Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Pinky-promise love - Latourneau, LaFave, and Huggins

If you see your brother standing by the road With a heavy load, from the seeds he sowed And if you see your sister falling by the way Just stop and say, you're goin' the wrong way.

Glenn Campbell, "Try a little kindness"

Link: - Owen Lafave, Husband of Florida Teacher Accused of Having Sex with 14-Year-Old Student Speaks Out.

KING: Is it true that one of your men, the ushers at your wedding warned you? LAFAVE: Not me directly, no. This is something I found out after she was arrested. Two of my groomsmen actually went to my mother the night before we were married and asked my mother to stop the wedding. KING: Because? LAFAVE: Because they thought she was wrong for me. KING: Have you spoken to them since? LAFAVE: Sure. Sure. I'm in contact with them all the time. KING: And what do they say? LAFAVE: They just -- you know, they thought that she was not the right girl for me, they thought I was making a mistake. They still feel it was the right decision to go to my mother. And my mother said to me at the time, said if you're really a true friend, you need to stand by his side and see him through the wedding as well as the relationship.

TAMPA, FL (AP) -- Phone conversations between a Florida teacher and the 14-year-old student she allegedly had sex with were made public Thursday. The boy's voice was altered to protect his identity. Debra Lafave is charged with having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student she met while chaperoning a school field trip.

Police said she had multiple sexual encounters with the boy. Portions of recorded phone conversations between Lafave and the student were released. The calls were monitored by police.

"I'm a little worried," the boy said during one call.

"Why?" Lafave responded.

"I just didn't want to get you pregnant or anything. I was just thinking about it, ... how we've had sex about three times and I should've used like a condom or something," the boy said.

"You're being weird," Lafave said on the tape.

This audio was recorded after the alleged victim had been working with authorities.

LaFave: I told Owen everything. Boy: About what? LaFave:, no, no...chill! I just said that, um... I pretty much just told 'em the whole story, except, you know, why we went to Ocala. He actually gave me advice on what to say to your mom.

(Boy's audio in track one is largely unintelligible because of the added distortion and her reactions don't make much sense without the context of what he's saying.)

LaFave: "Did you miss me last night?" Boy: Yep. What can we do this time, do you think? LaFave: I'll be thinking, I'm going to think aboiut it. Boy: Okay. LaFave: What? Boy: I said, all right. LaFave: Okay. Boy: All right. Well, I guess I'll talk to you later. LaFave: Okay, honey.

LaFave: "I'm gonna go grocery shopping later. Boy: Oh really? LaFave: Yeah, why? Boy: Nothin'. My dad cancelled for the weekend but my mom said I'm grounded so I can't doing anything. LaFave: Really? Boy: Yeah.

LaFave: "You couldn't pay me money to have a kid...right now." Boy: "So, do you have any plans for Monday? LaFave: "Umm...nope, I don't think so." Boy: "You want to try and do something Monday? LaFave: "Yeah, that's cool!" Boy: All right, because I'm grounded for the rest of the weekend. You could probably pick me up at the Rec. LaFave: Okay. So how--how-how did everything end up? Is everything okay right now? Boy: Uh-huh.

LaFave: "Positive?...'Cause I'm scared, I don't want, you know.... Boy: Yeah, I'm positive. LaFave: "I mean, I just...I know you wouldn't, you know, do it unless you were sure. I mean, we were just so close last time, you know. Boy: Yeah. LaFave: You sure, sure? Boy: Yeah. LaFave: You wouldn't lie to me, would you? Boy: No. LaFave: No. What? Boy: Why are you saying that? LaFave: I don't know, I'm just scared. It was a little freaky last time. And you're really dead set on, you know, taking a break. Boy: Well, I just wanted...I just wanted to see you. I thought you wanted to see me, too."
Mike Sinacor, the prosecutor in the case, told FOX News that the calls — said to be made by the boy at the request of authorities probing the allegations — could be useful in determining LaFave's state of mind.

LaFave is expected to use the insanity defense when the case goes totrial in April.

The pair hooked up and had sex several times in June, in a portable classroom and in the back of her SUV while his older cousin drove, according to officials.

In his statement - which is written in the childish scrawl of a young teen - the victim revealed how he became entangled in an affair with the comely teacher.

"She told me that she had feeling for me," he wrote. "She told me that she was thinking about me a lot and had feeling for me [and] she didn't know what to do with them.

"We did not have sex until Monday June 14," he added. "On Monday she asked me to help her clean out her portable [classroom at the school]. We had sex for he first time."

One charging document released yesterday described their first encounter. It said Lafave approached the boy as he sat on a couch that decorated her portable classroom.

Wearing terry-cloth pants and thong panties, the married Lafave allegedly sidled up next to him and asked him if he wanted to have sex. The 14-year-old told her that he did.

But that was only the beginning of the seduction. "While he was sitting on the couch, she straddled him, facing and asked him if he was sure," said the document, produced by the Marion County, Fla., Sheriff's Department. He said yes." After that, the pair had subsequent relations, and the teen believed that Lafave had real feelings for him. She drove him to basketball games and even gave him a keepsake key chain that had a pewter butterfly pendant similar to her belly-button ring. It was inscribed with the word "Hope" on the back.

Glenn Campbell's paean to judgemental rubbernecking overlooks the recoil of having one's life choices poor mouthed. There's nothing conducive to circling the wagons quite like having your friends say, "She isn't much of a looker, is she?" Or, "You want her to be the mother of your children?"

Still, it's cold comfort to realize the only winner here was the victim, seared, seared, by sexual trysts with Barbie incarnate. He can make common cause with Tammie Lee Huggins' victim who, after having been statutorily raped fifteen or twenty times by his young teacher, said he was "devastated, agitated, distraught." Retroactive devastation is nothing more than claiming rape when the john's check bounces.

Love is persistent, though. Mary Kay Latourneau continued sneaking letters and tapes out of prison in violation of no contact orders with her victim-now-companion. For punishment, she spent more time in segregated lockdown - the "hole" - than any inmate in the prison's recent history. The net effect was nothing.

As the US Supreme Court tramples the vintage where the grapes of double standards are stored, will the bulwark of sex differentiated punishment for statutory rape remain erect? The ongoing flood of pinky-promise love may tell.

Next -- Debra LaFave: Epilogue

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