A concerned mother wrote me the following, but didn’t include her contact information, so I thought this would be a good place to respond. Here’s what she said:
I need to know if I have a case against a man who is over 4 yrs older than my daughter, age of 16, now pregnant. As a mother I was aware she was dating someone older but was unable to stop the relationship on my own. I never consented to the relationship and have never met this person.
The simple answer is that this is statutory rape and her best option is to go to the police. It’s likely that suing is not a good option because what are you going to get from a 20 year old that preys on young girls, but that could also be a possibility too.
But if I could speak to her, I’d tell her that she isn’t to blame and even if she had approved of the relationship, you can’t consent to rape or for someone else to be raped. And that’s what this is. Even the most mature of 16 year old doesn’t fully understand what they are doing when they sleep with someone in their 20’s.
Beyond that, the truth is that the likelihood of their relationship lasting isn’t very strong. Bringing these charges will expose this guy for what he really is too and help in a child custody case.
The worst thing you can do is nothing. Rape is rape. This might not be as bad as if he drugged her or held a knife to her throat, but it’s still rape.
As I was typing this out, the Mom contacted me over the phone. She’s trying to protect her kid, which is what every parent should do. She’s kind of kicking herself for not stepping in sooner, but you can’t do that. You can just do the best you can and do the right thing. Unfortunately this 20 something guy didn’t do the same.
Written by Michael Helfand