Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Before this disappears

Friday, on the front page of the paper, ran one of the crazier stories I've seen in my nearly three years in Shreveport.

Here's the nickel tour: A 17-year-old was arrested for soliciting sex to a 39-year-old, now-former Caddo schools substitute teacher. The teacher was not arrested, apparently because he was more cooperative with the officer. And just for the record, the officer admitted he saw no illegal activity, essentially arresting the teen on the word of the older man. (Get the full story here.)

I'm sure many of you have heard about this and the story commenters are certainly having a field day with it. And it's was a mildly interesting story until some oddball legal moves upped the ante.

Caddo District Attorney Paul Carmouche announced that no charges will be filed against the older of the two men because they need him to testify against the teenager and, "because the deputy had already told the older man he would not arrest him."

Who knew the legal system ran on promises and pinkie swears?

Carmouche says that without the older man's testimony, they have no case against the teenager. "Technically, they both would be violating the prostitution law, and we had to make a decision: Do we give up the case against both or will we use one to testify against the other? And we chose to use him as a witness."

That seems like, at best, a lapse in judgment to me and at worst, a blatantly unfair decision.

Besides the fact it gives the impression that selling sex is somehow more illegal than buying it, has the D.A.'s office really put thought (or has anyone put any investigative effort) into the possible ramifications of this former educator's actions?

The older man says it's the first time this has happened. The teen says it's been going on for months, meaning this could have started before he reached the age of consent.

And is this really the only person with which the teacher was involved? For all anyone knows, this could be the latest in a string of local teacher-as-sexual-predator scandals.

Last, and certainly least in a legal sense, on the maturity and good judgment scale, that 39-year-old should be leaps and bounds beyond a 17-year-old willing to sell his body. Why should the more mature of the two get off without even a slap on the wrist while the younger one gets a record before he can even register to vote?

3 comments:

Ashley Northington said...

Amen!

I agree with you on all counts. How can you really be arrested when the officer didn't even see anything?

LOL at the promises pinky-swears comment.

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