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News :: Gender
Canada grants asylum to US woman sentenced to 30 years for having sex with teen
14 Jun 2014
A mortgage broker who fled Florida with her family after being criminally convicted in 2008 for having sex with a 16-year-old boy on her son's baseball team has been granted asylum in Canada. Denise Harvey, 47, won the rare permission to apply for permanent residency because her 30-year sentence was deemed cruel and unusual punishment in violation of international standards, the National Post reports. It is illegal in Florida for a person older than 24 to have sex with an individual who is 16 or younger, the article says. However, in Canada the age of consent is 16 unless the other person is an adult in a position of authority. Harvey's lawyer declined to comment
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This is really one of the most idiotically cruel things that I have ever heard, but thank God for Canada's decency. This poor woman has fled to Canada to escape a 30 year sentence for having consensual sex with a 16 year old boy. The age of consent in Canada is 16, so her actions would not even be a crime at all there. Canada does not extradite people if the act committed is not in violation of Canadian law. Hats off to the sanity of the Canadians and may the Nazi sadistic fools in Florida rot in hell for their evil ways - Nobody deserves 30 years in prison for anything less than murder. Note below that 16 is also the legal age of consent in 30 of the 50 states in the U.S., though some do have age difference limitations.

•age of consent 16 (30): Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia
•age of consent 17 (9): Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Texas, Wyoming
•age of consent 18 (12): Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania

"Cruel and unusual": Sex offender seeks refuge in Canada

The autobiographical romance "Summer Of '42" depicts a coming-of-age relationship between 15-year-old Hermie and an older married woman. By the time "Dorothy" vanishes from his Nantucket vacation community, Hermie has matured from boy to man.

How much has changed in the 40 years since that movie was made. Today, rather than disappearing for parts unknown, Dorothy would be shackled and riding the bus to the nearest women's penitentiary.

But is it fair to sentence a woman to 30 years in prison for a consensual relationship with a willing teenage boy?

That is the question confronting Canadian authorities in the case of a Florida woman who is seeking refugee status in Saskatchewan. Denise Harvey fled the United States with her husband after she was sentenced to a 30-year prison term for a consensual relationship with her son's 16-year-old friend.

In Canada, the age of consent is 16 so her conduct would not have been criminal. Saskatchewan authorities have not extradited Harvey because Canada does not extradite people unless the conduct is a crime in both countries. In appealing to the Canadian government for refugee status, Harvey claims her sentence amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, forbidden by the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

More than 10 percent of the residents of her home community of Vero Beach, Florida agree that her sentence was too extreme. They signed a petition demanding that Florida's governor pardon her.

"She didn’t get any justice down here," said petition sponsor George Sigler, a flight trainer. "She's a nice, soft-spoken woman who I believe made a mistake but that doesn't mean she should go to jail for 30 years. No one in their right mind believes a 16-year-old wasn't a willing participant."

Harvey rejected an 11-year plea bargain offer and went to trial. The teen testified that the two flirted and had a long kiss in a car before engaging in brief sexual interludes at his home and elsewhere. Harvey did not testify, but her attorney told jurors the boy stalked her after she rejected his advances. The jury heard a 20-minute recording surreptitiously recorded by police with the boy's cooperation, in which the two discussed what to do if their sexual encounters were disclosed.

After Harvey's conviction on five counts, prosecutors urged the lengthy sentence because she continued to deny wrongdoing. She fled after losing her appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.

With the case now making international headlines, the question becomes whether this is the most sensible face for a world leader to portray to the rest of the world.

This is the state of these atrocious sex offender laws. MOST of the people on the registry are NOT dangerous, and esp. not to pre-pubescent children. Yet, the combination of the hysteria over a small number of terrible abductions and murders of very young children, these laws came about. The hysteria whipped up by the media, esp. Faux (drama-drama-drama), overly zealous prosecutors and unscrupulous politicians using them for their own gain gave us this state of affairs.

Most people on the for your viewing pleasure registry are suffering by loss of jobs, places to live and families. And a lot of their families are in turn also suffering ..children being targeted and bullied, mothers and wives having to move...they are all the new pariahs. it's been a witch hunt (see Sean Penn's film by that name).. But who cares? Few, it seems.

Canadian immigration minister sought review of ruling because he opposed giving the woman refuge, and supports anything the US government does.

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Chris Alexander, sought a review of the IRB ruling on two occasions, however the federal court upheld Harvey’s protected person status. The ruling was accepted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada in April of this year. In an email to CBC Alexander expressed concern with the federal court ruling.

“Our Conservative government reformed Canada’s asylum system in order to protect genuine refugees, individuals truly in need of protection,” Alexander said. “I find it mind-boggling that individuals from the United States, which has been designated a safe country, precisely because it respects human rights and does not normally produce refugees, think it is acceptable to file asylum claims in Canada. Lucky for them, they have no understanding of what true persecution is, and what it means to be a genuine refugee.”

Apparently this man thinks spending thirty years in a US prison for making love with consent of both parties does not qualify as unpleasant in this Right Winger's view.

Harvey's protected person status allows her to apply for permanent residency and eventually apply for citizenship

This work is in the public domain
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