Saletan on Polanski: “Failing to regulate a natural attraction”

William Saletan thinks that pedophilia is sick but that wanting to have sex with pubescent girls is “natural,” and therefore not as wrong. This makes no sense.

Aside from the prurient interest, the Polanski case is fascinating because of the sheer dunderheadedness it brings out in Polanski’s defenders.   The man took a thirteen-year-old girl whose mother was trying to make a career for her as a model, offered to take photos of her, asked her to take her clothing off, gave her drugs, and repeatedly had sex with her (that much is conceded) over her protest (according to the victim’s account).  There’s really nothing to say in his defense that isn’t nonsense.   And a depressing number of people seem to be willing to show how liberated or subtle-minded they are by spouting such nonsense.

I understand why the Hollywood crowd is rallying around one of their own*, though in doing so they confirm all the charges the right wing throws at them and thereby toss away influence that might have been used in a better cause.  But what’s William Saletan’s excuse?  He put up two posts on the topic on successive days, one even dumber than the other.

Saletan, while he’d like “to punch the guy in the mouth,” thinks it would be wrong to punish Polanski as a pedophile.  After all, says Saletan, diddling little children is sick, but doing it with pubescent girls is understandable:

Having sex at 13 is a bad idea. But if you’re pubescent, it might be, in part, your bad idea. Having sex with a 13-year-old, when you’re 40, is scummy. (Personally, I’d be stricter. If I ran a college, I’d discipline professors for sleeping with freshmen.) But it doesn’t necessarily make you the kind of predator who has to be locked up. A guy who goes after 5-year-old girls is deeply pathological. A guy who goes after a womanly body that happens to be 13 years old is failing to regulate a natural attraction. That doesn’t excuse him. But it does justify treating him differently.

Huh?  I’m sorry, but this is gibberish.  What is it about the “naturalness” of the attraction that makes acting on it less morally culpable?   In terms of sheer culpability, you might flip it around:  it’s easier to feel sorry for the poor guy whose “deeply pathological” nature means that only gets turned on by little children than it is for someone who simply gives in to a temptation he might easily have resisted, since the world is full of people he desires and can have sex with on the right side of the law.  In terms of deterrence, it’s more important to deter harmful behavior that more people might want to engage in.

Is there evidence that a man who gets caught once having sex with a pubescent girl is less likely to do so again than a man who gets caught once having sex with a pre-teen? I’m not aware of any.   So why is it less urgent to lock up someone like Polanski?  Surely it can’t count as a moral argument that Saletan feels empathy for Polanski, as he wouldn’t for what he thinks of as a “real” child molester, because Saletan might have felt the same temptation.    By that standard, we shouldn’t punish poor Bernie Madoff too harshly, because it’s “natural” to want money.

The only premise that would fill in Saletan’s argument is that it’s not that bad for a 13-year-old girl to be molested by a 40-year-old man.   I suppose Saletan is entitled to his opinion on that point.  But his opinion isn’t the law.

The law makes what Polanski admitted to doing – having sex with a minor – a very serious crime.   Though he was clearly guilty of statutory rape (since the girl was under the age where her consent, even if she gave it, would have any validity) and rape-by-drugs, and very likely guilty of straight-up rape, Polanski was allowed to plead to a lesser but still very serious charge of having sex with a minor (which could have applied to sex with somewhat older girl but still below the age of consent) to spare the victim the trauma of having to testify.

Polanski then took advantage of the fact that sex with a minor is not a crime in France [see comment for corrective details], and therefore someone convicted of that crime can’t be extradited from France, to skip out on his sentencing, after getting word that the judge might not give him the slap on the wrist he thought he’d bargained for.

Saletan thinks that the 1970s, when a judge might have cut someone like Polanski some slack, were simply capable of finer moral distinctions than we Puritanical moderns can handle.  Well, I suppose that’s one way to think about it.  Maybe so.  Whatever distinction Saletan thinks he’s making is certainly too subtle for me.

