I may have to add this one to my Remedial Practical Civics series.
One “tom” (or Grace, or whatever), found a week-old tweet regarding my blog post about Cody Wilson being charged with sexual assault of a child. “tom” is either remarkably clueless or a troll.
In the original post, I noted that the “dating” site referenced will not allow one to register with an age lower than 18yo. Therefore, Wilson could argue that he had a good faith belief that the accuser was of legal age.
“tom” wonder what my point was. I thought that was clear, but I’ll beak it down for him: Mens rea: “guilty mind;” essentially, one must have an intent to break a law to be guilty. In practical fact, about the only time the authorities decline to prosecute because of an alleged lack of mens rea is when Hillary Clinton deliberately breaks every law there is on the handling of classified material.
But Wilson’s defense could still raise the issue.
“tom made a bad joke, which prompted me to suggest that he look up the difference between mens rea and menses. He apparently didn’t. He did tweet:
It was a joke, and did it ever cross your mind she could have put in a fake DOB?
Since my original post showed that she had to enter a false age, yes, that did occur to me. “tom” is definitely swerving into troll territory.
Next, “tom” tweeted:
And that gets him off the hook how? He isn’t smart enough to know she could have lied?
Yep. Troll. Mens freakin’ rea. Look it up. I provided a link.
But the question of whether Wilson knew the accuser was under-age was a week back. I updated that post when the warrant affidavit was released. The details, along with the statement that Wilson skipped the country after being tipped off by the accuser’s friend, do much to counter a mens rea defense. Being tipped off by a friend suggests a more extensive relationship than a one hour stand with a $500 hooker, making it more likely he would be aware of her age. Seemingly making a run for it suggests a “guilty mind” (but neither proves it, of course).
No doubt, as proceedings advance, we’ll learn more facts. Some may not be known until the jury hears them.
The problem for Cody Wilson is that as a rule it doesn’t matter if you have a ‘good faith belief’ that you are engaging in sexual congress with an adult….they can show you a credible fake ID….and you are STILL GUILTY. It’s essentially the same standard they use for kiddie porn. If the images depict someone underage it DOES NOT MATTER a damn bit how old they appear to be. If you look at them or have them available in ANY FORMAT, print or digital YOU are guilty….with ZERO
defense. Sex with or images of underage people is a DEFACTO CRIME…..end of story. There is NO defense other than being able to PROVE beyond a reasonable doubt that it DID NOT HAPPEN.