Ga. Supreme Court considering whether prosecutors must prove lack of consent in child sexual-battery cases | savannahnow.com

21
Apr

Ga. Supreme Court considering whether prosecutors must prove lack of consent in child sexual-battery cases | savannahnow.com

ATLANTA — The justices of the state’s highest court are mulling whether Georgia law considers all touching of a child’s sexual areas illegal or when consent is a factor, after hearing oral arguments Monday in a man’s appeal of a sexual-battery conviction.

A law updated in 2003 defines sexual battery as touching without consent, and a separate law says no one under the age of 16 has the legal capacity to give consent.

Putting the two together can create a problem for people in innocent, daily activities, noted Supreme Court Justice David Nahmias.

“If you don’t have a ‘lack of consent’ (as part of the law), then I’ve committed the offense of sexual on my own children thousands of times, probably, as has every person in this courtroom who has a child,” he said. “Because if a child under the age of 16 can’t consent, then every time you’ve changed a diaper, every time you’ve patted your child on the butt when they do a good play at a sporting event….”

The issue arises because in the appeal for Patrick Watson of St. Marys, his attorney, Noah Pines, argues that prosecutors never proved the family member Watson is charged with touching didn’t approve.

via Ga. Supreme Court considering whether prosecutors must prove lack of consent in child sexual-battery cases | savannahnow.com.

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