Did you play “doctor” as a child? I really don’t recall doing so, but there are many who did.
Apparently, that can get you charged with a felony today.
So found out a 7 year old Madison boy, who played the doctor when he was 6. He’s being charged with first degree sexual assault, which is a class B felony, after playing butt doctor with a girl one year his junior.
Turns out that girl is “connected.” She’s the daughter of a Grant county political figure.
The boy apparently has a developmental disability, and has been diagnosed with stress disorders that medical professionals attribute to the charge.
His parents have filed a lawsuit against Grant County District Attorney Lisa Riniker. Also named as party to the suit is Jan Moravits, a social worker with Grant County Social Services, and recently retired Grant County Sheriff’s Sgt. James Kopp. You can see the complaint here.
This is outright ludicrous. If the charge is allowed to stick, this young man will have to register as a sex offender when he turns 18. What was something done in innocence at the age of 6 will scar him for life.
Kids will be kids. They don’t know any better, and they explore. That is not sexual assault. I say this as the father of a 3 year old girl.
Should we post government agents at every playground in the country, so they can be on the lookout for other “suspicious activities?” This is definitely one place where the government has gone way overboard.
On a somewhat related note, Jacob Sullum wrote a piece for Reason Magazine titled “Perverted Justice.” It makes the argument that sex offender registries often fail to distinguish between dangerous predators and nonviolent lawbreakers, who posed no discernible threat to the general public.
“If we had been aware of his record,” says Maureen Kanka, “my daughter would be alive today.” She is referring, in a statement on the website of an anti-crime group she founded, to Jesse Timmendequas, a neighbor in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, who raped and murdered her 7-year-old daughter, Megan, in 1994. Three months later, the state legislature enacted Megan’s Law, which created a publicly accessible registry of sex offenders.
“Without the registry,” says Shirley Turner, “he would still be alive today.” She is referring, in a 2006 interview with Human Rights Watch, to her 24-year-old son, William Elliot. He was murdered that year by a pedophile-hunting Canadian gunman who found his name and address in Maine’s online database of sex offenders. Elliot’s crime: When he was 19, he had sex with his girlfriend, who was three weeks shy of 16, the age of consent in Maine.
What is your take on this?