A faithful viewer I will always be, I ain't handin' you no jive.
April 28, 2009 11:25 PM   Subscribe

Years from now, when people think about the quintessential creepy old man, they'll have one face in mind. None other than Ed Muscare, aka "Uncle Ed" aka horror host Edmus Scary who was on Channel 41 in Kansas City in the 70's through the mid 80's hosting All Night Live. He was on briefly in Phoenix around 1986 hosting Friday Night Frights prior to becoming a registered sex offender. He's served his time and has an offbeat youtube channel now.
posted by Catblack (60 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
His victim was 14. So my thoughts on society's treatment of sex offender's aside, I think I'm going to file this under, "If I give him any more of my attention, I'm going to feel creepy."
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 11:42 PM on April 28, 2009


This guy was creepy enough before I knew he was a sex offender.
posted by Chan at 11:48 PM on April 28, 2009




I grew up in KC during that time, and watched a ton of Channel 41. Don't remember this guy though I do seem to recall the show...
posted by Windopaene at 11:53 PM on April 28, 2009


"His victim was 14. So my thoughts on society's treatment of sex offender's aside, I think I'm going to file this under, "If I give him any more of my attention, I'm going to feel creepy.""

He probably told her that he was Abe Vigoda, and she was like, Who?
posted by klangklangston at 11:55 PM on April 28, 2009


Thanks. Backscratcher will prevent me from sleeping tonight.
posted by item at 11:57 PM on April 28, 2009


Or, what loq said.
posted by item at 11:58 PM on April 28, 2009


/me latches on to Item's stomach-flab with his jaws.
posted by loquacious at 11:59 PM on April 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


I watched Channel 41 during my 70s childhood (it was the cool channel to watch in the sticks of central Kansas, because it arrived all the way from the big city), but I don't remember Uncle Ed at all. Maybe that's for the best.
posted by amyms at 12:02 AM on April 29, 2009


Sex Of Victim: M
posted by hortense at 12:06 AM on April 29, 2009


This one, I think shows off his expressive face the best.

There are listings for photographs on the this site dating back to 1966, so he clearly was a tv/radio personality in Kansas City all those years ago. Unfortunately it's a paid site, so I couldn't link to any of those photos.

I saw his tv show in Phoenix for the few months it ran there, prior to his arrest. It was so bugfuck amazing. He'd come out of a coffin at the beginning and everything.

He spent 12 years in jail, and has to register when he moves, which means in some sense society has forgiven him. Hopefully his victim has, too. Creepy? Definitely.
posted by Catblack at 12:08 AM on April 29, 2009


Comments on the "old" video linked above:

i would like to rent you as my Grandpa for a weekend.
posted by zippy at 12:15 AM on April 29, 2009


If you turn the word 'edarem' upside down & reverse it, it spells werape.

Just sayin'.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 12:23 AM on April 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


I get "wajepa"
posted by aubilenon at 12:28 AM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, synchronicity! I just saw "Pretty Woman" by edarem (first link in the FPP) and was amazed by it a week or ten days ago. Now I find out the guy is a registered sex offender (which, by itself, means nothing in the US). I've been trying to figure out his crime; it appears he had some kind of sex with a 14-year-old boy. Now this is child sexual abuse and no mistake, but I have become sidetracked by the Florida law on this stuff. His offense was sexual battery -- which to me implies physical assault, except that the law states that it can be consensual. His victim was 14, but the Florida law enforcement site says the victim was not a minor. The South Carolina legal site says the victim was a child.
I'm conflicted on these matters. The guy did a bad thing. He spent 12 years in prison. He is 76 years old. Now, do we shun him forever? On the other hand, I know a family whose children were molested at knife point by a guy the community wanted to forgive. I didn't. Neither did the family. The guy got a suspended sentence. Finally, many years ago, a friend of mine who was a teacher got drunk one night and, naked, climbed the fence at a local hot spring. He was charged, not with trespassing, but with public indecency. (Does it matter that this was the middle of the night and no members of the public were around?) If he had to register as a sex offender (as those with similar convictions do now) his teaching career would have been over. That was long ago and he has had a useful career and is retired now without any other legal problems.
So I just don't know...
posted by CCBC at 12:35 AM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have some pretty vivid memories of this guy, sitting on a couch and taking caller questions live, doing his little backhanded wave. I recall thinking that was a big mistake; people tried to work in some really raunchy stuff. Most the time, he scrambled to head them off. Sometimes, especially toward the end of his run, he'd engage in the banter himself -- well beyond the bounds of good taste. Then one day he was gone.

