Thursday, June 28, 2007

No Justice In Consensual
Statutory Rape Case

There’s no get-out-of-jail-free card for Genarlow Wilson, a 21-year-old man serving a 10-year prison sentence for statutory rape of a 15-year-old girl, even though it was consensual oral sex, back in 2003, when Wilson was 17. Sadly for Wilson, the D.A. in the case forgot what the term “consensual” meant.

A few days ago, Georgia Superior Court Judge David Emerson denied Wilson bail, even though earlier this month a court voided the original sentence and reduced it to one year, with time served. Wilson has already served two years.

Here’s the deal: At a New Year’s Eve party in 2003, Wilson, then 17, he received, shall we say, “oral relaxation” from a more then willing 15-year-old girl. Of course she was willing, because according to a videotape of the party that was used in the trial, she gave “oral entertainment” to another party guest before going to Wilson.

Because of a law at that time, Wilson was convicted of felony aggravated child molestation. It doesn’t make sense, since the “child” in this case was only two years younger than Wilson.

So, not only is Wilson known for such a grievous form of injustice, he also has to deal with snide jokes about his lawyer's name: B.J. (Brenda Joy) Bernstein. Out of good taste and respect for Wilson, there won’t be any jokes about oral sex or prison.

But the biggest joke of all is David McDade, the D.A. who prosecuted the first case that ended with Wilson behind bars. He said he realizes that the 10-year mandatory sentence was too harsh but he couldn’t turn a blind eye to the “crime” since it was videotaped. In fact, McDade even went so far and blamed everything on Wilson.

“We don’t believe that a 10-year sentence is an appropriate punishment (in this case), but he made that decision to put himself in that predicament,” explained McDade to Atlanta Magazine, of Genarlow’s refusal to cop a plea. McDade said Wilson decided to be a martyr because people told him he could be famous.

Actually, Wilson decided to fight because he didn’t want to spend 10 years in prison doing what that 15-year-old girl did to him at that party, except it won’t be consensual for him. (Please note that this isn’t a joke.) Plus, after he gets out, he will be registered as a sex offender. And if McDade was in Wilson’s situation, he would fight the charges too.

McDade could have dropped the charges against Wilson; he had that type of power. But no, instead he decided to haul Wilson to court. Maybe McDade is the one who wanted to be famous.

And poor Wilson, a bright guy who had a bright football career ahead of him, with colleges after him to play football. But that’s all gone now and whatever college dreams Wilson could have salvaged now are gone because Attorney General Thurbert Baker is appealing the one-year ruling that could have set him free.

In a world where Jose Antonio Lopez only gets three years in jail for a real rape of a 15-year-old girl and Wilson is serving a decade for receiving consensual oral sex, maybe there isn’t justice in the world anymore.