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I feel like some controversy... [Sep. 4th, 2005|10:27 pm]
randomposting
[mood |quixoticquixotic]
[music |Eurotrip]

I'm interested in your opinions.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/30/national/30baby.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1125781561-BEly7MetqEpOZ4+qrKRW9g

Correction Appended

FALLS CITY, Neb., Aug. 29 - On Sunday evening, Matthew Koso tipped three ounces of formula into his 5-day-old daughter's mouth, then hoisted her atop his shoulder in hope of a burp. On Tuesday morning, he is scheduled to be arraigned on charges for which the newborn is the state's prime piece of evidence.
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Chris Cummins for the New York Times

Matthew Koso, 22; his wife Crystal, 14; and their daughter, Samara. Mr. Koso faces an arraignment Tuesday on a charge of statutory rape.

Mr. Koso is 22. The baby's mother, Crystal, is 14. He is charged with statutory rape, even though they were wed with their parents' blessing in May, crossing into Kansas because their own state prohibits marriages of people under 17.

The Nebraska attorney general accuses Mr. Koso of being a pedophile; they say it is true love.


"We don't want grown men having sex with young girls," said Jon Bruning, the attorney general. "We make a lot of choices for our children: we don't allow them to vote; we don't allow them to drink; we don't allow them to drive cars; we don't allow them to serve in wars at age 13, whether they want to or not; and we don't allow them to have sex with grown men."

But Mr. Koso's mother, Peggy, said she and her husband of 25 years were proud that their son did not disappear like so many deadbeat dads.

"He's not always lived up to his responsibilities, but this time he will," Ms. Koso said. "He could have left, but he didn't. He said, 'Mom, I love Crystal; I love this child.' "

Outrage over the case has rippled through this town of 4,800 about 100 miles from both Omaha and Kansas City, and to two state capitals. The governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius, embarrassed by her state's status as one of the few allowing children as young as 12 to marry, has said she will propose a raise in the minimum age when the Legislature reconvenes in January.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bruning's office has been deluged with letters, the vast majority angrily urging that he leave the couple alone. One, from a woman named Patricia, said, "I'm sure your time can be better spent putting away real criminals."

Studies show that one in five teenagers have sex before they turn 15, and about 150,000 babies are born each year to a minor parent. In Nebraska, there were 25 births to mothers under 15 in 2002, the latest year for which statistics are available. In Kansas, five girls under 15 were married in 2003, three in 2002 and six in 2001.

In Nebraska, as in many other states, intercourse between someone who is 19 and someone younger than 16 is classified as statutory rape. It is illegal here even if the couple is married at the time.

But experts said it was extremely rare for a man to be prosecuted for statutory rape when he has married his minor partner.

A judge in Syracuse last September delayed a one-and-a-half-to-three-year prison sentence until this summer so that a 38-year-old defendant could marry a pregnant 16-year-old; in Florida in 2001, charges were reduced to a misdemeanor when a 17-year-old married the 13-year-old girl expecting their second child, and he received six months' probation.

"It's odd that the state would be prosecuting someone who did not leave the girl pregnant and unwed," said Rigel C. Oliveri, a law professor at the University of Missouri who has studied laws on statutory rape since 1998. "I guess they're just trying to send a message to other men who are contemplating doing this type of thing."

Mr. Koso faces up to 50 years in prison, and Mr. Bruning said he was considering additional charges based on complaints that Mr. Koso had sex with other young girls in the past. Mr. Koso's lawyer would not allow him to discuss that, but his mother said he told her that he had dated only one other girl under 16 and that they did not have sex.

For now, Mr. Koso, out on $5,000 bond, sits in the basement of his parents' home, where the walls are papered with the pink-and-purple, heart-filled love notes that his wife, a ninth-grader, scribbled on notebook paper in class. A crib crammed next to the bed has Winnie the Pooh sheets to match the keychain dangling from her schoolgirl purse.

The couple named their 7-pound, 1-ounce baby girl, born Wednesday morning, Samara Ann Koso, after a character in the horror movie "The Ring."

As Mr. Koso changed Samara's diaper three times in 30 minutes on Sunday, Crystal worked on a homework assignment for her world history class.

