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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mel Hall convicted of sexually assaulting 12-year-old girl

Former major league outfielder Melvin Hall Jr. has been convicted of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl he coached on an elite basketball team a decade ago.

A Tarrant County jury took about 90 minutes Tuesday to find the 48-year-old Hall guilty on three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child.

The sentencing phase was to begin later Tuesday afternoon. Hall faces up to life in prison.

According to testimony, Hall met the 12-year-old’s family in 1998 during a basketball tournament. Hall talked about plans to start a select basketball team and later worked one-on-one with the girl. At one point, he moved into the girl’s home while his Southlake home was being built.

The woman said she was assaulted in Hall’s vehicle, at a tournament and at his North Richland Hills apartment, where he showed her a pornographic movie.

Ugh.

Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: June 16, 2009 at 10:09 PM | 349 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, giants, indians, yankees

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   1. The Most Interesting Man In The World Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:06 PM (#3221380)
So that's why we never saw Hall during the Giants' 50 year celebration last year.
   2. BDC Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:07 PM (#3221383)
I saw that the case was going to the jury earlier today, and was sad to read about it. I liked Hall as a player when he was with the Yankees, and later saw him play for the Ft Worth Cats.
   3. dcsmyth1 Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:13 PM (#3221392)
The woman said she was assaulted in Hall’s vehicle, at a tournament and at his North Richland Hills apartment, where he showed her a pornographic movie


Yeah, that's what should be called "assault". I'm not in favor of grown men seducing young teen girls, but without having read the material, the fact that it occurred at least 3 times implies that it was consensual. So, to me, "life in prison' is a silly punishment, reminicient of Iran or China. The punishment should fit the actual crime, not some crime which didn't really go down that way. Yes I know, she was too young to consent legally, etc. But still....
   4. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:14 PM (#3221393)
As the jury left the courtroom, they had batting gloves in their back pockets waving goodbye to him.
   5. Tripon Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:16 PM (#3221396)


Yeah, that's what should be called "assault". I'm not in favor of grown men seducing young teen girls, but without having read the material, the fact that it occurred at least 3 times implies that it was consensual. So, to me, "life in prison' is a silly punishment, reminicient of Iran or China. The punishment should fit the actual crime, not some crime which didn't really go down that way. Yes I know, she was too young to consent legally, etc. But still....


12 year olds can't give consent.
12 year olds can't give consent.
12 year olds can't give consent.
   6. Steve Treder Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:20 PM (#3221397)
the fact that it occurred at least 3 times implies that it was consensual

Um, no.
   7. Boots Day Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:23 PM (#3221398)
I loved Mel Hall when he first came up with the Cubs. Not in that way, though.
   8. Tripon Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:23 PM (#3221399)
I'm sure Mel Hall would love you in that way though.
   9. phredbird Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:24 PM (#3221400)
i agree, there's no mitigating circ. even if the defense put her on the stand and she said it was okay. come on. she was twelve.
   10. Leroy Kincaid Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:25 PM (#3221403)
Hall was supposedly dating a high-school girl about 20 years ago. At least according to the kids I knew who went to the school. And her parents were well aware.
   11. SouthSideRyan Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:26 PM (#3221405)
I'm relatively sure Boots is too old for him.
   12. PreBeaneAsFan Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:27 PM (#3221406)
While the idea that it happening repeatedly implies that it was consensual is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard (by that logic the vast majority of cases of sexual abuse would be consensual), I would have to agree that showing a pornographic movie to a minor probably doesn't deserve life in prison. Maybe the incidents contained things even worse than that, but if they didn't it would seem that less prison time is called for.
   13. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:31 PM (#3221410)
At a glance, I thought the article was about Mel Allen.
   14. Zippity Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:33 PM (#3221414)
Now I'm hearing creepy things in the Mel Allen voice. Yikes.
   15. Tripon Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:33 PM (#3221415)
I didn't want to do it, but the ESPN article on this has some more detail:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4263794

Hall's accuser, now 23, took the stand Monday in a Fort Worth courtroom. She said Hall engaged in sex acts with her in various places, including her home and Hall's apartment. Defense attorneys for the 48-year-old Hall were to present their case Tuesday.

The woman testified that Hall first exposed himself to her and her younger brother at home, when their parents were away. The boy testified that he thought they were playing a game and never told his parents.

Hall's interaction with the girl progressed to inappropriate touching and him instructing her how to perform oral sex, she testified. She said he also showed her pornographic movies at an apartment Hall shared with his girlfriend and their infant son.