*  Though I’m glad to see one of my favorite starlets isn’t having any.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

76 thoughts on “Saletan on Polanski: “Failing to regulate a natural attraction””

  1. "Rape culture is a collective understanding about classifications of rapists: The "normal" rapist (whose crime is most likely to be dismissed with a "boys will be boys" sort of jocular apologia) is the man who forces himself on attractive women, women his age in fine health and form, whose crime is disturbingly understandable to his male defenders. The "real sickos" are the men who go after children, old ladies, the disabled, accident victims languishing in comas—the sort of people who can't fight back, whose rape is difficult to imagine as titillating" … from http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2009/10/ra

  2. Richard:

    The difference is, the Iraq War killed 4,000 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and cost billions of dollars. The prosecution of Roman Polanski will do nothing of the sort– all it may (or may not) result in is one awful pedophile serving the jail service that his conduct warrants and an example being set for other powerful pedophiles and fugitives of justice.

    And the bottom line is, you can always argue that the government has something better to do. But those of us who think that drugging and sodomizing a 13 year old girl, and fleeing justice, are really, really important things would say that there's nothing wrong with the government doing this.

    Finally, on the issue of the fairness of the possible rescission of the plea deal, I would say 2 things: (1) most importantly, Polanski will now have the opportunity to make any prosecutorial / judicial misconduct argument he wishes to make, which is as it should be– what he doesn't get to do is make such arguments from France; and (2) the plea deal was for a very weak sentence (and by the way, the evidence that he drugged and sodomized this girl is overwhelming and uncontradicted– he had NO serious claim of innocence or he would have gone to trial) so there's no particular reason that it absolutely HAS to get honored. Still, if the California authorities decide to honor it, justice will still have been served in the sense that Polanski will have at least been forced to face the charges that he tried to flee.

  3. If the original deal involved two years probation, fleeing the country would have been a probation violation, no? So if the judge ends up giving Polanski two years for the statutory rape plus five years for the flight, I as a citizen could live with that.

  4. A quick google finds this research, which is perhaps relevant to

    the question of whether making an example of Polanski will

    have any effect in deterring future rapes:

    http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst;jsession

    The Rationality of Sexual Offending: Testing a

    Deterrence/Rational Choice Conception of Sexual

    Assault

    Ronet Bachman

    Raymond Paternoster

    Sally Ward

    "Using a combination of hypothetical scenarios and survey-type ques-

    tions, this study investigates the effect of the context of the offense, formal

    sanctions, informal sanctions, and moral beliefs on self-reported projections

    to commit sexual assault. Male college students read and responded to five

    scenarios each describing a hypothetical sexual assault by a male. Respon-

    dents were asked to estimate the certainty of formal and informal punish-

    ment for the scenario male, the extent to which they believed the male's ac-

    tions were morally wrong, and the likelihood that they would do what the

    male did under the same circumstances. We found that projections to com-

    mit sexual assault were affected by two circumstances of the incident, the

    likelihood that the male would be formally sanctioned (dismissed from the

    university or arrested) and the respondent's moral beliefs. The significant

    deterrent effect observed for formal sanction threats was not invariant, how-

    ever. The fear of formal sanctions had no effect when respondents were in-

    hibited by their moral evaluation of the incident. The deterrent effect of for-

    mal sanction threats did not vary by the level of social censure for the

    scenario male's actions. The implications of these finding for previous and

    subsequent deterrence research are discussed."

  5. "The difference is, the Iraq War killed 4,000 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis,

    and cost billions of dollars. The prosecution of Roman Polanski will do nothing of the sort–

    all it may (or may not) result in is one awful pedophile serving the jail service that his

    conduct warrants and an example being set for other powerful pedophiles and fugitives of justice."

    Oy. My point is that government policy (including law-enforcement decisions like

    this one) should be guided by a dispassionate cost-benefit analysis, not by

    chest-beating and the use of emotional arguments. Of course bringing Polanski

    back won't kill 4000 Americans. But it's an important decision nevertheless,

    probably committing us to spending months of court time and millions of dollars

    of legal and court costs, plus imprisonment costs if it gets that far, and it

    should be taken in a rational way.

    As for the "setting an example" argument, I think it's bunk. It's not

    clear that sex crimes are the result of a rational decision-making process,

    indeed, that seems highly implausible. So the example is probably worthless.