"I couldn't be any happier than I am right now," Mr. Koso said, adding of Mr. Bruning: "He's a home wrecker. He's trying to rip a father away from a child, and rip a husband away from a wife."

Matthew and Crystal met when she was 8, and he played video games with her half-brother. Mr. Koso, who was in special education classes for attention deficit disorder and other learning problems, graduated from high school in 2001 and joined the Marine Corps, but left after four months on a medical discharge. When Crystal's mother had no car, Mr. Koso drove her to the doctor and the grocery store.

"He's always been friends with people that were younger," said Peggy Koso, recalling her son at age 5 or 6 passing hours with building blocks and racing cars with a neighbor of 3 or 4. "His own peers never accepted him."

The two became a couple, according to Crystal's "Happy Anniversary" drawing on the wall, on Sept. 17, 2003. She was 12 and he 20. Exactly a year later, Crystal's mother, Cecilia Guyer, who is divorced from her father, filed for a restraining order against Mr. Koso, writing of him: "He's too old for early teens. He needs to stay away."

Despite the court order, both mothers now say, Crystal continued to go to the Kosos' home after school and stay through supper, sleeping over in Mr. Koso's basement room on weekends. Ms. Koso said she spoke to her son about the risks of pregnancy and prison and made excuses to check on the couple frequently when they were alone. Ms. Guyer said that she asked Crystal why she seemed to be using fewer tampons, but that she denied being sexually active.

Then one afternoon when Ms. Guyer and her daughter were shopping at a second-hand store for a dress for an eighth grade dance, Ms. Guyer noticed that Crystal had stretch marks. The couple confessed, but said they were not interested in adoption. On May 3, after consulting with a lawyer, they were married in a judge's chambers 18 miles away in Hiawatha, Kan., both in jeans, she carrying pink carnations, he with a matching boutonniere.

The local police came the next day to question Crystal and her mother, but no charges were filed until Mr. Bruning's office, which frequently prosecutes crimes in rural counties, got involved in late July.

"This was not a close call," the attorney general said in an interview. "We weren't talking about a 19-year-old-and-one-day senior in high school and his 15-year-old-and-364-day sophomore girlfriend. We were talking about a grown man and a child."

Mr. Bruning said he was shocked that more than 80 percent of the 250 people - most from outside Nebraska - who had contacted his office opposed the prosecution. Similar sentiment abounds here in Falls City, where people say putting Mr. Koso in jail would most likely land his wife and child on welfare, an unnecessary double-burden for taxpayers.

"They are trying to make a right out of a wrong," Mardell Rehrs, 67, said of the couple on Monday morning. "Give them a chance."

Residents here said Mr. Koso was being unfairly singled out. One 1995 graduate of Falls City High said seven girls in his class of 60 had babies before graduation, including one who was pregnant, like Crystal, in the eighth grade.

Ron Prichard, who works at the railroad and has a 12-year-old daughter, said Matthew and Crystal would not be parents today "if her parents were being parents."

"Yeah, the kid did wrong, but the parents allowed it to happen," Mr. Prichard said.

Mr. Koso's mother spent the last three nights sleeping on the living room couch, next to the baby's bassinet, to handle the nightly feedings. She and Ms. Guyer, who each receive Supplemental Security Income for disabilities, say they will take care of Samara during the day, once Crystal returns to school after Labor Day.

The families hope that Mr. Koso is placed on probation instead of being sentenced to prison so he can keep his $9.27 an hour job loading trucks.

Maybe a year from now, the couple says, they will be able to afford their own place. Crystal, who is good at math, said that she had no interest in college, but that she would finish high school and perhaps become a nurse. They plan to have two more children.

"But later on," said Crystal, who says her favorite part of motherhood thus far is when Samara is asleep. "Much later on."

