WRONG? YES … BUT CRIMINAL? NOT IN OUR BOOK …
The sex scandal involving South Carolina high school teacher Kinsley Wentzky is likely to get worse before it gets better. The 34-year-old honors English teacher at Dreher (Columbia, S.C.) High School has reportedly been on suicide watch following her arrest – and we’re told her upcoming trial on sexual “battery” charges against a pair of male students could involve some unexpected baby mama drama.
Yikes … somebody call Maury Povich, right?
Anyway … Wentzky’s saga (which is part of a rash of student-teacher sex scandals in South Carolina) has prompted us to revisit one of our least popular editorial positions: An overreaching Palmetto State law prohibiting sex between consenting adults.
Wait … what?
That’s right … Wentzky is facing up to a decade in the slammer for allegedly engaging in sexual relations with two individuals who had reached the age of consent in South Carolina (i.e. sixteen years). In other words, “consensual sex.”
Don’t get us wrong … Wentzky should obviously be fired for what she did. Seriously, people … unless your definition of “hands on” anatomy lessons differs dramatically from ours there’s absolutely no circumstance in which it’s okay for a teacher to have sexual contact with a student. Those who violate this rule deserve to get shit-canned.
But just because what Wentzky did with these young men was (clearly) wrong that doesn’t mean it ought to be considered criminal – not so long as the so-called “victims” were willing participants in these illicit liaisons. And judging by the looks of Wentzky, they were. The age of consent law ensures anyone sixteen years of age or older – including Kimberly Wentzky – can “get their freak on” with anyone else above that age.
Which is as it should be …
We addressed this issue a few months ago when Kentucky teacher (and former Cincinnati Bengals’ cheerleader) Sarah Jones avoided jail time for having sex with a 16-year-old student.
“We’re not condoning what Jones did, but this was clearly a consensual relationship that in no way constituted sexual abuse,” we wrote. “The only reason Jones was arrested and prosecuted is because there is a separate Kentucky law which makes it a felony for someone in a position of authority to have sex with someone under 18 years of age.”
South Carolina has a similar law – which is currently being used to prosecute Wentzky. It shouldn’t be …
With all due respect to the Bible thumpers who pushed this bit of sanctimonious morality through the S.C. General Assembly, this is ridiculous. Wentzky should lose her job (and probably her family, too) for what she did, but government shouldn’t spend tax dollars prosecuting and incarcerating people for what amounts to consensual sex.
What do you think? Vote in our poll and post your thoughts in our comments section below …