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Injustice In Georgia: The Case of Genarlow Wilson

By January 26, 2007

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Updated: 12 June 2007

ESPN shines its bright light on the story of Genarlow Wilson -- an honors student jailed for 10 years because of a poorly written Georgia law, a zealous prosecutor, and an impotent governmental system.

The (very) short story: Wilson, 17, had consensual oral sex with a young woman, 15. He was convicted of aggravated child molestation and then sentenced to 10 years in prison. According to FindLaw:

Because Wilson and a 15-year-old girl engaged in nonprocreative sex, his conduct fell squarely within the terms of the aggravated child molestation statute. And though the Georgia legislature subsequently passed a "Romeo and Juliet Law" limiting sentences in cases like Wilson's to one year of incarceration, this law was not written to apply retroactively.

Had Wilson and the 15 year old had sexual intercourse, his maximum sentence -- according to a Georgia Supreme Court ruling in the Marcus Dixon case -- would have been one year. That case, of course, made its way to Oprah. Wilson has Mark Cuban.

But wait. It gets worse. At the same time that Wilson was being sentenced to 10 years in prison, down the hall in the courthouse, a 27-year-old high school teacher got a slap on the wrist (probation, 90 days in jail, not prison) for having sexual intercourse with an 16-year-old male student.

Now you tell me: which act represented a greater breach of trust and societal expectations? Which act has the greater potential for harm?

Backstory
The District Attorney -- who makes the decision on how to handle cases: which ones to prosecute, which to drop -- charged Wilson with rape and aggravated child molestation. The jury found Wilson not guilty of the rape charge.

According to the jury forewoman, the jury did not know that by convicting Wilson of the aggravated child molestation charge that they had just sentenced him to a mandatory 10 years in prison. “People were screaming, crying, beating against the walls,” she recalls. “I just went limp. They had to help me to a chair.”

Yet right down the hall, Alexander High School English teacher Kari McCarley was standing trial for "carrying on a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old male student." She was married, with children. This wasn't a one-time sexual encounter. Her sentence? Three years probation and 90 days in jail.

Like the judge in that case, most of the posters at Free Republic thought her crime was no big deal.

District Attorney David McDade: "We suggested prison time, but the judge imposed a sentence that he felt was right. She [McCarley] was not having sex with a student directly under her supervision."

See, with sexual intercourse, the judge has discretion. With aggravated child molestation, the legislature set the minimum at 10 years. Nevermind that the intent of the legislation was to prosecute adults preying on pre-adolescent children, not two teens where the younger teen initiated the sexual contact.

Plea Deal Declined
Wilson chose not to plea bargain because first, he wasn't guilty of either rape or molestation, and second, he did not want to spend his entire adult life on a registry of sexual offenders. He was the only teen involved whose case went to trial. The others succumbed to pressure from the DA's office; most also had prior records. Wilson did not.

The small-town (Douglasville estimated population in 2005: 27,568) district attorney and prosecutor -- Eddie Barker -- made Wilson pay for the effrontery of insisting on his innocence. [Also, Douglasville is predominantly white; Wilson is black.]

Why do I say they "made him pay"? First, the DA's office agreed that the young woman initiated the act. (So did she.) So why prosecute? Wilson was an honors student, had no tangles with the law, and there was no crime, ie, no one was harmed.

Nevertheless, McDade and Barker chose to prosecute the case. Moreover, as ESPN writes:

Barker is quick to point out that he offered Wilson a plea after he'd been found guilty -- the first time he has ever done that. Of course, the plea was the same five years he'd offered before the trial -- not taking into account the rape acquittal. Barker thinks five years is fair for receiving oral sex from a schoolmate. None of the other defendants insisted on a jury trial. Wilson did. He rolled the dice, and he lost. The others, he says, "took their medicine."

This quote makes no sense to me. I don't see how Barker could offer a plea post-conviction if the mandatory sentence is 10 years. Before trial, sure.

Atlanta Magazine quotes District Attorney McDade:

"We don’t believe that a 10-year sentence is an appropriate punishment [in this case], but he made that decision to put himself in that predicament,” explains McDade, of Genarlow’s refusal to cop a plea. “He has decided to become a martyr because people have been whispering in his ear, ‘We’ll make you famous like Marcus Dixon.’” ...

McDade says he further supported the judge’s decision to treat Genarlow—the only one who had not had any run-ins with the law prior to this case—the same as the other [five] boys because he does not believe in offering First Offender status in sex crime cases.

I find the attitude reflected by the DA's office to be small-minded, abhorrent and fully representative of too many middle-aged southern white men. (I know of what I speak: I am a middle-aged southern white woman, even if I no longer live in my native South.)

Consistency Is Not Douglas County's Strong Suit
Atlanta Magazine points out the inconsistency when the Douglasville defendant is an adult white male:

But there are also other cases of adults—white adults—prosecuted by the Douglas County District Attorney’s office for sex crimes involving minors and received far lighter sentences than any of the teens in the Douglasville Six case.

Case in point: Jack Stewart, a 24-year-old volunteer coach at Heirway Christian Academy in Douglas County, who received 30 days in jail and 10 years probation for fondling the 15-year-old daughter of a couple whose house he was living at temporarily. McDade notes that he objected in court to the “inappropriately light” sentence.

In the case of 26-year-old George Tsimpides, First Offender status was extended in a sex crime. Tsimpides received 20 days in jail after he pleaded guilty to luring a 15-year-old girl he’d met on the Internet to Arbor Place Mall with the intention of engaging in sex with her. McDade says he publicly objected to that sentence.

One assumes these cases occurred before Georgia's mandatory 10 year prison term; Atlanta Magazine does not say.

What You Can Do
If you know someone in Georgia, have them contact their legislators (Senate, House) and urge their support for Senate Bill 37 (bill text, summary). The bill would untie the hands of the courts.

You should also have them contact the Governor, although there is no possibility of parole.

Of course, you can do this too, even if you are not a Georgia resident, but having a constituent write or call or even e-mail is more effective.

Oh, and if you know of a PR firm that wants to do some pro bono work ...

See Also: Wilson Appeal.

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Comments

January 26, 2007 at 6:29 am
(1) Seye Bassir says:

You know Kathy, it’s the problem with public hysteria dictating legislation. Someone wrote recently that the yuk factor is becoming a dominant factor in politics. Laws are passed to satisfy the visceral reactions of individuals to individual cases in reactive ways and what it leads to is situations like this in which the laws are out of whack with common sense and justice.

January 26, 2007 at 11:05 pm
(2) Fred Del Giorno says:

Kathy, the real problem is that this specific case gets a lot of ink because of the perceived injustice, BUT the thousands of crimes committed by black youths everyday is underreported because of the liberal media. They are afraid to editorialize on the epidemic of black crime for fear of the “R” word. This is the real disgrace in our society today.

January 27, 2007 at 4:50 am
(3) jack says:

Fred is coming from the same biased arena that perpetuated this problem. Forget about underreporting the crimes of black youth. We are dealing with a young black man who has been unjustly dealt with and he needs assistance because the system (like prior to civil rights laws) is against him. The local government has to be coerced into doing the right thing. Sure, many young black men make poor choices and there are many reasons for this but can we just spare one who made a decision that most people agree is no big deal? Can we just spare a youth who has received the harsh oppression of southern justice after an adult female did worst and got a slap on the wrist (probation? Can we put this in the proper context?

January 27, 2007 at 7:34 am
(4) Nicolas says:

It seems the trouble would be that the media can play this up because the courts make decisions that seem obviously bias. People would say vote to make a change, but really, most people elected in make just as lousy a laws. Combine with the factor of there being so many laws on file that noone knows them all or understands them for that matter.

The obvious decision….
immediate special congress/city law bodies sessions.
To make law enforcable and fair, the law books need to be cleared of useless clutter and rewriten to be clear and concise. Then include in those laws, punishment for those on the legal end of the field who can be proven to be bais and unfair.

Perhapse is a lawyer got more than disbarred and fined with probation, then just maybe they wouldn’t create media circuses with sexist, racist or other inappropriety behaviors.

But to do that, the rules for dealing with the public must be defined better. once that is done, then maybe corruption can be cleared up.

An no, writing laws that specifically are directed at a race or sex will not fix bias. For what little good it does, it creates a permanent barrier against full intergration and fairness.

January 27, 2007 at 8:47 am
(5) Australian says:

there is no real justice in your country . you elected an idiot for president and you throw teenagers in jail for what they all get up to. USA sucks and you guys need to wake up and fix it or you will all go to hell.

