Neglected at home and ostracized at school, I found comfort in the sexual attentions of older men. Unlike boys my own age, who cruelly taunted me, older men were nice to me. Unlike my emotionally distant father, older men paid attention to me. They were grooming me, but to that chubby, attention-starved teenage girl, their attentions felt a lot like love.
And so I created Prodigy chat rooms with names like “13yo girl home alone” and spent hours chatting and having phone sex with the men who would find me there. I “dated” men in their 20s and 30s that I met at the movie theater, online or hanging around local college town with my other underage girlfriends. I pursued these relationships with with Lolita-like abandon. The terrifying thing is how few adult men ever said no.
I was not coerced. I consented to all these sexual encounters in the basest sense of the world. But I was making choices that I wasn’t emotionally equipped to make. Legally, that’s why statutory rape laws exist. Because like an intoxicated person, an underage person is not truly capable of informed consent.
And yet, on Monday, Stacey Rambold, a Senior High teacher convicted of raping 14-year-old Cherice Morales, who later committed suicide, was sentenced to spend just 30 days in jail. The judge justified his decision in part by saying he listened to recorded statements given by Morales before her death and believes that while she was a troubled youth, she was “as much in control of the situation” as Rambold.
The judge also said Morales was “older than her chronological age” (linked above).