Friday, March 27, 2009

Age of Consent and the Internet

An interesting non-case in Oklahoma -- two 16-year-old girls, one from Hawaii, one from New York, each flew to Oklahoma to meet a man they communicated with online (note: these girls are both at the age of consent according to the state laws of HI and NY). But since the girls traveled willingly, and they are "of age" according to these particular state laws, there is no crime. But the man bought the plane tickets, so the FBI got involved, based on laws that prohibit "transporting teenagers across state lines for the purpose of sex," and potential kidnapping charges.

While I appreciate that there are sex trafficking and kidnapping laws in the United States, this might be a situation that is best left to the families, not the legal system.


Jeff Valliant said...

Would the same laws have been applied if the parents, for some reason or another, had purchased the tickets themselves, instead of a stranger? Even though the teenagers are of "lawful age", can they be held liable if they purchased the tickets, because they crossed state lines? It seems like the same situation as the "sexting". If they're not exploiting themselves, why would they be punished? That kind of seems odd to say, but it appears to me like a double-standard is being applied.

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