Rolando, I assume you're directing your comment about this man's rights elsewhere, since the only opinion I've expressed so far about his rights is his right to a fair trial. Unless or until he's tried and convicted, he definitely DOES have the same legal rights as all non-incarcerated American citizens--which I presume describes everyone on this forum. We're in total agreement here.
And I "get" that it was NOT YOUR point about the legality or morality, but about his rights. MY point, however WAS about the legality/morality of this. We're talking about different aspects of this case here, and I'm actually agreeing with you on the rights thing. I also meant to comment on the posting of his address on here--which was your original comment. I've looked around at the online arrest reports of area newspapers, and this isn't the only place where a complete address is listed for someone arrested for a crime. Full addresses are listed in numerous places for various arrests. If it DOES violate a privacy issue--then it's being violated a LOT--not just in this article. If this is the normal practice of this news site, then the reporter would have merely been following standard procedure. The wisdom of this practice is certainly a valid point of discussion.
In answer to the age difference question--what bothers me is that the girl is LEGALLY a minor, and he is WAY old enough to know better. (Yes, at this point I'm expressing MY OPINION that I think he's probably guilty.) He's got kids of his own older than this girl. And, NO, in my opinion, it would NOT be any more legal or moral for the woman to be the elder and the child be a boy. A "buff" 14 year old boy is STILL a boy. And it's still illegal--and SHOULD be. Pedophilia is pedophilia and statutory rape is statutory rape regardless of the gender of the victim/perpetrator. The vast age difference DOES sicken me--as it apparently does others reading this story. And it is even addressed by the very law that he has been charged with as having violated....the fact that he's more than so many years older than her (I think the law said 20 or more) is what made the charge "Aggravated Statutory Rape". Even the law apparently allows for "degree of disgust" with this crime. But you ask if it would bother me less if it was an 18 year old...well, it would DISGUST me less--yes. But it would still "bother" me because it's still a crime. An 18 year old boy is NOT yet a "man", in many cases, it can be argued...but four years age difference in the teen years is like night and day. Again, where the age-break is at which this becomes a crime, or degree of a crime, is a valid point of discussion.
BTW, thank you for the civil discourse, even though we're disagreeing on some points.
Where is the courtroom sign posted?--I must have missed it. Since when is following "judicial process" a requirement to form an opinion or post it on a comment/opinion board?? We're discussing our opinions about the man, the case, the situation. Realistically--dare I say rationally??-- all evidence cannot BE presented here--so by nurseforjustice's reasoning--NO ONE posting here would ever be able to draw -- or, by implication -- post a conclusion.
I don't agree with your opinion that emotions ON AN OPINION BOARD prevent normal people from seeing the truth--but you've got the right to express that opinion, even when you disparage others for FEELING emotions about such a volatile issue. No one on here is doing detective work or prosecuting the case--they're discussing their opinions....and with most folks I know, opinions generally involve SOME emotion. Unless I missed the notice that we've already turned to a dictatorial government where the free exchange of ideas and opinions is NOT allowed, then I don't understand why someone expressing an OPINION--whether you deem it as formed "rationally" or "emotionally"--is a bad thing. You say you're basing your comments on rational thinking--great. Those of us who have "feelings" and "concerns" and base our OPINION of this story upon those same things--plus the information in the news reports that PRESENT EVIDENCE OF WRONGDOING on the part of this man--why, we're allowed to do that, just as you're allowed to think it's stupid to do so.
How "fair" is it to disparage someone's opinion because they "fear" for the safety of children? I understand your call for calm and rational thinking; I do NOT understand your equating concerned mothers, fathers, and grandparents with the tooth fairy and stating that they are "irrelevant to the case"...it is the very ACT of an (apparently) emotional mother that found the text messages that got this case going in the first place. Yes, it remains to be seen IN A COURT OF LAW whether the evidence shows him guilty or not....but, like it or not, this IS a forum of OPINION....and whether expressed emotionally, rationally, and agreeing OR disagreeing with you--they all have the right to say what they think...and without being called "irrelevant".
MY point--attempted/apparently NOT made in Inspectorbucket’s opinion--is that civil society, as it has evolved, has enacted laws to help us aspire to our better natures-rather than wallow in our baser ones. Sex with a minor is illegal (a fact) and immoral (my opinion). I don't disagree with whatever science Rolando posts here; but other google searches can be made to back up claims that just about ANY crime "is understandable". But those "facts" make it no less a crime and no less horrific to those of us who find it disgusting. As a society, we have laws AGAINST this animalistic behavior; those of us who are NOT pedophiles should condemn the behavior--as others on here have. This is my opinion-to which I am entitled-as Inspectorbucket is entitled to his/hers-and Rolando to his/hers.
