I don’t really know how you feel about teacher-student sex or coach-player sex at the high school level. Personally, I have a hard time looking at some 16-year-old kid as a “victim” when he’s hitting some hot 23-year-old teacher. But that’s me. And, apparently now, the state of Georgia, whose landmark decision from its state supreme court has changed the landscape on age-of-consent laws in that state.
Melissa Lee Chase, a former high school softball coach, had a 10-year sentence overturned by that court last month. The conviction, stemming from a relationship with a 16-year-old at her school, was overturned since Chase was not allowed to use the 16-year-old’s consent as a defense. From The School Law Blog at Education Week:
The age of consent for sex in Georgia is 16, although school personnel are subject to the state law, revised in 2006, that bars them from sex with those under their supervision. The 16-year-old was in Chase’s class, but their romantic relationship began later. The girl testified that she had initiated and “pushed” the relationship with the teacher.
The decision has already impacted the case of Allison Ivey, a 30-year-old teacher in Macon who denied having sex with two of her students, aged 17 and 18, respectively. And one can see that Baldwin County District Attorney Fred Wright has a real appreciation for the gray areas in the legal system of his state. From the Macon paper:
Before the Chase case, it didn’t matter whether a student over the age of 16 consented to sexual contact with a teacher, Bright said. “It was a crime,” he said. Now, Bright said the Chase case changed all the rules.
“It is no longer a crime for a teacher to engage in consensual sex with a student over 16,” he said.
This is the same state that held high school football star Genarlow Wilson in jail for two years for the audacious crime of receiving a blow job. He was 17 and black, she was 15 and white. Frankly, I’m appalled at what the state is willing to consider “sexual assault” when it benefits their interests in getting a conviction.
Maybe the pendulum swung too far the other way here, but to see that it’s at least swinging is a relief. I can’t wait to see how Georgia plans to market their freshly available 16-year-old poon in their tourism ads. I can visualize the license plates already, and they look terrific.