Our devotion is extreme, our minds our stable, and our actions pure. But there still lies one problem I'm going to give you a scenario, and I hope you see the point behind this: You waited to date until you turned 18 because you knew if you started dating at such a young age you, personally, wouldn't be able to prioritize your life's daily activities accordingly. Your first girlfriend was a friend you've had since freshmen year and over time you've developed feelings mutually, so you ask her out.
You have no prior dating experience so the relationship comes to a close within a month. Saddened by the fact you had your hopes up, you search for another girlfriend to fill the gap, and you realize, she's different than all the other guys' girlfriends So, you walk up to her and begin talking. Through a couple of exchanged smiles and laughs you find that there's an attachment secretly growing without really even putting an effort into it. That same day, you walk her to each of her classes and give her a hug who's gonna pass up a hug from a cute girl, I mean, come on.
It's the last class before school is let out, and as you step through the doorway you see that the teacher is standing at his podium, reading off the names on his attendance sheet, some of which you notice are your freshmen friends. With feelings already sewn into place and the makings of a good relationship have formed, you can't help but smile and say "Screw the age limit, I like this girl. One night, you decide to sneak out and see each other. Just the two of you underneath the cold sky gazing at the stars dotted above.
You turn and look in her eyes and whisper a phrase so romantic that she tears up and hugs you closer than anyone ever has, "Together, forever and always. Crying in your arms, you ask her what's wrong, and she replies "My parents told me not to come home. They said 'We love you but we don't want you, you've been a terrible adopted daughter. In the morning she wanted to go to the mall and go shopping for some clothes because when she was kicked out she only had what she was wearing.
You had plenty of money, so you walk to the mall and buy her a change of clothes. In-between stores she sees a hair salon, and begged you to get her hair cut and dyed. You look her in the eyes, and notice that she's always wanted to do this and was never allowed, so you let her stretch herself and show off who she is comfortable being. With hair cut and dyed, you begin to walk back to your friend's house and you get a phone call from the local police, saying "She was reported as a runaway, and unless you let her come home you'll be sent to jail.
You don't hear from her for nearly five days afterward Negative stimuli and feedback from your parents create problems within your relationship, and learning that her parents know you're 18 and disapprove of you dating their daughter makes for an easy breakup, right? Well, that's what the Oregon Supreme Court is trying to decide. Penalties -- jail, fines, etc. The greater the penalty, the greater the discouragement, which is why you're hearing about legislative attempts to increase the penalties for drunk driving.
It just so happens that, in Oregon, the punishment for sex with a 17 year old can be greater than the punishment for sex with a 14 year old. Sounds to me like the legislature is basically saying, "hey, we don't want you to have any sex with minors, but better a 14 year old, where the consequences are less severe. Sex with someone 16 or 17 would result in a charge of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, a misdemeanor, and if the defendant was within 5 years of the "victim," he might not have to register as a sex offender.
Sex with someone 14 or 15 was a felony, Rape in the 3rd degree. And here too, if the defendant was within 5 years of the victim, he might not have to register. But a few years ago, the Oregon Court of Appeals threw another statute into the mix. Sex abuse in the 2nd Degree was defined as sex with someone who didn't consent.
It was different than forcible rape: But they didn't have permission in, perhaps, a date-rape type situation. Didn't matter how old the victim was. If no consent, but no force, then it was sex abuse II. However, in a case out of Washington County called State v Stamper, the Oregon Court of Appeals held that sex abuse II didn't just apply to cases where the victim didn't consent. It applied to cases where the victim couldn't legally consent due to age, like a 17 year old.
Sure, sex with a 17 year old was already criminalized, but now it was a felony. Moreover, it was a felony that -- based on crime seriousness levels, which help determine prison time -- was punished more severely than sex with a 14 year old, and under no circumstances could someone convicted of sex abuse 2 ever NOT register.
Advice from the Oregon Legislature: If you absolutely have to have sex with a minor, then. . . .
Change the maximum age difference for dating couples to five years
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