So... Check in guys. What's your opinion? I'm intending to play devils advocate all around.. we'll see how that works out. ;)
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: ahx_fedora
2005-09-04 08:31 pm (UTC)
If their parent's are 100% with it, and it really is true love I don't think he should be charged.
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[User Picture]From: randomposting
2005-09-05 12:47 am (UTC)
Well, we'll never know if it's truly love or not. We can't make that call one way or the other. Thought he parents certainly weren't 100% for it at first according to the article.
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From: nyguen9
2005-09-04 08:32 pm (UTC)
Yeah he knew she was too young. But considering one of my brother's friends had charges brought against him by the girl's parents I'm split.

I'm against him due to her not even being close to 18.
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[User Picture]From: randomposting
2005-09-05 12:52 am (UTC)
Yeah. There's a big difference in my mind between 12 and 16.

I can't imagine being a freshman with my baby at home. Crazy.

What was your brothers friend thinking? :)

And there's been some articles talking about him having a slight mental handicap which might have inhibited his ability to judge weather it was truly wrong or not.
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[User Picture]From: randomposting
2005-09-05 01:52 am (UTC)
I agree with what you're saying. At this point for the court to become involved at all would be completely inappropriate and they damn well should have before, since the parents didn't do their part to prevent this from happening.


You're legally an adult when you're a parent? Crazy.
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[User Picture]From: icant_win
2005-09-04 08:47 pm (UTC)
Umm yeah that really is weird. I think he probably pressured her into the sexual relationship and called it love until she finally believed it was. I seriously wouldn't be surprised is he left her. Its a really odd case. Both of them are delusional.

Thats seriously pretty much sickening to me.
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[User Picture]From: randomposting
2005-09-05 08:38 am (UTC)
I think that any 20 year old having sex with a twelve year old really had to have pressured them into it at least a little. I just know what I considered myself very mature at that age, and I won't lie.. I'd still pull out Barbies when no one was watching and act out Star Wars with them.

Then again I was a loser. ;)
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[User Picture]From: graeme_qewe
2005-09-04 09:15 pm (UTC)
well, if he could legally marry her in that state, then I don't see how they can put him on trial. If something is wrong, then it would be the laws of that state, 14 is too young to make a decision about marriage. But other than that, I don't really care, there's so many fucked up people doing fucked up things, that I've gotten indifferent about them.
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[User Picture]From: randomposting
2005-09-05 08:40 am (UTC)
I think the deal was that they went to the next state over, but I certainly see where you're coming from about becoming indifferent towawrd this sort of thing.
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From: (Anonymous)
2005-09-04 09:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah, you're right. I don't know you. I would like to though and find out how you got my name. I love the randomness!
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[User Picture]From: randomposting
2005-09-05 08:42 am (UTC)
Well, I'd have to know your name first to tell you. ;)
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[User Picture]From: my_friend_ebola
2005-09-04 09:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah, you're right. I don't know you. I would like to though and find out how you got my name. I love the randomness!
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[User Picture]From: randomposting
2005-09-05 08:43 am (UTC)
Welcome to Randomia! :) Want a drink? All I can remember is I found you randomly...
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[User Picture]From: benneh_boy3
2005-09-04 10:33 pm (UTC)
She isn't completely stupid. Fourteen year olds are capable of making decisions, however it may not have been the right one (to marry & have his baby).

I don't think he should be charged, it takes two to tango. And nobody is suffering, so whats the harm?
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[User Picture]From: dominatrixcat
2005-09-05 03:53 am (UTC)
it sets an example for others, out of curiousity how old are you?
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[User Picture]From: wafflelips
2005-09-04 11:34 pm (UTC)
This is one of those gray areas, I think. When we're talking about someone who is 14, they could be a really young 14 and playing with dolls or really mature and dating guys much older. Based on the info in this article, it sounds like he's a really young 22 and she may be a more mature 14.