    And does it really do any good to demonstrate to other potential fugitives

    that yeah, maybe eventually after 32 years we'll get serious about you ?

    Much better to just keep quiet about this case and let everyone forget IMO:

    it's never going to be seen as a shining triumph of the American justice

    system.

  6. "If the original deal involved two years probation, fleeing the country would have

    been a probation violation, no? So if the judge ends up giving Polanski two years

    for the statutory rape plus five years for the flight,"

    This thread suggests the penalty for flight would be no more than 1 year,

    but also that it may be impermissible to extradite him on the rape charge

    and then give him further punishment on other charges.

    So the book that gets thrown at Polanski might turn out to be not that big.

    I really don't think the people shouting "lock up the awful pedophile" have

    thought this through to its probable conclusion.

    http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.ph

    California Penal Code

    "Section 1320.5:

    Every person who is charged with or convicted of the

    commission of a felony, who is released from custody on bail, and who

    in order to evade the process of the court willfully fails to appear

    as required, is guilty of a felony. Upon a conviction under this

    section, the person shall be punished by a fine not exceeding ten

    thousand dollars ($10,000) or by imprisonment in the state prison, or

    in the county jail for not more than one year, or by both the fine

    and imprisonment. Willful failure to appear within 14 days of the

    date assigned for appearance may be found to have been for the

    purpose of evading the process of the court."

    "Every extradition treaty limits extradition to certain offenses. As a corollary,

    all extradition treaties restrict prosecution or punishment of the fugitive to the offense

    for which extradition was granted unless (1) the offense was committed after the fugitive's

    extradition or (2) the fugitive remains in the jurisdiction after expiration of a "reasonable time"

    (generally specified in the extradition treaty itself) following completion of his punishment.

    This limitation is referred to as the Rule of Specialty. Prosecutors who wish to proceed

    against an extradited person on charges other than those for which extradition was granted

    must contact the Office of International Affairs (OIA) for guidance regarding the availability

    of a waiver of the Rule by the sending State."

  7. Oy. My point is that government policy (including law-enforcement decisions like

    this one) should be guided by a dispassionate cost-benefit analysis, not by

    chest-beating and the use of emotional arguments.

    Well, one of the purposes of the criminal justice system is retribution. Making people who do bad things suffer. Yes, part of the reason we do this is for deterrence value, both to deter Polanski and others. But we also do this because it is RIGHT to make someone suffer who did something really bad. Every day that Bernie Madoff spends in the hell that is prison is a day that he spends thinking about the enormity of his actions.

    Roman Polanski deserves to sit in a prison cell, where none of his Hollywood and French friends and riches can help him, thinking about how it must have felt for his victim to have some old creep shoving his penis up her anus over her objections. Whether or not that is strictly justified by a cost benefit analysis really isn't the issue. He belongs there, because he did an awful thing.

    Further, it isn't only about deterring sex crimes. How about deterring fugitives? You have any studies on that.

  8. "But we also do this because it is RIGHT to make someone suffer who did something really bad."

    I disagree. For me, making someone suffer is bad, no matter what they've done. And it's

    only justifiable if it has other positive effects.

    "How about deterring fugitives?"

    I suggest that the message this case sends to fugitives is that our efforts at

    extradition are tardy, half-hearted, and arbitrary. And as such, we would do

    better to let everyone forget about it than to draw attention to a rather shabby

    performance over 3 decades.

    Also damaging is the appearance that the recent activity was triggered by Polanski

    making legal moves to get the case dismissed. Precisely what is the message here:

    "you can live safely abroad as long as you keep your mouth shut" ? Is that the

    principle of American justice ?

  9. Richard, you are entitled to personally disagree. But as retribution has been a recognized basis for punishment in American law for the entire length of our history, your views aren't entitled to any weight.

    I suggest that the message this case sends to fugitives is that our efforts at extradition are tardy, half-hearted, and arbitrary.

    So your solution to the tardiness problem is to say that if a fugitive gets away with it for a long enough time, they are out of the woods? Seriously, the real message to fugitives here is that you are going to have to watch your step for the rest of your lives.

    And your use of the word "arbitrary" here again belies your pro-pedophile views. It isn't arbitrary to go after pedophiles because pedophilia is the worst crime imaginable short of murder.

