Why is statutory rape treated differently than trying children as adults?

If a grown man/woman engages in sex with a minor child they can be prosecuted and put in jail for statutory rape. The reason is because the adults thinking is different than a childs and because their reasoning is different. They are more experienced and can very easily influence a minor to except what they are saying. Not hard to do when you have so much more experience and wisdom. Children are vulnerable. I would imagine we could all agree on that. However, what I don’t understand is how is trying children as young as even 12 years old or even 15 or 16 that are in gangs or street children or children that have been through all kinds of tramatic experiences in their homes shouldn’t be treated the same way. Some children as young as 13 14 and even younger when they comit crimes are sent to juvenile until they are old enough to be sent to hard core prisons. Most children of the streets are emotionally disturbed in many ways and join gangs because they are looking for love and trying to find somewhere to belong. A family is what many of them mistake gangs for. They too are not experienced can very easily be influenced by the wrong people and have no wisdom and are quite vulnerable. Many of them have heard of and think there is a God but don’t really know who He is or have ever even been to a church. Explain the difference in why they are any different and why much of society seems to have no mercy on these children of the streets? Please respond. Thank You! Brenda

why do we put them in jail? where else should they be put? i agree mental institutions should work with all the criminals, since many of them have problems, not just kids.

I’m not talking about criminal adults, I’m talking about children being tried as adults.

Apathy, anger, and bigotry are often at the heart of it. I often find that the worst things humans do to each other are powered by these types of feelings towards someone we identify as “other” than us.

My guess is because statutory rape laws are for the *protection **of *minors from predatory adults. In the case of young criminals, there needs to be a *protection **from *minors. In the first example, the adults are the predators, in the second example, the youth are the predators. In both cases, the predator is being punished, regardless of age.

To put it broadly, I believe that a young teenager knows it is wrong to kill someone, and (for the most part) accept the gravity of the situation. Yes, they may be in situations that lead them to that lifestyle, and it is tragic that so many of our youth are being drawn to violence, but at the end of the day, they have a thorough understanding of right and wrong.

Sexuality is completely different - most people don’t have sex ed until 7th or 8th grade (13-14 years old). They fail to understand the risks and consequences of sex the way they understand the same for violence. Yes, they may know they can get pregnant or diseases, but if one thinks the only risk from sexual activity is physical, that person probably needs to learn more about sexuality.

More importantly than the above, you are talking about the mindset of child criminals and child victims. Yes, I’m sure some 16 or 17 year old who has consensual sex with their 18-19 year old boyfriend/girlfriend is more capable of understanding the nature, but then it gets slippery. What if the person was 25, was in a position of authority, or had some other way of manipulation? What if they were 35, 45, 55 even? That is why you have to draw a hard line in the sand on the age matter for sex. But crime is something different. If someone is truly ‘coerced’ into crime, it is hard to say they are guilty, and even if so, it is unlikely that a juvenile would be tried as an adult under those circumstances. A kid who steals a pack of gum isn’t being tried as an adult, but someone who rapes and murders a woman probably will because the nature of the crime shows a mature attitude, not to mention a high propensity for repeat offenses.

I used statutory rape as the example of the minor not being matured and experienced enough to really understand the dangers of having sex at such a young age. The same goes for gangster children. In that case why not tell the child that is a victim of statutory rape at 12 or 13 years old, to bad for you, you are old enough to know better for doing the thing that was wrong, and send them to juvenile. Children of the streets don’t really understand the risks or consequences either. They may know it’s wrong to kill, but have no idea what prison is really like and my whole point was they don’t think like adults. They can’t, they are not adults. They don’t have the same reasoning as adults.

There is no real comparison if you ask me. Apples and Oranges. A child who has been seduced by an adult is the victim of a crime. A teen-aged gang member who commits a crime is a criminal. A victim is a victim and a criminal is a criminal. To make excuse for criminal behaviors because of the age of the perp isn’t fair to both the victims of the teen’s crimes and the teen themselves. They shouldn’t be told that when they reach a certain age, there are a different set of rules. I think it encourages children to do what they can while they can because as soon as they reach a certain age, they won’t get a slap on the wrist anymore. It has given them excuse to do worse then they would have if they were older. On the other hand some kids get into trouble out of inexperience and plain ole youth and shouldn’t have the rest of their lives ruined by stupid mistakes.

But make it clear - those children who get seduced into preforming sexual acts with older persons who should know better need protections in the law and the threat of statutory rape charges should be enough to keep those predators away from the young uninformed.