January 27, 2007 at 6:00 pm
(6) Steve says:

Are you kidding me? It’s people like Fred that are probaly working at the D.A.’s office and sitting in positions at the Douglas County prosecutor’s office. I don’t care if this kid was black, white, yellow or red. He was offered something from a young lady that any sexually active 17 year old in the country would have accepted. It’s a good thing this Mexican-American didn’t live in Georgia when I was 17 otherwise I’d still be in jail for engaging in acts with 15 and 16 year olds that were S.O.P. for the guys and gilrs I hung out with. I’m sure if this was a 17 year old, middle class white male he would have never been charged…this is just sickening!!!

January 27, 2007 at 9:41 pm
(7) GMB says:

The US constitution provided two way for this not to happen.
1) The constitution clearly jurors the right to say “the law is stupid or does not apply”. That is the publics final say in protecting unjust laws.

2) The Governor could pardon Genarlow

January 27, 2007 at 11:17 pm
(8) Me Ingeorgia says:

He got what he deserved, too bad his buddies rolled on him, they should be in prison too. I wonder what charges were brought against the night clerk at the Days Inn hotel where the crimes took place, he rented the room to underage minors, let them serve alcohol, and get away with what amounted to a gang rape of several underage females.

January 28, 2007 at 3:30 am
(9) A Concerned Mother of a young black MAN!!!!! says:

This story and many other really worries me. I fell that petty laws like the one that has put this young man into prison should be wiped from the books because they were made just for this point, to lock away our black youths. Yes we do have some bad actor out there it seems to be a sign of the time. This place is going to hell in a handbasket, but the good ones should have to pay for the action of the bad. Also the black race are not the only ones that have any bad apples. School shooting are not happening in any urban neighborhoods. But those stories, that is the problem with this we need to stop pointing figure and making excuses for the thing that are happening and do like Senator Jones and try to change the mistake that our uneducated fore fathers made.

i feel that we as parents need to be more open with our kids. We all know how it was when we were their ages. Not all of us were the perfect angels that we wanted our own parents to think we’re. If we stop hiding from the “big talk” and just up front with our kids maybe we could erasesome otf this curiosity about sex. Also he wasn’t the only one having oral sex, some of these little girl need to some responiblity about what they too. This is also the same reason way our prison are fill to the brim. Don’t get me wrong there are some that should be behind bars, but I don’t think we would loss any sleep if Genarlow was walk the streets at night. The pettiness behind this conviction needs to stop. Time are changing and we need to do things because they’re right and not for the things we can get from doing the wrong. That’s why our childern are making the mistakes that they are making. MONKEY SEE MONKEY DO !!!!! We need to stop it sometime.

January 28, 2007 at 4:03 am
(10) Joshua says:

my name is Joshua and I’m apart of the so called troubled teen group. And i feel that this makes no since what so ever. For what reason a lot of people still think we live in the 1972 or something. Now days thing like that happen everyday in public or behind closed door but why would this 17 year old kid receive a worst punishment then a man who abuses his wife or someone who gets caught with crack. this is really a racial then as much as people try to say it’s not it is because simply look at the fact there are no young black men now days that are portrayed as a positive person in there community. i live in lost Vegas and at this time there is a priest that has been accused of attacking a woman and it was on the news for 30 seconds but when a shooting happens in the majority black neighborhood then its a breaking news story. it is everywhere where blacks are treated with a different level of press just look at scott peterson and o.j. i think that georga needs to come to the times these laws that where made for the 60′s, and 70′s are nothing but bs. they are all underaged why if gay people can have a relationship, and 42 year old woman can marry 14 year old boys then why can’t a 17 year old boy get oral sex from a 15 year old girl. where does it say 18 i could’ve sworn that they say you aren’t an adult until you are 18.

January 28, 2007 at 5:56 am
(11) Rob says:

[quote="Me Ingeorgia"]He got what he deserved, too bad his buddies rolled on him, they should be in prison too. I wonder what charges were brought against the night clerk at the Days Inn hotel where the crimes took place, he rented the room to underage minors, let them serve alcohol, and get away with what amounted to a gang rape of several underage females. [/quote]
Are you insane, or do you just choose to be ignorent, please tell me how in the hell can this be gang rape IF IT WAS consensual SEX

personally i wouldn’t expect anything less from a bible belt state. the bible belt states have historically been very racist and have forced their pseudo moralist views on the rest of the country.
this being a perfect text book example of both.
inujustices like this make me ashamed to be an american

January 28, 2007 at 11:01 am
(12) Ms Gooden says:

This young man should NOT be convicted of these charges. The “sex” was consenual between the both of them. He was found NOT GUILTY of rape. Therefore, it is clear that he did NOT force her to perform the act.

If he continues to be imprisoned, the she too should be imprisoned for performing the act.

January 28, 2007 at 3:46 pm
(13) Omotoso Wasiu-Nigerian Law Student says:

Well,I believe Law can neither provide justice nor give absolute freedom to all. But nevertheless,justice should be independent of subjective thoughts. I think with your report on this case,justice is not seen done. This case has a raccial complexion, first offender for the matter!And again it is a victimless offence, in that it was not even initiated by him. With due respect, as regards this issue,jutice has been kidnapped, and civil societies must rise up and act. NAACP and other like groups should save a soul. Being remamded at that age can ruin his future. I think he needs salvation.

January 28, 2007 at 7:04 pm
(14) Kristina says:

First, I would like to say that according to what I know about this case, it is a tragedy that this young man has had his future taken away from him. The law was archaic and ridiculous. It has since been changed and it is an even bigger tragedy that it was not made retroactive so that Genarlow could be freed.
However, your reporting on this case also upsets me. The fact that you blanket the South as being “racist” and the idiotic and egotistical acts of the DA as being typical of middle aged Southern white men is infuriating. I wonder where in the South you lived to make you believe such a thing. I was born and raised in the South and of course have seen this attitude, just as I have in every other part of the country. But to say it is typical is ludicrous. Douglasville is not a small hick town where everyone hates black people. It is part of metro Atlanta. Just because the “town of Douglasville” only has 27,000 residents, does not mean it is your typical small town. It is part of metro Atlanta, which makes it not at all a small town.
I do not mean to say in any way that the actions of the prosecutor’s office in Douglasville are justified. I hope that something can be done before Genarlow’s future is destroyed. But I could not sit by while you tried to turn this into a race case and propagate the idea that the South is backwards. It is ridiculous and just not true. Please think about what you say in the future before you attack an entire region of the country.

January 29, 2007 at 2:53 am
(15) uspolitics says:

Hi, Fred. Do you have any data to support your claim?

January 29, 2007 at 2:56 am
(16) uspolitics says:

Seye, Jack — good points. Thanks ….but common sense is (pretty obviously) not terribly “common” — especially when it comes to writing law. :-/

January 29, 2007 at 3:02 am
(17) uspolitics says:

Hi, GMB:

Taking point #2 first … no, the Governor cannot pardon him. The legislation used to charge/convict him _explicitly_ prohibits executive pardon. Is that constitutional? I have no idea.

Taking point #1 … it sounds like the jury may not have known it had this option. And I’m not sure exactly what language you are referencing. Could you provide a pointer?

January 29, 2007 at 3:04 am
(18) uspolitics says:

To Me Ingeorgia:

A. His buddies “didn’t roll” on him.
B. The jury found him not guilty of rape – that’s because the night had been videotaped and it was clear to all that he had not raped anyone.
C. He did not argue that he had not participated in oral sex; he argued that he had not molested a child.

January 29, 2007 at 3:08 am
(19) uspolitics says:

To Concerned Mother:

If I had three wishes, one of them would have something to do with helping America get over its puritan roots RE sex. :-/

January 29, 2007 at 3:12 am
(20) uspolitics says:

Hi, Joshua:

This is a very good question: “why would this 17 year old kid receive a worst punishment then a man who abuses his wife or someone who gets caught with crack.”

Thank you.

However, this law was _not_ written in the 60s or 70s. It’s a modern response to a fear of sexual predation. And here is another example from 2006:
http://www.gov.state.ga.us/press/2006/press1130.shtml

January 29, 2007 at 8:03 am
(21) Mac says:

This is really sickening and a shame. Is there really nothing else to do than to find other ways to punish the black youth? It is acts like these that cause others to give up hope, and then you wonder why society seems to be going down. We should be trying to help each other instead of tear each other down like this. This is a shame.

