Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Parents Beware: Arizona Court Says Changing Diapers Equals Sexual Molestation

(ANTIMEDIA) If you’ve never had a good reason to condemn a governmental body for its brash policies, both the Supreme Court of Arizona and the state’s legislature may have just come to the rescue.

In a decision that reaffirms a draconian sexual abuse law, the state’s Supreme Court just upheld a statute that defines sexual abuse and molestation of a child “in such a way that intentionally or knowingly touching the genitals or anus of a child or the breast of a female younger than fifteen is a felony,” Matt Brown of Mimesis Law writes.


(ANTIMEDIA) If you’ve never had a good reason to condemn a governmental body for its brash policies, both the Supreme Court of Arizona and the state’s legislature may have just come to the rescue.

In a decision that reaffirms a draconian sexual abuse law, the state’s Supreme Court just upheld a statute that defines sexual abuse and molestation of a child “in such a way that intentionally or knowingly touching the genitals or anus of a child or the breast of a female younger than fifteen is a felony,” Matt Brown of Mimesis Law writes.


Yet defendants “are afforded an ‘affirmative defense’ if they can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that their touching ‘was not motivated by a sexual interest’. … [allowing the defendant to persuade] the factfinder that the ‘criminal conduct’ should be excused.” In other words, Arizona justices upheld the law’s literal meaning while also claiming defendants have a right to persuade them to the contrary, effectively ruling that their own interpretation of the law is unsound.

Chief Justice Bales and Justice Brutnel continued in their dissent, asking the question: “[M]ay the state, consistent with due process, sweepingly criminalize a broad range of conduct embracing both innocent and culpable behavior and assign to defendants the burden of proving their innocence?”

According to Brown, legislators who have worked to make this law a reality appear to believe they are immune to A.R.S §13-1404, or Arizona’s sexual abuse law, trusting that “prosecutors wouldn’t target anyone who matters to them.”

It’s hard to imagine none of the lawmakers involved in passing this law “have ever had children” or known someone who may have had a child, Brown continues. Whatever the case, Browncontests that it’s preposterous to consider these same lawmakers and justices “don’t believe the tremendous power they’ve given prosecutors could be abused.”

Sign up for the free Anti-Media newsletter the establishment doesn't want you to receive

In the decision, the majority of justices dismiss the dissent, arguing the fear that Arizona law enforcers will abuse the law is “unrealistic.” But Brown conteststhat Arizona prosecutors have a history of “pushing the envelope of the ethics rules … often with impunity.”

Referring to the recent case of the state’s most powerful prosecutor being disbarred for abusing his power, Brown defends his position and adds that the justices who wrote the ruling seem to be “unaware” of all the news stories covering the state’s addiction to abusing power.

He closes his argument by emphasizing the court’s lack of professionalism, saying “[t]he majority’s opinion can really be summed up as ‘just trust them.’”

To Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, the regretful ruling on State v. Holle turns Arizona residents “into unknowing criminals,” gutting constitutional rights of parents, nannies, grandparents, and other relatives within the boundaries of the state.

This article (Parents Beware: Arizona Court Says Changing Diapers Equals Sexual Molestation) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under aCreative Commons license with attribution to Alice Sallesand theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11 pm Eastern/8 pm Pacific. Image credit:Sellers Patton. If you spot a typo, please email the error and name of the article to edits@theantimedia.org.




http://theantimedia.org/arizona-court-diapers-molestation/