want to take the time of prosecutors and taxpayers’ money for a case to basically send a message to the rest of the world?’”

In Idaho, the judge sent exactly that message. Heather Strawn’s marriage to Aaron meant nothing.

Read the full article.