Lester Prynne?

September 12, 2007

Someone I care about went to jail today. He will be serving 4 to 5 months in a county jail after pleading guilty to sexual battery. If he hadn’t agreed to the plea, which carries with it a lifetime label of “sexual offender,” he would have risked serving up to eight years in prison. In addition, he is now a convicted felon who has lost his job and his real estate license, as well as the rights to vote, hold public office, and own a gun.

So what’s the story? What happened? Two dumb twenty-something guys and a girl were drinking at my friend’s house. Everyone got too drunk to know what was going on, and the next morning, although no one remembered what had happened the night before, there was a digital camera with pictures of the girl naked. She found the camera and got mad. No one remembered having sex—no one remembered much of anything at all, but the girl got mad and talked to her uncle who worked in law enforcement and decided to go to the police. She didn’t remember any sexual activity, she was just angry that someone had taken naked pictures of her.

The police recommended that she be examined and a rape kit be used, which found no evidence of any sexual activity. A more detailed test performed a few weeks later found some type of DNA material not belonging to the girl.

The police tried to get each of the boys to turn on each other, offering them a chance to get off the hook if they would sign a statement incriminating the other, which neither one would agree to do. Eventually, my friend was offered the aforementioned deal, or told that a DNA test would be conducted to see if the genetic material found was his, and if it was he could land in jail for eight years. Now, my friend was 99.99% sure that he had not had sexual intercourse with the girl, but the .01% uncertainty was too much for him to bank on when the gamble was eight years in the slammer.

What I want to know is this: how can a man be charged with rape if the victim never claimed to have been raped and no one present even remembered what went on? Why must a young man engaging in a prank spend the rest of his life labeled a pervert? Foolish? Yes. Rape? No.

When I was in junior high and went to slumber parties, the consequence for being the first girl asleep was to have your bra dipped in water and frozen solid. Did you see the Friends episode where Ross and Rachel got drunk and got married and ended up with permanent marker on their faces because they were too sloshed for either of them to remember what had happened the night before?

Here’s a newsflash: guys like to look at boobies. If a girl voluntarily takes off her clothes in front of guys, they will look at her boobies. (Have you ever heard of strip clubs or pornography?) If you are a girl and you don’t want boys to look at your boobies, KEEP YOUR CLOTHES ON!!! If you are not capable of keeping your clothes on because you drink too much, maybe you need to go to AA, but please don’t blame someone else for your poor judgment!!!

Anyone who has been drunk or stayed up to late at a slumber party knows that as it gets later and/or you get drunker, silly things become funnier and funnier. Let’s put shaving cream on her hand and tickle her nose so that when she reaches to scratch her nose she gets shaving cream on it. Let’s dress him up in drag and put makeup on him and take pictures to show him how stupid he looked! Okay, she’s naked, let’s take pictures of her boobies!

When did girls who got drunk and took off their clothes in front of men they barely knew stop being hoochies? Apparently some women want equal rights with men unless those rights include being responsible for their own drunken, foolish behavior.

My friend has been labeled a sexual offender for the rest of his life. It will impact his ability to get a job, make friends, what his neighbors think about him if they find out there is a “sexual offender” living in their neighborhood, and his feelings about himself. All I am asking is, couldn’t the girl be required to wear a scarlet H?