    The bottom line is you just don't think shoving your penis up a 13 year old drugged girl's anus without her consent is that big a deal. All of the rest of your arguments are window dressing, for your real, disgusting position.

  10. "But as retribution has been a recognized basis for punishment in American

    law for the entire length of our history"

    Which is perhaps how we end up with a combination of a very high

    incarceration rate, a rather high crime rate, *and* brutal and

    inhumane conditions in our prisons. Not good. It ain't working

    at any level.

    The great difficulty of the "retribution" principle is that it

    isn't quantitative or amenable to rational analysis. How much

    punishment is "enough" to achieve retribution ? There isn't

    some turkey-thermostat that pops out when a prisoner has had

    "enough". Better to leave those judgments to God.

    "It isn’t arbitrary to go after pedophiles"

    No. What's arbitrary is to basically *not* go after somebody

    for 32 years, and then suddenly get more aggressive. No matter

    what you think about sex with a 13-year-old (and in case anyone's

    in doubt, I think it's a bad idea, though it seems the voters

    of New Hampshire aren't so clear-cur), the on-again off-again

    law enforcement is a mess. And the plea-bargain system, which

    is to justice as McDonalds is to food, quick and cheap but

    hardly admirable, is a mess as well.

  11. Which is perhaps how we end up with a combination of a very high

    incarceration rate, a rather high crime rate, *and* brutal and

    inhumane conditions in our prisons. Not good. It ain’t working

    at any level.

    Plenty of other countries which have lower crime rates also consider retribution a valid grounds for punishment. This isn't something that Americans just made up out of whole cloth, you know. It's part of the triad of justifications for criminal punishment (along with deterrence and incapacitation), all over the world.

    As for the rest of your arguments, lots of things may be wrong with our criminal justice system, but none of them render Roman Polanski unworthy of a prison stay.

  12. "none of them render Roman Polanski unworthy of a prison stay"

    Oh, I daresay he "deserves" a prison term. But is it worth

    spending millions of dollars and causing diplomatic friction with

    France and causing harm to his innocent wife and two children

    to satisfy some rather abstract notion of retribution ?

    And then you never know quite how any legal case is going to

    turn out. It may be that all the time and money and aggravation

    will end up with the conviction being overturned on appeal,

    and no prison term after all. The costs are high, the risks

    are high, the possible benefit is low. Not a wise bet.

  13. Oh, I daresay he “deserves” a prison term. But is it worth

    spending millions of dollars and causing diplomatic friction with

    France and causing harm to his innocent wife and two children

    to satisfy some rather abstract notion of retribution ?

    1. Are we spending millions of dollars? I doubt it. Few hundred thousand, maybe. Some time of salaried public employees, sure. Not millions.

    2. I doubt this is a serious source of diplomatic friction with France. In any event, these scenarios have happened previously (e.g., Ira Einhorn) and we still seem to have a good relationship with them.

    3. Many criminals are married and with children. That's not really a serious argument against prosecuting / incarcerating someone.

    And then you never know quite how any legal case is going to

    turn out. It may be that all the time and money and aggravation

    will end up with the conviction being overturned on appeal,

    and no prison term after all.

    As I said, I have no problem with Polanski making his prosecutorial / judicial misconduct arguments. They are serious arguments worthy of consideration. But even if he skates on a technicality, (a) he still had to come back here to face his charge, which has value, and (b) he can still be prosecuted for fleeing the jurisdiction.

  14. "1. Are we spending millions of dollars? I doubt it. Few hundred thousand, maybe.

    Some time of salaried public employees, sure. Not millions."

    OJ's defense cost $3-6M. Supposing the prosecution was public employees

    working for 1/3 the cost, that would be about $1-2M in prosecution costs,

    plus 134 days of trial time with associated court employees.

    Maybe it's not gonna be *that* big, but probably in the millions.

    "3. Many criminals are married and with children. That’s not really a serious

    argument against prosecuting / incarcerating someone."

    Really ? As a utilitarian, I'd say it damn well ought to be.

    Taking parents away from their families has both short-term

    and long-term bad consequences.

    "(b) he can still be prosecuted for fleeing the jurisdiction."

