Parents Sue D.A. for Charging Their 6-Year-Old Son With a Felony After He Played Doctor With a 5-Year-Old Girl

|Nov. 23, 2011 4:38 pm

Note by HealthWrights staff

This short article is not being placed here to show how incredibly inappropriate the action of the District Attorney has been in this case. It would seem to be self-evident to any sane person of ordinary intelligence that to respond to simple sex play between children in this manner is bizarre. The point of posting the article here is to raise a question: how have we as a society come to the point of making laws that permit this kind of extreme and damaging response to normal childhood behavior? The tentative answer that we would give is that the media-fed sex hysteria in this country has reached such a pitch that rational and open discussion is no longer possible. Any fundamental questioning of the current main-stream head-set is responded to by name calling, hysterical screaming, threats, and personal attacks. Until we are able to have a free and open discussion of this topic we will continue to read about such harmful interventions. Discussion, for those who have forgotten, means the sharing of perspectives, arguments, and facts. It involves both listening and hearing.

The Article

Last week the parents of a Wisconsin boy sued Grant County District Attorney Lisa Riniker for charging their son with first-degree sexual assault, a Class B felony, after he played "butt doctor" with a 5-year-old girl. He was 6 at the time. When the boy's lawyer tried to have the charge dismissed, Riniker replied: "The legislature could have put an age restriction in the statute if it wanted to. The legislature did no such thing."

According to the complaint (PDF), the girl is "the daughter of a well-known political figure in Grant County," and her brother, who is the same age, also was involved in playing doctor but was not charged. In addition to Riniker, the lawsuit names as defendants retired Grant County Sheriff's Sgt. James Kopp and Jan Moravits, an investigator with Grant County Social Services "whose regional the political figure's wife's sister-in-law"—i.e., the aunt of the alleged victim.

Although the boy, now 7, is too young to be prosecuted or named in a juvenile delinquency petitition, reports, county officials are using the felony charge to force his parents into accepting "protection or services" for him. The lawsuit says that once he turns 18, he will be listed as a sex offender.