America’s War on Sex (Offenders) is well documented by now. Sexual deviants and offenders are the modern day witches, persecuted by the fearful among us, without any regard to rationality or reason. So it was only inevitable, then, that the prosecutions of these witches creeped into the Orwellian realm: seemingly innocent acts (albeit non-conventional) that may perhaps possibly lead to an actual crime, despite a mountain of evidence suggesting the opposite.
That’s precisely what happened to one gentleman in Colorado, as documented by Dr. Marty Klein, who authors the Sexual Intelligence blog. He explains (explicit details, skip the blockquote if you’re delicate):
Here’s the situation: The defendant “Mr. Jones” goes into a Yahoo adult chat-room, and makes it clear he wants to have conversations about sexually dominating a young person. A person responds—let’s call her “Missy”—who says she’s a teen who would gladly chat with a wiser, older man about the ins and outs of sexual things.“Missy” says she’s 14, and she and “Mr. Jones” proceed to exchange hundreds and hundreds of emails, IMs, and phone calls, which range from the incredibly boring to the graphically sexual. He discusses how one day she’s going to be sexual with men, and therefore he helpfully instructs “Missy” to put her fingers in her vagina, practice sucking them, etc.. On the other hand, he never invites his correspondent to meet him, never sends “Missy” money or gifts, never sends her pictures of adults having sex with minors.
Judging by the quotes, you might have guessed that “Missy” is a cop. Mr. Jones was charged with some form of internet sexual exploitation (if any CO practitioners know the statute, leave a link in the comments and I’ll amend the post – the closest I could find was this), notwithstanding the fact that “Missy” was not a minor, nor was he doing any grooming for any contact whatsoever, since through their repeated communications he had not once suggested they meet in person, nor sent a photograph of himself or requested photographs of her. In other words, it was a fantasy. Much like the ones we all have.
Dr. Klein, hired as an expert by the defense, was put through the wringer by the prosecution, who sought to paint Mr. Jones – and by implication all adults with healthy sexual desires – as deviants:
The prosecution tried to get me to say that most people who fantasize are sick, which I wouldn’t. They tried to get me to say that people’s fantasies indicate what they want to do in real life, which I wouldn’t. They tried to get me to say that Mr. Jones’ calls and emails were typical grooming behavior. I pointed out the fundamental flaws in their reasoning: he had met “Missy” in a chatroom for adults, not for fans of Miley Cyrus or the Jonas Brothers. And after a thousand emails and phone calls, he never said anything like, “Let’s meet. We’ll have a great time. When are you free? I’ll send you money for a bus ticket.”
The jury received Dr. Klein warmly and showered Mr. Jones’ lawyer with compliments. Yet today, Mr. Jones is not a free man. The jury convicted him, because they were afraid to believe him. They couldn’t be sure if he was really seeking out a child. No, he didn’t prove his innocence beyond a reasonable doubt.
This war on sex has so turned the tables on individuals that the fundamental constitutional protections of due process and the burden resting with the state to prove a crime exist only as a sham, if at all. When juries are afraid to do the right thing and acquit someone who has committed no crime, only because they could never be a hundred percent sure that the defendant didn’t intend to, or never will intend to, it is time to lock your doors and never leave the house.
When convictions are based on what the defendant couldn’t disprove, not what the State failed to, the criminal justice system has turned into nothing more than the crusade against heretics.
As the comments to my previous post on whether pedophelia is the result of organic brain disorders show, it may very well be the fact that “these people” are “different” from the personas average people put on display that drives the “average juror” to convict, just to be safe.
Hopefully, on appeal, it will be proven that this was not a “reasonable” jury and restore our faith in the criminal justice system. But don’t hold your breath.