Thursday, January 25, 2007

You can't make this stuff up

According to Yahoo News, a 29 year old convicted sex offender posed as a 12yo boy to enrol in two schools in the US. He attended classes and even handed in homework regularly and there were no discipline issues. It would be easy to conclude he wanted to have sex with other pupils, but given that there appears to be no evidence of this he may simply be socially regressive (and clearly has a level of physical immaturity that he can fool people - his photo is here)
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He attended one school for 50 days until being kicked out for poor attendance, after all school is rather boring if you’re an adult and don’t actually have to go!
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Now there is no indication he actually committed a sexual offence on this occasion, he has been charged with assault, conspiracy to commit fraud, forgery, failing to register as a sex offender (some past conviction) and possession of a forgery device. He forged his birth certificate and some other documents.
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However, that isn’t the weirdest part.
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He shaved his body hair and wore make up to look like a boy, and met two men online (aged 61 and 45) who thought he was 12!! They had a sexual relationship with him, which actually means under Arizona law that they have been charged with attempted child molestation and attempted sexual contact with a minor. This is because they THOUGHT they were having sex with a 12 year old, when he actually is 29.
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Now there should be a decent post-grad law thesis on this one. There is no actual victim in this (besides the school system being defrauded, and the assault victim (which appears unrelated to the weird events). Yes all the men are pervs, but that in itself isn’t an offence. How can they have attempted sexual contact with a minor when there was no minor? Yes, police officers all the time pose as kids online to trap pervs, so it is the same – but isn’t something serious awry when this isn’t a sting operation but a case of some somewhat disturbed guy who can pose as a child for presumably his own pleasure? This is most certainly a thought crime without an actual or potential real victim, rather hypothetical future ones. Is this what the criminal law is meant to be capturing? Sounds to me like a couple of appeals will be part of this case!

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