Published May 12, 2006
From teacher-student relationships to the latest on the Duke lacrosse investigation, it was a busy week for "The Lineup" mailbag. We'll investigate some of these topics this weekend. You won't want to miss it!
E-mail No. 1
I was watching your program tonight when you aired the segment about the young Christian couple that was murdered on a beach in California. A couple of things caught my attention:
One was the carving or drawing of what appears to be a devil's head coming out of the neck of a bottle. This looks like maybe it is a tattoo design. If this by chance is a tattoo, maybe the investigators could check with tattoo parlors in the area and throughout the state to see if someone has been tattooed with this particular design.
The second thing that caught my attention was the .45 caliber marlin rifle that was used in the crime to kill this couple. Being a hunter and outdoorsman I know that this type gun is used for hunting game such as deer, bear, moose, etc. Are there any hunting clubs in the area and is there anyone that uses a .45 caliber rifle to hunt with? I don't know if this is any help to the investigation, or not, I hope it is and I hope the person or persons responsible for this awful crime is caught and prosecuted.
ANSWER: Hi Frankie — thanks for the great tips and clues. You just became a "Lineup" investigator! These are all possibilities that the police should definitely follow up on. It appears that the carvings you mentioned could very well have something to do with the murders. In fact, we are going to discuss the carvings on "The Lineup" this Saturday and speak with members of the Church of Satan to see what kind of information the carvings might reveal.
E-mail No. 2
I myself have been in a teacher student "relationship," I being the student never considered myself a victim. I was about 15 at the time and was involved in a drama class when we met. She was about 26 years old. Because of our actions behind closed doors, she was removed from her teaching position. I am now 20 years old and looking back, the only thing I regret is destroying her teaching career. My parents never pressed charges because I asked them not to. She was a great person and very mentally stable. I came out of the situation a little confused and ultimately I got suspended for sticking up for her.
I feel that no woman can take advantage of a male child under the age of 12, mainly because once that male reaches puberty that kind of relationship is all they can thing about anyway. From what you can see from all these cases is that the student was willing to carry on with the relationship. It was only the parents to seem to step in.
I will be very surprised if FOX News talks about this e-mail, considering that it shows the lighter side of this subject. But, if it does, I wish my identity and my e-mail address not be revealed.
ANSWER: Thank you so much for writing. It is very interesting to hear your perspective and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and your personal experience with "The Lineup."
I worked as a child abuse and sex crimes prosecutor for many years and prior to that I worked as a teacher as well. As a general principle, I think that teachers as adults know better than to get involved in relationships with underage students and that they should be held accountable for their actions. Teachers have been placed in a position of trust and accountability that they should honor and to fail to do so is shameful.
I respect your decision to not go forward with prosecution in your case; however, I don't want to send the message that it's OK for teachers to engage in relationships with their students. In some cases — yours included — the student appears to avoid significant emotional damage. Others are not as fortunate. Even though teenagers may be physically developed enough to have a relationship with an adult, society has a vested interest in protecting its youth from teachers and people in positions of authority that seek sexual relations with them.
E-mail No. 3
That's pretty interesting — about the Duke lacrosse rape trial being held one year from now? Geez!
So, these two guys (Colin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann) are going stand accused of rape charges for a whole year?
Right, and then they will have the rape trial in one year and the jury will easily see that the rape charges are bogus and these two guys have spent a whole year under the cloud of rape charges for something that they didn't do?
Does this sound fair to the two accused guys, (Finnerty and Seligmann)?
Is this justice?
William C. Shaw
ANSWER: As a former sex crimes prosecutor, I am surprised to learn that the DA of the Duke lacrosse case is conceding that the case will be brought to trial until next spring.
It is no secret that cases often get delayed. However, in instances where a victim may be reluctant to come forward, such as sex crimes or domestic violence cases, it is always in the best interest of both the victim and of the district attorney to proceed as quickly as possible, while memories are still fresh. The more time that passes before the trial, the more likely the witness is to become uncooperative and just want to put the experience behind him/her.
I hope the DA in the Duke case is simply acknowledging the challenges and delays that come with trying a high profile case, and not trying to purposefully delay a bad case in the hopes that it will go away. The latter would not only be unfair, it would be unjust.
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