"I trusted him," the woman testified. "I honestly had no idea anything was inappropriate at the time. I looked up to him. I just thought this is how normal people act."


Mel Hall's going to get life for raping the girl. Not because of some vague notion of 'assault'.
   16. haven Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:34 PM (#3221417)
Donte Stallworth got 30 days after pleading to DUI manslaughter for killing a man hurriedly crossing the street to catch a bus to go to work while driving drunk at 7:30 in the morning.

Hall deserves at least 60 days.
   17. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:34 PM (#3221418)
The article is scant on actual evidence. Is it just glossing over it, or was he convicted solely on the fact that she said it happened?
   18. PreBeaneAsFan Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:37 PM (#3221420)
Well in that case fry the ####### (I'm assuming the allegations are true since he's been convicted in a court of law.)
   19. Srul Itza Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:39 PM (#3221425)
As the news stories notes, she is one of two under age girls he raped, the other being 14.

His actions fit the classic pattern of a predatory pedophile, and the recidivism rate for these kinds of offenders is very high.

And yet, there are posters on this thread who are at least tip-toeing right up to the line of defending him.

Incredible.
   20. McCoy Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:41 PM (#3221427)
I don't think he is going to get life in prison The press always reports the worst possible sentencing and it almost never happens.

Mel Hall's going to get life for raping the girl. Not because of some vague notion of 'assault'


Nowhere in the articles does it actually state that he raped or had sex with the girl. What exactly is inappropiate touching? I mean a hug can be inappropiate touching. That isn't to say that an inappropiate hug is okay.

Hall looks to be messed up in the head but for the most part it doesn't really look like he did anything that would deserve years and years in prison.
   21. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:42 PM (#3221428)
I'm not defending him. I'm asking if there was evidence.
   22. Tripon Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:44 PM (#3221430)

Nowhere in the articles does it actually state that he raped or had sex with the girl. What exactly is inappropiate touching? I mean a hug can be inappropiate touching. That isn't to say that an inappropiate hug is okay.


Forcing somebody to have oral sex? Just what the hell is that?
   23. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:45 PM (#3221431)
Without RTFA, what was his defense? She was 12, but she looked 14?
   24. FBI Regional Bureau Chief GORDON COLE!!! Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:46 PM (#3221432)
And yet, there are posters on this thread who are at least tip-toeing right up to the line of defending him.

The same poster who, in the last couple of hours, was expressing self-righteous glee at Sammy Sosa being outed as--gasp!--a PED user, no less. Duffy's moral-outrage-o-meter is calibrated interestingly.
   25. McCoy Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:47 PM (#3221433)
Forcing somebody to have oral sex? Just what the hell is that?

Nowhere in the article does it say that oral sex occurred.
   26. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:47 PM (#3221435)
What exactly is inappropiate touching?

Do I have to show you where on the doll "inappropriate touching" takes place?
   27. Tripon Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:48 PM (#3221438)


Nowhere in the article does it say that oral sex occurred.


Okay, you tell me how the oral sex is preformed.
   28. The Most Interesting Man In The World Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:49 PM (#3221440)
Without RTFA, what was his defense? She was 12, but she looked 14?

Possibly it was the sister of Greg Oden.

Realistically he probably doesn't have a defense.
   29. McCoy Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:49 PM (#3221441)
Okay, you tell me how the oral sex is preformed.

If I tell you how oral sex is performed does that mean we just had oral sex?
   30. Steve Treder Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:52 PM (#3221446)
McCoy, how would you feel about it if this girl and her brother were your kids?
   31. McCoy Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:54 PM (#3221452)
McCoy, how would you feel about it if this girl and her brother were your kids?

I would feel he should be punished. Where have I stated otherwise?

Secondly that is why we have courts, judges, and juries. To get people to rationally mete out punishment. It is a false argument. I don't expect the parents to behave rationally about this.
   32. Tripon Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:55 PM (#3221458)
But when the parents were away, Hall had, on occasion, stripped naked from the waist down, lain on his back and kicked his legs in the air in front of them, the girl and her younger brother testified. “We thought it was funny. I would duplicate what Mr. Hall did,” The brother said he said he considered Hall’s actions “like a game” and never brought them to his parents’ attention.

“Now being older, I realize the significance of the occurrence,” he said.

Telling her secret

His sister testified that Hall later began masturbating in front of her and kissing her, telling her that she was “pretty” — words the shy, awkward girl who had never had a boyfriend had only heard from her parents. Eventually, Hall progressed to digitally penetrating her and instructing her how to touch him and perform oral sex.

The woman said these assaults occurred in her home, in Hall’s vehicle, at a tournament and inside Hall’s North Richland Hills apartment, where he later lived with his girlfriend and their infant son.

She said he also showed her pornographic movies at his apartment, telling her, “You’ve got to learn somehow.”

The woman said Hall’s interest in her tapered in the summer of 1999. Apparently upset that she wouldn’t have intercourse with him, Hall began benching her, his star player.


http://www.star-telegram.com/news/story/1436652.html

For everyone demanding proof of crime.
   33. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:56 PM (#3221459)
What exactly is inappropiate touching?

Touching that involves your junk and a 12-year-old is inappropriate.

Unless the 12-year-old is a bottle of Scotch, then it's simply awkward if you do it publicly.
   34. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:57 PM (#3221466)
   35. Steve Treder Posted: June 16, 2009 at 11:57 PM (#3221468)
I would feel he should be punished.

What would you consider to be appropriate punishment for someone convicted of three counts of aggravated sexual assault of your child and two counts of indecency with your children? Someone whom you'd trusted enough to come live in your house, and whom you trusted enough to leave alone in your house with your children?
   36. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:00 AM (#3221476)
For everyone demanding proof of crime.

Well, that is better. In terms of evidence that is. That evidence moves it from Mel saying and doing stupid things to far more serious crimes.
   37. Jeff K. Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:01 AM (#3221479)
Nowhere in the articles does it actually state that he raped or had sex with the girl. What exactly is inappropiate touching? I mean a hug can be inappropiate touching. That isn't to say that an inappropiate hug is okay.

Hall looks to be messed up in the head but for the most part it doesn't really look like he did anything that would deserve years and years in prison.


Uh, no. No, they don't state he 'actually raped' her, and they use soft language. That's because it's nice to not further traumatize the girl by putting in the newspaper that he sodomized her or something. He was convicted of aggravated sexual assault. That means his crime rose to the statutory definition. The relevant statute:

Sec. 22.021. AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT. (a) A person commits an offense:

(1) if the person:

(A) intentionally or knowingly:

(i) causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person's consent;

(ii) causes the penetration of the mouth of another person by the sexual organ of the actor, without that person's consent; or

(iii) causes the sexual organ of another person, without that person's consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or

(B) intentionally or knowingly:

(i) causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a child by any means;

(ii) causes the penetration of the mouth of a child by the sexual organ of the actor;

(iii) causes the sexual organ of a child to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;

(iv) causes the anus of a child to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or

(v) causes the mouth of a child to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;

---------------------- AND --------------------------

and then basically here it's because she's under 14.
   38. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:02 AM (#3221481)
What would you consider to be appropriate punishment for someone convicted of three counts of aggravated sexual assault of your child and two counts of indecency with your children? Someone whom you'd trusted enough to come live in your house, and whom you trusted enough to leave alone in your house with your children?

AGain it is a false argument. If the legal system worked based on what the victim or their family wanted there would be a lot more corpses lying around the court house and tailgating would rarely ever happen.
   39. Rich Rifkin Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:09 AM (#3221498)
What would you consider to be appropriate punishment for someone convicted of three counts of aggravated sexual assault of your child and two counts of indecency with your children?
Exile to live the rest of his life in Haiti.
   40. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:09 AM (#3221499)
This man has sunk so low as to bring shame to the 1991 Yankees. And boy, I never thought I'd say that.
   41. Steve Treder Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:10 AM (#3221500)
AGain it is a false argument. If the legal system worked based on what the victim or their family wanted there would be a lot more corpses lying around the court house and tailgating would rarely ever happen.

Well, I posed this question before you'd added the "false argument" edit to #31.

And I fully agree that there's every good reason to employ a legal system instead of vigilantism, and family honor retribution etc.

But I think it's a fair mental exercise to put oneself in the place of the victim's family and then see if still "it doesn't really look like he did anything that would deserve years and years in prison."
   42. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:12 AM (#3221503)
But I think it's a fair mental exercise to put oneself in the place of the victim's family and then see if still "it doesn't really look like he did anything that would deserve years and years in prison."

There are very few negative things you can do to one's child and not have those parents think you deserve years and years in prison or worse.
   43. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:16 AM (#3221510)
Does Chris Hansen have a copy of Hall's "chat logs"?
   44. Jeff K. Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:16 AM (#3221511)
But I think it's a fair mental exercise to put oneself in the place of the victim's family and then see if still "it doesn't really look like he did anything that would deserve years and years in prison."

It's a fair mental exercise. However, I assume this discussion (that part of it, McCoy's #20) is now over regardless. The statute there is clear as to what constitutes the crime Hall was charged with and then convicted of, without his lawyer challenging, which he most certainly would for such a bright line statute if the allegations didn't actually meet the statute.

Unless someone wants to say that the actions in the statute don't deserve years and years in prison. Anybody? This isn't hugs, which you knew before that and before #20 went up if you've ever encountered the phrase aggravated sexual assault or even if you hadn't and you stopped and thought about what those words mean. He was convicted of inappropriate touching, yes, but that's not all.
   45. Jeff K. Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:19 AM (#3221514)
There are very few negative things you can do to one's child and not have those parents think you deserve years and years in prison or worse.

There are *not* very few negative things you can do to one's child that constitute aggravated sexual assault.
   46. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:19 AM (#3221515)
causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a child by any means
My childhood doctor would have been guilty of that.
causes the anus of a child to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;
That sounds... difficult.
   47. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:22 AM (#3221518)
There are *not* very few negative things you can do to one's child that constitute aggravated sexual assault.

and your point is?
   48. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:23 AM (#3221519)
But I think it's a fair mental exercise to put oneself in the place of the victim's family


Okay: Where the !@#$ was the victim's family when all of this was going on?

He moved into the "girl's home" while his home was being built, her parents were away and left him with the girl (and didn't bother to learn what happened while they were away), her parents let him be alone with her in his vehicle, at a tournament, gave him the opportunity to show her x-rated movies at his apartment, on and on and on and on.

The victim's family was at best grossly negligent, and when I "put myself in their place," I want to vomit.
   49. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:25 AM (#3221523)
Yeah, this is an ugly story, any way you look at it.
   50. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:36 AM (#3221545)
His actions fit the classic pattern of a predatory pedophile, and the recidivism rate for these kinds of offenders is very high.


Except for the word "pedophile". I think it's extremely likely that these girls are sexually mature adolescents in their appearance. Pedophiles are attracted to pre-adolescents.
   51. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:44 AM (#3221554)
Mel Hall just lost my HoF vote.
   52. nycfan Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:45 AM (#3221555)
the recidivism rate for these kinds of offenders is very high


Putting aside for a moment the horibleness of this crime, the commonly accepted idea that sex offenders have some ridiculously high recidivism rate is a huge myth. A quick google search will show you that sex offender recidivism rates are no higher than for any other crimes.
   53. Steve Treder Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:49 AM (#3221564)
The victim's family was at best grossly negligent

That's highly debatable, given that we don't know any of the circumstances of the family's decisions to leave their kids with Hall. And even if the family was grossly negligent in the first degree, that doesn't excuse Hall's behavior one iota, or have any bearing on what punishment he deserves.
   54. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:59 AM (#3221580)
That's highly debatable, given that we don't know any of the circumstances of the family's decisions to leave their kids with Hall.


Res ipsa loquitur. The thing speaks for itself.

Can you imagine a scenario where this -- the multiple facets of it -- could possibly have happened to your 12 year old daughter? Just how many times would you leave her alone with a 38 year old man, anyway?

And even if the family was grossly negligent in the first degree, that doesn't excuse Hall's behavior one iota, or have any bearing on what punishment he deserves.


I didn't say it did. I just don't have the blind respect for "the victim's family" that you do.
   55. Morty Causa Posted: June 17, 2009 at 01:03 AM (#3221586)
12 year olds can't give consent.
12 year olds can't give consent.
12 year olds can't give consent.


Yes, they can, yes they can, yes they can. Anyone who's ever had a twelve-year old child knows they have definite take on what they can and should do. They can consent and (more often) they can dig their heels in like Balaam's ass.

What they can't give is legal consent. And that's an entirely different matter. A fiction really having little to do with psychological capabilities. Before one gets too righteous about this, one should at least reflect that at one time she very probably could have given legal consent.

New Yorker cartoon of about 12 years ago. Big dinner table. Hostess is giving seating instructions to the butler: "Boy, lawyer, girl, lawyer, boy...."
   56. scareduck Posted: June 17, 2009 at 01:17 AM (#3221622)
Wife Beater: Who in the hell are you?
Bud White: The ghost of Christmas past. Why don't you dance with a man for a change?
Wife Beater: What are you, some kind of smart ass?
[tries to attack Bud]
Bud White: [after beating up and handcuffing the wife beater] You'll be out in a year and a half. I'll get cozy with your parole officer. You touch her again, I'll have you violated on a kiddie raper beef.
Bud White: [grabs wife beater by the head] You know what they do to kiddie rapers in Quentin, don't ya?
   57. Morty Causa Posted: June 17, 2009 at 01:26 AM (#3221643)
The power of words, of defining something, back by an army and navy, is really something. Because it is defined legally as a crime, it becomes automatically abhorent without much scrutiny about why, when in fact in whilom times it wouldn't have, and maybe if it weren't now, we wouldn't feel as we do. Just as a thought exercise, think about it a little: if she wanted to participate at the time (I'm saying "if"), what exactly was the harm? It was sex. Why is that bad? Why does it become terrible if it is someone 40 and 12, but not if it is someone 13 and 12. Why is there a range of outrage proportional to the age of the man? It is still the same act.

Was it really about sexual violation intrinsically. Sure, they had some sort of sex (let's not get too Clintonian here), but was it that what was done a violation of a social construct? What was the violation? What was it that he did that was so terribly (now, I'm assuming that no actual conventional force was use)? What came first, the legal violation or the sense of outrage?

Of course, I'm really not addressing just this case but trying to see it in broader terms. And before anyone asks what would I do if it were my daughter (I'm not sure I'd want her to hang around here), let me say that that has a lot to do with why it is a crime, too. I mean, is it about the adults really. And that may explain why it's looked at now in a way it may not have been in past times and why she feels in a way now she wouldn't have then.
   58. Rough Carrigan Posted: June 17, 2009 at 01:42 AM (#3221672)
Wasn't Mel Hall the guy on the yankees who consistently gave young Bernie Williams so much #### in the clubhouse that the yankees thought he was retarding Williams's development as a player and they stepped in and told Hall to shut the #### up and back off? I thought it was alluded to in Olney's book.
   59. BeanoCook Posted: June 17, 2009 at 01:45 AM (#3221681)
Comment #3 by Duffy Duff is one of the more out of place comments I have ever seen on BTF....and there's been a lot of commentary here that is out there.

I am assuming you were inarticulate in explaining your position and should probably revise it so we better understand you, if not, maybe you should just keep to yourself.
   60. Tripon Posted: June 17, 2009 at 01:51 AM (#3221696)
Monty Causa, what the hell are you saying?
   61. rr Posted: June 17, 2009 at 01:53 AM (#3221698)
#57 made my eyebrows go up more than #3.
   62. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: June 17, 2009 at 01:58 AM (#3221717)
I hate this topic, because you can't defend sex offenders in this society without people hating you, even when you're 100% correct.
   63. Backlasher Posted: June 17, 2009 at 01:58 AM (#3221718)
#57 made my eyebrows go up more than #3

Yes, I've seen some strange things out here, but the pro-pedophile thing is pretty new.
   64. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:00 AM (#3221726)
I think Morty is assuming that the girl hit puberty or is making the argument that it was okay in yesteryears to have sex with anyone who has hit puberty.
   65. JC in DC Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:01 AM (#3221727)
Is it worth pointing out that the law probably was subsequent to the moral outrage?
   66. BeanoCook Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:05 AM (#3221745)
I hate this topic, because you can't defense sex offenders in this society without people hating you, even when you're 100% correct.


I do sympathize with this view to an extent, there certainly is something approaching an unwillingness to hear a defense of an individual or even debate on the matter surrounding this subject. I just don't see any good points being raised here this particular day.
   67. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:07 AM (#3221759)
I just don't see any good points being raised here this particular day.
I'm sorry, but I think my first post made an excellent point.
   68. Spivey Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:08 AM (#3221761)
If #57 doesn't lead to a 300 post thread, I don't know what will.
   69. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:12 AM (#3221763)
If #57 doesn't lead to a 300 post thread, I don't know what will.

Steroids
Giambi trade
Petco
Pete Rose
Politics
War
Music
Movies. . .
   70. The Voice of America Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:17 AM (#3221766)
I kind of see #57's point. A 12 or 14 year old can decide, especially in this age of easily available information, whether to engage in sexual activities with one individual or not.

But there has to be a line where you say it is not acceptable anymore. And you have to protect all children. So it is better to err in the side of caution than to leave some naive children unprotected. That's why the line is drawn at 18, although I personally feel a 17 yearl old girl is mature enough to provoke any man he wants.
   71. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:17 AM (#3221767)
Mel Hall should have other people's children taken away from him.
   72. Srul Itza Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:20 AM (#3221768)
Putting aside for a moment the horibleness of this crime, the commonly accepted idea that sex offenders have some ridiculously high recidivism rate is a huge myth. A quick google search will show you that sex offender recidivism rates are no higher than for any other crimes.

General sex offenders, yes.

The materials I have seen on pedophiles, however, does indicate a higher recidivism rate.
   73. Spivey Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:22 AM (#3221769)
I kind of see #57's point. A 12 or 14 year old can decide, especially in this age of easily available information, whether to engage in sexual activities with one individual or not.

Just maybe, an adult mind can easily manipulate that of a 12 year old.
   74. zonk Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:24 AM (#3221772)
Wow.

I have no doubt the occasional Amy Fisher exists, but a 12 year old you coach is never one of them.

He sounds like a classic predator... and instantly takes the lead in the race to be the biggest ######### from the old Sutcliffe trade.
   75. PreservedFish Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:25 AM (#3221773)
A 12 or 14 year old can decide, especially in this age of easily available information, whether to engage in sexual activities with one individual or not.


When I was 12 I was not capable of this sort of decision. Not with a, say, 15+ year old person.

And I understand the argument about accelerated childhoods in today's culture, but I had porn to look at too, although it wasn't as ubiquitous and easily acquired.
   76. BeanoCook Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:26 AM (#3221775)
Regarding #57, I missed that comment, but I still say #3 is approaching the outer limits of reasonable. #57 seems to be getting at the philosophy of the broader subject in society.

I'll simply say to that, we as a society have decided firm, arbitrary ages that delineate between adult and minor. I'm fine with that and it is also a widely held view.

An example that I think compares very well do the moral grey area of statutory rape/sexual consent laws...........happens in A Few Good Men I watched this weekend on TV. I think the crime of the Colonel (Jack Nicholson) and the (assumed--because the film ends after he is arrested) prosecution of him for his crime compare well to a hypothetical instance of statutory rape involving sex between an 18yr old and a 17 yr old.

Basically I agree that Nicholson should have indeed made the decision he did to save lives, but ended up killing a soldier. Yet at the same time, I think Tom Cruise prosecuting (I assuming this was going to happen since Nicholson was charged) him was also the right decision, for you can't have rampant misuse of authority, esp in the military. When you watch the film you try to think of a procedure or exception that would make them both right. There isn't. I realized that you need firm laws there, but at the same time you can imagine an instance (very rare) where a Colonel or a General or a Police officer, or whatever, makes the right decision, even if illegal. I'd also want prosecution to be pursed, force the defendant to prove the decision in court in front of a jury/judge if leniency or even an exception made.

By pursuing prosecutions in such cases where tough decisions were made, even if to save lives-for example, essentially raises the standard or expectation that the person breaking the law better have a compelling reason and proof for doing so and think about it before doing it.

So basically, give me all of your scenarios of a 18yr old having "consensual" sex with a 17yr old, I will simply say, see you in court. I don't think we should fool ourselves into thinking we will create a law that will represent all possible scenarios. Draw that line, error on the side of too high and bring your case to court. Hopefully you have a conservative judge where you live.
   77. The Voice of America Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:26 AM (#3221777)
Just maybe, an adult mind can easily manipulate that of a 12 year old.


Precisely, my point was that some 12 years old have the ability to understand what they are doing and do it anyway. But because not all of them can, the law has to prohibit having sex with any of them.
   78. Steve Treder Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:26 AM (#3221778)
Can you imagine a scenario where this -- the multiple facets of it -- could possibly have happened to your 12 year old daughter? Just how many times would you leave her alone with a 38 year old man, anyway?

Of course I can. My wife and I had a 12-year-old daughter, as well as a 12-year-old-son. (They're both big-time grownups now.) We left both of them alone with 38-year-old men (or whatever specific age) all the time; both were involved in sports and clubs and group outings of all kinds, campouts and field trips and all such, in which we left them in the charge of other adults. It would be highly difficult to raise a child in a normal environment and not do so.