Victims are victims and criminals are criminals. Some criminals try to get out of facing their crimes by convincing everyone, including the courts that they are victims. You’ll sympathize with them and judgment becomes clouded. But our sympathy lies with the true victims of real crimes not the criminals. Get it right.



Then why stop at the age of 10, if they murder at five or six, seven then prosecute them as if they were adults? Well, I’m tired of the subject, I can’t change other peoples thinking any more than they can change mine. I guess I’ll just let it go and pray for Gods prodigal children. Thank you for your opinion.

Ok, how about the other way too. Why stop at “minor” status at 18? Some 40 or 50 year olds murder for sneakers, or 5 dollars short in a dope deal. That is pretty childish thinking. Perhaps they should be tried as minors.:shrug:

Is this a real issue for you?

I’m sorry but if you rape a woman, or kill someone, then you are “other” than me.

I wonder what would Jesus say. About the children, not about 50 or 60 year olds. He is so merciful. At any rate these are His special people, the ones He loves soooo much. He did say, he came to save the sinners, not the righteous. I try and pray for these children often. Yes, I am greatly concerned about how unjust the system is. That is in my opinion. Nobody has to agree with me. Thanks for your opinion. Take care, I care.

Where is this happening that “children” have this problem often?

The Church is even harsher on “children” once they achieve the age of reason they are bound by the sacramental life of the Church. So, yes, Jesus, as God has weighed in on it quite heavily. A 12 year old who murders is bound by the same moral punishment as you or I. And eternal punishment is no juvenile hall.

You rail against an “unjust” legal system but do you rail against the Church for the same thing?

Lost in all this “feeling” is the Justice the Holy virtue of Justice for the victims of these “child” murderers or thieves, or drug dealers or rapists. More often than not these “kids” are more capable than most adults. And where would the justice be, where would the victims be without a just punishment for the crime? Punish the parents? The ones that are not there? Punish the state, jail the mayor for 25 years because there is gang violence in his town? Or how about the voters? how about we punish them for cutting back on social services when the economy is bad? The buck has to stop somewhere. And sadly, tragically, sometimes it is with the fully aware, murderous, criminal, and unholy 12 year old.

God has the same scale of justice. Only his punishment and reward is eternal. If you wish to “save” these children. Evangelize them, convert them, preach Jesus to them. You will be killed. Like the saints before us. But it is easier to accuse the “system” than to preach the gospel.:shrug:

You have to be kidding! All over the USA, all over the world. I don’t think they have failed society, I think society has failed them. It is also in the bible that a hungry man will steal. Many of these children are hungry, their parents sell their food stamps for dope and they are victims of circumstances, they are beaten, raped in their own homes. Surely, you know all of this. Children are killing each other all over the country. Many of them are driven to the streets. This country sends millions of dollars to help other countries each year, it’s sad they can’t get our own children out of the streets. I’m speaking of children from the slums who have only been subjected to poverty and ignorance. These are the children of the streets. It’s easy to not care when you aren’t in their shoes. Not to imply that you don’t care.

I think I understand what you’re saying, and I don’t disagree with you…unfortunately, we live in an increasingly secular society…children became ‘disposable’ when the Roe vs Wade verdict was handed down…how many millions of innocent unborn children have been murdered [with government complicity] since then?..and we, as followers of Jesus, are chastised and persecuted for objecting…

Rape, I would tend to think so. But what about the rapists who themselves were victims of abuse as children? They have a predisposition to it, but clearly being assaulted when they were children permanently hindered their abilities.

And you say “kill”, but I presume you would mean “murder”, as their are just killings (self defense, war, etc). But even then, I think you could see how someone could slip into that world (even if you never would). Now, this is entirely different from serial killers or people who kill in cold blood, but now we are at a point where some killers (and possibly some rapists) are not ‘others’.

Oh, I do. I even took one out of the streets and raised him. I’ve feed many of them and to this day I send one young man money in jail, help him to buy snacks and pray for them, talk to them. I fed four gangsters last week and let them in my home. Very young ones, only 14 and 15. I guess I pay my money and take my chances. They could kill me today or tomorrow. Who knows? Thus far, God has not let one of them hurt me yet. Not to say they won’t. God’s will be done.

Where does the Bible say that?!

You need to back that up.

Listen. NO ONE would say that your do not have valid points. that there is a problem in some of the urban areas of our country. But you are not addressing the reality of justice. And all of your arguments can apply past the age of 18. Why not cut the 45 year old child molesting murderous rapist some slack because his childhood was abusive and poor?

Please, tell me, when a 15 year old gang banger rapes my daughter, what should be done with the poor boy?

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