All right, moms and dads: If you weren't paying attention when Chad Muns was
arrested, you'd better wake up now. Your teens' sexual activities could send
them to prison for a long time.
Columbia County deputies last week arrested three Evans High School students
- two of them 16, the other 15 - and charged them with aggravated child
molestation. The charges were filed after parents said their four 13- and
14-year-old girls had sex with the three boys, who sneaked into the girls'
sleepover parties, said Capt. Steve Morris.
"We were advised by the parents of the four juvenile girls that their
daughters had performed oral sex on three males," Morris says. Though the
parents of two of the girls didn't want to prosecute, the parents of one
girl did. After an investigation, the boys were charged with aggravated
child molestation - and could go to prison for at least 10 years.
Read that again, moms and dads: These boys, if convicted as adults, will
grow into adulthood before they are again free - and then they will be
publicly stigmatized, branded as "child molesters," their faces forever
archived in police sex-offender registries.
All because of what they no doubt saw as harmless sex play.
Muns' case, which is more complicated, has shed a spotlight on the criminal
side of teen sexual activities not only because he's the son of a school
board member, but because the 19-year-old faces 16 indictments for various
sexual charges, including aggravated child molestation.
This issue is deadly serious, but it seems not enough parents - or their
teens - are aware of the stiff penalties. "There is no gray area," Morris
In last week's arrests, we're talking about 13- and 14-year-old victims, and
15- and 16-year-old offenders. The law calls for a charge of child
molestation because the girls are under 16 and not legally able to consent
to sex. And because the boys received oral sex - sodomy, under Georgia law -
the charge is upgraded to aggravated child molestation. (Strangely enough,
if the teens had intercourse instead, the charge would be only misdemeanor
And while the girls are young enough to be victims of child molestation, the
boys are old enough to be considered adults. Georgia law allows kids as
young as 13 to be charged as an adult if they commit one of the so-called
"seven deadly sins." That includes aggravated child molestation, which
carries a mandatory 10-year minimum prison sentence.
Harsh? You'd better believe it. The high-profile Marcus Dixon case in Rome,
Ga., has drawn nationwide attention since the star high school athlete
received a 10-year sentence for having sex with a girl at school.
But it can happen here, too: a Columbia County student who received oral sex
on a school bus went to prison in 2001 for aggravated child molestation, and
Muns is awaiting trial on similar charges.
There will undoubtedly be more such cases. State lawmakers certainly aren't
going to ease the penalties and open themselves to charges that they're
friendly to sex predators, even though they know the law wasn't intended to
forever brand sexually active teens as violent criminals.
The solution? If more parents don't want to see their boys sent to prison,
they'd damn well better warn them about the consequences of failing to
control their hormones.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.