The Bi-polar Hottie Defense, Etc.

Jade Moon
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Wednesday - April 05, 2006
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We’ve got a new kind of justice in this country. It’s called the bi-polar hottie defense. It works like this: First, you rape a kid, then you claim to be mentally ill while batting big fake eyelashes and tossing your shiny blond hair on national TV. Then the prosecutor caves, even though you’re a schoolteacher and the victim was a kid in your class - a child who trusted you. Then you go on national TV again to gloat that you’re not getting any jail time at all for a crime you say you could-n’t help but commit. Show no remorse. It’s OK, because you’re cute. That means you can get away with it.

The prosecutor says it was to spare the child from having to testify. His parents went along with it. What is wrong with that picture? A rapist gets to go free because the prosecutor was too lazy to build a case that would-n’t require the victim’s testimony? Does it mean criminals get a pass because witnesses or victims are too scared or messed up to testify? I don’t think so.

In the case of schoolteacher Debra Lafave in Florida, it is undisputed that the teacher had sex with the student several times. In the classroom, where parents thought their child would be safe, and in her home. It turns my stomach.

I feel compelled to write this as I contemplate what life would be like if we were afraid to send our kids off to school. Instead of passing the kids, will the teachers be making passes at them? Will my innocent child be exposed to less-than-wholesome extracurricular activities? And if it happens, will the perpetrator get away with it scot free?

There’s really no excuse for not going after this teacher. Let’s say the boy was willing, or even the aggressor. Let’s entertain the notion Lafave might have bi-polar disorder. Why should those factors even matter when it comes to taking the suspect to trial? The boy was 14 when he was raped. Too young to know what real consent is. Children should be off limits. Period.

And I don’t think I even have to remind you of the appallingly sexist ramifications of this story. If the student had been a 14-year-old girl and her teacher a man, would he be free right now? You can bet he’d be hauled off to jail, pronto, no matter how darn cute he is.

three star

All right, enough already! Forecasters told us the rains would likely continue this week. My son says our lawn has turned into a marsh. We’ve forgotten what blue, sunny skies look like.

Normally I love rain. I like cool weather. I enjoy cooking soups and stews and other rainy-day comfort foods. But I am running out of rain recipes. This is getting ridiculous. We all look like shivering ghosts and we’re driving like we’re deaf, dumb and blind. Our neighbors are grumpy and either our lawns are draining into theirs or the other way around. My mother made a joke about 40 days and 40 nights of rain - well, aren’t we close to that right now?

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