    As I posted, that may well depend on whether you can get the

    appropriate waiver from the extraditing country. If you

    extradite on a rape charge, you don't get carte blanche to

    apply other charges (whether or not the rape charge sticks).

  15. One of the reasons you always want a jury in a criminal case is that there are only so many stories out there and after a judge has been around for a couple of years the judge has heard them all and they never seem as convincing the second, third or fourth time around as they did the first.

    What leapt out at me on reading the victim's grand jury testimony, http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/polanskicove… was how well positioned Polanski was to argue "consent" to the jury. From the way the DA laid out his case before the grand jury, it was clear that DA had foreseen not just the outlines of Polanski's defense, but the particulars as well, and the argument to the jury would be whether one can get that well positioned by accident.

    I realize this was California, but I personally do not believe Polanski's prospects before a jury were very good at all.

    As far as the judge is concerned, by the late 70's, trial judges carefully avoided reading pretrial testimony or reports until after the trial or plea of guilty, lest the defendant waive the jury and demand a new judge, the first judge having prejudiced himself by reading pretrial testimony. In the trade, it's called "judge-shopping."

    If the judge had not decided by himself to look at the grand jury testimony after the plea but before sentencing, I'm sure the probation officer would have pressed him to do so. Any judge who had seen Polanski's well-prepared "consent" defense before would have, in my opinion, been angered by the way Polanski manipulated his victim. Furthermore, the well-organized character of Polanski's defense tends to rebut the theory that this was a "first offense."

  16. "was how well positioned Polanski was to argue “consent” to the jury."

    "I personally do not believe Polanski’s prospects before a jury were very good at all."

    This seems a little incoherent to me.

    Anyhow, I'll confess I haven't read the grand jury testimony. But a priori,

    my thought is that Polanski, in his mid-forties, a brilliant man, an

    accomplished actor, evidently a charming fellow when he wanted to be,

    of course with a tragic backstory to elicit sympathy, and plenty

    of money to hire excellent lawyers, would probably have been a very effective

    witness in his own defense. And against that the prosecution would have had

    to put up a 13-year-old girl, in what was inevitably going to be mostly

    a he-said, she-said case.

    I don't think I would have liked that matchup, unless I had really

    compelling physical evidence to back up the girl's version.

    It's not fair, but such considerations probably influenced the

    prosecutor's acceptance of a lenient plea deal. Sometimes the actors

    are a bigger factor than the script.

  17. Hmm .. now I've read the grand jury testimony, and I don't see what you're

    talking about. The two points that struck me were:

    1) There was another woman at Jack Nicholson's house when Polanski and

    the victim first arrived. She left for a while and returned during

    the encounter. That gives Polanski a strong argument against the

    accusation that this was a carefully planned premeditated crime.

    2) While the victim said "no" and "stop" repeatedly, there's no

    claim that Polanski used actual violence. So there's unlikely to

    be physical evidence (e.g. bruises or scratches or blood) to prove

    the lack of consent.

    To be clear, it's still rape, and it's awful. But there's a big gap

    between what probably happened, and what can be proved in court to

    12 members of a jury beyond reasonable doubt.

  18. OJ’s defense cost $3-6M. Supposing the prosecution was public employees

    working for 1/3 the cost, that would be about $1-2M in prosecution costs,

    plus 134 days of trial time with associated court employees.

    This ain't OJ. The most likely scenario is that he's going to lose his extradition fight and isn't going to be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea. And that means no trial, just a sentencing hearing. That's not going to cost anything near OJ levels.

    Really ? As a utilitarian, I’d say it damn well ought to be.

    Taking parents away from their families has both short-term

    and long-term bad consequences.

    Thanks for demonstrating quite nicely why utilitarian philosophy can be so stupid.

    As I posted, that may well depend on whether you can get the

    appropriate waiver from the extraditing country. If you

    extradite on a rape charge, you don’t get carte blanche to

    apply other charges (whether or not the rape charge sticks).

    In California, that argument doesn't apply to the charge of flight from the jurisdiction. You can always charge it, no matter what the extradited charge is.

  19. The reason I said Polanski could get five years for flight is because the Federal offense of "flight to avoid prosecution", 18 USC 1073, carries a maximum sentence of five years.

