Can Such a Sex Abuse Defense Used Against Kids Even Be Serious?

Rational adults from San Diego to Sacramento can be thankful that California is identified as one of the few "other states" cited in a recent article focused on child sexual abuse.

Those states -- eight of which are listed in the media piece -- flat-out reject the notion that any child is mature enough to make any judgment whatsoever regarding sexual contact with another person.

It is likely incredible to the readers of our victims'-rights sexual abuse blog at the Law Offices of Joseph C. George, Ph.D., that such a view does not legally prevail in every American state.

Take Florida, for instance, where school districts have argued that minors -- sometimes children as young as 6 -- were comparatively negligent in tandem with adults who engaged in sexual conduct with them.

That bears repeating: That legal argument -- which reportedly has been used often in Florida early in sex abuse cases but never made before a court or jury -- stresses that culpability sometimes attaches to an adolescent abuse victim.

One article commentator responds to that notion with a single word that we believe would be universally endorsed by our readers. She calls it "absurd."

California law speaks clearly on the matter, with one appellate court noting that no case or reasoning supports the idea that students "can be contributorily responsible for the harm they suffer."

Candidly, and if it were otherwise, child abusers would have seemingly free license to inflict unspeakable harm on young victims, arguing a reciprocal exchange in the wake of sexual assault or other misconduct.

It must never be forgotten that children are innocent, trusting and many years away from having the ability to make reasoned decisions.

Predators routinely seek to take advantage of those vulnerabilities. Any legal loophole that makes it easier for them to do so must be condemned and immediately eliminated.

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