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It's time to abolish 'crimes against statutes'

Two recent cases in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex has created philosophical problems for many libertarians.

Joey Dauben and Brittni Colleps: "Guilty" of "crimes" against written statutes but not against real people.
Dauben: ThePlymouthReview/YouTube; Colleps: ABCNews/YouTube

One was the trial of former Ellis County publisher Joey Dauben who was convicted of having sex with an underage male in 2007.

The other was the sentencing of Brittni Colleps, a former Kennedale High School teacher sentenced for having sex with five of her students.

In both cases the sex was consensual. The convictions were based on the legal fiction of "statutory rape," the idea that a group of lawmakers can pinpoint an arbitrary one-size-fits-all instant in time when childhood ends and adulthood begins.

Joey Dauben was 26 when he engaged in sexual activity with a 14-year-old boy in 2007.

At his trial the teenager, now 20 and therefore legally an adult, testified that "he participated willingly in the sex acts."

The libertarian position on crime, based on the non-aggression principle, is that there can be no crime if there is no victim. By his own testimony the "victim" in this case clearly identified himself as a non-victim.

In Texas the age of consent is eighteen but with "parental and judicial consent" a 14-year-old male can marry and consummate the marriage with legal sex.

So how is it even remotely rational that a parent or judge can legally turn a 14-year-old into a non-victim but an adult 20-year-old cannot legally declare his own former 14-year-old self to be a non-victim?

Like it or not, reprehensible or not, libertarians must reject the conviction of Joey Dauben as just another legalistic "victimless crime" injustice like caging people for smoking pot or carrying a handgun without a permission slip issued by society's ruling class politicians.

The Brittni Colleps case is an even more egregious example since it wasn't even "statutory rape."

Her supposed "victims" were all 18 and 19-year-old boys. Three testified that "they did not consider themselves victims" for having sex with their teacher.

Predictably, officials charged Colleps "because '18 or not, it's a crime' for a teacher to have sex with her students."

But they're all adults. The sex was consensual. Like it or not, reprehensible or not, the fact that they were her students at the time is irrelevant. A victimless crime "law" cannot trump consensual sex between or amongst adults.

In a free, civilized, voluntary, libertarian society laws are based on reason (the non-aggression principle) and crimes are committed against people, not statutes.

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