  20. "Thanks for demonstrating quite nicely why utilitarian philosophy can be so stupid."

    So it's "stupid" to suggest that maybe harming innocent children is not the

    best response to a crime against an innocent child ?

    And elsewhere on the thread my views are described as "pro-pedophile" even though

    I've explicitly and at length stated my support for age-of-consent laws,

    my reasons for such support, and my preference for laws and policies which would

    *actually* reduce the frequency of early-teen sex.

    Turn off the bile. Engage brains. Please. You're out for revenge, dressed up

    in fancy language as "philosophy of retributive justice". But you're going to

    be dissatisfied with the outcome – revenge fantasies don't turn out so neatly

    in real life.

    Well, I'm done. This is evidently a topic on which few are prepared to engage

    in analysis and rational thought.

  21. So it’s “stupid” to suggest that maybe harming innocent children is not the

    best response to a crime against an innocent child ?

    It's stupid because the only way you could take that into account is by throwing out the principle of equal justice and saying that criminal parents get more lenient treatment than criminal non-parents.

    And since equal justice is a core societal value, utilitarians who would throw it out based on smart-ass cost-benefit calculations are idiots who are too in love with their philosophical theory.

  22. "the principle of equal justice"

    The same prinviple that leads us to let white-collar cocaine users

    off with a slap on the wrist, while crack cocaine users get long

    mandatory minimum sentences ?

    You're telling me that our criminal justice system is based on

    core principles like retributive justice and equality. Which

    amounts to the argument "we've always done it this way". But as

    a progressive, I give that argument no value at all. A valid

    argument might be "we've always done it this way and it works well".

    But the "works well" claim is hard to support in the USA:

    "we've always done it this way and it's a complete mess" would

    be closer to the truth.

    On top of that, you mostly seem pretty happy about the idea

    that the judge would exercise his discretion over sentencing

    to take into account various factors extraneous to the actual

    conviction as justification for a heavy sentence. If there's

    discretion, it cuts both ways.

  23. Richard:

    The judge can do anything he wants. He SHOULDN'T take into account that Polanski decided to hook up with a very young French woman and have children, except as further evidence of the man's pedophilia and dangerousness. But if he wishes to, that is within his power.

    You seem to think that unless a society ACHIEVES perfect equal justice, equal justice is irrelevant as even a goal. That is not the case. And utilitarianism, as I noted above, is crap (something, by the way, that just about every intelligent individual discovers after exploring even a few philosophical hypotheticals).

    We don't achieve perfect equal justice, we screw up a lot, and none of that justifies letting a rich pedophile escape justice. If anything, he should rot in jail just to offend you and all the other utilitarians out there. That's justification enough on my cost-benefit analysis.

  24. "You seem to think that unless a society ACHIEVES perfect equal justice,

    equal justice is irrelevant as even a goal"

    I think you're playing a tricky game of using high-faluting

    rhetoric and grand-sounding phrases to mask a pretty grubby

    plan of vengeance which is nothing better than the talk

    about punching Polanski in the nose.

    "And utilitarianism, as I noted above, is crap"

    It's not the answer to everything. But utilitarianism forces

    you to think long and hard about the probable consequences of

    your actions. Other so-called "principles" tend to be abused

    as ways of making justifications for whatever the hell you

    feel like doing.

    Personally, I find the idea of locking up a 76-year-old man

    for several years to "rot in jail" to be both useless and somewhat sick.

    I'm concentrating on the "useless" because – as with the

    vast range of sexual proclivities – people are free to feel

    and want whatever they like, no matter how distasteful it

    might be to others, as long as they don't cause harm.

  25. So what would "equal justice" for Polanski mean, if it isn't just a

    slogan ?

    Well, according to this survey, probably no jail time at all:

    http://www.brown.edu/Administration/News_Bureau/2

    "Most defendants avoid prison entirely, although statutory rape is punishable by up to 5 years.

    Only 20.2 percent of persons who were originally charged only with statutory rape and then

    convicted were incarcerated. In cases where statutory rape was one of a number of charges,

    only 37 percent were incarcerated on statutory rape charges."

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