Thursday, 04 August 2011
Last week, I was watching the Today Show (which I do every day... yes, Ann Curry is my guilty pleasure) and Matt Lauer was doing a story on a couple from Texas. I was almost immediately appalled, and nonetheless completely drawn in: The husband is a convicted sex offender and has been for many years and I actually feel bad for him.
Frank was a high school senior when he met his current Mrs over 15 years ago. At the time, Nikki was a freshman and just shy of her 16th birthday-- in Texas 17 was the age of consent. Being that they were a very young happy couple, they blissfully chose to have sex. They both knew what could go wrong, but they never imagined the true scale or the reality.
Nikki's mother allegedly hated her relationship so much that after an argument with Nikki, she filed a charge against him for statutory rape. This was her parents' way of raging against teen sex. He was arrested and charged and plead guilty. He was sentenced to seven years probation and now has to live with his name on the sex offender list.
Once Nikki was old enough, the couple got married. They now have four children and are still together. Frank is not allowed to coach his daughters' soccer teams.
Frank is still on the sex offender's registry in the same grouping as rapists-- people who forcibly have sex with other men, women, and children. For Frank, his case is exceptionally unfortunate. Many people view child rapists as the scum of the scum.
In actuality, Frank is clearly not a bad man. He married this woman. She may not have been of proper age at the time, but she clearly consented and they have been together for over 15 years.
How do you feel about this? Should Frank's case be an exception? Should he continue to be punished as if he was truly a rapist?
Have you ever been in Frank and Nikki's shoes?