I always wondered what happened. Can't say I'm surprised.
posted by RavinDave at 12:56 AM on April 29, 2009


The sex offender laws can be flaky and to find out the 'truth' in this particular case would involve way more effort than I'm willing to invest. Regardless, this guy is super creepy. That's a toilet brush he's scratching his back with *shudder.*
posted by From Bklyn at 1:06 AM on April 29, 2009


So, is he a sex offender like Jerry Lee Lewis, or like Elvis, or like Tupac, or like R. Kelly, or like Steven Tyler, or like Roman Polanski, or like Mike Tyson, or like Michael Jackson, or like Hugh Grant, or like Marv Albert, or like George Michael, or like Oscar Wilde, or like Pee Wee Herman, or like Senator Foley, or like Roger Clemens, or like Arnold Schwarzenegger, or like Charlie Chaplin, or like or like Don Johnson, or like Gary Glitter, or...
posted by markkraft at 1:12 AM on April 29, 2009 [11 favorites]


Finally, many years ago, a friend of mine who was a teacher got drunk one night and, naked, climbed the fence at a local hot spring.

I expect more rational behaviour from our teachers. Like, shouldn't he have climbed the fence *after* he got naked? You could do yourself a nasty mischief doing it that way around.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:27 AM on April 29, 2009


Ugh. That should be *before* he got naked. Or got naked after he'd climbed the fence. Point is, teachers shouldn't be climbing no fences, drunk, with their dangly bits dangling.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:28 AM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


CCBC: I'm conflicted on these matters. The guy did a bad thing. He spent 12 years in prison. He is 76 years old. Now, do we shun him forever? On the other hand, I know a family whose children were molested at knife point by a guy the community wanted to forgive. I didn't. Neither did the family. The guy got a suspended sentence. Finally, many years ago, a friend of mine who was a teacher got drunk one night and, naked, climbed the fence at a local hot spring. He was charged, not with trespassing, but with public indecency.

Thankfully, we don't have to decide what to do: we can do nothing in regards to him. We've become so obsessed with this cybernetic state in which everything is intimately connected and directly tied to everything else nowadays that we feel as though the obvious question in every criminal case is: what is our outlook as a society toward this person?

The truth is that a person who is a registered sex offender can never regain their original place in society; but the purpose of punishment is to give the criminal the mercy of making them beneficial to society again. So a registered sex offender has to attempt to live out his or her life as quietly as possible in a corner of society where they will have as little impact as possible and where they are under some supervision; curing souls is not a simple or easy thing, so all we can do is watch them as closely as possible, give them a chance but prevent any relapse, and let them live out quiet lives in peace.

Forgiveness? Not the purpose of punishment. For punishment to be effective (or even, I would argue, for punishment to be real punishment) at least some members of society—a judge, some police officers, a social services case worker, and a few others—must forgive the criminal; but forgiveness in the case of a criminal who probably shouldn't have contact with most of society for the rest of his or her life is for the forgiver, not the forgiven. Either it will come or it won't; but we have to do justice anyhow. That will aide the process of forgiveness anyhow.

Society obviously can't have a huge focus on the sex offender. The sex offender can't be a community leader, a public speaker, a politician or activist, or any kind of teacher. But there are small roles on the edges of society that generally go unnoticed which are good for these folks.

