This man had sex with an underage girl and got her pregnant. Illegal? Yes.
The man then married the girl in Kansas, with her mother’s consent. Kansas has no minimum age provided there is parental consent. Legal? Yes.
They then returned to Nebraska to live.
From the court’s ruling, it sounds like he would have gotten probabtion for the charge. Fair? Probably.
However - and this is where I’m getting hung up - they won’t give him probation because he continues to have sex with her now that they are married, implying that he will automatically be breaking the law the first time they have sex again and be in violation of his parole.
Hang the morality of it all (that’s a big ol’ debate on its own), I’m just trying to figure out whether it makes sense for it to be illegal for a man to have sex with his lawfully wedded wife.
Thoughts? I haven’t formed a fast opinion on this, and wondering what you guys think. Again, I’m not trying to get hung up on whether it’s right, moral, ethical, etc. for a 23 year old man to be married to a 14 year old girl. The fact remains that he is - legally, and with her mother’s consent - and now he is being told that performing within the constructs of that marriage is a crime in itself.
Haven’t thought a whole lot about this yet, but I can say that it’s quite common in my state for a condition of parole to require that the parolee have no contact at all with the crime victim, even if the victim is the spouse and even if the victim wants the contact. While it may not be a crime for a man to have sex with his wife, it could still be a violation of his parole or probation.
He should’ve stayed in Kansas for a few years. If it wasn’t legal for him to get married in Nebraska, it was courting trouble to jump a state line to one where it was and then come back afterwards. (What happened to transporting girls across a State line for immoral purposes, anyway?)
…Which hopefully proves I’m consistent, at least, as I’ve taken the above position on gay marriages, and now a straight one too.
I’m pretty sure the Mann Act specifically excludes man & wife, as women generally marries younger when it was passed.
Shouldn’t the judge be able to set whatever conditions he likes for probation? Couldn’t he give him a suspended sentence? I mean, it’s yucky but the guy is married to her now.
I’m fairly sure the judge could have given probation if he wanted to, but he chose not to. According to the prosecutor in the CNN video clip, the relationship started when the girl was 12. If I were the judge, I wouldn’t want to send the message that it’s okay to start a relationship with a twelve year old when you’re twenty, get her pregnant when she’s fourteen, just as long as you marry her before she gives birth.
My only concern is for the child. Who is going to support the mother and child while the husband/father is in jail? How difficult is it going to be for him to find work when he gets out? At least he married her. (Not that marrying her makes a 20 year old sleeping with a 12 year old right. Ugh.)
Ummmmm . . . maybe not. IANAL but just because you are legally married in one state doesn’t mean your marriage is recognized in all of the states if the marriage would violate their laws. Just ask all of the homosexual married couples in Massachusetts who want to move.
Well, at least when he gets out of prison it’ll be legal for him to have sex with his wife…
Although if that’s the reason the judge gave him prison, that he would continue to have sex with his wife, then the judge is wrong. The wife is 15 now and it’s legal for a 15 year old to have sex with a 23 year old.
Marriage is an immoral purpose?
Regardless of the morality of marriage, most states make it illegal to leave one’s own state for the purpose of circumventing the home state’s marriage laws. I don’t see anything in a perusal of Nebraska’s laws saying that, though, and indeed the law specifically states that marriages performed outside the state that are legal where they were performed shall be recognized in Nebraska.
Sorry to be the cause of confusion, Otto. There was a thread some months back that involved a lesbian marriage, an underage person in a bar, and some state-hopping to contract a marriage that wasn’t recognised in the couple’s home state. I said then that if they could only get themselves married in another state, they shouldn’t have too many gripes about their marriage not being recognised in their home state when they went back there; and it’s only fair if I stick to the same line when the couple involved are straight.
“Marriage is an immoral purpose?”. Well, I think you could view it that way if you’re off to another state to contract a marriage that you can’t contract where you are. But since I’m not American, I don’t know the law well, and I don’t know whether the offence is considered to occur as the State line is crossed on leaving or on entering - in the latter case, there’s obviously no beef, as the State they’re arriving in doesn’t consider the intended marriage to be at all immoral.
alphaboi867, I think the “child” that needs taking care of here is the result of the pregnancy mentioned earlier, not the child-bride.
Did the courts even talk to the victim? Was there any kind of victim impact assessment or psychological evaluation of the damage from this relationship?
The relationship may have been abusive when it started, but was it “merely” statutory rape, or was there actual coersion and abuse? What is their relationship like now? Is it still abusive? What does she want?
OK, personally I think Kansas needs to sort out its marriage laws and the couple shouldn’t have been stupid enough to move back to Nebraska. But come on, how can you be arguing for the sanctity of marriage if your courts only uphold the sanctity of (legal) marriages when it suits them?
Put this guy on the sex offenders’ register, put him on parole (but allow him to sleep with his legal spouse and have access to his child), whatever, but imprisonment seems like overkill.
Use some common sense, if the victim feels that her husband has done her no harm, why should the state decide it knows better, based simply on her age and the presumed harm done to her?
Well, is there a statement within marriage law that makes it automatically legal to have sex with your spouse under circumstances where it would otherwise be illegal?
Let’s be brutally clear, if it is possible for me to rape my wife (it is), it is possible for this guy to rape or sexually assault his wife. Being married does not make a crime not a crime, unless there is specific text in the law saying so.