Connect with us

Politics

Loophole lets teen rapists return to same school as victims, Michigan lawmakers told

Published

on

Two teenage rape survivors are urging state lawmakers in Michigan to close down a loophole that allows rapists to return to the same school as victims after finishing their sentences.

Gianna Duva and Mya Zaplitny, both 14, were raped off school grounds last year by a 16-year-old male student at Brighton High School in Michigan. They were only 13 and 12 at the time of the crimes.

The boy pleaded guilty to six of more than 30 criminal charges, but was tried as a juvenile and received only a 45-day sentence.

Upon his release, the boy was set to return to the very same school Duva and Zaplitny attend due to a gap in state law that prohibit schools to expel a student if the sexual misconduct happened off school property.

“The sentence was crushing, it made me feel like it wasn’t worth all the pain,” Duva said, according to WLNS. “But what really crushed me is that he could possibly come back to the same school I go to.”

After outrage from the parents, however, a court ruled in December that the perpetrator could not return to the school. He is currently under house arrest and undergoing a court-mandated psychiatric evaluation.

But the two girls are now speaking out and demanding a change in the law.

“It feels like it’s become more shameful to be raped than to be a rapist,” Duva told members of the state House, Law and Justice Committee on Tuesday, the Detroit Free Press reported. “We need to keep these sexual predators out of our school district.”

“I have found that sometimes the juvenile criminals have more rights than us survivors,” she added. “This needs to be discussed and fixed before any more survivors drop out of school.”

“We need to keep these sexual predators out of our school district. I have found that sometimes the juvenile criminals have more rights than us survivors.”

– Gianna Duva, teenage rape victim

Republican state Rep. Lana Theis is sponsoring a bill that would end the gray area in the law and prevent anyone who is guilty of a form of criminal sexual conduct against another student from coming back to the same school as the victim. The perpetrator would be given an option of either transferring to another school or go to an online school.

“The holes in our law are massive,” Theis said, according to the Free Press. “These victims face the real possibility that their assailant would return to their same high school. I can’t imagine the pain and fear these victims and their families went through. The possibility of having to share space with the person who assaulted them is unconscionable.”

Another bill, sponsored by state Rep. Sylvia Santana, D-Detroit, would ban the assailants from school grounds.

“There were so many holes in the process along the way that we had to bring attention to them,” said Ashley Duva, Gianna’s mother.

She added: “The thought that it was even a possibility that he could be back at the school blew my mind. Something needs to change. Our girls came forward even before ‘#MeToo’ became a thing. They wanted to put a face to sexual assault. If that isn’t inspiring I don’t know what is.”

The state House is likely to vote on the two measures next week.

Lukas Mikelionis is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @LukasMikelionis.



Source link

Politics

Earn our trust! Brexit row heats up as EU issues fresh warning to UK – anger at Lord Frost

Published

on

THE Northern Ireland Protocol must be “implemented in full”, an EU Commissioner has insisted, as the spat between Brussels and London over the key part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement drags on.

Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

Obama slams GOP plan to filibuster voting rights bill

Published

on

Former President Barack Obama on Monday called the filibuster a “tool for obstruction” and urged Republican senators not to use it to block a key vote on the For the People Act voting rights bill this week.

“Republicans in the Senate are lining up to try to use the filibuster to stop the For the People Act from even being debated,” Obama said during a tele-town hall with former Attorney General Eric Holder and grassroots activists about the bill, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., will put to a procedural vote Tuesday to take up the measure. That motion is not expected to receive the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster and proceed to the bill.

“Think about this: In the aftermath of an insurrection, with our democracy on the line and many of the same Republican senators going along with the notion that somehow there were irregularities and problems with legitimacy in our most recent election, they’re suddenly afraid to even talk about these issues and figure out a solution on the floor of the Senate,” Obama said.

“That’s not acceptable,” he added.

Obama said the bill isn’t perfect, but he touted several of its provisions, including one that would cut down on partisan gerrymandering. Allowing people in power to manipulate the boundaries of legislative districts had deepened the political divide in the country and made it “so that the incumbents can choose their voters, rather than the voters choosing their elected officials,” he said.

The former president also pointed to provisions mandating early voting and increasing transparency on donations, and noted that Democratic senators have said they’re open to compromises. The bill might undergo changes, but “we as a people should all say Senate, Congress, do something.”

“Whatever else we may argue about, the one thing we should agree on the bedrock idea that we as Americans have been taught to take pride in, this is the fact that we’re a democracy,” Obama said.

“The issue of voting rights might not set off alarms for most of us,” but “the violence that occurred in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6th should remind us we can’t take our democracy for granted,” he said.



Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

Why the U.S. canceled NATO flag-lowering ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan

Published

on

IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending