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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 (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 16, 2009 at 10:09 PM | 349 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, giants, indians, yankees

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   101. Backlasher Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:47 AM (#3221813)
Shocking behavior by my parents.

Hiring somebody to play Mardi Gras with their 9 year old is a bit shocking.
   102. Jeff K. Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:48 AM (#3221814)
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.

Luckily that exactly matches what I said, so we agree on the timeline.
   103. spivey Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:52 AM (#3221815)
I agree with Jeff. Often life happens and there's not much you can do besides hope that adult isn't a pervert.
   104. Steve Treder Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:53 AM (#3221818)
Alone with only a 38 year old man? One on one? Nobody else around? In his car? At his apartment? At your house?

Of course not. Duh.

But the point is that, especially as kids get into their teens, no parent has complete knowledge of exactly where and when their kids are at all times. They just don't. They have no choice except to trust other adults in the supervision of their kids.
   105. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:54 AM (#3221819)
Being alone with adults happens. I was always uneasy about it because I grew up during the 80's which was full of the afternoon specials and Different Strokes, Webster, Good Times, and all other sitcoms that preached against the dangers of adults.

I can recall three situations that made me uneasy. The first one was at the end of little league practice and one of my mom's friends (female) came and picked me up. It was almost a stereotypical kidnapping scene straight from a sitcom. She came and said my mom was busy and asked if she could pick me up. I was uneasy about it but I knew her so I went. The second incident was again at little league but this time the game got canceled after my mom dropped me off and went to pick up my sister. I was the last one left and the coaching got tired of waiting for my mom so he said he would take me home. Again I was uneasy but got in the car (he had his kid there) and ended up spotting my mom driving back about half way down the block. The last time was on Florida vacation when we were staying at my Grandma's house. I was walking down the sidewalk when an old man asked if I was my Grandma's grandkid. I said yes and then he told me to follow him into his fenced in backyard. I took off. He turned out to be a pretty cool and harmless guy, just oblivious to the mindset of the 80's culture. Other than that I don't think I was ever alone with an adult that wasn't part of my immediate family.
   106. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:56 AM (#3221820)
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?


This is getting silly. We're not talking about this girl randomly being the last teammate at practice one day. We're talking about a consistent pattern in which her parents left her (and the brother) alone with a 38 year old man, for extended hours and days at a time, in their house, in his car, in his apartment.
   107. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:59 AM (#3221823)
Alone with only a 38 year old man? One on one? Nobody else around? In his car? At his apartment? At your house?

Of course not. Duh.


Well, that's what these parents did.

But the point is that, especially as kids get into their teens, no parent has complete knowledge of exactly where and when their kids are at all times. They just don't. They have no choice except to trust other adults in the supervision of their kids.


This was not little Mary going over to play with Susan with Susan's father Mel watching them. This was little Mary going over to play with Mel. Do you really not see the problem?
   108. Backlasher Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:01 AM (#3221824)
Good Times

huh?

When did JJ diddle some 12 year old girl? All I remember was Janet Jackson getting abused by her mother and moving in with Willona.
   109. Steve Treder Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:03 AM (#3221826)
Well, that's what these parents did.

And you don't have the faintest idea of what those actual circumstances were. Do you.

This was not little Mary going over to play with Susan with Susan's father Mel watching them. This was little Mary going over to play with Mel. Do you really not see the problem?

And you don't have the faintest idea of what those actual circumstances were. Do you.

I've said many times that these parents might have been horribly negligent. But we don't know that.
   110. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:04 AM (#3221827)
Don't forget the rape of Edith Bunker, or did that happen in the 70's?

Oh Archie indeed.
   111. Jeff K. Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:05 AM (#3221828)
This was not little Mary going over to play with Susan with Susan's father Mel watching them. This was little Mary going over to play with Mel. Do you really not see the problem?

This was little Mary going over, along with her brother, to be looked after while the parents were out. Christ, you'd think they sent her in hot pants carrying RU486 judging by the reactions here.
   112. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:05 AM (#3221829)
I've said many times that these parents might have been horribly negligent. But we don't know that.

Considering that Mel lived with them for awhile and masturbated in front of them and walked around bottomless in front of them one does have to assume the parents were absent during these incidents.
   113. virginiasteve Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:10 AM (#3221830)
Don't forget the rape of Edith Bunker, or did that happen in the 70's


That was in the seventies.

I played football against Mel when he went to Port Byron (NY) high school in the mid seventies. I can also confirm that he dated teenage girls then, as well. Being a teenager himself is no excuse.

Seriously, he was a jackass then and has gotten worse with time..
   114. JC in DC Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:10 AM (#3221831)
This is getting silly. We're not talking about this girl randomly being the last teammate at practice one day. We're talking about a consistent pattern in which her parents left her (and the brother) alone with a 38 year old man, for extended hours and days at a time, in their house, in his car, in his apartment.


Concur.
   115. Jeff K. Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:12 AM (#3221832)
Oh, so now if there's another man in the house, when both parents are gone they must have the children with them or otherwise absent (and presumably not in the presence of yet another man)? So if I needed to be in San Antonio for a week or two and took my cousin's spare bedroom, when he goes to play golf on Saturday, his 13 year old daughter has to go with him?
   116. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:19 AM (#3221835)
So if I needed to be in San Antonio for a week or two and took my cousin's spare bedroom, when he goes to play golf on Saturday, his 13 year old daughter has to go with him?


With your track record? Yes.
   117. JC in DC Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:21 AM (#3221837)
Jeff:

Most of us don't treat our parenting like it's a game of "What's the most absurd situation you can think of?" We try to make prudent decisions about how to supervise our children, how to give them freedom, how not to expose them to "Spivey types".
   118. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:26 AM (#3221839)
So if I needed to be in San Antonio for a week or two and took my cousin's spare bedroom, when he goes to play golf on Saturday, his 13 year old daughter has to go with him?

Fortunately I don't know you well enough to make this call but if your cousin asked me I would say it is about time his kid learns how to play golf.

What answer do you want? Mel Hall when alone with these kids did terrible things. You saying "oh come on" doesn't change those facts. It doesn't change the fact that these parents did a rather horrible job in sizing up Mel Hall and monitoring his actions around their kids. They let him get close to their most important possessions.
   119. LargeBill Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:27 AM (#3221841)
Damn, I feel oddly guilty about yelling "Give 'em hell Mel" from the stands in old Municipal Stadium. Still, no issues about yelling "Let's go Julio." However, for some reason our dog named for Franco wouldn't answer to Oddibe after the trade to Texas. Though I suppose that is unrelated to the current thread.
   120. RJ in TO Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:38 AM (#3221846)
I'm just strolling through to compliment David on the incredible awesomeness of #71.
   121. Rusty Priske Posted: June 17, 2009 at 04:00 AM (#3221849)
The thought that anyone.. ANYONE... would argue that what was done should not be illegal actually makes me not want to come to this site anymore.

Am I overreacting?

Probably, and I am sure I'll get over it...

But stuff like post #57 is why some kids have it so bad.
   122. William Satterwhite Posted: June 17, 2009 at 04:06 AM (#3221851)
For those questioning the parents here, there is a reason why people who do things like what Hall has been found guilty of can face up to life in jail- these are particularly unthinkable charges. While the parents definitely were poor judges of character in regard to Hall, I don't think the idea of parents leaving their kids alone with a 38 year old man is the great blunder some are making it out to be. I would like to think there should be an expectation that a 38 year old man can behave like a responsible adult, I'm pretty sure the Mel Hall's of the world are a notable minority who we only hear about because their actions are so reprehensible.
   123. Who wants to know? Posted: June 17, 2009 at 04:13 AM (#3221856)
I have no difficulty thinking of several ~38 year olds who I would trust completely to be alone with a 12 year old. I'm actually pretty stunned that so many others are unable to do so.

Which isn't to say the kid's parents made a good decision. Obviously, Hall proved unworthy of that kind of trust. But that doesn't mean nobody should ever trust anybody to be alone with a 12 year old.
   124. Steve Treder Posted: June 17, 2009 at 04:16 AM (#3221858)
I have no difficulty thinking of several ~38 year olds who I would trust completely to be alone with a 12 year old. I'm actually pretty stunned that so many others are unable to do so.

Which isn't to say the kid's parents made a good decision. Obviously, Hall proved unworthy of that kind of trust. But that doesn't mean nobody should ever trust anybody to be alone with a 12 year old
.

Yes, yes, and yes.
   125. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2009 at 04:17 AM (#3221859)
Yes, it is true that the vast majority of of 38 year old males will not do what Mel Hall has done but you don't protect yourself and your loved ones against the typical day exclusively. You protect yourself and others from the rare horrible outcomes as well because the rare horrible outcomes when they occur are usually so devastatingly catastrophic that the time spent trying to prevent it is well worth it if it never occurs. Parents all the time take steps to ensure that rare horrible things don't have the chance to happen to their family. It would be a pretty poor parent indeed that blithely goes through life assuming all adult males or really adults in general are safe.
   126. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 17, 2009 at 04:19 AM (#3221860)
While the parents definitely were poor judges of character in regard to Hall, I don't think the idea of parents leaving their kids alone with a 38 year old man is the great blunder some are making it out to be.


You think wrong. Did you read the circumstances of the case? The parents left her alone with him in their home, his home, his car. For extended periods.

I would like to think there should be an expectation that a 38 year old man can behave like a responsible adult, I'm pretty sure the Mel Hall's of the world are a sizable minority who we only hear about because their actions are so reprehensible.


Your dubious reasoning aside, do a youtube search for "To catch a predator" and start watching the videos. Not that I agree with all the tactics of the show, but men who prey on 12 year old girls aren't exactly in short supply.
   127. Who wants to know? Posted: June 17, 2009 at 04:25 AM (#3221862)
<quote>It would be a pretty poor parent indeed that blithely goes through life assuming all adult males or really adults in general are safe.</quote>

Who said anything about assuming *all* adults are safe? There's a world of difference between knowing an adult you'd trust with a kid, and trusting all adults with kids.
   128. Steve Treder Posted: June 17, 2009 at 04:26 AM (#3221863)
It would be a pretty poor parent indeed that blithely goes through life assuming all adult males or really adults in general are safe.

Wait, what? It would be a poor parent who assumes that "adults in general are safe"?

Truly, if one doesn't make that assumption, then one retreats into the bunker.
   129. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2009 at 04:31 AM (#3221865)
Wait, what?

You actually lived by this motto?

You actually assumed all adults were safe? You did nothing to verify whether or not an adult that would be watching over your child while you were not there was a safe choice?
   130. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2009 at 04:33 AM (#3221866)
There's a world of difference between knowing an adult you'd trust with a kid, and trusting all adults with kids.

Yes, and the point is that the parents did a pretty shvtty job vetting Mr. Hall and then monitoring his activities with their children.
   131. Steve Treder Posted: June 17, 2009 at 04:34 AM (#3221868)
You actually assumed all adults were safe?

Do you understand the difference between "adults in general" and "all adults"?

You did nothing to verify whether or not an adult that would be watching over your child while you were not there was a safe choice?

Are those drugs you're on good?
   132. Who wants to know? Posted: June 17, 2009 at 04:42 AM (#3221869)
Yes, and the point is that the parents did a pretty shvtty job vetting Mr. Hall and then monitoring his activities with their children.

Well, that's a banal point that nobody is contesting.

The other point -- the one that is in dispute -- is whether anyone should ever leave a 12 year old child with any adult.
   133. William Satterwhite Posted: June 17, 2009 at 04:45 AM (#3221870)
You think wrong. Did you read the circumstances of the case? The parents left her alone with him in their home, his home, his car. For extended periods.


Yes, a man who they seemed to trust and thought well enough to allow to live in their own home. Again, they were poor judges of character but if you trust a man- a 38 year old seemingly responsible adult- enough to live in your house, I don't think it's too far-fetched to trust that man around your children. Maybe I am being naive here but unless there was some previous history of abuse (someone mentioned a rumor about a high school girlfriend but there's no telling if there's any truth to that) or some warning sign, I don't see why its so unreasonable.

Your dubious reasoning aside, do a youtube search for "To catch a predator" and start watching the videos. Not that I agree with all the tactics of the show, but men who prey on 12 year old girls aren't exactly in short supply.


Well, one child predator is one too many to begin with but my point stands- we get so caught up in the outrageousness and unthinkable nature of these men that they tend to get blown out of proportion. I'm 99.9 percent sure that the number of well-adjusted "normal" 38 year old men far outnumber the number of Mel Hall's out there. The handful of child predators you see might see on Dateline catch your attention, all the non-predators you might encounter in a given day don't.
   134. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2009 at 04:49 AM (#3221871)
The other point -- the one that is in dispute -- is whether anyone should ever leave a 12 year old child with any adult.

No it isn't.

Do you understand the difference between "adults in general" and "all adults"?

Apparently you missed my meaning. When I said what I said I was including all adults. Meaning both genders and not just males.

Are those drugs you're on good?

Yes, your kids have the best stuff. I guess that will happen when you leave them alone with strangers. You'll never know what they'll get taught.
   135. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2009 at 04:54 AM (#3221873)
Again, they were poor judges of character but if you trust a man-

And that is the point. They trusted someone they shouldn't have and then failed to monitor his activities around their kids. Again, where were the parents while he was masturbating in front of both kids? Where were the parents when he was fingering their daughter? Where were the parents when this child went through the emotional turmoil that these actions caused? Did the parents do everything they could to have prevented this? Obviously not, so the question becomes why not.

The handful of child predators you see might see on Dateline catch your attention, all the non-predators you might encounter in a given day don't.

So what does this mean? Do you simply roll the dice and say it will never happen to me or my kids or do you try and make sure it doesn't happen to your kids?
   136. Steve Treder Posted: June 17, 2009 at 04:58 AM (#3221876)
When I said what I said I was including all adults.

I repeat: do you understand the difference between "adults in general" and "all adults"?
   137. Who wants to know? Posted: June 17, 2009 at 05:06 AM (#3221879)
No it isn't.

Sure it is. Several posts have suggested that it is inherently irresponsible to leave a child with a 38 year old. See posts 83, 95, 106, 107, 114, 117.

Some people, myself included, have taken the contrary position.

So that point is, in fact, in dispute.

Meanwhile, nobody argues that Mel Hall was deserving of such trust. Nobody. Nobody contends that everyone should be willing to leave a child alone with any and every adult. Nobody.
   138. William Satterwhite Posted: June 17, 2009 at 05:50 AM (#3221882)
And that is the point. They trusted someone they shouldn't have and then failed to monitor his activities around their kids. Again, where were the parents while he was masturbating in front of both kids? Where were the parents when he was fingering their daughter? Where were the parents when this child went through the emotional turmoil that these actions caused? Did the parents do everything they could to have prevented this? Obviously not, so the question becomes why not.


There's no (or at least, very little) dispute that at some point the parents were negligent here, but the question is where. Should they have been better judges of Hall's true character? Yes, but they apparently didn't so unless you're saying these parents should have put their kids in a bubble there's not much they could do in that regard. This isn't like some little girl chatting with some anonymous guy on the internet, this is a man who the parents knew and apparently had reason to trust. Should they have been more dilligent in checking up with their kids when they were alone with Hall? Absolutely, but that's another issue altogether.

So what does this mean? Do you simply roll the dice and say it will never happen to me or my kids or do you try and make sure it doesn't happen to your kids?


No, you make sure that your kids aren't around bad people first and foremost. When you're away from them, you check up on your kids as much possible, no matter how much you trust the man. There are steps you can take to try to prevent a crime like this but saying that you simply can't trust any adult to be alone with your child is a bit much.
   139. Harry Balsagne Posted: June 17, 2009 at 06:26 AM (#3221886)
Don't forget the rape of Edith Bunker


If memory serves, that was an attempted rape. She clocked him with a burning cake.
   140. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 17, 2009 at 06:33 AM (#3221889)
So what does this mean? Do you simply roll the dice and say it will never happen to me or my kids or do you try and make sure it doesn't happen to your kids?
You roll the dice. I mean, sheesh, do you take your kids out of the house? Do you let them ride in the car? You're risking their lives by orders of magnitude more by doing that than by leaving them with a random person.

You actually assumed all adults were safe? You did nothing to verify whether or not an adult that would be watching over your child while you were not there was a safe choice?
How exactly would you "verify" this? Ask them if they're a pedophile first?
   141. CFiJ Posted: June 17, 2009 at 06:38 AM (#3221892)
You know, I'm not seeing the negligence on the part of the parents here.

Earlier in this thread, someone mentioned knowing a number of 38 year olds they'd trust alone with their children. I suspect that had you asked the parents this 10 years ago, they would have listed Hall among those. He had a successful major league career, and you don't get those without working hard, and generally people associate hard-working with trustworthiness and dependability. In fact, in his associations with this family outside of those incidents with their children, he was probably extremely trustworthy. Personality traits aren't absolute all across all situations and contexts. It may very well have been the case that if you leave Mel Hall in your home with access to your Steuben glass egg, he's not going to lose it to a call girl, but if you leave him with your 12-year old daughter, nasty stuff is going to happen.

It would be easy if these kinds of predators looked like they do in the movies, vaguely unsettling, and easy to spot. Unfortunately, they look and act just like any of us, and are often smarter and more experienced when it comes to hiding these kinds of things. Their close friends often don't even know.
   142. StillFlash Posted: June 17, 2009 at 07:58 AM (#3221896)
It has in the recent past not been that unusual. This appeared in a newspaper in 1924. Unfortunately, Millie died of pneumonia two years later at age 16. Her husband was 22 when they married. Maryland did not require parental consent, so folks from Pa age 21 and under frequently hopped the day train to Cumberland.

COUNTY COUPLE IN ELOPEMENT
William Stiffler and Miss Mildred Garmon Wed in Cumberland, Md.
Two young residents of Uniontown eloped on Tuesday, March 25th [1924], to Cumberland, Md. The bride was Miss Mildred Lucilla Garmon, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. Garmon. She just celebrated her 14th birthday of February 27th and was a pupil of the 8th grade school at Uniontown. Lucilla was neither tardy of absent from school this term, until her wedding day. She is an attractive and estimable young woman. The bridegroom is Mr. William Blair Stiffler a former sailor, having served in the U. S. Navy for four years. He is well and favorably known in the community. No one suspected an elopement and it was a surprise to all her friends., even her parents not knowing of it until twelve hours later. She had asked permission to spend the night with a friend but went to Cumberland instead.
   143. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: June 17, 2009 at 10:07 AM (#3221907)
12 year olds can't give consent.
12 year olds can't give consent.
12 year olds can't give consent.


In a decision laced with controversy right from the beginning, school girls of 12 years and above would now be getting tablets for abortions at home, without needing parental consent link

It's London, but it'll happen here. Its only matter of time
   144. BFFB Posted: June 17, 2009 at 10:48 AM (#3221913)
The other point -- the one that is in dispute -- is whether anyone should ever leave a 12 year old child with any adult.


If you're that paranoid then either a)the media has done a great job of making you scared, or b)it's time to break that tinfoil hat out of storage.
   145. OsunaSakata Posted: June 17, 2009 at 11:06 AM (#3221917)
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."


That slides down the slippery slope to empathy. He should be judged on strict constructionism.
   146. OsunaSakata Posted: June 17, 2009 at 11:08 AM (#3221918)
COUNTY COUPLE IN ELOPEMENT
William Stiffler and Miss Mildred Garmon Wed in Cumberland, Md.
Two young residents of Uniontown eloped on Tuesday, March 25th [1924], to Cumberland, Md. The bride was Miss Mildred Lucilla Garmon, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. Garmon. She just celebrated her 14th birthday of February 27th and was a pupil of the 8th grade school at Uniontown. Lucilla was neither tardy of absent from school this term, until her wedding day. She is an attractive and estimable young woman. The bridegroom is Mr. William Blair Stiffler a former sailor, having served in the U. S. Navy for four years. He is well and favorably known in the community. No one suspected an elopement and it was a surprise to all her friends., even her parents not knowing of it until twelve hours later. She had asked permission to spend the night with a friend but went to Cumberland instead.


What did Stiffler's Mom have to say?
   147. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 17, 2009 at 11:11 AM (#3221920)
From some of the comments in this thread, it sounds like a few posters here have never been poor, or known anyone who was.

Minimum wage-earners often need to work 2+ jobs in order to earn enough to cover things like food and rent and utilities, sometimes working 16+ hours a day (not including time spent walking or using public transit to get to the aforementioned jobs). Thus, people in this position often have to choose between leaving their children alone and unsupervised in dangerous neighborhoods, or leaving them in the temporary care of apparently-trustworthy adults like Mr. Hall.

So let's not be too hard on the parents until we actually know something about their circumstances, eh?
   148. CrosbyBird Posted: June 17, 2009 at 11:58 AM (#3221929)
Thus, people in this position often have to choose between leaving their children alone and unsupervised in dangerous neighborhoods, or leaving them in the temporary care of apparently-trustworthy adults like Mr. Hall.

The parenting problem is not leaving a child with a predator, in my opinion, but in not properly educating the child as to how to identify and report a sketchy situation. By 12, a child should damn well know to tell the parents immediately if a caretaker shows them a pornographic movie or his naughty parts, and especially if he or she is being touched inappropriately to this degree.

So let's not be too hard on the parents until we actually know something about their circumstances, eh?

Hall agrees that we should not be too hard on the parents, but not for the same reason.
   149. Who wants to know? Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:10 PM (#3221935)
If you're that paranoid then either a)the media has done a great job of making you scared, or b)it's time to break that tinfoil hat out of storage.

Completely right. Except that I was not one of the people suggesting that you should never leave a child with any adult. Quite the opposite. See #123, for example.
   150. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:22 PM (#3221940)
A little late here:

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.


I thought Jessup's and to a similar extent, Sutherland's character's greater crime, was not ordering the Code red, but denying it and allowing their subordinates to be punished for carrying out their orders. That was pure chickenshit, and goes against every precept of honore that both officers were spewing. To the extent that code red type disipline may be necessary, the fact that they didn't stand behind their men was beneath contempt, and deserving of whatever punishment they would later receive.

Back to your regular programing...
   151. BDC Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:36 PM (#3221945)
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 (#57)

Humbert Humbert asks much the same thing in Lolita, incidentally.
   152. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:39 PM (#3221950)
Don't forget the rape of Edith Bunker

He pulled out his manly part
Edith's dress was ripped apart
Archie was at Liquor-Mart
Those were the days!

He was taking quite a chance
'round his ankles were his pants
Mister here's a faceful of hot cake to halt your advance

All the ratings came in great
"Controversial attempted rape"
Sally Strothers missed that cake
Those were the days!
   153. Zonk demands an audit of your post Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:42 PM (#3221954)
Being alone with adults happens. I was always uneasy about it because I grew up during the 80's which was full of the afternoon specials and Different Strokes, Webster, Good Times, and all other sitcoms that preached against the dangers of adults.


Hey - don't bring my irrational fear of Gordon Jump and bicycles into this.
   154. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: June 17, 2009 at 12:49 PM (#3221958)

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


Well, then given the facts, it sounds like your parents made a reasonable, but serious mistake. I don't think they should be blamed, but it's unfortunate.

I find several of the moral contortions pushed in this thread to justify sexual assault of a minor and/or blame the parents to be very disturbing. As was said above, the students I teach have had to be independent for quite some time. It is often a necessity for parents (or a parent) to entrust their kids to the care of the neighborhood.

When bad things happen, it's bad, and it's a mistake on the part of the parents, but the sole blame lies on the perpetrator.

I've heard the argument again and again that "20/18/16/14/12/10/4" year olds "are basically adults" and "in ____________ times, having sex with 20/18/16/14/12/10/4 year olds was commonplace".

It doesn't change the fact that it still comes back to the age old notion that men are sexual animals that cannot be expected to control their biological urges--no matter how fried and misguided.

If our society doesn't produce people who can discriminate from programming (both biological and societal) that makes them interested in having sex with partially formed people and what's actually empathetic for their potential partner, and then choose the latter, then we ALL need to take a serious look in the mirror.

And that's not to go all puritanical, "Sex outside of a committed relationship is evil" on everyone. Quite the opposite--if you have two promiscuous people who--as consenting adults--decide they want to have a one-night-stand, wonderful.

But these types of scenarios have literally zero to do with whether a 12 year old who doesn't know about sex can consent.

As another poster said, it probably also highlights the need for effective sexual education. This is inflammatory and inappropriate, but I did sometimes wonder what percentage of the people who are against any and all sexual education are hoping for the scenario in the Hall situation?
   155. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 17, 2009 at 01:02 PM (#3221965)
This thread proves that there are either (a) a lot of extremely stupid people, (b) a lot of people desperate to start an argument, or (c) some combination of the two, posting on this site.

The criticisms of the parents for leaving the kids alone with Hall are particularly strange. None of us know the details of the situation, and the notion that leaving a 12 year old alone with a 38 year old is by definition poor judgment is ridiculous.
   156. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 17, 2009 at 01:05 PM (#3221967)
Wow, there are some creepy dudes here at BBTF. I know we've had a child molestation thread before and a post similar to #57 was made. My take is that your first reaction to this should be outrage and blind fury, then, after you calm down, you can rationally dissect the history of human sexuality and the legal system etc. and then you go back to outrage and a simmering fury. 12 and 5 years old, man! 12 and 5! That is ####### wrong and I'm not even a parent. If I were a parent, my head would probably explode.
   157. RJ in TO Posted: June 17, 2009 at 01:14 PM (#3221979)
Out of curiosity, was Mel Hall the idiot who had both his wife and mistress staying at the same hotel one spring training, leading to a fairly epic brawl between the two women?
   158. kthejoker Posted: June 17, 2009 at 01:20 PM (#3221986)
God, this site could use some more women.
   159. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 17, 2009 at 01:24 PM (#3221993)
God, this site could use some more women.

Too many dicks on the dance floor?
   160. scotto Posted: June 17, 2009 at 01:55 PM (#3222034)
A few facts, courtesy of the Dept of Veterans Affairs

Child sexual abuse includes a wide range of sexual behaviors that take place between a child and an older person. These sexual behaviors are intended to erotically arouse the older person, generally without consideration for the reactions or choices of the child and without consideration for the effects of the behavior upon the child. Behaviors that are sexually abusive often involve bodily contact, such as in the case of sexual kissing, touching, fondling of genitals, and oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse. However, behaviors may be sexually abusive even if they don't involve contact, such as in the case of genital exposure ("flashing"), verbal pressure for sex, and sexual exploitation for purposes of prostitution or pornography....

Most often, sexual abusers know the child they abuse but are not relatives. In fact, about 60% of perpetrators are nonrelative acquaintances, such as a friend of the family, babysitter, or neighbor.

About 30% of those who sexually abuse children are relatives of the child, such as fathers, uncles, or cousins.

Strangers are perpetrators in about 10% of child sexual abuse cases.

Men are found to be perpetrators in most cases, regardless of whether the victim is a boy or a girl. However, women are found to be perpetrators in about 14% of cases reported against boys and about 6% of cases reported against girls.


What can parents and caretakers do to help keep children safe?

Talk to your children about the difference between good touch and bad touch. Tell the child that if someone tries to touch his or her body and do things that make the child feel uncomfortable, he or she should say NO to the person and tell you about it right away.

Let children know that they have the right to forbid others to touch their bodies in a bad way. Let them know that respect does not always mean doing what those in authority tell them to do. Do not tell them to do EVERYTHING the babysitter or group leader tells them to do.

Alert your children that perpetrators may use the Internet, and monitor your children's access to online websites.

Most importantly, provide a safe, caring environment so children feel able to talk freely about sexual abuse.


Regarding parental neglect in this particular case, I don't see it as cut and dried as some do. To me, it seems that the worst thing that the parents did was not leave their kid with someone other than themselves, it's that they neglected to teach their children about predators and improper contact in an age-appropriate way. If they had, they may have figured out that Hall wasn't an appropriate person (to put it very mildly) to leave their children with much earlier.

But given the nature of today's world, where eternal vigilance is impossible due to work and other obligations, it's inevitable that you need to leave your child with someone else. Your intuition is likely to be insufficient to alert you to who might be a pedophile, or your relationship with them (relative, close friend, coach, teacher) may cloud your judgment. I think we've all been burned at one point or another by someone we trusted, who abused that trust. With any luck the situation was much less dire than this one.

Arming your children with the ability to defend themselves by alerting you to potentially sexually abusive situations and individuals seems to be the best way to go, and it's not always going to be enough. But it's another one of the 1,268,702 reasons why parents need to maintain open communication and, as the fact sheet says, provide a safe, open environment in which issues like this can be discussed.

I think those who blame the parents for this are misguided in the reasons why the parents are at fault. I think those who seek to excuse, dismiss, or blame shift where the onus lies are in need of some education on the issue, or are really, really creepy and not someone I'd like to meet in real life.

For the record, my ex-wife/son's mother worked in the neglect and abuse field for years before burning out and changing careers. She'd be absolutely livid at some of the comments here. I am too. I'm also disgusted and appalled. Thinking fans, indeed.
   161. BDC Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:05 PM (#3222046)
It occurs to me that, lest I get lumped with the creeps, I shouldn't be as subtle as I tried to be in #151. When you express the same views as Humbert Humbert, you are in pretty strange territory: it's like echoing the views of Iago, Simon Legree, Amon Goeth from Schindler's List, or John Rocker ...
   162. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:12 PM (#3222049)
I thought #151 was just a nice allusion. I shouldn't have thrown the "creeps" thing out there (though #57 does creep me out). It's easy to take the moral high ground on something like this and I should resist it. (I'm for democracy! I like puppies and kittens! etc.)
   163. Jeff K. Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:15 PM (#3222052)
It's people like those in this thread, not that they're individually for it but those who are use the same reasoning and wide brush to paint with, that have let blind fear and irrationality lead to a person arrested for public urination having to register their movements and inform their neighbors of their 'sordid past' for the rest of their lives.

Seriously, #### happens, sometimes bad ####. It's life. Yes, you take a risk every time you make a decision and yes you can mitigate those risks by not making bad decisions. If you think allowing an adult male whom you know and trust to give your 12 year old daughter a ride home under abnormal but not unthinkable circumstances (so, a few times) is 'risky behavior', you are in serious need of Xanax.
   164. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:16 PM (#3222053)
McCoy may sound insane and paranoid in this thread, but most people start saying exactly the same things when they become parents in this country.
   165. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:19 PM (#3222055)
lead to a person arrested for public urination having to register their movements and inform their neighbors of their 'sordid past' for the rest of their lives.

Uh oh. Hey man, it was only the one time in Austin, Texas and I really, really had to go.
   166. . . . . . . Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:19 PM (#3222056)
I used to work as an PSAT/SATI/SATII tutor. We had a basic rule: DO NOT ####### TOUCH.

We were left alone with girls all the time, ranging in age from 14-18. One on one. And we were all generally in our 20's and 30's. And most of these girls were mature looking, knew exactly what they were doing, and would flirt with you.

But it killed business if there was even a HINT of impropriety. Hell, it was better if the parents thought you were a poof, since they'd feel more comfortable leaving you with their daughters.

One time I went to a senior tutorees house. She was 18, and she was gorgeous. Her parents were not home. When i arrived, she was wearing nothing but an oversized t-shirt. I walked in, taught her the lesson for the day, and left, acting as if nothing was out of the ordinary. I submit to you that if I could do that, then people like Mel Hall have no excuse.
   167. Morty Causa Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:21 PM (#3222059)
Jeez, the mistake was mistaking this as a thread where grownups were participating.

Humbert Humbert asks much the same thing in Lolita, incidentally.

And what was the answer? My understanding is it was pretty extensive, some 300 pages or so.

Anyone should be able to moot anything in discussion in any fashion without the schoolmarm auxiliary getting it's panties all twisted. If you can't understand that, you are hopeless as a thinking being.

And exactly what was so reprehensible about my post? I think the response by a few here is textbook example of tinhorn intimidation. Anyone who can't discuss anything except by making personal accusations ought to be ashamed. Reading things like frothing at the mouth accusations with intimations of violence would be perfect for research in a course on the creation of lynch mob mentality.
   168. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:28 PM (#3222067)
One time I went to a senior tutorees house. She was 18, and she was gorgeous. Her parents were not home. When i arrived, she was wearing nothing but an oversized t-shirt. I walked in, taught her the lesson for the day, and left, acting as if nothing was out of the ordinary. I submit to you that if I could do that, then people like Mel Hall have no excuse.

That was very smart or very stupid. Not sure which.
   169. FBI Regional Bureau Chief GORDON COLE!!! Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:29 PM (#3222068)
One time I went to a senior tutorees house. She was 18, and she was gorgeous. Her parents were not home. When i arrived, she was wearing nothing but an oversized t-shirt.

I remember reading this letter...

...but I seem to remember it ending differently.
   170. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:29 PM (#3222070)

I'm just strolling through to compliment David on the incredible awesomeness of #71.


Yes, dat vas a gut vun!


But I wouldn't leave my 11 y.o. with a "random 38 y.o.", as DMN implies is safer than driving her to the pizza parlor. I don't know if the parents here did their "due diligence" re: Hall, and frankly, the story is so creepy, I don't care to dig for that answer. This thread is the proverbial train wreck...horrid, shocking, perverse, ugly, but you can't look away. I'm gonna try.
   171. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:31 PM (#3222071)
...but I seem to remember it ending differently.

I never get to the end of those letters...
   172. FBI Regional Bureau Chief GORDON COLE!!! Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:32 PM (#3222074)
I never get to the end of those letters...

Ha! Nice.
   173. RJ in TO Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:34 PM (#3222079)
I never get to the end of those letters...


I'm shocked (SHOCKED!) that someone named "Shooty" has a problem with an itchy trigger finger.
   174. FBI Regional Bureau Chief GORDON COLE!!! Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:36 PM (#3222083)
Ryan wins teh internetz.
   175. winnipegwhip Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:36 PM (#3222084)
I remember a Yankee Yearbook in the early 90's where they have photos of the players with their families. Mel Hall has his picture taken with Chastity Fernendez (who appears to have snagged Mel Hall for her prom...it appeared the outfit she was wearing would be a prom dress.)

The first thing I remembered was Chastity Fernendez when I saw this headline.
   176. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:37 PM (#3222085)
I'm shocked (SHOCKED!) that someone named "Shooty" has a problem with an itchy trigger finger.

I see it as a gift, not a problem.
   177. FBI Regional Bureau Chief GORDON COLE!!! Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:41 PM (#3222092)
The first thing I remembered was Chastity Fernendez when I saw this headline.

Of COURSE she's named "Chastity." Perfect.
   178. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:45 PM (#3222097)
"It's the parents' fault for leaving the kids with Hall"

"What he did doesn't really sound that bad"

"A 12-year old can make these types of decisions"

"What's so wrong with adults messing with kids, anyway?"

"It happened three times -- must be consensual"
_________________________________________________

Wow. This is the first time that I've ever decided to put BTF on ignore for the day.

Enjoy the conversation, gents (and the rest of you, too).
   179. McCoy Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:54 PM (#3222111)
McCoy may sound insane and paranoid in this thread, but most people start saying exactly the same things when they become parents in this country.

Huh? Since when did I become the poster boy for an argument I wasn't even making?
   180. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:55 PM (#3222113)
If you think allowing an adult male whom you know and trust to give your 12 year old daughter a ride home under abnormal but not unthinkable circumstances (so, a few times) is 'risky behavior', you are in serious need of Xanax.


"A ride home" "a few times." This is laughable. It bears no relation to what happened here.
   181. scotto Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:55 PM (#3222114)
And exactly what was so reprehensible about my post?

Not seeing that there's no equivalence in sexual relations between a 38 year old and a 12 year old and a 13 year old and a 12 year old for one thing. Children and adolescents are not little adults. See Eraser-X's post, my link, or any number of other sites discussing child sexual abuse that cite studies.

Reading things like frothing at the mouth accusations with intimations of violence would be perfect for research in a course on the creation of lynch mob mentality.

Claiming that you're a victim and denying that status to the girl and boy in question here definitely deserves to win some sort of prize for audaciousness in pursuit of twisted rationalization, or something.
   182. BDC Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:56 PM (#3222116)
Humbert Humbert asks much the same thing in Lolita, incidentally

And what was the answer?


His answer is that it's perfectly OK to sleep with your 12-year-old stepdaughter, and also OK to complain that she isn't enjoying it enough.
   183. spivey Posted: June 17, 2009 at 02:59 PM (#3222120)
I mean if you don't sleep with her some 13 year old would anyways amirite?
   184. BDC Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:01 PM (#3222121)
Actually another of Humbert's excuses is that some 13-year-old already has. (Another is "She seduced me!")
   185. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:08 PM (#3222130)
I mean if you don't sleep with her some 13 year old would anyways amirite?

I hate to get dragged into this thread, but...

Part of the problem here is the sexualization of teenagers in general. That does not excuse the creeps who prey upon children, at all. But, the idea that sex between 12,13,14 year olds is OK if they're both 12,13,14, is a huge problem.

Hell, a lot of times these relationships between teenage girls and 20-something men is consensual. It's still wrong.

But as long as society, the media, etc. encourages teens, and even pre-teens to be "sexy", that's going to contribute to the problem.
   186. Morty Causa Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:15 PM (#3222137)
Not seeing that there's no equivalence in sexual relations between a 38 year old and a 12 year old and a 13 year old and a 12 year old for one thing.

And who did that? You decided all this from a question without any discussion? You just know that that is what it has to be, and you just know what the basis for it would be?

You prove my point.

Claiming that you're a victim and denying that status to the girl and boy in question here definitely deserves to win some sort of prize for audaciousness in pursuit of twisted rationalization, or something.

What makes you so certain that I am denying her "that status"?

The only great and portentous audacity here it seems to me is how so many feel so justified in going off half-cocked, then become even more incensed when challenged on this meager point. That's not only sad but frightening. You can spank those sensibilities to a shine all you want, brother, but you're still looping the rope for that picture perfect Hollywood noose.

You can scramble all you want but it's obvious all sorts of unexamined presumptions serve as predicate for that fine self-righteous hauteur--presumptions that you will attempt to keep inviolate at any cost (at any cost to the person you implicitly accuse, that is). Yeah, it is pretty obvious you have victims in mind that you can't wait to put to the test. A test determined solely by you and one that you won't ever allow to be questioned by anyone.
   187. BDC Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:16 PM (#3222141)
the idea that sex between 12,13,14 year olds is OK if they're both 12,13,14, is a huge problem

And (and then I'll shut up) there are indeed 12, 13, and 14-year old sexual molesters, just as kids can be bullies or substance abusers at that age. Some 12-14-year-olds, unfortunately, don't understand that they shouldn't hurt or abuse other kids. The reason we are more upset about the 40-year-olds who don't understand it is, because they're older and should know all the better – right?
   188. wjones Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:17 PM (#3222143)
A lot of opinions about a lot of stuff here. To me there are some holes in the story, that maybe can or can't be answered:

1. The situations where Hall was left alone with the kids, were they situations where the parents needed a caretaker, were they situations where Hall "volunteered" to be a caretaker, or were there situations where Hall created these situations under the pretext of "required practices, conventions, etc.", and of course probably talked about the girls "potential", created a situation where the parents saw a famous athlete taking an "interest" in their daughter's "abilities". Maybe a combination of these things led to the situations where the daughter (and the son) were left in his care.

2. Another case of hindsight here, I guess, but I'm guessing that either no conversations took place about what went on while Hall was keeping the kids, OR Hall was persuasive enough to convince the kids to not let Mommy and Daddy know about "our funny games", OR the kids were to some extent getting a kick out of it and chose not to tell. You'd think that just out of curiosity the parents would have started some kind of dialogue, such as "well did you kids have a good time with Mr. Hall?"; "Did you play cards?", "Did he tell you old locker room stories?", etc. Maybe not, but I sure would have attempted to get some facts out of them. But who knows?

3. Why, exactly, is the story coming out now? Purely speculating here, but as time wore on and the kids became more "aware", they realized the "fun" may not have been as innocent as originally thought. More cynical people might see a potential financial windfall with this, particularly with the obvious resentment over the benching, etc.

Just on the information provided already here, it is obvious that Mel Hall created a carefully planned seduction of this young girl, who AFAICT was naive enough to go along with his plans, and apparently--without other evidence to the contrary--had parents who also had sufficient naivete to not realize what they were exposing their daughter to, and of course by proxy the son as well. But I would, just for curiosity's sake, like to know some of the answers to the above questions.
   189. scotto Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:22 PM (#3222146)
Morty:

And who did that?

You, at least judging from this:

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.


It's a tough paragraph to parse, but I think I interpreted your point correctly. Nothing you've written since makes me interpret it differently.
   190. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:29 PM (#3222152)
Hey - don't bring my irrational fear of Gordon Jump and bicycles into this.

Who is ready for a game of "Neptune, King of the Sea?"

Actually, having read through this thread- please don't answer that.
   191. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:29 PM (#3222154)
And (and then I'll shut up) there are indeed 12, 13, and 14-year old sexual molesters, just as kids can be bullies or substance abusers at that age. Some 12-14-year-olds, unfortunately, don't understand that they shouldn't hurt or abuse other kids. The reason we are more upset about the 40-year-olds who don't understand it is, because they're older and should know all the better – right?

Of course.

What I'm trying to say is that when you move away from the point of view that 12-16 year old shouldn't be having sex at all (which society used to hold) it is harder to get those same 12-16 year olds not to have sex with even more inappropriate people.

It makes the kids more vulnerable. If the 12-16 year old girl is looking for a boyfriend, it makes it much, much more likely that she'd going to "fall for" or be manipulated by a 20+ year old. Whether he is a predator, or just misguided.

Similarly, the fact that 12-16 year old guys think they should be "scoring" makes them more vulnerable to the spate of predatory women (mainly teachers) we've seen recently.

Finally, it gives the creeps more justification (in their own twisted minds), if these 12-16 year olds "are having sex anyway".

None of this is meant to excuse predators, just to point out a contributing factor to the problem.
   192. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:38 PM (#3222171)
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

Back in the day, children worked 29 hour days. Back in the day. It's a different day.

and maybe if it weren't now, we wouldn't feel as we do.

This "what if" is too bizarre to ponder.

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.

I have to assume you're playing devil's advocate here. There isn't any way you mean to say that it's ok for a 40 y.o. to have a sexual relationship with a minor of any age. So, to indulge that advocacy, sex is as much emotional and/or psychological as it is physical, and while, physically, the minor may be on a somewhat more level "playing field" as the 40 y.o., the same isn't true for the emotional/psychological side of the act.
   193. SoSH U at work Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:41 PM (#3222174)
McCoy may sound insane and paranoid in this thread, but most people start saying exactly the same things when they become parents in this country.


And most, after they've actually been parents for a while, realize that the absolutes they espoused can't be employed in every situation.
   194. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:42 PM (#3222176)
snapper - is there evidence that there's more child molestation in our contemporary society than 20 - 40 - 60 years ago? You seem to presume that shifts in mores have resulted in bad effects, but I don't know of any evidence to that effect. I'm very skeptical of claims of moral degeneracy, since we can see such claims in play in every single period of human history, and there's rarely much of anything to support them.

I think another part of your argument is that it's harder to prevent or condemn molestation, rape, and assault when sex is considered more permissible. It seems to me, though, that if all sex is wrong, it would be harder to explain why rape and assault are particularly wrong, whereas if there's a notion of permissible sex, it's easier to articulate and condemn impermissible sex.

I'm not saying I think things have gotten better - I have no idea, honestly - but I think that your logical argument could cut either way.
   195. Harry Balsagne Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:46 PM (#3222183)
His answer is that it's perfectly OK to sleep with your 12-year-old stepdaughter, and also OK to complain that she isn't enjoying it enough.


You and I must not have read the same book. In fact, you must not have read the book at all.
   196. BDC Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:50 PM (#3222186)
In fact, you must not have read the book at all

:-D

As one of my colleagues says, "Read it? I haven't even taught it!"
   197. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:50 PM (#3222188)
You and I must not have read the same book. In fact, you must not have read the book at all.

If this thread veers into a literary brouhaha, I will be very relieved and thankful.

William Blake is the best of the Romantics. Walt Whitman is the great American writer. Denis Johnson is God.
   198. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:51 PM (#3222190)
And most, after they've actually been parents for a while, realize that the absolutes they espoused can't be employed in every situation.

Right -- I have a 2 year old and a 6 year old, and I'm an incredibly protective parent. But I also learned fairly quickly that you have to be realistic about them and their safety. You can't watch them every second and you can't keep them in a plastic bubble. You also can't assume that every adult out there is a potential child molester and can't be left alone with your child. That's just crazy paranoid thinking.
   199. Harry Balsagne Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:53 PM (#3222194)
William Blake is the best of the Romantics. Walt Whitman is the great American writer. Denis Johnson is God.


Agreed, and agreed.

However, your assessment of Denis Johnson is morally reprehensible, and proves you are a total pedophile.
   200. rr Posted: June 17, 2009 at 03:54 PM (#3222198)
Denis Johnson is God.


Save that Celtics' stuff for the NBA thread.

Joyce, Dostoevsky, Kafka, Rilke. Charles Reznikoff, George Oppen.
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