Slog - The Stranger's Blog

Line Out

The Music Blog

« Fungus Among Us | Scrabblicious »

Monday, November 21, 2005

We’re All Sex Offenders Now

Posted by on November 21 at 15:06 PM

So a teenager in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, got busted trying to fuck a female mannequin. Since he’s 18, the poor motherfuckers name is in the stories that are being written up about his “crime.”

Security guards found Michael Plentyhorse, 18, sprawled with the dummy on the floor with his trousers and underpants down. Police spokesman Loren McManus said: “There was inappropriate activity between him and the mannequin. That’s the only way I know how to put it.”

Okay, so that sucks. So Michael is 18, he’s horny, and he’s trapped in the shithole that is Sioux Falls, South Dakota. (I know it’s a shitholeI spent some time there last summer, which I wrote about in my dumb new book.) Maybe he can’t find a girlfriend, maybe he can’t afford one of the Sioux Falls’ high-priced hookers, so he… makes do and gets busted humping the next best thing. Arrested, humiliatedgee, I think he’s suffered enough, don’t you? Well, not the authorities in Sioux Falls.

If convicted, Plentyhorse may be registered as a sex offender. Hope Matchan, of the prosecutors’ department, said: “People say it’s relatively harmless. But I certainly would want to know if this person was my neighbor.”

There’s another sexual witch-hunt gathering steam in the United States today, one that will soon eclipse the recovered memory/satanic sexual abuse scandals of the 1980s. We’re passing laws that are making it increasingly difficult for registered sex offenders to live anywhere at all. Soon the entire state of Iowa will be off-limits to sex offenders. And, hey, who wants a sex offender living next door? Not me. But at the same time that we’re making it impossible for sex offenders to live anywhere we’re also stretching the definition of “sex offender” so that includes people who haven’t really hurt anyone. Michael Plentyhorsegotta love that last namedidn’t rape anyone. Who did Michael hurt? His crime wasn’t a sex crime, it was property crime. That wasn’t his mannequin to hump, so he had no right to hump it. But if Michael wants to hump mannequins it’s nobody’s business but his.

There’s an understandable fear of habitual sex offendersthere have been many high-profile murders tied to repeat sex offenders. They should be locked up, they should be watched. There are probably neighborhoods in which they shouldn’t be allowed to live. But forcing people like Michael, or teenagers who’ve had romantic relationships with other teenagers who are a little shy of legal, to have to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives is insane and outrageous.

What Michael Plentyhorse did was offensive. But that doesn’t make him a sex offender. And if, as Hope Matchan states, the neighbors have a right to know when they’re living next door to someone who’s just kinky, well, we’re all in a lot of trouble.