I wonder why they charged this guy. Is there some clear case of him abusing his power with her or they just trying to make an example of him.
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From: hymn
2005-09-05 12:01 am (UTC)
theyre trying to make an example out of him.
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From: hymn
2005-09-05 12:01 am (UTC)
it's done. they're married and have a kid. what good would it be to put him in jail when it all ready happened? they want to put him in jail and think about this fourteen year old, but what about the infant now? it was wrong at the time, but this girls parents werent parents, as said in the article, so if you want to put someone away put THEM away-- all though i dont think thats right either. like i said its done, and a fourteen year old can either be a child or a woman, it depends (and i dont just mean biologically).
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[User Picture]From: randomposting
2005-09-05 08:59 am (UTC)
Well, she doesn't have much of a choice now. I'm glad that after doing all of this that the guy was a "man" and stepped up to the plate. A friend and I were talking about this and she was talking about how easy it would have been for him to have just abandoned her all together (though then he'd be in jail), and it's true. He did decide to marry her and try and make this a family. The state shouldn't intervene.
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[User Picture]From: fireghost
2005-09-05 12:13 am (UTC)
I'd certainly go along with everyone who says "Leave them all alone" for all the reasons already given.
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[User Picture]From: randomposting
2005-09-05 09:00 am (UTC)
I wonder if that will happen or not...
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[User Picture]From: pete23
2005-09-05 01:26 am (UTC)
build a big wicker man. although, to be fair, that's my answer to every family conundrum.
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[User Picture]From: gryphon3e
2005-09-05 03:38 am (UTC)

Pedo/Not Pedo

I am not convinced

Ah stuff it, look one incident is not evidence of a pattern.

They can't actually accuse him of being a pedo...unless he has had sex with her within their boundary. Proving that should be interesting.

I must admit to thinking the guy is wierd wanting his G-F to have a baby at such a young age. OR wanting a G-F so young...but hey I live somewhere where having a baby young is a career choice.

He married her ffs not fiddled with her and then left her crying

Time will deal with this sort of thing, if they are together in 5 or 10 years then no argument....no doubt they will be!

If not and he starts chasing children again then he wants a kicking

(Are we sure the bigger problem it is not that the age gap but that they are related to one another uh-hu!!)

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[User Picture]From: dominatrixcat
2005-09-05 03:49 am (UTC)
ok
as the girls parents, i would have never consented, true love or nay, the girl is a baby herself, she doesnt know who she is yet, she hasnt fully developed mentally or emotionally yet, there is a reason over time the age limit has gotten brought up because people are still developing when they are that young, if they were hell set on a relationship, that is fine, have a relationship until the girl is fully developed, and then propose marrage,
whats wrong with people today is babys having babys, not properly raising their children, not being well educated enough to be a good example for their kids (in refrence to drop outs) well legally the restraining order was broken, so he should be charged with that, and stagetory rape, a 22 yr old man should be able to get women from ages 16(still not right if you ask me) but from ages 16 and up because a 16 year old is much more developed and has more sence of their own personality and strengths and weaknesses than a 13 yr old does,
im sorry, the thought of sleeping with a 13yr old really grosses me out, what the hell is wrong with this guy
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[User Picture]From: gryphon3e
2005-09-05 05:02 am (UTC)
It doesn't gross me out, I can "sort of" understand the innocent angle...but not relate to it

I have no idea why anyone would want to sleep with a 13 year old, or in truth any virgin. Only slept with one and I was a virgin at the time...and it was shit

I personally like my women to take an active part in the proceedings. And a 13 year old is still learning what they are...hopefully anyway
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From: (Anonymous)
2005-09-05 06:35 am (UTC)
I'm 22 years old myself. I am a first year teacher. I can not even fathom doing anything at this point with anybody 18 or under (students), but 14 is just sick. I don't know that this man needs to be locked up since the damage is already done, but at the very least he certainly needs to be evaluated. Hes giving 22 year olds a bad rep!
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[User Picture]From: randomposting
2005-09-05 09:22 am (UTC)
I agree that he needs some evaluation. It gets worse. She was twelve when they started.
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[User Picture]From: thebekinator
2005-09-05 07:14 am (UTC)
i'll admit, at first i held back the vomit. the age gap is really odd, but you see celebrities getting with people 10, 15, 20 years younger than they are, and we think that it's okay now. the 14 year old's parents are the ones that let her get involved with the 22 year old in the first place. to me, now that they are married and have a child (which is utterly gross for a 14 year old girl), there should be nothing that the state can do about it, even though they may want to.
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[User Picture]From: xenaamazon
2005-09-05 07:38 am (UTC)

Ummm....

They are some weird ass people. lol.
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