The Ohio Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a law which made it illegal for police officers to engage in sex with minors on the basis of their profession was unconstitutional.
The Associated Press reports:
The court ruled 4-3 that the law arbitrarily added police to a ban on professionals having sex with minors that includes people with authority over children such as teachers or coaches.
The government can’t punish a class of professionals like police without making a connection between their job and the crime, Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said, writing for the majority.
The law overturned by the court prohibited police officers from having sex with minors if the offenders were more than two years older than the victim.
At issue was the 2012 conviction of former suburban Cleveland police officer Matthew Mole, who was accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy he met on a hookup app, according to Supreme Court documents.
Mole, then 35, was arrested and charged after the boy’s mother found them together, Thursday’s ruling said. The boy did not know Mole was a police officer at the time of the encounter, and the boy had told Mole he was 18, the ruling said.
It’s illegal in Ohio for people 18 and older to have sex with people under 16, but a jury deadlocked on that charge against Mole. However, he was convicted under the law banning police officers from having sex with minors.
O’Connor said there was no evidence Mole used his status as an officer “to gain access to or bend the will” of the child or facilitate the sexual conduct.
First, isn’t it just unlawful for adults to engage minors in sexual intercourse?
Second, have people forgotten about marriage being the confines of sexual activity?
Third, why are school teachers and coaches on the list because of their profession, but not cops? Is it because cops protect the corrupt system and its corrupt laws, judges and other criminals in office? Is that what is going on here? Why can they not be included as those having authority and utilizing that authority in a similar manner as teachers and coaches?
It just doesn’t make sense.
Justice Sharon Kennedy, who is a former police officer, was a dissenting voice who wrote, “If a peace officer discovered after the fact that the person with whom he engaged in sexual conduct was a minor, he would have a strong incentive to do whatever is necessary to ensure that his employer never found out, even to the point of compromising his integrity.”
I completely agree with that assessment. There is no doubt that human nature would take over in that instance and some of the officers would not admit to it, but even use their authority to both receive sexual favors from minors, as well as us that same authority to cover it up.
If it is illegal for people in Ohio who are 18 and older to engage those 16 and younger in sexual intercourse, I do have to ask why the profession of the person even matters in the first place. Mr. Mole should be held to the standard of the law because he broke the law, not because he was a police officer. However, as one given the authority to arrest those who would engage in the same crime, he should be held to the highest standard with the maximum sentence given.