I thought long and hard about writing this post. A lot of people more eloquent than I have already written or made comments but in the end I think I need to write this.
If you live in the UK, you will probably have read or heard about the Adam Johnson case. I’m not going to comment too much on the case but I was shocked by the response by some of (and I mean a small part) the public towards the 15 year old girl in the case.
I have read some people attempting to justify the behaviour by pointing to the fact the female engaged in conversations and actively spoke to Adam Johnson. If you ever find yourself thinking the following “Yes, she was underage but….” just stop. She was underage. There is nothing that can be said to mean that she wasn’t underage and therefore Adam Johnson acted illegally and should be punished. There’s a caveat in the legislation which talks about reasonable belief (or something to that effect) providing a defence to those who may have been told that someone is over age but who actually isn’t. This doesn’t apply though because Adam Johnson knew she was underage. He admitted as such.
It doesn’t matter whether she knew what was happening. If you ask any young people who have been sexually abused, they will (a) defend the perpretator and (b) make excuses. That’s why the law is there. Also in cases where young people are groomed (as Adam Johnson pleaded guilty to), the victim will keep going back to the perpetrator.
You can’t make a law with the caveat that it is dependent on every case being analysed to check how mature the young person is. The criminal justice system is creaking enough at the moment. Put simply, Adam Johnson broke the law. He was the one who should have said no. He didn’t.nished. How long is not something that I want to comment on. It’s down to the judge but just think. If the perpetrator was in their 60’s, would you still have the same view? If he wasn’t in the public eye, would that change your view? If the girl was 12 but looked and acted 16, would that change your view? I think you probably know my answer.