Jamie Lee Spears Pregnancy Raises Questions Over Fairness of Statutory Rape Prosecutions

The tabloid media are filled with reports that the sister of Britney Spears, Jamie Lynn Spears, is pregnant. What is missing from this coverage, however, is the disconnect with statutory rape cases where this pregnancy would be evidence of a criminal — albeit consensual — act. Jamie’s boyfriend, Casey Aldridge, is reportedly 19.

Statutory rape has long been controversial, particularly with the prosecution of teenagers. For additional legal analysis, click here

An analogous case was that of Genarlow Wilson, who was given a ten-year sentence for consensual sex with a 15-year-old girl. An honors student and gifted athlete, Wilson was preparing for college in 2005 when he was charged in Georgia with aggravated child molestation for having consensual oral sex. Though Wilson was only 17, Douglas County District Attorney David McDade and Assistant D.A. Eddie Barker secured a 10-year sentence for an act committed by thousands of teenagers every year.

There are two basic categories of cases. Sex between underage kids and sex between an adult and a child. Both have been prosecuted, though the latter is more common. This obviously turns on state definitions and where this possible offense took place. However, this is not an argument for expanded prosecution between teenagers. To the contrary, the point is that there is a troubling inconsistency in the treatment of these cases.States like Georgia have passed “Romeo and Juliet” laws that exclude teenage lovers — a worthy reform. It is clear that we need to reexamine what were are trying to achieve in these statutory rape laws. When they were first passed, enforcement of morality codes was one of the purposes — even against teenagers. Now, we are primarily interested in the older predator model. Moreover, teens are now having sex at a younger age. The result is that these laws criminalize teen conduct and produce only harmful results — with little effect on a national trend.

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51 thoughts on “Jamie Lee Spears Pregnancy Raises Questions Over Fairness of Statutory Rape Prosecutions”

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  2. i can`t believe she would get pregnant!she was such a nice girl.i will definitely look at her different from now on

  3. I live in the united kingdom and we have one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancies. We, the tax payers are paying for their care and that of the child. What I think we need to establish is, at what age does a child legally become an adult? Once we establish that, there are no exceptions. If you have sexual intercourse with that person, if not legally an adult, then you are prosecuted, even if consenual. no excuses!!! Both of them.
    If we made parents take more resposabilty for their childs actions and stopped funding from the government,half of all families would not have teenage pregnancies.
    I have a 7 Year old daughter, she loves watching zoey 101 but I feel that she should be setting an example to other girls, but not like this.A baby is for life, every child deserves both parents. Is this child going to end up like her sisters children.
    Why doesen’t anyone have any moral values anymore?

  4. Good point, he should be charged and if the states laws don’t provide for it they should be changed. But in CA I doubt if he can be charged.

  5. a response to Jonathan’s statement that “The issue is why non-celebrities are routinely charged while this is treated as simply a matter of entertainment news.”

    the sad reality is that money can get you out of anything. lets just say that even if this issue did go to court, celebrities are able to hire lawyers that will most likely win the case. there are always loop holes in the law, and paying large amounts of money to the right people will get that job done.

    for example a lawyer might says, these two were out of the country when they had sex …and that country has no laws against it … a lot of countries dont have laws for a lot of issues concerning minors.

    now i dont know the laws of this country very well, but the more creative you get with trying to find loop holes, the more likely it is that you will find one- and where do you find those creative people? by having a thick wallet !

  6. oh and Lee to your comment….. freedom…well as your now spouting off about nothing…theres a different between a 19 year old having sex with his girlfriend who is aged 16 than a 30 year old having sex against a 6 year olds will!!! it has to be agreed by both partners before it is classed as consent.

    We have our freedom for a reason..and i believe if we choose to live our lives the way we do then that is our choice of freedom to do so.

    And jamie lee CHOSE to have sex unprotected with Casey and they are now going to become parents…
    They both have enough money to raise that child up properly and im sure they will do a wonderful job in giving that child the love and support it needs.

    I bet you had sex before u were meant to 😉
    And your just gettting into something that is probably way above your head with the whole we love our freedom speech.
    If your going to raise an argument at least raise some facts to go with it 😀

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