A woman who pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree reckless endangerment after she was arrested for having sex with two underage boys will receive no jail time -- after one of the boy's families agreed to the no jail sentence. The woman, Loni Bouchard, was 19 years old at the time she allegedly had sex with a 14-year-old she had been hired to babysit. She was sentenced to three years in prison -- but received a suspended sentence and probation. Why no jail time? Reportedly, the judge was impressed with her "greater level of maturity" (she is now 21) and the family of the teen supported her lighter sentence.
At the time, Loni professed to be in love with the teen and wrote in her journal that she didn't agree with statutory rape laws. She reportedly wrote:
I don't care about the law. I just want to be with him and not have to hide it. How can the law tell us who to fall for, who to like and who to love and especially who to date? I thought America was a free country.
The boy's mother found text messages between Loni and the teen, which made it clear they had a sexual relationship, and called police.
Although Loni was only 19 at the time -- making a five-year age gap -- the reality is this is a million years in maturity level. Additionally, she was hired to babysit the teen, not have sex with him.
Loni's mother was also arrested for supplying the teen boy with marijuana and alcohol. And Loni had apparently been involved with another 14-year-old boy -- but those parents did not speak to investigators.
There seems to be a real double standard when it comes to statutory rape -- in fact, I don't even see the word "rape" in the news stories about this. She pleaded to lesser charges so I won't use that word either -- but you can be sure it's a word we would see if this was an older man and a younger female victim.
The fact is that a 14-year-old boy deserves to be protected from sexual predators every bit as much as young girls do. And just because you are "in love" doesn't mean you're not a predator.
Do you think this sentence was fair?
Image via police handout