Of course, the sudden existence of an easy way for a sex offender and anybody else to immediately make him or herself appear in anyone and everyone's living room—Youtube—creates all sorts of questions in this case, I think.
posted by koeselitz at 2:01 AM on April 29, 2009


CCBC: His offense was sexual battery -- which to me implies physical assault, except that the law states that it can be consensual. His victim was 14, but the Florida law enforcement site says the victim was not a minor. The South Carolina legal site says the victim was a child.

No, actually—a few of these details are wrong; clicking on his offense link on his Florida sex offender page yields this little bit about his specific crime:

794.011(5) Commits Sexual Battery; Victim 12 Or Older And In Process Uses Physical Force Not Likely To Cause Serious Personal Injury
(5) A person who commits sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older, without that person's consent, and in the process thereof does not use physical force and violence likely to cause serious personal injury commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 794.0115.


So, first of all, the sexual battery was not consensual; second of all, the victim was 14 (falling into the Florida law's category of "12 or older"); and third, this battery may have been perpetrated with some physical force—we only know that it wasn't enough physical force "likely to cause serious personal injury."

Sex offender web sites don't exist to harass people; and they're often misused for threatening people who already have or are currently paying their debt to society and trying to live right. However, one nice thing about sex offender web sites is that most states are pretty obsessive about making sure they're correct; these are the kinds of things lawsuits are made of, as well they should be, so most of these web sites are pretty carefully checked and labeled.
posted by koeselitz at 2:27 AM on April 29, 2009


Oh, and for what it's worth:

CCBC: sexual battery -- which to me implies physical assault

That little blurb I linked has a definition of 'sexual assault:'

(h) "Sexual battery" means oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object; however, sexual battery does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose.

So 'sexual batter' is just about any really sexual contact at all. Consent or non-consent is not material to the definition of sexual battery in the law of Florida.
posted by koeselitz at 2:33 AM on April 29, 2009


So 'sexual batter' is

...either the best cooking ingredient or the worst euphemism ever.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:15 AM on April 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


...or my favorite position in baseball.
posted by koeselitz at 3:18 AM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here's Ed's take:

Re: Heads up: your 23-year-old past conviction has been exposed on reddit.com


This letter I wrote to TV stations in 2005 might explain...

__________________________

What can be done about the growing number of sex offenders?

Here's one possible solution - a way for Law Enforcement to remove hundreds, possibly thousands of sex offenders from their watch-lists.

Grant amnesty to those offenders who have shown they are no longer a threat to society. It's as simple as that.

Let's face it; ninety-nine percent of all the males in this country have "sexually offended" someone - at one time or another. The majority of them just never got caught.

Of those that did get caught, most will never offend again. They realized their mistake and want no part of returning to prison. It is this group of non-threatening, one-time sex offenders that should be considered for release.

Amnesty. It makes sense.

Who would qualify?

The obvious answer is - first-time offenders who served their time in jail and completed their probation with good conduct - and have stayed out of trouble since. The chances of their re-offending are practically nil. And, in releasing them, thousands of man-hours could be saved and used to monitor those felons who need closer supervision.

I, myself, am a one-time sex offender. I was arrested almost 20 years ago for an offense committed while on vacation in Florida. Because of my arrest, I lost my car, my house, my job, my career.

I did not kidnap, rape or kill anyone.

I was caught engaging in consensual sex with a minor under 16. I pled 'no contest' to the charge of sexual battery and was sentenced to a 18 months in jail and 10 years probation.

Upon my release from jail in early 1988, I settled in Lake County and lived on my savings. I managed to survive with no income until 1994 when my Social Security checks started at age 62.

In 1997, just months before I was to finish my probation, and get on with my life, Megan's Law went into effect. That law stated that all sex offenders currently in jail or on probation had to register with the County Sheriff every year for the rest of their lives and have their photographs posted on the internet as a sex offender.

I was devastated. That ki lled any chance I had of returning to my profession as an announcer on radio and television.

Ever since that law came out, I've worried that a friend or a neighbor or a church member would come across my photo on a sex offender web-site.