January 29, 2007 at 4:12 pm
(22) Anthony Kittrell says:

The problem is that “people” see younh black youth in a negative manner no matter what their G.P.A or anything else is. If anyone can say to themselves that this is an appropriate you are just as “racist” as the judge and jurors are! If that were a white person none of us would have to be writing these blogs. I Guarantee that!!

January 30, 2007 at 7:02 pm
(23) J. Bushnell says:

Maybe we should consider resurrecting the practice of jury nullification where juries have the option to return a not guilty verdict if they decided the law applied to a particular case was wrong, irrespective of the facts of the case.

January 31, 2007 at 8:50 pm
(24) Kika Dawson says:

This is crazey grown men and women sleeping with children and getting a slap on the wrist. Had this been a white young man would he be given the same sentence. This is to asseive. Adults get rewarded and children get punished where is the justice in this.

February 1, 2007 at 1:26 pm
(25) uspolitics says:

J – that’s a good point about jury nullification … do juries still have this power (which basically is a vote of no confidence for the DA’s officce).

February 1, 2007 at 1:27 pm
(26) uspolitics says:

Anthony, Kika — I’m inclined to agree with you both. Sadly. :-/

February 1, 2007 at 4:48 pm
(27) Duane Goff says:

Let’s face it, many southerners think they are being very contemporary in their thinking because nobody has broken into the jail and lynched this young man. These in-bred legislators are of the same ilk as “Bull” Connors and no amount of PR is going to change that. If an out-of-state higher court doesn’t get this case, this young man is doomed.

February 1, 2007 at 6:33 pm
(28) john says:

EDITED TO REMOVE PRESS RELEASE
If you want to comment, write like a real person, please.

Mike Drake has pledged 25% of his royalties from the sale of Heather Has 5 Husbands to Genarlow and/or his appeal fund. “State Representative Tyrone Brooks, the author of the Georgia statute that Genarlow was convicted under, has clarified that the law was intended to protect children from adult sexual predators, not to police teenage sex” said Drake, “Georgia has even amended the law to treat consensual oral sex, between teenagers no more than four years apart, as a misdemeanor. In light of these facts, I think Genarlow should be released. He has already spent 2 years in prison, that’s twice the maximum amount one can be sentenced to for a misdemeanor in Georgia”.

February 1, 2007 at 6:44 pm
(29) charlie says:

I want to see the video

February 2, 2007 at 6:12 pm
(30) M Gomillion says:

What a crime it is to waste this young man’s entire life!

Please do not send correspondence to my email address. Thank you.

February 7, 2007 at 11:28 am
(31) Tyler says:

What they did to this young man was terrible. They ruined his future and he should be freed.

February 13, 2007 at 11:10 am
(32) Robert says:

An attorney friend of mine told me years ago that Georgia has some of the dumbest lawmakers in all 50 states. After, reading this story I think this
has been confirmed. I was considering
sending my son to Georgia Tech.
But after reading this story, I think not!

God, please save this young man from these redneck ku klux hillbillies!!

February 13, 2007 at 5:34 pm
(33) uspolitics says:

Hi, Robert:

GaTech is an excellent institution — and I say that having attended the rival school, the University of Georgia! Don’t judge the institution by its environs – and please don’t judge everyone in Georgia by this one affair.

February 16, 2007 at 3:28 pm
(34) Douglas says:

I went to high school with Mr. Wilson. He was a good person. This is all nonsense. Note please though, that Douglasville, GA is not predominantly white, and Douglas County high school (Mr. Wilson’s alma mater) was/is predominantly black. I wish Mr. Wilson the best in this unnecessary case.

February 16, 2007 at 4:20 pm
(35) uspolitics says:

Hi, Douglas. Thank you for your comment.

The data are from the US Census!

February 17, 2007 at 10:35 pm
(36) DARYL says:

I guess you should not have been breaking the law. What a shinning example of a sports prima donna!

February 18, 2007 at 1:06 pm
(37) bob says:

does the judge not have to tell the jury what the sentence could be for each charge before he is convicted? this young man needs to be released NOW!

February 18, 2007 at 3:31 pm
(38) uspolitics says:

Bob – I don’t know – but the news reports have jury members quoted as not knowing that they were sentencing Genarlow to 10 years of hard time.

I think most trials separate determination of guilt from sentencing.

February 20, 2007 at 4:26 am
(39) Joe says:

Ya know as a black man in America, I can say with all honesty if this was a white 17 y/o having sex with a unconscious or intoxicated black girl, he would be called a rapist by the black community, especially if there was a video tape showing a limp black girl being dragged to the bathroom to have sex with his buddies. I really don’t care too much about the sentence, I’m more concerned about how we as a community keep making excuses for young black men who do these type of things to women. R Kelly comes to mind. He still receives tremendous support from the Black Community after Urinating on an underage black girl. It’s hard for me to understand why we are not more critical of Young Black men who degrade young women and as a consequence further racist stereotypes of young black men being sex starved fiends, whom you should hide your young daughters from. Are their any black mothers who would not say that their child was raped had she been that 17 y/0 “having sex” in the video? Perhaps those officers who beat Rodney King were “innocent” too?

February 22, 2007 at 1:44 pm
(40) Bobby Blade says:

Joe – What case are you talking about?
Your comments suggest that either you don’t know the facts of the case regarding Genarlow Wilson or you are speaking of some other case entirely?

This was a case of consenual sex between two teenagers, one 17 and one 15.

This should be a misdemeanor offense.

But because the girl initiated oral sex with the boy and this type
of sex act was not apart of the misdemeanor code this young man was convicted of aggravated child molestation and then sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Now, if that sounds “fair and balanced”
to you… I’ve got some lake front land
down in Florida I’d like to sell you?
I call it the Everglades…

The only reason this young man is in prison is because he’s black and the lawmakers in the State of Georgia are
as dumb as a bag of hammers!

February 28, 2007 at 8:54 am
(41) Willis says:

I have a few questions?

1. If the girl was 16 yrs old would that change his charge and sentence?
I know in Florida, they have laws that state 16-24yrs of age is the ages in which cons. sex is legal. However, a 15yr. old needs parental approval for sexual activity to take place.

2. Why does everyone insist on turning this into a racial issue?
Lets try not to look at it that way. The jury made a mistake and thought they were going easy on the young man and ended up only making things worse. The legislature changes the law but doesnt allow retro. He also made a decision to not take a plea and it back fired on him. He hasnt had the best of luck.
Basically, he was sentenced to what the law stated. Its shitty but true. If there are case exactly the same as this one, except it was a white young male commiting the acts and received a lesser sentence then we could look at it as a racial issue.
Has anyone even considered that maybe his attorney thought it was an open and shut case. That maybe he took the case too lightly and ruined a young man’s future.

3. Last but not least, Why did the jury find him guilty of child molestation? Why not find him not guilty on all charges?

March 25, 2007 at 8:01 pm
(42) uspolitics says:

To Willis – apologies for the lag in posting. Your comment was held by the spam filter. :-/

1) If the young woman had been 16, there would have been no crime. At least I think oral sex is no longer criminalized.

2) I don’t think it was the lawyer — in fact the lawyer may well have suggested he agree to the plea. And yes, he was sentenced according to the *letter* of the law — but the fact is that the DA thought five years and life as a convicted child molester would be a reasonable punishment. Now, you might not call this racist — and it might not be. But it’s certainly a *power trip* of some sort.

3) The jury could only make a ruling on the charges. He was clearly not guilty of rape (one of the charges) — the tape was clear on that one. (So the question is – why did the DA press charges for rape without evidence?)

March 26, 2007 at 1:01 pm
(43) jennifer says:

FOX – O’Reilly Clip

check 2:21 how they dragged her

Edited to note that the woman in this clip is not the 15 year old who preformed consensual oral sex.

