Letters to the Editor

Peyton Hatfield: Misguided Marcus

I did not fully understand the term “white privilege” until I read Ruth Marcus’ Nov. 10 column, “A harsh sentence for statutory rape.”

When Owen Labrie was 18 years old, as part of a “Senior Salute” competition at his boarding school, he conspired with another student to lure a 15-year-old freshman girl to an attic to “slay” (have sex) with her.

Marcus showed disappointment because the poor boy was sentenced to serve a year in jail and will be labeled a sex offender and even asked, “Should the difference of a few months be the sole determinant of whether Labrie’s behavior was criminal?” My answer is “yes, yes and, again, yes” This is not simply my opinion as the mother of two daughters; it is the law.

Is Marcus suggesting we decriminalize statuary rape? Or just in this one case? If so, I’m starting to see where his sense of entitlement came from.

Labrie was a Harvard-bound student when the rape occurred. I wonder if the author would have written a column defending the rapist if he were an African-American high school dropout luring young girls to an attic to rape them? How is that different?

My question to her is, “What if she were your daughter?”

Peyton Hatfield

Raleigh

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