I've lived at the same address in Lake County for 6 years and have been a member of a local church since that time, For many years, I've visited area nursing homes every week to entertain the residents playing the piano. In other words, I've been a model citizen for the past 19 years.

But, guess what?

I recently received notification from Florida Law Enforcement stating that, henceforth, until further notice, I had to register in person twice a year (instead of once) with the County Sheriff, and I could not live near a school, library or day-care center.

These additional restrictions came about because of the kidnapping/murder of little Jessica Lundsford. This new law was passed to tighten the screws on Sex Offenders. Somehow, because I was jailed for a sex offense almost 20 years ago, I've become as dangerous as a rapist/murderer. That is ridiculous and it's extremely unjust.

Recently, I was invited to become a board member of my church. I reluctantly declined. Reluctant because I knew there is always a chance that someone could discover my photo on a sex offender web-site, which, if made public, could damage the church's reputation.

And, that is the point of this letter.

Why punish those of us who have paid for our crime and have proven ourselves harmless by years of good conduct? Why waste the State's money, time and manpower on those of us who are not a threat to anyone?

Why not, instead, concentrate on those offenders who have shown they can't be trusted? Maybe if the State of Florida had thought of this sensible solution a year ago, little Jessica Lundsford might be alive today.

Grant amnesty to those who deserve it. This will greatly increase time and manpower which can be then be used to govern those felons who have shown they are dangerous and cannot be trusted.

The list of sex offenders is growing daily across this nation. It's bad...and it's getting worse.

Something has to be done - and soon.


(signed)
Name withheld for obvious reasons
Lake County, FL
posted by chimrichalds at 4:11 AM on April 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


"either the best cooking ingredient"

Fresh off the griddle.
posted by zippy at 4:14 AM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sexbatter makes hoecakes.

Sir, I bow to your perfection.
posted by From Bklyn at 4:23 AM on April 29, 2009


Jeez, and I got punched in the dick for just posting one of his vids in a comment last week, and spent the next three 3 comments and a MeMail apologizing for being a horrible person. I thought we hated Pedophiles so bad that they were unmentionable?
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:30 AM on April 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Let's face it; ninety-nine percent of all the males in this country have "sexually offended" someone - at one time or another. The majority of them just never got caught.

Oh, good grief.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:39 AM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


If peeing outdoors (without the intent to expose oneself to others) and things like skinnydipping technically count as sexual offenses, then sure.
posted by zippy at 5:02 AM on April 29, 2009


You know what's awesome? You've let people know this guy's a 'registered sex offender'. Jesus.
What was the point of that? Some kind of passive-aggressive vigilante vibe?
posted by Gamien Boffenburg at 5:06 AM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


has to register when he moves, which means in some sense society has forgiven him

And which in some other sense, means that it's holding a grudge against him
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 5:27 AM on April 29, 2009



Let's face it; ninety-nine percent of all the males in this country have "sexually offended" someone - at one time or another. The majority of them just never got caught.

Yes, that's right, Ed. 99% of grown men have committed sexual battery on a 14-year-old....they've just never been caught.

Either that, or forcing "bad touch" on a high school freshman is the same as peeing in public, AMIRITE?

Guy sounds like he still thinks like a self-pitying child molester ("everybody does it, I just got caught").
posted by availablelight at 5:36 AM on April 29, 2009


Thanks for posting his letter, chimrichalds.

I do find his youtube videos charming and had searched around for clips of him in his prime. I didn't notice this one of him and the late, great Cloris Leachman from 1982.
posted by Catblack at 5:50 AM on April 29, 2009


I'm considered sexually offensive 99% of the time.
posted by orme at 5:53 AM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have such mixed feelings about this post and its subject. Here's a guy who put in his time for a sexual crime involving a minor. I'd like to think that, since he's gone through the system and paid his debt, he should now be able to live the life of a free man.

Then I see that he's engaging with people who may be minors in the Youtube comments, and I feel really uncomfortable.