May 12, 2007 at 2:19 pm
(44) Ms. Bell says:

Hi:
This is just a sad situation for all parties involved. The question that we have to ask ourselve what if it was our child, making a comment because it’s not our child is easy, but we all have feelings and emotions and I’m very sadden by this case because I have a son and lots of nieces and nephews and certainly I would be hurt if the tables were turn. I agree with a lot of you this kid got a bad deal, also the comment Bobby Blade made thanks, because this guy Joe was tripping (what case is he referring too certainly not this one). He don’t have the facts, let’s not make it a racial thing, it is what it is. If Genarlow was another race the facts still remains, looking at a certain tape that’s on the internet it seems as though she was awake and aware. I don’t know and I wasn’t there but I feel for her as well because young ladies are princess who one day in hopes will turn out to be Queens and this is how our young men and men should treat us. I have been teaching Career Education in my hometown with 8th graders and we were discussing their career goals and I’m sad to say that we talked about the many and different obstacles that could change their dreams forever, and this article on Genarlow Wilson came up, and my students were stunned, so they wanted to write letters in support expressing their sympathy and giving encouraging words to never give up on his dreams, I was recently called in by my principal who I always looked up to and always did everything that she ask me to do and more and she shock me and told me that I was on administrative leave for allowing my students to write the letters to the Bernstein Firm. The letters never reach the firm because I didn’t have enough postage on the envelope. I have been out of a job for a week and now my fate lies in the hands of my superintendent whether or not I will have a job because my students wanted to just lift Genarlow Wilson’s spirt. What is fair? I hope and pray the young lady and Genarlow both find peace.

May 12, 2007 at 2:28 pm
(45) Raymond Clark says:

“WOW” I’m so sorry Ms. Bell you will be bless because of your big heart. We as educators got to be so careful because sometimes the best of us get hurt and mistreated because of who we are and the difference we’re trying to make. I have faith the God will work Genarlow’s situation out just as he’s going to work yours out. Be bless!

May 22, 2007 at 8:55 pm
(46) Tony Starks says:

This makes me furious, I am a 22 y/o white male from South Philadelphia and I will tell you that it’s not about race, it’s a poor people vs. people in power thing. The whole system is formulated to keep the lower classes in poverty and the rich richer. You can be nieve like Fred but people of all colors and creeds commit crimes. We are all human beings, I dont understand how you could possibly justify this blatant case of southern racism.

June 6, 2007 at 5:57 pm
(47) Monkey says:

This is ridiculous! It was consensual, therefore the girl is just as much at fault. Why isn’t she being punished as well? Who cares if she’s only 15; she knew what she was doing and consented to it. This was not rape or molestation, and should not be treated as such. Even rapists and child molesters sometimes get lesser punishments. This is an insult to justice.

June 6, 2007 at 9:49 pm
(48) A sanders says:

Have any of you even seen the video? Mr. Wilson and his friends had sex with a woman who was passed out BEFORE he had oral sex with his girlfriend. If you think that is okay you are a bunch morons. If it were your mothers, daughters, or sisters that happened to I guess you would still be on Wilson’s side. He’s right where he belongs.

June 7, 2007 at 2:23 am
(49) uspolitics says:

To A Sanders:

I’m repeating myself, but here goes:

The JURY saw the video (probably in better resolution than you did) and heard testimony and acquited Genarlow of rape. That is enough for me And you, undoubtedly, were not on the jury.

Finally — double jeopardy is illlegal in this country.

June 11, 2007 at 1:14 pm
(50) Ashley says:

It’s funny how everyone is coming to this guy’s aid. First off, he shouldn’t have been engaging in oral sex with a 15 year old. Had that been my daughter, I would have punished her and beat the hell out of the boy.
Also, where is this outrage you have over this situation where there really is no victim but you haven’t reported on Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom out of Knoxville, TN. A white couple who was brutally raped, both were, tortured and killed by four black thugs and one black female. Why have you chosen not to report on that and demand that TN seek the death penalty since they’re unsure whether or not to go for that? If this case doesn’t warrant the death penalty, then it is never warranted!

June 11, 2007 at 1:36 pm
(51) tabby1 says:

I am glad thhis young man was released, and prayerfully he has learned a lesson. But the true lesson that needs to be learned is actually for the rest of America. Valuable lessons in compassion, forgiveness, and the grace of God. It seems like many have dubbed this man to be a monster, a predator lacking in self-control and sound judgment. This ordeal has probably forced him to grow up and change his ways. I’m sure most religous, spiritual, and moral indviduals can attest to life forcing them to grow up…thanks be to God forgiving us the strength to endure the hardships, the storms, and the tribulations of life. May we all be as forgiving to this young man, as Christ has been to us.

June 11, 2007 at 4:33 pm
(52) BILLY says:

I AGREE WITH ASHLEY….WHERE IS THE REPORTING FROM CNN AND OTHER NETWORKS ON THAT CRIME.IF THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN TWO AFRICAN-AMERICANS THERE WOULD BE RIOTING ALL OVER AMERICA….BUT NOT ONE WORD HAVE I HEARD FROM THE MEDIA…I AGREE THE SENTENCE WAS TOO HARSH FOR GENARLOW IF ALL HE DID WAS RECIEVE ORAL SEX..THIS IS STILL SICKENING TO VIDEO TAPE SEX WITH A 15 YEAR OLD CHILD..

June 11, 2007 at 6:56 pm
(53) N. G. says:

Ok…first of all I am a proud black American. Secondly, I am a father of a 15 yr. old girl (yes, I said GIRL)Thirdly, I am from Atlanta and fourthly, I am a Police Officer. Now, all of you who are not black, a father of a 15 yr. old girl, from Atlanta, and a P.O. need to just shut your mouths, sit on your hands (quit typing) sit back and watch. This has set an extremely bad precedent not only in GA, but across the nation. The judge in the case overstepped his authority. He cannot overrule and minimize the ruling of a trial court. Period.

Now, that being said…This young man has made shambles of his life. He can’t get it back. He cannot make amends for his transgressions. He DID rape the woman. He DID molest the girl. Yes, I was in the courtroom and saw it in vivid resolution.

I guess what I am trying to convey is 99% of you have no clue what goes on in the real world. You have never stared into the eyes of pure evil. I am not saying he is evil, but I am saying his actions were evil. No one and I mean NO ONE especially in the black community wants to hold each other accountable. We rely on my brothers and sisters in law enforcement to do it and when we do…oh poor little kid. he just made a mistake. he’s poor. he’s not getting a fair shake. he’s not white. my baby is a good student. he would never do that (even looking at a video plain as the day).

If you have never been in the shoes I am in and don’t live here and see the crap EVERY SINGLE DAY…stay out of it.

June 12, 2007 at 3:49 am
(54) Joe K. says:

I haven’t seen the video but was wondering if the reason he got so much time was cause the girl was white and he was black? I would think in GA that if they were both black nobody would care…

June 12, 2007 at 4:27 am
(55) Itrainyouwell says:

Ok fine, we were not there we dont know. If it were my daughter I would not be so quick to be on his side. The 17 year olds daughter. What would be wrong with a sentence grid. No matter what your color social situation. If you are a first time offender and you do this. You get this amount of time. Maybe thats too simple. If we are ever to take race out of the equation. Check the almanac or Census report on this. We have got to either lock people up equally or stop putting blacks in prison disproportionately to arrests. Race IS a factor. Gender IS a factor. Ultimately we are responsible for our own actions. Had he not been in a hotel drinking this would not be an issue. This guy has bad judgment and even worse luck. Oh, and the parents. Need I say more. Its eleven o’clock…Do you know where your child is?

June 12, 2007 at 1:57 pm
(56) uspolitics says:

Hello, Joe – both the girl and the boy were black.

The DA was white.

June 12, 2007 at 7:41 pm
(57) Imani Evans says:

So often as a Black woman in our patriarchal society I am forced to pick sides in my heart…Having said that, I understand as a Black woman the disproportionate injustice that our Black men too often face in the legal system…I have a brother and nephews and this is constantly on my mind. BUT also as a Black woman I am sick and tired of the mixed messages of misogyny and victimization that Genarlow Wilson is playing with the media. The fact of the matter is that, yes, 10 years is a harsh reality for a mutually consenting act. But I am screaming at the T.V. every night for ANY one of his advocates/supporters to denounce the deplorable behavior that got him there in the first place. His is not a victim. He chose to go to a party and degrade himself, the girl, and me as a member of the Black community. Then he taped it no less!!!! Where is the decency from the litany of civil rights supporters to at least acknowledge that his behavior wasn’t a “mistake” that everyone makes…No, it was a deplorable act of degradation, dehumanization, and sexism that gets perpetuated on too many girls and women in our country! I want to, at least, sense some remorse for his actions…But he can’t display any because he has been fed the warped “everybody makes me mistakes” line of not being accountable. Black boys & ALL boys MUST learn that just because a girl is willing to do a thing, does not mean that you have to degrade yourself. Instead, boys can walk away from that girl and show her that her low self-esteem is not a license to dehumanize her. So what is the message to the young women from Wilson’s night of a casual “mistake”? What must she feel when Reverends and representative come and make their syncopated speeches of injustice on his behalf? We were they for her? We are they now for millions of girls who “consent” to degradation in the name of acceptance? Where are they? This is my outrage as an activist and a Black woman!

