Play Doctor, Go To Jail?

April 15, 2009 at 2:10 pm by  

Just a random Jailbait pic, quit lookin' at her tits, fellas.

About a month ago, a story emerged about an 11 year old girl being charged with three counts of rape for sexual contact she made with three children – two boys and one girl – under the age of 10. Officials in Ohio believe she is the youngest perpetrator they’ve ever had. Rhonda Hinkle of Muskingum County Children’s Services says they’re seeing an increase in the number of children who are committing sex crimes. Like you’d expect, it’s being termed “an alarming trend”. Hinkle blames “technology” (surprise, surprise) and “blended families” – whatever that’s supposed to mean – for exposing children to behaviors and values they wouldn’t have held otherwise.

But it begs the question: Is the alarming trend the behavior of the children, or how it’s regarded by adults?

Some time ago, I read an editorial piece about the fact that we’re so hypersensitive to the “sexualization” of children that we’ve begun over-reacting to normal childhood behavior. Two examples I recall the author citing was the practice of parents who spank their young children for touching themselves “inappropriately”, and an elementary school teacher who filed a sexual harassment suit against a very young student for groping, or some such nonsense. To a rational mind, these are extreme responses to common and otherwise correctable behaviors. But, more and more, it seems that we use incidents like these to punish a child rather than educate them.

Child-on-child sex abuse does occur. When it is forced or coerced, it’s definitely not “playing doctor” anymore. But is that was happened in this case? I find it interesting that Detective Randy Ritchason, the detective in charge of the case, specifically stated:

“I think people need to understand the charge of rape means any type of penetration there is during the act, no matter how slight. It doesn’t necessarily mean a suspect has someone tied down or beats them and then rapes them. A person under the age of 18 doesn’t have to be forced, either.

Well, gosh – that, to me, sounds like the kind of “doctor” being played by prepubescent children around the country. Back in my day, this would be handled by a phone call between parents and some discipline. Is this the kind of thing that should be dealt with by the courts?

Only time will tell what fate will befall this 11 year old girl. Jail is regarded as a last resort, but the more common sentence of outpatient treatment can last as long as two years. If her escapades were severe enough to warrant such extensive treatment, I hope it helps her. If she’s just a regular ol’ prepubescent child, though, this experience could be all sorts of damaging.

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