I don't think "ick" is a useful feeling most of the time, but ... ick.
posted by zippy at 6:16 AM on April 29, 2009


Louis Theroux just did a very interesting documentary on Coalinga State Hospital, which holds sex offenders who have been released from prison. They're released, classified as having a psychological disorder, then put into the hospital. The majority refuse treatment (it appeared from the programme).
posted by djgh at 6:17 AM on April 29, 2009


You know what's awesome? You've let people know this guy's a 'registered sex offender'. Jesus. What was the point of that? Some kind of passive-aggressive vigilante vibe?

No.

I found it to be a fairly common fact upon googling his name or youtube handle. Also he had a TV show that me and all my friends absolutely loved at the time of his arrest. It was all over the news, and I recognized him instantly when I saw him -- on a pic at 4chan -- which included a link to his lipsync of Pretty Woman. I do not feel I'm 'outing' him in any way with my FPP.

A factor I had not thought about (as pointed out in his letter above,) is that he was one of the first offenders affected by Megan's Law. //www.hrw.org/en/reports/2007/09/11/no-easy-answers">He does make quite a poster child, doesn't he? Given that registration is for life, maybe more sex offenders need to make videos on youtube to put a human face on the need to reform these laws.
posted by Catblack at 6:35 AM on April 29, 2009


The HRW report Catblack linked to is worth reading.
posted by zippy at 6:53 AM on April 29, 2009


They hand out those sex offender entries like candy on Halloween. Far too drunk and you make the poor judgment call of taking a leak in an alley? You may as well be a flasher. Bored in eighth grade study hall and trade naked pics on your phone with your girlfriend a few rows away? Bam, kiddie porn. I'm looking for the case of the guy who got hit with some inappropriate touching because he shoved a girl out of the way of a car. Anyone else remember that one?

For all we know, this guy could have swatted a spider on a freshman's ass.
posted by adipocere at 7:06 AM on April 29, 2009


For all we know, this guy could have swatted a spider on a freshman's ass.

I think you skipped the comment above that quotes him as admitting to having sex with a child under the age of 16.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:31 AM on April 29, 2009


I did send Ed a another message asking him if he would consider uploading a video telling his story, thinking that maybe the details from his perspective might stop some people from automatically assuming that he's a brutal pedophile rapist; but to be honest I'm more than just a little bit curious about the details of this guy's fall from grace.

I guess I've been listening to This American Life too long because it's like I'm waiting to hear Ira Glass tell me the back-story over a soft alt-country guitar track.
posted by chimrichalds at 7:37 AM on April 29, 2009


The weird thing is, the idea that he was a weird-looking guy in his early fifties, and yet he managed to have consensual sex with a 14-year-old?

Charming guy, obviously.
posted by markkraft at 7:42 AM on April 29, 2009


Surely I'm not the only one who said the All Night Live creed...

"I promise every weekday night..."
posted by candyland at 7:47 AM on April 29, 2009


(oops... just saw the post title)
posted by candyland at 7:48 AM on April 29, 2009


Let's face it; ninety-nine percent of all the males in this country have "sexually offended" someone - at one time or another. The majority of them just never got caught.
This is offensive, akin to "boys will be boys" excusing unacceptable behavior. The sex offender registration laws in the U.S. are in need of review and refinement, and an amnesty provision may make sense after a reasonable period. It would also make sense to remove the ridiculous imposition of registration for offenses such as skinny-dipping, public urination, or consensual statutory rape/receipt of nude photos by offenders within, say, a 5-year range of their teenage partners.

But asserting that 99% of American males are sexual offenders, convicted or not, infantilizes them, implying that males are such slaves to their sex drives that they are unable to determine right from wrong or "yes" from "no" when ensorcelled by the almighty penis. He might as well suggest that women have it coming if they dress immodestly.
posted by notashroom at 7:51 AM on April 29, 2009


That's what I get for starting a comment, drifting off, then waking up and hitting the button. I really need to stay away from the keyboard when my brain is cooking, but damn if TV isn't boring as hell.