June 12, 2007 at 7:55 pm
(58) Bobby Blade says:

Dear N.G.,

I to am a proud black American. Secondly, I am a father of a 11 yr. old young man. Thirdly, I am from Atlanta and fourthly, I am NOT a Police Officer.

And with the help of my 11 year old son
it took me approx. 37 minutes to determine that you are 100% absolutely
WRONG!

And, without going into all the details
“THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS” gives a Superior Court Judge in the state of Georgia the authority to do exactly what
he did. If you are in fact a police officer perhaps, it would be a good idea
to know what the “THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS” means. Not that you’re going to have any use for it in your job as a police officer. But, still…

And, when you say “He cannot make amends for his transgressions.”…

Did you say you were “God”? or did you say you were a “police officer”? or do
you “think” you are one in the same?

And when you say…

“I guess what I am trying to convey is 99% of you have no clue what goes on in the real world. You have never stared into the eyes of pure evil.”

Where the heck do you think we are living… The Matrix! Just because
I don’t see what you see as a police officer doesn’t mean that your perception of evil is in fact the
“real world”. Sounds like you watch
too many cop shows on T.V. And, there
are studies that suggest that people
who watch a lot of T.V. have a false
sense of what the “real world” is all
about.

June 12, 2007 at 8:32 pm
(59) informed in ga says:

IT IS AMAZING HOW QUICK THE BIG BAD REDNECK WHITE MAN IS CALLED THE VILLIAN IN THIS CASE. I WONDER HOW MANY OF YOU RACIST YANKEES GIVE A DAMN ABOUT FINDING THE WHOLE STORY. RACISM IS NOT ALWAYS THE ISSUE. HOW MANY OF YOU KNOW THE 17 YEAR OLD GIRL WAS UNCONSCIOUS WHEN THESE 6 UPSTANDING YOUNG MEN RAPED HER. THEY PROVIDED DRUGS AND ALCOHOL TO TWO UNDERAGED GIRLS,NOT WHITE GIRLS OR BLACK GIRLS, JUST GIRLS. THEY WERE ALSO SMART ENOUGH TO VIDEO THE WHOLE CRIME. WHERE IS THE OUTPOURING OF CONSCERN FOR THESE TWO GIRLS WHO WERE TOO YOUNG AND STONED TO CONSENT TO ANYTHING. PUNISHMENT IS A DETERENT OF FUTURE BAD BEHAVIOR AND I BELIEVE 10 YEARS SHOULD DTER THE NEXT GANG BANGERS FROM SCARRING ONE MORE GIRL

June 13, 2007 at 1:37 am
(60) Bobby Blade says:

Dear “Informed in Georgia”,

Did you witness the incident?… No!

Did you see the videotape of the incident?… Probably Not!

Well here’s what the Douglasville prosecutor said on Anderson Cooper 360,
which aired on Feb. 16, 2007, in regards to the videotape of the incident…

EDDIE BARKER, DOUGLASVILLE PROSECUTOR: “From what we’ve seen on the videotape and heard from the victim ourself, we do not believe there was any physical force used.”

The Jury Foreperson said the following
in regards to the same videotape…

MARIE MANIGAULT, JURY FOREPERSON: “When we viewed the tape, there was absolutely nothing in there that showed us that he in any way encouraged this person, even invited the person to come.”

Do you have access to information that the Douglasville prosecutor and the jury
foreperson did not have access to?…

If so, why don’t you dazzle us Yankees with some of that hill-billy Matlock stuff…

FACT: None of the “key players” involved on either side of this issue has stated that either of the two girls was unconscious.

June 13, 2007 at 11:03 am
(61) uspolitics says:

Hi, Bobby — thank you for your notes.

I am not a lawyer, but I don’t think a writ of habeous corpus is relevant to this case. The law specifically set the penalty at 10 years with no parole or pardon possible. No one has suggested that the “court ordering the detention or imprisonment made a legal or factual error.” :-/

The bill that stalled in the state senate due to the actions of Senate President pro tem Eric Johnson. Read about it.

June 13, 2007 at 11:07 am
(62) uspolitics says:

To Ashley & Billy:

The case in TN sounds horrific — but this is not a “crime” column.

a) there is nothing unjust about the laws for murder in TN (that I am aware of)
b) the DA says that it is not a case of racism

Therefore, there is nothing there for a politics writer.

Kathy

June 13, 2007 at 11:12 am
(63) uspolitics says:

Hello, Imani — I agree with you about misogyny … I just don’t think it plays in this story, at least from the somewhat narrow (unjust sentences) perspective taken here.

I did write about Imus/Akon — Akon’s actions were, IMO, grossly improper (simulated rape — “dry humping” — of a 15 year old *on stage* at a concert).

June 13, 2007 at 11:14 am
(64) uspolitics says:

To “Informed in Georgia” — as Bobby pointed out, you aren’t.

As I typed before: The JURY saw the video (probably in better resolution than you did) and heard testimony and acquited Genarlow of rape. That is enough for me. And you, undoubtedly, were not on the jury.

June 13, 2007 at 12:43 pm
(65) BILLY says:

TO KATHY..Ofcourse is wasn’t racism because the victums were white…..had the roles been reversed you would be screaming racism….I would like to thank N.G. for his input and since he was in the court room I will take his word as GOLD….Also Imani Evans has great points also….P.S. not i am not a racist, I just want to protect our children from being raped willingly or unwillingly…..

June 13, 2007 at 6:24 pm
(66) INFORMED IN GEORGIA says:

JURY SAW VIDEO OF 15 YEAR OLD GIVING ORAL, NOT PART WHERE PARTY OF SIX RAPED 17 YEAR OLD. THAT PART WAS NOT ALLOWED BECAUSE IT WAS NOT WHAT TRIAL WAS ABOUT. AGAIN, WE ARE DEALING WITH UNDERAGE GIRLS WHO DID NOT HAVE THE MATURITY LEVEL TO MAKE SUCH DECISIONS FOR THEMSELVES. AS FAR AS RACISM GOES, WE SAW VERY CLEARLY IN THE DUKE RAPE CASE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE ACCUSER IS BLACK AND THE ACCUSED WAS WHITE. WHERE ARE JESSIE JACKSON AND REV AL SHARPTON? WHY ARE THEY NOT ON CNN, MSNBC, FOX, PROTESTING FOR THE RIGHTS OF THESE TWO GIRLS. AND I REITTERATE, THESE WERE TWO VERY YOUNG DRUGGED AND ABUSED GIRLS NOT OF AGE TO CONSENT TO BEING STARS IN A RAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT VIDEO. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE ANYONE ON THIS SAVE WILSON SITE ARGUE FOR THE VICTIMS. US POLITICS/ YOU LIKE TO BELITTLE PEOPLE WHO DON’T SHARE YOUR OPINION; TYPICAL LIBERAL

June 13, 2007 at 7:07 pm
(67) uspolitics says:

Hello, Billy:

If a white gang had killed black teens I’d be yelling “racism”? Is that what you are saying?

All multi-race crimes are not, de facto, hate crimes.

The reason that I have written about the Genarlow Wilson case is the legislature’s failure to pass law with reasonable sentencing — and, once it did, the failure of all institutions of power to remedy the injustice metted out to this young man.

If you truly think that 10 years of hard time is a reasonable sentence for two teens having consensual oral sex (the decision of the jury) — then you and I do not see the world in anything approximating the same light.

Kathy

June 13, 2007 at 7:10 pm
(68) uspolitics says:

To “Informed In Georgia” –

The errors of fact in your initial post reveals that you are not informed about this case. If pointing that out means that I am being “belittling” — so be it.

Note: there is no need to “shout” — your text would be much easier to read if it were not in ALL CAPS.

Finally, do you really think the DA would have failed to file a charge of rape if the videotape *proved* rape had occurred? I don’t.

Kathy

June 13, 2007 at 11:55 pm
(69) Bobby Blade says:

To “Informed In Georgia” –

You say…

AGAIN, WE ARE DEALING WITH UNDERAGE GIRLS WHO DID NOT HAVE THE MATURITY LEVEL TO MAKE SUCH DECISIONS FOR THEMSELVES.