Now, who knows the exact details of the Hall situation; as I said before, it's entirely possible that the parents here were idiots. But that isn't necessarily the case. They might have been reasonably responsinble, or they might have been stupid, but the simple idea that they left their kids with an adult they trusted is evidence in neither direction.
   79. Srul Itza Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:29 AM (#3221783)
I kind of see #57's point.

There was a time in the past when sex with a 12 year old was not a criminal offense. Probably for more of recorded history than not.

There was a time in the past when slavery was legal. Probably for more of recorded history than not.

There was a time in the past when wife-beating was legal. Probably for more of recorded history than not.

There was a time in the past when killing someone for failing to worship god(s) in accordance with the dictates of society was legal. Probably for more of recorded history than not.

What they all have in common is that, historically, the strong and the powerful, the dominant forces of society, were given sway over others, who were in turn made weak and powerless. I like to think that the changes that have been made since then constitute progress. Obviously, for some of you, your mileage does, indeed, vary.

BTW let us not forget, by the way, that Mr. Hall was also plying his trade in front of a 5 year old boy. There was a time in the past when that was not a criminal offense, as well.
   80. Dunn Deal Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:30 AM (#3221784)
Mel Hall should have other people's children taken away from him.

I knew I waded through these comments for a reason - this one left me literally laughing out loud. Bravo!
   81. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:30 AM (#3221785)
When I was 12 I was not capable of this sort of decision. Not with a, say, 15+ year old person.

When I was 10 I was confronted with this sort of decision and to this day I regret the decision I made. I wish I had done something with my babysitter other than see her tits.


And I understand the argument about accelerated childhoods in today's culture, but I had porn to look at too, although it wasn't as ubiquitous and easily acquired.


When I was a kid the only way you got to look at porn is if somebody had thrown it out and then somebody else rooted around in the garbage. Funny thing though I never wondered why somebody else was looking in the garbage in the first place. That was one way to find porn the other ways was to find your dad's collection or to happen across some creepy old man who was selling it during a yard sale (true story). Porn on the modem didn't start happening for me until I was a teenager and downloading from the old GE BBS and getting the occasional wet t-shirt lingerie shot from AOL back in the days of 10 cents a minute and a 2400 modem.
   82. JC in DC Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:31 AM (#3221786)
I assume Steve still has me on ignore, so he won't see this, but as the parent of 6 kids, I need to question something he wrote. Did he really leave his 12 year old daughter alone - as in, alone - with men? I can see leaving her "alone" - ie, sans parent(s) - but not alone, as in without any teammates. The latter is indeed routine. The former, however, is not.
   83. Srul Itza Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:32 AM (#3221787)
some 12 years old have the ability to understand what they are doing and do it anyway

They may "understand", but the idea that they would have the judgment to make that decision, at 12 years of age, is nonsense. There may be a rare, occasional 12 year old who can make a mature decision. There are probably more 25 and 30 year olds who are incapable of such decisions, however, than there are 12 year olds who are capable.
   84. Tripon Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:32 AM (#3221788)

Precisely, my point was that some 12 years old have the ability to understand what they are doing and do it anyway. But because not all of them can, the law has to prohibit having sex with any of them.


Yeah, if only those 12 year old children can give consent to a 38 year old man at the time. Then Mel Hall could practice his fetishes in all legal grace and wouldn't have to worry about going to prison.
   85. Backlasher Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:32 AM (#3221789)
...plying his trade in front of a 5 year old boy

Now Srul is going to bring out the pro-NAMBLA crowd.
   86. Raskolnikov Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:33 AM (#3221790)
Hey everyone! I'm here for my $2000.

Whoops, wrong thread. Carry on...
   87. Srul Itza Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:33 AM (#3221791)
When I was 10 I was confronted with this sort of decision

The fact that you still needed a babysitter at 10 tells me pretty much all I need to know.
   88. Srul Itza Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:35 AM (#3221793)
Now Srul is going to bring out the pro-NAMBLA crowd.

I think they are already here.

I refer, of course, to the National Association of Marlon Brando Look-Alikes. I have seen pictures of some of you, and there are definite candidates for membership out there.
   89. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:36 AM (#3221794)
Did he really leave his 12 year old daughter alone - as in, alone - with men? I can see leaving her "alone" - ie, sans parent(s) - but not alone, as in without any teammates. The latter is indeed routine. The former, however, is not.
Well, I'm not a parent. But where is the line drawn? If you send your kid on school or team or camp trips, you can warn them, I suppose, not to go into the adult's room without other people. But that seems like an easily ignored suggestion. How do you police that kind of thing, as a parent?
   90. The Voice of America Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:36 AM (#3221795)
I don't think is nonsense. You have said yourself that there might be some boys of that age capable of enjoying sexuality in an adult way. But, as both have said, most are not, so those who are have to hold on until the legal system say they can.

