Let’s get this straight: “Mad Men” is fiction. It’s an historically based TV show. The mid-20th century is in the past tense.
Got that, Judge Nigel Peters?
Even in “Mad Men” times, 13-year-olds were recognized by British law as too young to give informed consent. They could not sign contracts, were not allowed to drive, and could not consent to sexual contact. Even back then, Judge Peters.
With all the research results fully available via the internet, all the articles, you would think someone with a law degree, who now sits behind the bench, would have bothered to inform himself of the very great differences in experience and brain development between a 13-year-old girl and a 41-year-old man.
Apparently, Judge Peters is ignorant. Even more than that, he’s dead wrong.
If he had bothered to educate himself over the past few years, he would have learned that the human brain undergoes enormous transformation in the adolescent years. A 15-year-old’s brain is different from a 25-year-old’s brain. One huge difference is in the frontal lobe, the decision-making part, which undergoes the enormous transformation that enables adults to make healthy, rational decisions.
You know, like the ones the 41-year-old predator, Neil Wilson, should have made to counter his porn obsessions: Don’t associate with children and teens as though they were your equals. Do not have them in your house unprotected by a responsible adult. Do not have sex with them. Take responsibility for your actions. Remember, a healthy man your age stays away from girls.
Wilson failed to make the correct decisions, and he allowed a child to be called a predator in court by the prosecuting attorney (not the defense, the prosecution). A child! That’s horrifying behavior.
Unfortunately, Judge Peters agreed with both the defendant and the prosecutor in a “men know best” cabal, and that behavior is just as depraved. Especially when we learn that “police also found images of child abuse and bestiality at Wilson’s home in Romford, Essex. Wilson, now living in York, admitted two counts of making extreme pornographic images and one count of sexual activity with a child.” How could any sane judge ignore that evidence and blame the victim?
No sane judge would act that way.
No judge who was not overtaken by his own misogyny would act that way.
Even if the 13-year-old had acted in a way more akin to a 30-year-old, it was up to Wilson, the adult, to stop it.
The judge apparently did not agree. “When in doubt, the female temptress is to blame, the old Eve – or in this case, a very young one. The little vixen had led astray a 41-year-old man found to have images of child abuse and bestiality on his computer . . .,” as a Guardian writer put it.
One commenter noted, “How anyone, let alone a judge, couldn’t understand that that sort of behaviour in a child was a massive indicator of prior abuse is beyond me. One of the worst examples of victim-blaming I’ve ever seen.”
The 13-year-old is still a child. Her brain has not fully formed. For Wilson to perversely take advantage of her is disgraceful, and for Judge Peters to essentially collude with Wilson – in a demonstration of Misogyny 101 – is a travesty.
As a spokesperson for a children’s charity expressed it this way: “Children can never truly consent to their own abuse. It is plain wrong to imply in any way that the experiences of sexually exploited children are something they bring on themselves. It is difficult to imagine the torment experienced by the vulnerable victims of crimes such as these. Many turn in on themselves and have feelings of shame and even self-loathing on top of the psychological scars inflicted by the abuser. It takes immense bravery for these young people to relive their ordeal in a court of law and we must not forget that it is the abuser who is guilty and not the victim.”
Over 4,000 people have signed a petition to have Wilson’s wrist-slap of a suspended sentence reviewed so that it may be increased, and over 30,000 petitioned through Change.org to have the prosecutor, Robert Colover – the originator of the “predatory 13-year-old” comment – disciplined. (He has since been told he will be barred from working on future sexual abuse cases.) Many of the signers are survivors of abuse about which, at the time, they were not allowed to speak. Back in “Mad Men” times.
It was a time without the internet, sans mobile phones and airbags. No one really wants to return to it. Even Judge Peters, I suspect, would be grateful to be saved from the worst effects of a head-on road collision.
This collision, however, the one between his interpretation of the facts and the reality, he created all by himself.
Increase Wilson’s sentence and make it custodial. Sack Judge Peters. Replace him with a judge more likely to be well-informed.
Keep in mind, the year is 2013.