Topic: "Genarlow de Chariot" (3)
"Statutory Rape" is a term which one doesn't hear much anymore, it seems to have been supplanted either by alternative terminology or by the complete absence of sexual exploration by teen-agers. There was a time in recent history when the words "15 will get you 20" were crystal clear in their reference. How times have changed.
Genarlow Wilson, a talented young black athlete, with the verbal skills of a mushroom, was having a good time at the party. Things got even better when the young female slipped her lips around his Johnson, and proceeded to do her best imitation of Monica Lewinsky. Wilson's friends thought this such an amusing turn of events that they turned their videocamera toward the participants in order to mark the historic event for future audiences, perhaps on "You Tube." The fact that the suckee was 15 years old did not seem to register with anyone. Added on to that fact in subsequent testimony, the "consensual" act by an underage female seemed to make everything all kosher. Genarlow got his rocks off, his friends got their movie, and soon the Mounties would get their man.
Genarlow Wilson was charged and sentenced to 10 years. During the course of the trial, to complicate matters just a smidgen, the law was changed, and the felony which was, wasn't. Fat lot of good that would do Wilson, and all those pending grants-in-aid to football-crazy institutions which necessarily went the way of the Great Auk. That is until it became the "social injustice du jour."
To make a long story very short, the Attorney General of the State of Georgia (which, these days, is sort of like the state of uncertainty) appealed a judges' order to free Wilson on appeal. This coming after the youngster has now spent four years in the cooler. The Attorney General, Thurbert Baker, argued that such a ruling could adversely impact the conviction of everyone with the same charge as Wilson, i.e. aggravated child molestation, and that the requirement for registration as a "sexual offender," might be procedurally challenged by all. The uproar for justice to deal with the circumstances of one young man, versus the laws which govern all, crystallized when the publicity hounds came baying at the jailhouse door.
One "civil rights activist" called a press conference after discussing the strategic nature of the case with the Prosecutor. This, an individual unknown to the defendant or his family, who had never had any contact with the defendant, his attorney, or anyone even remotely affiliated, was presenting himself as "deus ex machina" in behalf of Genarlow Wilson. At the same time, the mother of the suckee appears on local TV and proclaims that the sexual act was "consensual," and that she saw no need for Wilson to suffer further for such an act. Noted by Frodo is the fact that by going public in this manner the mother had "de facto" identified her daughter as a parrticipant in such an act to the entire viewing public, including everyone ever identified as a "sexual offender." Not to be outdone of course, was the implication, nationally, that this was but one more example of "white man's justice" in the South applied to the poor and downtrodden.
The Attorney General of Georgia, the aforementioned Thurbert Baker, is black. Baker has argued that proper action by the Governor, the questionably honorable Sonny Perdue, to pardon Genarlow Wilson and to thereby remove the "sexual offender registration" requirement would quell the potential legal problems inherent in simply letting Wilson go because one judge said it was OK. In the meantime, the forces of emotion over civilization demand Baker's head, that Wilson be freed, and all the past be forgotten.
Frodo thinks the girl's mother is a fool. He thinks the "civil rights activist" should be banned by the State of Georgia, and delivered to his new residence in Crawford, Texas. He thinks that Governor Sonny Perdue should resign in order to run for Vice President alongside Sam Brownback. He also hopes that Genarlow Wilson comes out of jail as something more than a made-for-TV soap opera icon. Frodo hopes it happens soon, and that it is proper under the law.
Frodo also thinks that if John F. Kennedy were today publishing a new edition of "Profiles in Courage," that Thurbert Baker, Attorney General of the State of Georgia, should be included.