Maybe I'll stick to laundering the pillowcases I've just snotted all over.
posted by adipocere at 7:53 AM on April 29, 2009


HA HA LAUGH AT THE WEIRDO EVERYONE!!!! He's got a funny face and he's a pedophile!

Metafilter has officially graduated to fark, and this post is like the giant cardboard burgerking crown on matthowie's head.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:12 AM on April 29, 2009


It seems silly to ridicule this guy, but how often do we see the same degree of ridicule and scorn for Tupac, Momus, etc.

The fact is, older people can fall for younger ones, and younger for older... laws or not.

To what degree is it fair that minors are able to say that sex is consentual when they have it with someone their own age, but not able to say that sex is consentual and have it mean anything when they have it with someone over five years their age?

I started seeing my partner when she was in her mid twenties and I was around 12 years older than her. She is quite intelligent and had known for many years that she was more interested in more mature men, and I can't fault her for that.

That said, I do have a problem with the idea that if I had met her a decade earlier, it would've been criminal. It probably wouldn't have made me feel any differently towards her, however... and I think it would've been a shame if it had.

The simple fact is that those who aren't minors can be -- and oftentimes are -- attracted to minors, who may very well know their own minds on the subject.

So, why shouldn't that matter?!
posted by markkraft at 8:47 AM on April 29, 2009


The fact is, older people can fall for younger ones, and younger for older... laws or not.

To what degree is it fair that minors are able to say that sex is consentual when they have it with someone their own age, but not able to say that sex is consentual and have it mean anything when they have it with someone over five years their age?


"Fall for" implies love and affection, not merely sex. If the love is real and enduring, the sex can wait until true informed consent can be given.

The difference is in the power disparity when there is a minor involved with someone considerably older that is much less likely to be present or present to a significant degree when the sexual or romantic partner is a peer. The power disparity constitutes coercion.

Just as adult women inmates might well have developed a sexual/romantic relationship with men they met as correctional officers had they met them in a different capacity that did not involve a power disparity, that does not mitigate the fact that in that situation the disparity is there and removes the full power of informed consent from the women.
posted by notashroom at 9:52 AM on April 29, 2009


HA HA LAUGH AT THE WEIRDO EVERYONE!!!! He's got a funny face and he's a pedophile!

When a guy goes on the internet with the specific intent of making comedy, laughter is hardly an inappropriate response. The videos are of him being goofy to be funny.
posted by kafziel at 10:03 AM on April 29, 2009


What, no mention of "41 Treehouse Lane" - where he first got the "Uncle Ed" moniker? Or am I the only one old enough to remember the show?
posted by Qubit at 10:18 AM on April 29, 2009


markkraft: It seems silly to ridicule this guy, but how often do we see the same degree of ridicule and scorn for Tupac, Momus, etc. The fact is, older people can fall for younger ones, and younger for older... laws or not. To what degree is it fair that minors are able to say that sex is consentual [sic] when they have it with someone their own age, but not able to say that sex is consentual [sic] and have it mean anything when they have it with someone over five years their age?

I started seeing my partner when she was in her mid twenties and I was around 12 years older than her. She is quite intelligent and had known for many years that she was more interested in more mature men, and I can't fault her for that. That said, I do have a problem with the idea that if I had met her a decade earlier, it would've been criminal. It probably wouldn't have made me feel any differently towards her, however... and I think it would've been a shame if it had. The simple fact is that those who aren't minors can be -- and oftentimes are -- attracted to minors, who may very well know their own minds on the subject. So, why shouldn't that matter?!


Oh good god, are you trying to lead us down this road again? Okay, one more time, from the top:

(a) You've either made a serious mistake or willfully misread this story. I think you're probably just going off of something that CBCC said above which happened to be the opposite of the case. So, for your information, no, Mr. Muscare did not 'convince' a 14-year-old to have consensual sex with him; the crime of which he was convicted states clearly that the sex is against the victim's consent. [cite] The law of the state of Florida is not one of these 'gray areas' you envision where minors are not supposed to be capable of issuing consent; it is clear that the minor in question did not grant consent.