I don't see the argument.
   91. JC in DC Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:38 AM (#3221797)
If you send your kid on school or team or camp trips, you can warn them, I suppose, not to go into the adult's room without other people.


The adult's room? My kids (5 girls, the dude's only 5 mos.) will know - do know - not to go into the room or tent of an adult male. And, generally, I try to go on those trips with them or ensure there's another adult present.
   92. Backlasher Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:39 AM (#3221798)
where is the line drawn ... police that thing

take part in the activities until you have a good understanding of all the participants. As they get older, you trust them more to make decisions.
   93. Jeff K. Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:40 AM (#3221799)
and your point is?

Le sigh.

You - Hall looks to be messed up in the head but for the most part it doesn't really look like he did anything that would deserve years and years in prison.
Treder - McCoy, how would you feel about it if this girl and her brother were your kids?
You - False argument, the legal system is about impartiality and not revenge/familial justice.

At the exact same time, I present you with the legal standard that his actions must have met. This law that wasn't written by the father of a molested daughter using the blood of her attacker, this law written and voted for by the Texas Lege.

Treder - It's still a valid perspective to consider, that of the victim/family.
You - Families want years and years in prison for a lot of crimes against kids.

Now, I respond there aren't a lot of things that = aggravated sexual assault. It seems I have to explain that my point is that the years and years in prison are for being convicted of a crime with statutory elements causing society to agree with the family wanting revenge. And it's not a false argument to consider both sides of that, and a third, the person accused.
   94. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:41 AM (#3221801)
The fact that you still needed a babysitter at 10 tells me pretty much all I need to know.

PErhaps it wasn't ten, perhaps it was 9 but either way it was near the end of having a babysitter. Having a babysitter ended before 4th grade. And it wasn't a matter of needing a babysitter, it was more of a matter of my parents wanting somebody there to watch over us while they were gone. Shocking behavior on my parents part I know.
   95. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:42 AM (#3221803)
Of course I can. My wife and I had a 12-year-old daughter, as well as a 12-year-old-son. (They're both big-time grownups now.) We left both of them alone with 38-year-old men (or whatever specific age) all the time; both were involved in sports and clubs and group outings of all kinds, campouts and field trips and all such, in which we left them in the charge of other adults. It would be highly difficult to raise a child in a normal environment and not do so.


Alone with only a 38 year old man? One on one? Nobody else around? In his car? At his apartment? At your house?

This wasn't a field trip.
   96. Srul Itza Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:46 AM (#3221806)
Shocking behavior on my parents part I know.

I agree. From what I've seen here, I would have sent you out to play in traffic.
   97. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:46 AM (#3221808)
suspiró

Now, I respond . . .

No, you responded after we had moved away from talking about the assault and were talking about it being a good exercise to put ourselves in the parent's position.
   98. Jeff K. Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:47 AM (#3221809)
Hey everyone! I'm here for my $2000.

That's Mel Hall, not Monty Hall. And what's behind door number 3 is jailbait.

Did he really leave his 12 year old daughter alone - as in, alone - with men? I can see leaving her "alone" - ie, sans parent(s) - but not alone, as in without any teammates.

Huh? There were occasions where I was the last one at practice waiting for my mom or dad to pick me up, and all the coaches but the one staying to wait with me were gone. Every practice of course has a last kid to get picked up. Is the contention that if you have a girl you can never be the last one there, or if god forbid your car break down, that coach isn't allowed to give your kid a ride home? The coach?
   99. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:47 AM (#3221811)
The adult's room? My kids (5 girls, the dude's only 5 mos.) will know - do know - not to go into the room or tent of an adult male. And, generally, I try to go on those trips with them or ensure there's another adult present.
I agree with you, and I think it's important--very, very important--to make that clear to your children. I just hesitate to put even some of the blame at the parents' feet here without knowing more of the story. It it possible that they were hopelessly naive when it came to Hall and their daughter, that wouldn't shock me. But it also wouldn't shock me if they took all reasonable measures, and their child, as children are wont to do, didn't listen.
   100. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:47 AM (#3221812)
From what I've seen here, I would have sent you out to play in traffic.

I bet your kids love you.
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