Thursday, September 25, 2008

pence wants to fix child seduction law

from the indy star:

The Democratic candidate for attorney general said today that she would lobby to change Indiana's child seduction statute so it covers anyone with responsibility over a teenager.

Without the change, Linda Pence said, people who volunteer at schools and camps or work at places that give them authority over children might not be covered by the law. She called it a loophole.

"Unfortunately for our children, there are many adult care givers who have responsibility and control over our children who are excluded by this restrictive language," Pence said during a news conference this morning on the west side of the Indiana Capitol.

so if a teacher has sex with a 16-year-old student, that's a crime under the current law, but if a volunteer coach or teaching assistant has sex with the same student, there's no penalty. sounds like a massive loophole to me.

She cited two cases. In one, the Indiana Supreme Court last year ruled that a Switzerland County school bus driver employed by a private contractor wasn't covered by the child seduction statute since he didn't work directly for the school district. In the other case, Pence said she recently represented teenage girls seduced by an Indianapolis-area coach who was a volunteer and didn't face criminal charges. The girls' families sued the coach, and the lawsuit was resolved through a settlement, Pence said. She declined to name the parties.

if that second case sounds familiar, it's because gary welsh tried to turn it into an attack on pence last month. apparently the seducer in the case was an old friend of gary's who took advantage of his role as a volunteer coach to seduce not one but two of the 16-year-old girls in his care. one of the girls' parents hired pence, who eventually filed a lawsuit against gary's buddy.

for some puzzling reason, gary thought this story made linda pence look like the bad guy and blogged about how mean she was to his old pal. at the time, i noted that the story sounded like a textbook case of child seduction and was confused as to why pence was unable to get the guy convicted of that crime, considering that he readily admitted to having sex with two underage students. now i know why: because he took advantage of this "volunteer" loophole.

one other thing: note how pence declined to name the seducer. she may not like the guy—in fact i suspect she finds him repulsive—but she's not going to publicly drag his name through the mud. in contrast, gary welsh's post not only named his buddy the child seducer, but he also named one of the victims.

update: you know gary hates to be made a fool of, so naturally he had to post again, defending himself and his good buddy:

What Pence failed to explain to the media today was that criminal charges were not brought against the person in question because the sex she alleged occurred took place after he had moved to Chicago and was no longer working as a volunteer coach for the school.

ah, so he seduced them while working at the school, but waited until after he quit to actually sex them up? hmm... i don't think that makes the situation much better. (in fact, it sounds like child grooming to me.)

furthermore, where does gary get off talking about alleged sex? in his previous post, he reported that his friend admitted to having sex with two underage former rowing students (two—not just the one gary claims is "in love" with his friend). there's nothing alleged about that sex. everyone agrees that it happened.


Steph Mineart said...

The idea that volunteers aren't covered is shocking, and I wonder who else has gotten away with abusing young people this way.

And regarding Gary's rationalizations -- it's not that the guy didn't do the deed. It's just that the deed was a loophole in the law that he managed to slip through.

If I had extra cash money, I'd bet Welsh's pal KNEW about the loophole and specifically put himself in position to take advantage of it. Which is what predators do.

Vox Populi said...

lol he's moved one from this. He's too busy talking in the comments about how Obama's dark lips make him look "sinister."

Blogger Advance Indiana said...

Certainly the drug abuse to which he admits during his younger years could contribute to his current memory deficit. He really does struggle at times to piece sentences together when he doesn't have a script in front of him. I was taken back by the unusual dark purple color of Obama's lips during last night's debate. Did anyone else notice that? If he was wearing lipstick, it was a bad make-up decision. It made him look sinister.

9:13 AM EST

stAllio! said...

holy shit!

his debate post was crazy enough, with him talking about mccain's "pleasant smile" (mccain's smile could barely contain mccain's obvious seething rage) and complaining about obama's alleged facial tics. but... wow.

Vox Populi said...

see my comment in the debate thread at Blue Indiana.

Jen said...

I find it astonishing that anyone still reads Gary's site. He lost his marbles months ago.