Thursday, January 21, 2016

"Law and Order": "A Misunderstanding" explores accusation by young women of "rape" after supposedly consensual encounters

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit”  (or “Law & Order: SVU”) aired an episode “A Misunderstanding” last night, directed by Mariska Hargitay. Two male high school students (Danile Covin and Sean Grandillo , one an honor student expected a football scholarship, are accused of “rape” after heterosexual intimacy with teenage girls, who seem to be under legal age.

Both refuse plea deals that would place them on a sex offender registry. It seems as though Romeo and Juliet laws don’t apply.  Then the episode focuses to a jury trial on one of the cases.

The teenage girl had texted back to the boy that everything was fine.  But then she accused him of “rape” anyway.  He would finally be convicted of a misdemeanor.  But his reputation is sundered forever, especially online (and he could be denied the right to have online access when on parole or probation later).  The US has no “right to be forgotten” laws.

This veteran series on NBC still brings up key social issues intersecting with the law.  Heterosexual college boys are always saying that being accused of "rape" is always a danger in seemingly consensual situations. 

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