Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Update Judge Voids Genarlow Wilson's 10-year Prison Term

ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- A judge on Monday voided a 10-year sentence for a man accused of having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17. He instead gave Genarlow Wilson a 12-month misdemeanor sentence with credit for time already served.

The state is likely to appeal the ruling.

Wilson's original sentence, for aggravated child molestation, was widely criticized on the grounds it was grossly disproportionate to the crime, and state lawmakers later passed a law to close the loophole that led to the 10-year sentence.

Wilson, now 21, has already served more than 27 months. He could remain behind bars while the appeal proceeds.

A jury found the honor student guilty in 2005 of aggravated child molestation for having oral sex with a 15-year-old girl during a 2003 New Year's Eve party involving alcohol and marijuana. Although the sex act was consensual it was illegal under Georgia law.

Wilson was also charged with rape for being one of several male partygoers at the Douglas County hotel to have sex with a 17-year-old girl, but was acquitted. The party was captured on a videotape that was played for the jury.

Several influential people, including former President Jimmy Carter, stepped forward to support Wilson.

Wilson's lawyers could be heard applauding in their office after the order was released.

6 comments:

Anonymous,  03:49  

I think this is a total miscarrage of justice. A young mans life has been destoyed for really nothing. It was consentual.That is the big thing. It is not like he was a pretator or someone searching for a victom, any victom. So many people break laws because we, as the average Joe citizen do not know everything that is against the law. I am a 50 year old man and from reading things in the paper , watching the news, seeing things on the internet etc. over the years have realized I have done things that supposedly were against the law. I did not know those things were against the law. If I did I would not have done those things. These things were like spitting, lighting a fire cracker. Small things. Everyone knows the laws like murder, theft, assalt, drunk driving and many more, but there are so many that we don't know, not to meantion how laws change and blue laws. How about letting us all know what is and is not against the law. It should be your duty to send every house in the US what the laws in that state are. Or make it easy to get them at the police station or post office or something. I think that is only fair. If you are able to charge someone with a crime, don't you think it is only far that we know what the crimes are?

Anonymous,  06:03  

I would like to add some things to my first comment having time to think of what I said. I have never written into comment on anything before, on your page or any others. This just happened to really bothered me. To see a promising young mans life ruined is tough. In the days when you have guys like Joey Buttafuoco, grown married men searching and meeting minors for sex, priest molesting alter boys. Do you really think the correct choice was made to ever prosecute this boy? He was a kid with another kid.This just seems very wrong.

Anonymous,  06:51  

I am sorry to keep writing in but I keep thinking of more things. This is about not knowing the laws. Here is an example. I have a friend that is a police officer and I don't remember how it came up but 1 time he told me about something about speeding I did not know. He said someting like if you are going so many miles an hour over the speed limit or 90 miles an hour( not sure of the number)that it was a felony. My point is that if I knew it was a felony and I would have to chech of on any job application Have you ever been convicted of a felony, yes. I don't think I would have done that. Law enforcement or each states govenor should really concider letting everyone know the laws, and when 1 changes we should be updated. Makes me wonder if this kid knew he was breaking the law and to what degree.

Anonymous,  07:24  

I am ten years out of high school. We had plenty of students back then dating and having consentual sex with plenty of girls younger than the boys. That is typically how everyone paired up due to the fact most girls at that age are more mature than the boys their own age. When I was a senior, I was eighteen and dated (including had sex) with a few girls younger than I was. Does this mean I deserve the same punishment? Were those girls traumatised by the sex they had with me? Did I rape them? This boy isn't the only guilty person here. There are a massive number of kids the same ages as these kids in this story having sex daily at every high school in this country. If we are to convict every horny high school student in this country. I'd suggest seperating the high schools with 9-10 grades at one seperate location and 11-12 at another. Maybe they won't date as much or as often that way. -- Nobody is ever going to stop high school kids from having sex. Go ahead and plan to see many more boys end up in jail for (raping/having sex) with girls at their school.

Anonymous,  09:31  

I don't agree with teenager sex and I believe it is for marriage. But here is the thing neither one of them were of age and the 15 year old was old enought to know better. If we imprisoned all kids who had sex before age 18 the jails would be full of kids! It seems like an injustice to me.

str82pt 22:18  

I agree that this is a total miscarriage of justice...the worst kind. Wilson was a scapegoat.

The real crime is in punishing this boy so severely for something that I'm sure the sons and daughters of the ones that convicted or sentenced him engage in themselves, if not the ones who found him guilty.

There are so many men and women in power getting away with what should be heinous crimes...that is what makes it so sickening…the hypocrisy is mind boggling.

Maybe some day this country will prosecute the real criminals and real justice will be served, but I'm not holding my breath.

Thanks for the comments!

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