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January 27, 2004
Sad, Sick, and Twisted

I don't often post "celebrity news" because, honestly, it would be difficult for me to care less who is or isn't marrying/divorcing/boinking who or what, but I'm making an exception today.

There are problems with the criminal justice system. Serious problems that need to be fixed.

An actor named Scott Bairstow was arrested for having a sexual relationship with a girl, a relationship that started when she was twelve.

He's been given a four month sentence, because "Bairstow's attorneys argued that the actor's time in prison may have a negative impact on his ability to try out for future parts" so they didn't want him to have to serve longer.

(The mind boggles. Is anyone going to hire him after this? Well, maybe if he were, you know, Roman Polanski or something.)

According to prosecutors, Bairstow repeatedly told the girl he would lose everything if she told anyone about the illicit relationship. Police captured some of those comments during a wire-tapped telephone conversation when he contacted the girl in 2003 to ask for phone sex.

During one conversation quoted in court papers, the girl said she was thinking about telling someone about Bairstow. The actor is quoted as saying, "Well...I'm a dad and I've got a job, and if you were to tell anyone I would be thrown in jail for 10 years."

He didn't have anything to worry about. Sentences for this type of offense apparently range between three and nine months. That's nine months maximum. For assaulting a twelve year-old girl. And the prosecutor only asked for a six-month sentence.

This just has to be one of those where there's something we don't know. How on earth could a four-month sentence be justified?

Posted by AnneZook at 12:16 PM


Comments

I'm confused. They say he assaulted her, but the article doesn't go into any details of proof. That this is statutory rape is without question (and it's sad that he seems to confuse "rape" with "statutory rape"), and of course one can argue a long time as to whether sex can be consensual when there's a 12-year-old involved, but I'm still looking to read evidence of physical harm.

Posted by: Elayne Riggs at January 28, 2004 09:09 AM

Well, clearly he was committing emotional blackmail.

And a 12 year-old is unlikely to have the maturity to really weigh the consequences of having sex with a relative 20 years older than her, so that's another way he took advantage of her.

I'm not sure, in a case with such an age disparity, that I think any actual physical harm is required to constitute rape or child molestation.

Posted by: Anne at January 28, 2004 10:50 AM