This is one of the worst miscarraiges of justice in recent memory. This kid obviuosly had consentual sex withi this "girl" and she admitted as such but cried rape because she told a classmate her father was a racist and would do something to her if she found out she had sex with a black man. Well, thanks to her false claim, this kid was labeled a sex offender, kicked out of school, lost a scolarship to a presteigous university and his adoptive family (who is white and who I partially blame for him being hin jail) was almost forced to move out of their nieghborhood.
I hope he is cleared of all charges so he can get on with his life.
Teen Sex Conviction Overturned
Monday, May 03, 2004
ATLANTA — A black teenager's 10-year prison sentence for having sex with a younger, white schoolmate was thrown out Monday by the Georgia Supreme Court.
The state's highest court ruled 18-year-old Marcus Dixon
) should have been prosecuted just on the lesser charge of misdemeanor statutory rape rather than aggravated child molestation for having sex with a 15-year-old in February 2003.
Dixon had claimed he was targeted because he is black and had sex with a white girl. His case drew protests from the NAACP.
Dixon was acquitted on felony rape charges but found guilty of aggravated child molestation, which comes with a mandatory decade-long sentence, as well as statutory rape. Monday's ruling lets the statutory rape conviction, which carries a maximum sentence of one year and a $1,000 fine, stand.
It was unclear how soon Dixon could be released from prison because he's been in jail since last May, meaning he may already have served enough time for his misdemeanor sentence, said Heather Hedrick, spokeswoman for the state parole board.
Dixon's case had led some lawmakers to push for change in the state's mandatory sentencing law, and members of the state House black caucus broke into applause Monday when the court's ruling was announced.
"What a joy it is in our state to see justice for a young man," said state Rep. Alisha Thomas-Morgan
In its 4-3 decision, the Georgia Supreme Court didn't rule on whether the 10-year sentence was cruel and unusual. It said only that Dixon shouldn't have been tried for aggravated child molestation because the statutory rape law would be more relevant.
"It would be entirely incongruous with the intent of the Legislature ... if the state retained the discretion to prosecute the exact same conduct as either misdemeanor statutory rape or felony child molestation," wrote Chief Justice Norman Fletcher.
"Clearly, when, as here, the sexual act involves injury to the victim, the General Assembly intended that the aggravated child molestation statute apply," wrote Justice Harris Hines.
Dixon, an honor student and star football player at Pepperell High School
) in Rome, was accused of having sex with the 15-year-old student at a trailer after school.
The defense argued the sex between the two teens was consensual and had been planned.
Prosecutors argued Dixon forced himself on his victim, causing vaginal bruising and tearing.
The girl testified that she tried to escape from the trailer, where she was working as an assistant custodian, but did not scream or shout for help.
"I was too scared. I was afraid he'd hit me or something," she said.
Dixon, a senior, had been granted a scholarship to attend Vanderbilt University
) in Nashville, Tenn. It was revoked after his arrest.
Thanks to Bryant Gumbel of HBO's Real Sports who profiled this story on his show. He recently won an Emmy for his work on this story.