FACT: ALL of the boys and girls were minors. ALL were 17 years of age with the exception of the one girl who was 15. ALL were drinking… ALL were smoking pot… and ALL were in a hotel room… duh!

You say…

JURY SAW VIDEO OF 15 YEAR OLD GIVING ORAL, NOT PART WHERE PARTY OF SIX RAPED 17 YEAR OLD. THAT PART WAS NOT ALLOWED BECAUSE IT WAS NOT WHAT TRIAL WAS ABOUT.

FACT: Genarlow Wilson was charged with “rape” AND aggravated child molestation.

Further proof of this is a quote from the article in Atlanta Magazine when the verdict was read by the jury foreman…

It was standing room only, with people even lining the walls, as jury forewoman Marie Manigault stood up in the jury stand and read, “We, the jury, find the defendant, Genarlow Raevion Wilson, not guilty of rape. . . . We, the jury, find the defendant, Genarlow Raevion Wilson, guilty of aggravated child molestation this 25th day of February 2005.”

Now, the “facts” say that Genarlow Wilson was CHARGED with “rape” and found “NOT GUILTY” of rape by the jury, but you say the jury was not allowed to see that part of the video because according to you, “it was not what trial was about”…

Is it becoming clear to you, now,that you don’t know what you’re
talking about?

June 14, 2007 at 12:53 am
(70) Bobby Blade says:

Hi uspolitics

Perhaps you misunderstood my point regarding “the writ of habeas corpus”.

My point was simply that on June 6th, the attorneys for Genarlow Wilson filed a habeas corpus petition (a petition that states that a defendant is being unlawfully incarcerated) in
the Superior Court of Monroe County.

And, subsequently, on June 11, the Superior Court Judge of Monore county granted habeas corpus relief , which as Superior Court Judge he has the authority to do in the state of Georgia.

June 14, 2007 at 1:47 am
(71) uspolitics says:

Hi, Bobby:

Thanks for the clarification.

Kathy

June 14, 2007 at 3:49 pm
(72) BILLY says:

KATHY….All crimes whites committ against other races are considered hate crimes….and as you claim no crimes against whites are hate crimes…That would be racism on the white man….But I can see that you and I will never see eye to eye, and I am sure glad…Apparenatly you live in a glass bubble and have never experienced hatred from another race…

June 14, 2007 at 4:18 pm
(73) uspolitics says:

Hi, Billy — you write:

All crimes whites committ against other races are considered hate crimes.

By *whom*? Certainly not the LAW!

you claim no crimes against whites are hate crimes

No, I have not made that claim. I do my darndest not to speak in absolutes — and I don’t believe what you just said that I said, period.

Apparenatly you live in a glass bubble and have never experienced hatred from another race…

That, Billy, is a bit of a personal attack. Rhetoric that attacks posters is frowned upon here. A pattern of rhetoric like this will lead to deleted comments.

June 15, 2007 at 4:45 am
(74) Matt says:

While it may be distasteful that it was videotaped and parents of teenage girls do not like to face the truth that their kids are sexual active, it is absolutely insane to criminalize CONSENSUAL sex among teenagers. Even the legislator who drafted the law said the intent was never to go after a 17yr old involved with a 15 year old. If the act was intercourse instead of oral sex, it would have been a misdemeanor, which is what the new law is as a direct result of this case.

Why anyone would want to see the 15yr old punished also is beyond me. How does adding another miscarriage of justice make what happened to Genarlow better? She didn’t file a complaint against him and confirmed she initiated the act and it was consensual and did not want to see him sent to prison.

While kids today are probably too sexually active, it is not something that should be criminal. Most 15yr old girls that are active probably are dating a boy that is a year or two older than them. There are no great strides in maturity from 15 to 16 or even 17. Girls mature faster than boys in general as well. We are talking about a couple of kids here. But legally, one can’t even legally form consent while the other is a rapist?! That’s insane. Again, that law was never meant to go after consentual acts between teenagers and why the law was changed after this case. Getting ten years for receiving oral sex from a classmate two years younger, who not only consented but initiated the act, is probably the worst prosecutorial decision I have ever seen in my life.

June 15, 2007 at 9:41 am
(75) omi says:

I have always wondered why it is that the typical age of high school students range from 14 to 18 but it is illegal for them to have sex. It bothers me that people are so absorbed in being adults and inforcing punishments to the children that they forget how it was when they were that age. I would guess that the judge, D.A. and many of the jury etc. have been involved in a sexual relationship which involved being with a minor or being the minor. Last, it has been mentioned a few times about the video proving “gang rape” that somehow was not incorporated in the trial…that makes no sense and could not be true. As twisted as the law may be at some points, I could also be pretty sure they wouldn’t let any of the boys get away with gang raping girls.

June 15, 2007 at 11:26 pm
(76) Suzy says:

You haven’t ever been to Douglasville, obviously, as it has not been “predominatly white” in several years. Also, the over-turning of this law could open up the cases on many, many, many cases in the state of GA. The state attorney general (who is also black) is agaisnt this sentence being overturned as it will create a dangerous situation for the children of our state. I don’t think this guy deserves 10 years in prison, BUT he knew this was a possibility when he chose to go to trial knowing there was a videotape showing him participating in something that had that as a sentence. He should be suing his lawyers as he obviously wasn’t given the proper legal advice.

June 17, 2007 at 2:06 am
(77) uspolitics says:

Hi, Suzy:

I concede that I have not visited Douglasville in years. Per the link in the article, in 2000, this was the breakdown in population:

The racial makeup of the city was 63.84% White, 30.29% African American, 0.31% Native American, 1.73% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.69% from other races, and 2.13% from two or more races. 3.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

I’d call that “predominantly” white — and I don’t think a seven year period is sufficient to radically change those numbers.

I don’t see how reviewing the cases of other “under 21s” would somehow “harm our children.” Instead, I can imagine that there are others caught in the bind that is *stupid* law made by Georgia legislators.

The issue, Suzy, is the LAW.

Ten years in *prison* for teen oral sex is unjust — it’s unjust today and it was unjust the day the law was passed.

What, BTW, is your opinion of the probation for the high school TEACHER who “seduced” a high school student?

June 20, 2007 at 3:05 pm
(78) Mother fighting for her 14yr old says:

Statutory rape is one thing that is needed to protect our young impressionable youth. However, politicians have taken sexual assualt laws and gone completely overbroad. Right now my 14yr old son is facing aggravated sexual assault charges for having consenual sex with his 13yr girlfriend in TX. Now please don’t get me wrong I’m upset that he had sex at all. But there’s no way my honor student, humble athlete, caring, mentoring, responsible, son should be prosecuted for having consenual sex with his girlfriend. The killer part is they both are in 8th grade she was my son’s 1st & he was her 4th but my son is the one facing charges. The law is unfair and sexist. He is being charged with aggravated sexaul assualt becuase she was 13yr but yet science proves girls mature 2yrs faster than boys so mentally she was 15 & experienced while my son was 14 & a virgin. Now justify this.

June 23, 2007 at 12:26 am
(79) Chadna says:

I’ve researched this case in depth. First of all I wish people would stop referring to these girls as victims. They were participants, not victims, that night. Also, to state that the 15 yr old girl was incapable of making a decision while the 17 yr old boys were makes no sense. It is not that much difference between a 15 yr old and 17 yr old. You may think that what happened in that motel room was immoral. But that doesn’t mean that they those boys deserved to be arrested. Your moral beliefs may not be someone else’s moral beliefs. I personally don’t morally agree with what occured that night, but I don’t think their actions were criminal. I don’t morally agree with a lot of people. Also, those boys did not rape those girls or force them to do anything they didn’t want to do. Do you really think that those 2 young ladies went to a motel room where 6 boys were hanging out just to talk? The 15 yr old admitted that she initiated the sex. There are grown men who won’t turn down sex from a willingly woman. But you expect a 17 yr old child to turn it down. At that age, their horomones are raging. I am woman and unlike many of you, I remember when I was 15 and 17. These young ladies also must take responsibility for their actions that night. Society wants to act like girls have not ability to reason or make conscious decisions about their actions. And I guess b/c society does not want to face the fact that today – girls want sex just as much as boys do. A lot of people are very emotional b/c they are thinking about their teenage girls. If that had been my 15 yr old girl, I would have dealt with her b/c she should have known better. And 15 yr olds and 17 yr olds interact with each other daily b/c they are in high school together. You have to be real naive to think that a 15 yr and a 17 yr old won’t sexually hook up. All of these kids – girls and boys – should have been spoken to about their actions that night. None of them should have been arrested. If you are so outraged about what happened on that video then go and speak to teenagers about sex, alcohol, and drugs. Anyone who thinks that these kids should have been convicted, do not live in the real world and have no compassion or mercy in their heart.