I disagree with the statement that "we"/"you" “don't matter in the least“. I don't think we have to be on American Idol or Oprah to make a difference in our world, and I sincerely hope that money or fame are not requirements for our opinions or comments to count or matter. We're NOT holding court here; we're commenting on an event that has happened in our community. It's certainly NOT something we asked to have to deal with-but here it is, and it-and how each of us reacts to it-DOES matter. Edmund Burke's quote: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" comes to mind. To me DISCUSSION is part of the process of civic-and civil-life. Inspectorbucket, perhaps you come down on the side that believes the evil done here is against the accused; so be it--that is as valid a point of discussion as my “little hobby horse” at which you scoff.
I AGREE with this: anybody on here "could be a troll...a plant, anybody's friend or...worst nightmare, delighting in spreading misinformation". If anyone's spreading MISinformation-that's wrong-they should stop. But venting personal knowledge and personal opinion-again, I thought that's what these comment forums were for. People who believe in and support this man should be able to do so; people who don't should be able to express their opinions as well. Discussing passionate feelings against the behavior while also believing that he’s guilty of this does NOT make us a lynch mob…it makes us human beings who are discussing our beliefs. If anyone changes the conversation to ACTING on these beliefs that is NOT in compliance with the law---well, THAT is wrong (as a FACT of law and in my OPINION).
Inspectorbucket: thanks for your opinion. I expressed mine; you expressed yours-civil discourse in a civilized society. I'm sorry you feel I missed the point as I was making my OWN point, responding to Rolando's post. I took his point as: society has allowed (and I conclude he/she surmises that society therefore condones) the kind of behavior wherein a man 45/a girl 14 having sex is "understandable" based on biology. Making the point-that the BEHAVIOR is condemnable-was addressed more to Rolando's comment about the behavior itself, rather than to this specific case.
However, as to my "choosing" this case to ride a hobby horse of my own making-where do I err? I thought I was indeed on a comment board ABOUT THIS CASE. Thus I, apparently wrongly, assumed that comments and opinions ABOUT THIS CASE could/should be registered by concerned citizens. I apologize for any incorrect assumptions. However, I will point out your error in saying that I'm posting "untruths"; all I have posted is MY OPINION, which I clearly labelled as such...and it is TRUE that these are my opinions.
Okay, so then Lefty and InspectorBucket, let me clarify:
Rolando seemed to imply that a 14-year old girl having "evidently CONSENSUAL" sex with a man 3 times her age somehow made the man's behavior excusable or the outrage of her mother unjustified...or the laws of this land unenforceable. That is the point I was addressing, and to which I directed my opinion, and used the metaphor he employed about the watermelon seed in a later post.
Excuse me if I have erred, I thought I had indeed stumbled into an opinion/comment forum where ideas may be freely expressed and addressed--not a court of law, which requires a trial and conviction--therefore I expressed my opinion...which is the following: based on the story so far, I think he's guilty. That's my opinion, and unless you've somehow teleported me to another country without my consent, I am entitled to it. JUST as in the Tonya Craft case, I HAVE an OPINION based on what knowledge I have of it from various sources; just as every normal person reading about this does. That doesn't mean I'm ready to lynch him, because the investigation is still unfolding, and I realize ANYTHING could be brought to light that could either convince me further...or convince me otherwise. And, by the way, I would not allow myself to sit on an actual jury on any case about which I HAD already formed an opinion, because he DOES deserve a fair trial. THIS FORUM IS NOT A TRIAL, however, and therefore I'll say what I think---and hopefully it will stand unless the moderators find it offensive.
Further, if convicted of this crime (which I would hope would indicate guilt sufficiently even for all of you who are saying that we apparently don't have the right to form an opinion yet), I think he should be punished to the full extent of the law. I think his child should be taken from him. I think he should have to be branded as a sex offender for the rest of his life so that he can't do this AGAIN.
I reiterate: a 45 year old man ought to leave 14 year old girls alone. Further, my opinion---in this opinion/comment forum is this: we as decent human beings have the obligation to state THAT fact...or is it NOT your opinions as well that 45 year old men should leave 14 year old girls alone? Perhaps you are Mr. Austin, or one of his kind? I have no problem with stating that it's wrong to break the law; I have no problem with expressing my opinion that I think he DID this. I also have no problem with you or anyone else thinking he did NOT do this...but I would HAVE a problem with you not thinking it's our obligation to point out that this kind of behavior is WRONG.
End of opinion. Disclaimer: no part of this opinion message is intended for use in a court of law or to sway anyone directly involved in the prosecution of this case.
Sure, he’s not been convicted. YES, he deserves a fair trial, and I hope he gets one. But a mom has come forward with, and the cops also have, pretty damning evidence, including a witness now willing to say that Mr. Austin has a history of this behavior. And I applaud the mom for having the courage to NOT be bought off or intimidated by money and plastic badges.
Nope, they don’t get pregnant at ANY age from a watermelon seed….but a man whose “seed” is 45 years old OUGHT TO KNOW NOT TO PLOW A FIELD THAT YOUNG, PERIOD. And all us “farmers” here in these forums have the right and obligation to say so....or else this society will continue its decline into the madness where it preys upon and destroys its own children.