(b) Just because you 'fall for' a girl who's thirteen (or she falls for you) doesn't mean you have to date her, marry her, or even just sleep with her. In fact, if you're a mature and responsible male, it might mean having the restraint and decency not to sleep with her.

(c) All due respect to you and your partner, but is there any age at which she would have been too young for you to to have begun having sexual relations? I hope I'm not being too presumptuous and assuming that there is. Certainly that age might have been earlier for you two than it is for most, but this proves nothing. Of course the law must appear arbitrary. This is its nature; its universality is artificial but necessary. I can argue, "this is utterly unfair! This 14-year-old young man here is clearly ready and capable to be given his driver's license; he is more mature than most his age, and, living on a farm, he's been driving vehicles for years!" but this doesn't mean the law is wrong for setting relatively rational and moreover practical rules.

(d) You are right on this point: people should be careful about who they point a finger at, and should be careful before they shout the word "pedophile!" Many of the people you listed:

So, is he a sex offender like Jerry Lee Lewis, or like Elvis, or like Tupac, or like R. Kelly, or like Steven Tyler, or like Roman Polanski, or like Mike Tyson, or like Michael Jackson, or like Hugh Grant, or like Marv Albert, or like George Michael, or like Oscar Wilde, or like Pee Wee Herman, or like Senator Foley, or like Roger Clemens, or like Arnold Schwarzenegger, or like Charlie Chaplin, or like or like Don Johnson, or like Gary Glitter, or...

... clearly should not have been arrested for 'sex offenses.' (For starters: Roman Polanski, George Michael, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pee Wee Herman, Senator Foley, Roger Clemens, Don Johnson, Hugh Grant. There are probably more, but many are cases I'm not familiar with.) If your point is: '"sex offender' is a broad brush with which those who are actually relatively innocent often get painted unfairly,' then I'm right there with you. But if you intend to say that 'the line between sex crime and non-sex crime is so grey that it actually doesn't really exist, especially in the case of pedophilia, which it's hard to actually say is really a crime anyhow,' (which your last comment, it seems to me, begins to say) then I must disagree. In particular, to give an example: Oscar Wilde was certainly a pedophile, and proud of it, having defended himself for being so at his trial very eloquently. I don't feel conflicted in saying he was morally wrong in acting the way he did, however much I may abhor the Victorian court which prosecuted him for its other ridiculous cruelties. And Gary Glitter? Well, I would have thought that one was obvious.
posted by koeselitz at 11:21 AM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


"The difference is in the power disparity..."

Which is why people don't get into dominant/submissive BDSM relationships, and women aren't attracted to rich, powerful men.

The fact is, power disparity is a given in many, many legal relationships. It's a question as to how the power is used... or not used, as the case may be.

"... clearly should not have been arrested for 'sex offenses.' (For starters: Roman Polanski, George Michael, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pee Wee Herman, Senator Foley, Roger Clemens, Don Johnson, Hugh Grant."

So Roman Polanski having non-consentual sex with a 13 year old was okay? What about Don Johnson having consentual sex with a 14-year-old Melanie Griffith when he was in his twenties? Or Schwarzenegger's relationship with a 16-year-old when he was around thirty, and still not a U.S. citizen?

The law certainly doesn't differentiate much between these cases. The issue, really, is whether charges are filed

Why shouldn't we footnote everything we say about Schwarzenegger by pointing out that he is a statutory rapist and repeat sexual molester, because he has met this criteria on numerous occasions.

Hell, he even had to pay off a lawsuit while in office for reportedly over a million dollars in order to not be openly disgraced. Most people don't know this, however... and I'm betting that many in the Republican Party wish they could've run Schwarzenegger for President.

Ed has a point, in a way. It's not that everyone does it. It's that so many big names do it, and, in many cases, able to get away with it... not only without criminal charges, but also without losing their status and position.

