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Intent To Rape

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Dec 2, 2002.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    In Hutchison, Kansas, a 44 year old man has been convicted of attempted rape of a 10 year old girl.

    Horrible right? The animal...

    Here's the kicker: <a href="http://www.ljworld.com/section/stateregional/story/114062">she doesn't exist</a>.

    Oddly enough, what's most interesting about this article isn't the fact that the victim never existed, but the strange turns of phrase used to describe the case. Steven Peterman, the convicted rapist, was caught with photos 'characterized by police' as child pornography. District Attorney Keith Schroeder had to perform 'a little bit of legal gymnastics' to get the attempted rape charge to stick. And in fact, went on to say, 'I couldn't just charge him with possession of child pornography. That was not enough.

    Huh? Is this the era of thought police upon us?
  2. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    I can see it both ways. One could argue that he went to that location to actually follow through with pre-arranged plans to rape an underage girl. But, maybe he wouldn't have actually gone through with it. Tough call, but seems one would err on the side of innocent since thinking about it is not a crime, unless maybe there was a clear pattern in past behavior.
  3. dainbramage

    dainbramage Land Of The Lost

    I thought that possession of child pornography was a criminal offense. I know that they say they just couldn't charge him with possession, why not?
    Some of the goings on in Kansas are fucked up. I think that if that man had anything about the theory of evolution on his computer he would probably get the death penalty.
    Seriously fucked up in any sense.
  4. Sunriser13

    Sunriser13 Knee Deep in Paradise

    As horrible as the crime he may have been thinking about committing is, this is utterly insane.

    At best, it looks like a damn good case for an entrapment defense, because the situation was invented expressly to catch this man doing something, <i>anything</i>, that could get him a greater sentence. Simple possession of those items was not enough. At worst, this is a travesty of our so-called justice system. And what the fuck is the matter with the jury that bought this crapola? Sounds like shit for brains there, too!! :mad:

    Sorry, folks, I'm in an evil mood today, and things like this intensify my disgust at the world...
  5. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    What's the issue, here?

    I'm not certain I understand the issue. This isn't new legal territory. Child predators on the Internet have been getting busted for years for soliciting sex from minors who turned out to be undercover police officers. Seems like hardly a month goes by where some schmuck isn't arrested at some motel or mall where he was supposed to be meeting an underage girl to have sex with her.

    So-called "sting" operations have been legal for years. The standard, as I understand it from watching numerous police shows on television, is that as long as the police do not initiate the illegal activity, it's OK to conduct a sting operation. The police may "set the stage", so to speak, but the perpetrator must inititate the illegal activity (soliciting sex, offering to buy drugs, etc.)

    If "legal gymnastics" were required, it's either because the prosecutor's office borders on incompetent in their grasp of existing case law, or because Kansas laws are poorly framed in the first place.
  6. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    I'm confused...

    This man was found guilty of attempting to rape a child who does not exist. This child was created by a woman in a bar who had agreed to help police catch this guy on a larger charge because child porn wouldn't be enough. So the police stood by while this woman created a child and lured this guy into her house so he could rape the child she created. ????

    So is she being charged with attempted child endangerment????
  7. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    LOL! Misu, I am laughing out of silliness of the whole thing.

    Sunriser has it right, it's entrampment and is NOT legal, even when the cyberlaws do the same thing (as Stevent mentioned).
  8. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    I know nothing about law, and to me that sounded like entrapment. This guy could be the biggest scum on earth, but if they convict him on something like this, that could be overturned and thrown out of court, he'll be left free to hurt someone. And that's the true injustice of this whole situation. I think they fumbled on this one, hardcore.
  9. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    The man is a scumbag, but he technically did not commit a crime. And isn't this entrapment? It sounds to me like hey set him up to nail him with more than just possession of child pornography, like that wasn't enough.

    Don't get me wrong, this guy is a scumbag. Perhaps if we were able to see text logs showing his conversations, we could make a better judgment call.

    That's funny. However, since she was in on it with police, she never really endangered the nonexistant child. Of course, neither did the child porno guy BECAUSE THE GIRL DOESN'T EXIST.
  10. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    OK, folks, let's inject some reality into the issue. Here is a link to the pertinent Kansas statute which defines entrapment. To quote:

    "21-3210. Entrapment. A person is not guilty of a crime if his criminal conduct was induced or solicited by a public officer or his agent for the purposes of obtaining evidence to prosecute such person, unless:

    (a) The public officer or his agent merely afforded an opportunity or facility for committing the crime in furtherance of a criminal purpose originated by such person or a co-conspirator; or

    (b) The crime was of a type which is likely to occur and recur in the course of such person's business, and the public officer or his agent in doing the inducing or soliciting did not mislead such person into believing his conduct to be lawful."

    It would appear the (a) is the governing factor, here. To put it simply, the horse was led to water, but the decision to drink was entirely up to the horse.
  11. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    But there's no water for the horse to drink....? Or does it even matter?
  12. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Technically, there never WAS water for it to drink so the case is not legal.

    Stevent, I will have more time to research this and will get back to you when I get home. :)
  13. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    I should point out, too, that the woman who led him into believing a girl existed was not an officer of the state, but a civilian.
  14. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Don't think it matters. Perhaps it's different in Kentucky but...

    Like I said, will have more when I have a moment to breathe. :)
  15. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    The statute seems fairly clear to me: "...a public officer or his agent...". This woman clearly was neither, as far as I can tell from reading the news article.
  16. Stiofan

    Stiofan Master Po

    Have we come down to viewing thought as a crime? Should a person, as a ex-con convicted of bank robbery, be arrested and convicted of a new crime because they entered a bank?

    Despite the prosecutors denial, nobody can absolutely know what another person it thinking. If so, have them go into the ICU of a major hospital and tell us what those comatose indivduals laying there are thinking about. Has the 1984 thought police become a reality?

    While the crime is deplorable, and the guy is a sicko (based on past acts), one human being can not pass judgement on another based on what they assume that person to be thinking. It's absurd.
  17. yazdzik

    yazdzik Veteran Member

    Mens rea, actus reus.
    Both must be proven, unless statutory requirements in the specific differ.
  18. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    Well, let's say a cop comes upon and arrest a man holding a knife to a woman, and the man had told the woman he was going to rape her? Could the man not be charged with attempted rape? He didn't really rape her, he was only thinking about it, but his actions were consistent with a rapist (holding the knife to her, telling her to be quiet, etc.). Is that not the same? The man had a conversation that he wanted to rape a child, and then showed up to follow through, consistent with what a child rapist would do.
  19. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    If you take the above along with the fact that he showed up with sex toys and kiddie porn, I think they may established intent.
  20. Stiofan

    Stiofan Master Po

    I would say holding the knife to her neck shows intent of rape, but bringing sex toys and tapes into an adult woman's house, even if a child may live there, doesn't establish he was going to use them on the child and not the adult woman.

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