Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Foley scandal and legal inconsistency

The pages involved were all 16 years of age or older, and thus above the age of consent in Washington, D.C. and most states. If Foley had actually had sex with them, it would not have been a crime.

But under the "Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006" which Foley helped write, discussing sexual acts or soliciting sex from anyone under the age of 18 is a criminal offense.

These laws should be made consistent one way or the other. It doesn't make Foley's actions any more appropriate given his position of trust and power in the House (or provide any excuse for the House leadership's lack of response), but if 16 is a sensible age of consent, then the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 should use the same age as its limit.

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