It’s not sex love, it’s rape

itsnotloveitsrapeWell, this is a twist on an old favourite. Sadly, not a new twist.

**Trigger warning, non-graphic**.

“Coach pleads guilty to sex with school girl”

A 24-year old gymnastics coach who pleaded guilty to having sexual relations with a 12-year old school girl, was a law-abiding citizen who had fallen in love with a girl who was too young, the Perth District Court heard today.

“He led a totally law abiding life until he fell in love with a girl who was too young,” Dean Prall’s lawyer Linda Black said. […]

Ms Black said her client, who had difficulties in forming relationships with women in his age group, had been “blown away” when the victim had shown and interest in him. […]

She said that while it was agreed that Prall had broken the law, he had not been “predatory” and that he had not “groomed” his victim, who was a pupil at the Perth school where Prall was a coach.

Sentencing for the twenty-one charges on which he pleaded guilty is on May 27.



Categories: gender & feminism, law & order, violence

12 replies

  1. Ah The West – the pinnacle of modern journalism. Not.
    Honestly though, how can a 12 year old child show interest in a 24 year old man?
    That’s like saying “Well, she was flirting with me, but I fucked her anyway.”
    Oh wait – that’s exactly what it’s saying.
    *facepalm*

  2. She is 12 for crying out loud and therefore incapable of consent. This is RAPE and I am sick of the media referring to rape as sex. It is not strange for a young girl to have a crush on an older man but it is predatory as hell if he acts on it.

  3. That’s not love.
    I remember being twelve and having grown men leer at me, and it was just creepy.

  4. Ms Black said her client, who had difficulties in forming relationships with women in his age group, had been “blown away” when the victim had shown and interest in him.
    This is not a mitigating circumstance. If he’s so incapable of forming relationships with his peers that he needs to look to children half his age for meaningful human interaction of any sort (which would have stopped being fine when he was six, for crying out loud) this is not an indication of being hard up. It’s an indication of being profoundly psychologically damaged, and it should be a fucking *warning* *sign*, not something which is used by a lawyer as a way of trying to make things sound less threatening. There’s also the nice little thought that anyone who is so profoundly warped they’re unable to form working relationships with their peers would surely stand out quite clearly in a coaching context – let’s start with the question of how the heck he got the job in the first place, shall we, and work our way up from there.
    It isn’t sex. It isn’t love. It’s rape. It’s fucking statuatory rape. It’s abuse of power, it’s abuse of privilege, it is dereliction of duty, it is a firing offence in most jobs, it is something which is not legal in the least, and to be pretending it is something which is excusable is positively revolting.

  5. Meg got there before me – but yeah, not being able to form relationships with peers is decidedly not a mitigating circumstance.
    It’s really interesting that they seem to be presenting it as such, because in many of the cases I’ve read/observed, that factor is presented almost as part of the diagnosis of pedophilia (I’m not sure if it is really part of the diagnosis, it may just be how it comes across in the case). It ends up being kind of neutral to the case, except it might be used later to try to ensure this person never comes into (unsupervised, at least) contact with children again.
    And funnily enough, the “can’t form normal relationships with peers” thing reminds me of Sady’s recent posts on her Apatovian movie marathon, which is a genre devoted to the idea that it is somehow a good thing for men to not be able to form normal relationships with women.
    I’m not saying that Apatow is promoting pedophilia as a good thing, and I’m not saying that all people who can’t form normal relationships with their peers are pedophiles. But in the context of this post, the idea that it is somehow laudable to be emotionally immature makes me shudder.

  6. I was actually surprised to see that the Sydney Morning Herald used the word “rape” recently… then I saw [TRIGGER WARNING] it was in a story about a man raping and murdering his two-year-old son. I guess nobody could spin that as consensual.

  7. Rozasharn
    I remember this kind of treatment as well. It was fucking creepy. I couldn’t do anything about the fact I was an early developer (I got breasts in year four, period & pubes in year five) so by the time I was 12 I looked about 16. It was really, really disgusting and creepy then, and it’s disgusting and creepy now.

  8. @ 1 many 12 year olds get crushes on people twice there age, luckily there is an adult in the situation who is in a position of power and influenced who can defuse the situation and not take advantage of children, whatever there feelings may be.

  9. If it were a boy in the story and not a girl do you think that it would be reported the same way? Hypothetically, would it have been published like this:
    “A 24-year old gymnastics coach who pleaded guilty to having sexual relations with a 12-year old school BOY, was a law-abiding citizen who had fallen in love with a BOY who was too young, the Perth District Court heard today. “He led a totally law abiding life until he fell in love with a BOY who was too young,” Dean Prall’s lawyer Linda Black said. […] She said that while it was agreed that Prall had broken the law, he had not been “predatory” and that he had not “groomed” his victim, who was a pupil at the Perth school where Prall was a coach.”
    I think not, and yet those actions are equally heinous whether the victim is male or female, but because she’s a girl, the media and the lawyers seem to think its fine to make it sound as though she is complicit in the situation.

  10. “Ms Black said her client, …. had difficulties in forming relationships with women in his age group…”
    Ah yeah… makes you wonder doesn’t it. *grr*

  11. “He led a totally law abiding life until he fell in love with a girl who was too young,”
    Also, who cares if rape DOES happen to be the only crime he’s ever committed? That doesn’t change the fact that he committed it.

  12. Also, who cares if rape DOES happen to be the only crime he’s ever committed? That doesn’t change the fact that he committed it.

    Unfortunately, that’s just not the way people perceive crime. People like to think that crimes are only committed by a special class of people called “criminals”. This man is not a criminal, therefore he could not have committed a crime, QED.
    It gets even worse in the case of rape – people have a very clear idea about what a “rapist” is, and juries decide to convict or acquit based on whether the defendant fits that picture.

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