Muskare has an interesting kind of gift, I think... he'd be a hit if cast in the next Tim Burton movie, I suspect. But he'll never work again. Can't say that about the rest of the famous molesters out there, really.
posted by markkraft at 7:00 PM on April 29, 2009


koeselitz, do you have any evidence that he used force, and not that the state of Florida considers that any minor cannot give 'consent' as stated in your cite:

(a) "Consent" means intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent and does not include coerced submission. "Consent" shall not be deemed or construed to mean the failure by the alleged victim to offer physical resistance to the offender.

From the other evidence (ie, his words, as far as we can take them), it sounds like a minor agreed to have sex with him, and then he was prosecuted under the 'statutory rape' provisions.

I know I'll regret mentioning this on meta, but as a young teen growing up, I did a fair bit of sexual exploring, and that did include looking for, and finding older people to have sex with.

While they have all 'should have known better', I did everything in my power to let them know I wanted to play..

Any of them would have received the conviction under New Jersey law and this guy. To this day I would have regretted such an outcome. Luckily for me and for them, I was discrete.
posted by PissOnYourParade at 7:09 PM on April 29, 2009


koeselitz was quoting areas of the first legal cite. I missed the designation of the offense which is spelled out in the link to the conviction until koeselitz pointed it out. Basically it says the guy used force, though not enough to do terrible harm. Maybe he twisted an arm or held the kid's head or... you get the picture. The victim was constrained by force. The consent area of the crime you are citing is not relevant. The offense for which the man was convicted is non-consensual.
posted by CCBC at 1:38 AM on April 30, 2009


Which is why people don't get into dominant/submissive BDSM relationships, and women aren't attracted to rich, powerful men.

The fact is, power disparity is a given in many, many legal relationships. It's a question as to how the power is used... or not used, as the case may be.


As I said before, "The difference is in the power disparity when there is a minor involved with someone considerably older that is much less likely to be present or present to a significant degree when the sexual or romantic partner is a peer. The power disparity constitutes coercion."

Of course there are relationships involving power disparities that are based on informed consent rather than coercion. I happen to be rather fond of them, myself. The difference is in the informed consent, without which any BDSM dynamic would be abusive.

I have a friend who fell for someone more than 10 years her senior as a young teen. Her affections were returned. The older partner, however, was very aware of the legal ramifications and wanted to give every opportunity to my friend to decide freely -- without coercion -- whether to enter into a sexual relationship. Because of this, they spent time together, got to know each other very well, and the older one provided the younger one with reading material (not pornographic) to help inform her choice. On my friend's 18th birthday, she got her (informed, consensual, non-coerced) wish, and they consummated their relationship. That was love and care, not lust or pedophilia.
posted by notashroom at 6:49 AM on April 30, 2009


(5) A person who commits sexual battery upon a person 12 years of age or older, without that person's consent, and in the process thereof does not use physical force and violence likely to cause serious personal injury commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, s. 775.084, or s. 794.0115.

koeselitz was quoting areas of the first legal cite. I missed the designation of the offense which is spelled out in the link to the conviction until koeselitz pointed it out. Basically it says the guy used force, though not enough to do terrible harm. Maybe he twisted an arm or held the kid's head or... you get the picture. The victim was constrained by force. The consent area of the crime you are citing is not relevant. The offense for which the man was convicted is non-consensual.

Well, no. The charge doesn't say he used force, just that not enough force to count as a crime of violence was used. "No force" would meet that definition. And a lack of consent due to being too young statutorily to give it would meet the "Without that person's consent" requirement. Voluntary sex with a 14 year old would be this charge. This is the statutory rape charge.
posted by kafziel at 7:56 AM on April 30, 2009


kafziel The charge is: 794.011(5) Commits Sexual Battery; Victim 12 Or Older And In Process Uses Physical Force Not Likely To Cause Serious Personal Injury. Got that? "Uses physical force".
I don't believe this is the statuatory rape charge either. I think that is "794.05(1) Unlawful Sexual Activity With Certain Minors". All of the 794.011 offenses involve coercion of some kind. But then IANAL.
posted by CCBC at 1:45 PM on April 30, 2009


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