June 23, 2007 at 1:36 am
(80) uspolitics says:

Not surprising, I guess, but I agree Chadna.

June 25, 2007 at 2:25 pm
(81) Sal says:

I am very frustrated by this case. First of all, I have to say that the DA, judge, etc. is obviously a moron, for seeing through the sentencing of this young bright student for being involved in a sex act with someone only 2 years his junior. Even if he had to “follow the law”, after sentencing him, he should have been doing everything in his power to void it out, and set this man free. Because it was obviously not intended for people in this circumstance.But anyway, the people I really blame are the parents. It must be quite upsetting to find out your daughter is not the innocent princess you thought, but to press charges, and have someone’s life totally ruined, because of this revelation was totally absurd. What happened to grounding/discipling your child? Teaching your child about the ways of Christ, the emotional set backs from participating in teen sex, or even the health-related repercussions? Yes children make mistakes and do stupid and immature things, even do what some may consider vulgar, but this is a heavy price and frankly embarrassment that the whole community has had to endure with, because of their inability to take control, and sit on the sidelines, and let the ‘justice’ system do it for them.

June 25, 2007 at 2:49 pm
(82) uspolitics says:

Hi, Sal:

I don’t *think* that the mother of the 15 year old female pressed charges.

Kathy

June 25, 2007 at 7:37 pm
(83) Edward says:

To All,
It was reported that David McDade’s son was involved with a 27 year old teacher right down the hall, on the same day, from the Wilson trial in 2005. Where the teacher got 90 days in jail for having sex with a minor, Three years probation. Can anyone verify that information??

June 25, 2007 at 10:24 pm
(84) uspolitics says:

Hello, Edward:

Yes, there was a *female teacher* involved with a minor male — she was sentenced to probation. (It’s in my article, with a link to source.)

Do not know the name of the minor.

June 26, 2007 at 8:46 am
(85) Edward says:

uspolitics
Wouldn’t you think that if the DA’s son was involved in that case in his district, he should sent the case to another district. And the girl admitted sodomy, which is a crime in GA. Did not enforce this law. He claims that he is a strict enforcer of the law. Has holes in his claim as I see it.

June 26, 2007 at 10:38 am
(86) Edward says:

uspolitics
Just came back from the court house, the person named was not listed as McDade, don’t know how his son was involved in any simular situation. Can you give me more information on your source?
I have been told that his son was the individual, but the court record does not reflect that unless it is a child from previous marriage.

June 26, 2007 at 1:38 pm
(87) uspolitics says:

Hi, Edward:

No, the DA’s son was not the victim — my memory is that he was a witness, perhaps, to the case with the high school teacher.

I’m pretty sure these details were in the article in Atlanta Magazine (cited above)

June 28, 2007 at 12:18 pm
(88) Robina says:

Why is Paris Hilton getting all the publicity because she spent a couple of days in jail who cares. What about Genarlow Wilson shouldn’t he get just as much publicity as she does? He is just as important.

June 29, 2007 at 5:09 pm
(89) Andre' E. Patterson says:

If this southern court system feel that they can treat blacks and other minorities injustly and nothing be said and done by us, then perhaps they are blatenly beginning to revisit “Jim Crow” and other kinds of unjust treatments toward blacks in the south particularly. Perhaps the southern court system is sending out a message that says to the world that “before your eyes” they are bold enough to try to turn back the hands of time to the injustices of slavery toward blacks and any other people of color if you commit any kind of crime in their county- But me and a whole lot of other blacks here in Douglasville and other minorities around the world won’t stand for it-We will have justice! – Andre E. Patterson

June 30, 2007 at 10:50 am
(90) Edward says:

Wilson and Justice
On the Wilson case the truth of the matter is that the D.A. McDade has taken on the role of Prosecutor and Jury. McDade tried unsuccessfully to get rape charges brought against the Douglasville 6. With this failure, handed down by the jurors, he now attempt to be a sole juror by sentencing the subjects extremely. It reflect an attitude of a person that feels that even if 99.99% of the people say that sentence is wrong, McDade says it is right, so it is right. With no ill intent to the 15 year old who admits to consent of sodomy, (at the time sodomy was against the law in the state of Georgia), she was the agent of this crime. McDade told me that he would not go after the young girl. So I can only assume that if I worked in a Bank and I told a friend to come to the back of the Bank and I will open the door so he could rob the bank, McDade would only go after my friend. NOT. So one has to question his position on being strong on enforcing the Law. As far as race is concerned one must look at the White teacher at Alexander found guilty of a Felony (accord of Court Records) for having sex with a 16 year old was allowed Bond from the beginning and given Probation for the 3 years sentence and a $500 fine. What deterrent does this light punishment provide the public? Yes, I am suggesting that this teacher may do the same thing again if she feels that she will come away smelling like a rose. Now comes the issue of the denial of bond by the good old boys the Judge and the D.A., here you have a young man who’s sentence has been overturned by a Judge of jurisdiction, that is now on appeal, what is the purpose of denying bail other than to punish, not for the sake of justice to the public. This again shows the self-righteous mentality of the D.A.
Take one thing from this ridiculous sentence, being the Judiciary needs to be monitored by the public. Otherwise bias and corruption will be rampant as of the time of Nazi Germany.

July 2, 2007 at 9:16 am
(91) Edward says:

To Mr. Patterson
If you did not know there will be a Prayer Vigil for Wilson on July 5,2007 at the Douglasville Ga. court House. The time is 1:00 pm. about 1 hour. Try to attend. All are welcome who can make it.

July 3, 2007 at 10:06 pm
(92) Edward Strange says:

Correction of the time for Wilson
Not by me but the organizers, of the Prayer Vigil. Time at Doughlasville Court House is not 1:00pm but 12:01 pm. on 7/05/07. Please attend

July 6, 2007 at 3:53 pm
(93) Jerid says:

Idiots… the majority here are idiots. I hear consensual this and that so it should be okay. What is the age then? What if a 10 year old says yes? Is that okay? NO… so the law states 15 years old is the age. He broke the law.
What if this 15 year old was driving when the law says 16. You think they’d say, “Well it’s a year away”. Absolutely asinine thinking by the majority of people posting here.
Funny though how they fail to mention what kind of pervert this guy was. The guy had sex with another 17 yr old who was passed out on the bathroom floor. Then cam cords himself getting head from a 15 yr old. Sick of hearing “teens will be teens” for an excuse. That’s the problem with society today… nobody is supposed to pay for their action anymore.
Then we see the race card pulled out… give me a damn break! Everything is racially motivated if something bad happens to a young black man. Because this honor roll student was such a class act fellow right. Banging a passed out chick, then getting head from another all while cam cording while underage drinking. Honor Roll student isn’t very smart if he’s doing illegal activities and taping it… that’s called stupidity. Take the jail sentence like a man.

July 6, 2007 at 3:55 pm
(94) Jerid says:

Yes, lets pray for this pervert… idiots! Maybe if it was your 15 yr old daughter giving him head your opinion would be different. Or if it was your 17 yr old daughter he nailed while she was passed out on the bathroom floor. Poor guy… right. All I am hoping is some guy is shoving his stick up his ass in return for his crimes. Eye for eye.

July 7, 2007 at 8:55 am
(95) Edward says:

Jerid
Could I make a very good open-minded opinion, “The Pot is calling the Kettle BLACK”. You call people in support of Wilson “Idiots”, but yet it appears you do not have the reading skills of a third (3rd) grader (that is you finished 1st grade then 2nd grade and failed 3rd grade). The support for Wilson is not to his crime child, but to his sentence. If you have ever ‘jay-walked’ and there was a black D.A. who felt that you should get 15 years sentence in jail for this violation. I’m sure you would say, “yes, I broke the law and the sentence is ok with me”. The idiots you refer to know better, in that you would go screaming and crying like a baby. So before acting as a child with “name calling” learn to read, with understanding. This is one of America’s biggest problems, IGNORANCE.

July 8, 2007 at 7:03 pm
(96) Edward Strange says:

Readers and Bloggers,
Please go to http://www.ga.jail4judges.org and page down to the link that state, “The Eleventh Circuit is Foul”. Once there please read the dissent of Judge BarKett as it pertains to the D.A. of Douglas County.

