At least we're not the only country with screwed up age-of-consent laws

Today's news is that Britney Spear's little sister is pregnant, and her 19 year old boyfriend is therefore in violation of Louisiana state law.

f Casey is indeed the dad-to-be, and the blessed event took place in Jamie Lynn's home state of Louisiana, then the act could be classified as a "Felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile," defined as "sexual intercourse with consent between someone age 19 or older and someone between age 12 and 17."

If Casey were tried and found guilty, he could face a maximum possible term of 10 years imprisonment, possibly with hard labor.

According to Louisiana Revised Statutes 14-80 and 14-42, an individual can legally consent to sexual intercourse when he/she is 17 years of age. And in cases (such as Spears') where the victim is 15 or 16, the defendant (Aldridge) must be no more than two years older for the sexual intercourse to be legal.

So if their baby was conceived in Louisiana, 19-year-old Casey could be confronting some not-so-sweet-16 charges.

The law, like everything else, is different in California. But Casey could still be in trouble if the couple did the deed in the Golden State, where Spears resides while filming her Nickelodeon show "Zoey 101."

"It states clearly in the Californian Penal Code that any person who engages in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor (under 18) who is not more than three years older or three years younger than the perpetrator, is guilty of a misdemeanor and faces up to one year in a county jail," said criminal defense attorney Jim Hammer.

“But if Aldridge is actually more than three years older, he could be up for a felony, which carries a maximum three years in prison.”
Now I have stated before that the American age-of-consent laws, like their drinking laws, need to be adjusted. When I was in the U.S. years ago I met some people from Tennessee who's friend was serving a jail term for "statutory rape" -- not sure from which state, as Tennessee doesn't seem to have that caveat -- he was dating a girl two years younger than himself at age 17, but he turned 18 before she turned 16. Her parents had him charged and convicted of statutory rape. These men lived in fear of "jailbait" -- 16/17 year old girls who claimed to be 18/19 and turned out not to be. One of the reasons they all seemed to like this mythical "Alberta" (besides the concept of totally nude strippers) was the 18 year old drinking age and the discovery that sex with a 16 year old who told you she was 18 at the bar wasn't illegal when you were 2 days after your 19th birthday.

This isn't to say that Canada's age of consent laws are better per se: sure a 19 year old can screw a 16 year old with no consequences, but his 49 year old father can screw the girls 14 year old sister and also suffer no consequences. It seems silly to be forced to choose between one or the other scenario in this case. Its also awfully weird that several Canadian jurisdictions (including, if that idiot Stelmach gets his way, Alberta) seem to have no problem having a subset of "totally legal adults" who are adults in every single way except the legal ability to drink, but can't possibly imagine a scenario where an 18 year old and a 58 year old with 15 year old girlfriends are treated differently.

Jamie-Lynn Spears may soon be barefoot and pregnant while her
boyfriend languishes away in a jail cell.


Suzanne said...

I just wanted to say that I saw this post appear on the Opinions Canada aggregator. Your posts are getting through.