July 13, 2007 at 5:56 pm
(97) Jon says:

I think Joe, response #39 has his thoughts all twisted. The point being argued is not about anyone Black or White “dragging” anyone anywhere while the one being dragged is either unconscious or drugged. But the point being made is about two teens, two years apart in age, performing a consenual sex act. I might add it was initiated by the female. To flip the script, what might have happened since both were minors, if the male had reported the female? Would the Prosecution have been so vigorus or would they have laughed it off. Why the “double standard” Douglasville?

July 23, 2007 at 12:39 pm
(98) Bobby Blade says:

U.S. Attorney: Distributing Genarlow Wilson tape violates law

By STEVE VISSER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 07/11/07

Douglas County District Attorney David McDade violated federal law when he distributed a videotape from a rape and child molestation case to legislators and journalists, the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta said Wednesday.

U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said in a statement that federal law prohibits
the distribution of the Genarlow Wilson videotape because it depicts minors
engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He warned that people who had received
it would be in violation of federal child pornography laws.

Federal law prohibits the distribution, receipt and possession of child pornography in most circumstances, Nahmias said.

“These laws are intended to protect the children depicted in such images from the ongoing victimization of having their sexual activity viewed by others, potentially for years to come, particularly if the images are placed on the Internet or otherwise
broadly enter the public domain,” Nahmias said.

“Accordingly, we have advised that the videotape at issue constitutes child pornography under federal law and should not be knowingly distributed, received, or possessed outside
of law enforcement and judicial proceedings.”

McDade told the Associated Press that he was required to release the tape under the state’s Open Records Act because it was introduced as evidence at the trial. Nahmias, though, said
federal law trumps any contrary requirement of the open records law.

Nahmias said that his office issued the statement to end further distribution of the videotape and advised those who possessed it to destroy or return it. His office, under federal policy,
would neither confirm nor deny whether it was investigating the distribution.

State Sen. Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur) has called for an investigation to determine whether McDade violated federal law in distributing the videotape in response to requests under the open records law. On Tuesday, Jones characterized the videotape as child pornography and called it “an absolute, utter disgrace” that a videotape of the raunchy party in a Douglasville hotel room that led to the conviction of Wilson on aggravated child molestation charges has been given to reporters and legislators.

Wilson was 17 at the time and the tape showed him receiving consensual oral sex from a 15-year-old girl.
McDade told the Associated Press that Jones was one of the legislators who requested a copy of the tape.
On Wednesday, Jones denied making any such request. “David never gave me a copy of the tape and I never
requested a copy,” Jones said.

Attempts to reach McDade for comment were unsuccessful.

The tape also showed Wilson having sex with a 17-year-old girl who accused him of raping her. Wilson was acquitted
of the rape charge at the trial but the conviction of aggravated child molestation brought him a 10-year mandatory prison sentence he is now serving and appealing to have overturned.

His lawyer, B.J. Bernstein, has characterized the case as one outlawing teenage sex since he was only convicted of the consensual act with the 15-year-old. McDade emphasized in a previous interview that the tape showed legislators and journalists that the case wasn’t about a teenage lovers’ tryst but showed something more akin to a gang rape by Wilson and four other teenage boys who pleaded guilty to reduced charges of child molestation and sexual battery in
exchange for five-year prison sentences. An edited version of the tape was played on some local newscasts, and copies
of it were viewed by some legislators at the state Capitol. At the time, lawmakers were being asked by Jones to pass a law that might have allowed a judge to reduce Wilson’s sentence.

A Monroe County judge has since reduced Wilson’s felony conviction to a misdemeanor and called Wilson’s 10-year sentence “cruel and unusual.” Attorney General Thurbert Baker is appealing the judge’s ruling and the Georgia Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the case July 20.

Bobby Blade comments…
This tape was also given to people who did not request it.

July 31, 2007 at 10:57 pm
(99) Confused American says:

ANOTHER RACE ISSUE

What, Michael Who, Is that NEWS?
All this talk about Michael Vick, what about the people that died in the hospital in New Orleans? What about the murder of people there, that they were sworn to protect.
http://macsmind.blogspot.com/2005/09/assistted-suicide-in-new-orleans.html

What about the person that got off free for committing MURDER? It seems that this is a more important story about a dog than that of a human life.

All charges dropped against a MURDER.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-07-24-katrina_N.htm

A man was beaten to near death and the police that did it was not convicted, but Vic is important to the outraged civilized Americans.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/10/09/national/main927919.shtml

The police officers walk, without being convicted.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,290662,00.html

Call for a lynch mob for Michael Vick. That is the American way kill humans but protect dogs.

The Human Society kills on the average of 1000 dogs and cats a day. The dog racers kill a little less with a doctor’s permission.
It shows the naivety of America’s real values. Or maybe the facts reflect the true hearts of America as facts shows that the majority of the deaths was not of white race.

. 42 percent were black; 43 percent, white; 3 percent, Hispanic; and 12 percent of unknown race. Making it 45 percent minorities plus.

Vick you have had it, in this day and time, guilty before proven innocent. YES

Bow Wow, or Help Me live another day as a human with humanity.

Confused American

October 26, 2007 at 10:26 am
(100) charlotte says:

I only hope the experiences of Genarlow Wilson and Marcus Dixon goes to show other young black males that it is their actions with young white females that go them incarcerated, just like more than 100 years ago. If this had happened between him and a black female, nothing would have happened to his life. I call it a necessary wake up call…

October 28, 2007 at 12:33 am
(101) uspolitics says:

Charlotte — I think you need to check facts before typing.

The young woman in question was BLACK.

November 25, 2007 at 6:27 pm
(102) deante' says:

that is not right for him to go to jail for something stuipd,because they are about the same age u here me holla back

August 13, 2008 at 11:39 am
(103) Charles says:

It should be noted that up until 1998 it was illegal for married couple to engage in oral sex in Georgia. Even today it is still a misdemeanor. Can you say backward. McDade should be arrested and jailed for distributing child porn btw.

August 13, 2008 at 12:32 pm
(104) uspolitics says:

Thanks, Charles. I didn’t realize that the repeal was that recent.

I’m pretty sure it’s still illegal to have a sex toys shop in Georgia, too.

November 11, 2008 at 11:15 pm
(105) AndyShep says:

You all have a funny idea of what the word Consensual means.

There never would have been a case at all if the 17 year old girl had not gone to the police and said that she had been raped. It is almost never reported that the whole thing started because a seventeen year old Black girl was drugged and gang banged while semi-conscious and then dragged to a bathroom where she passed out and came to several hours later naked and degraded. She certainly did not feel that the sex was consensual and the fact that the men taped it and were showing it to all their friends had to make her feel victimized even further. The woman was degraded and abused. The idiot jury decided to aquit on the rape of the 17 year old, but the prosecuter had a slam dunk on the statutory rape case, a case that never would have gone to trial if the prosecuter did not feel that Wilson was a rapist based on the gang bang on the semi conscious 17 year old. There is not a single case of that law being used to put someone so close in age in jail where there was not another major crime involved.

Wilson never would be in jail if the Prosecuter did not feel based on the totality of the evidence against him that he was a rapist. He charged him with one crime because he felt he was guilty of another. Is that fair? The probably depends on if you have a daughter in the town where Genarlow lives. Almost every one of the boys he was with have subsequently commited other violent crimes. He is no Romeo.

January 23, 2009 at 11:15 am
(106) Cynthia Robinson says:

My heart goes out to this family, for having to deal with this horrific INJUSTICE!
However, my son, Joshua, was accused of ‘statutory rape’, when the fact that he and his 15 y/o girlfriend, of 2 years, were being sexually active. Of course, this fact didn’t come up until after his suspicious death. He was found dead in Amsler Park/McGregor, Texas on Feb. 16, 2006.
McGregor PD did not investigate, telling me, “We don’t begin an investigation until something suspicious is found.”
Four of the five officers on scene, were asked to resign in June, 2006, for unknown reasons.
I KNOW my son, and so did all 8 officers of McGregor PD. I know he would not take his own life.
Yet, even though a patrol officer saw him in Amsler Park @ 1AM, in the dark, the officers on scene, stated they did not recognize him. However, only 8 minutes later, former Officer Norris ran a wants & warrants check on the ‘unknown’ victim! He had no identification on him.
http://www.realcrimes.com
http://www.americaiswatching.org (Joshua Robinson)

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