"Children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Brazil have the same inherent value as children in the United States."I don't dispute the validity of that statement. But coming as it does from a prosecutor, it suggests a larger prosecutorial interest in the welfare of minors in other countries. I don't think he meant to suggest that, but who knows? While I think it's fine for our political leaders or celebrities to draw attention to other countries' mistreatment of women and girls, I don't think our prosecutors ought to be making such statements.
On a very different note, KJ (aka The Hungry Photographer) posed to me the following question earlier today (paraphrased):
I think if he had been having sex with 14-17 year old boys that there would be no question of having a psychiatrist examine him; he'd already be in jail.In thinking about KJ's question, I remembered this website with a list of ages of consent for countries around the world. It's interesting to have so much data in front of you, reminding you how differently gay sex is legislated around the world. Note also the number of U.S. states with "Law invalidated" in the columns showing ages of consent for gay and lesbian sex - laws making gay sex illegal here were struck down a few years ago by Lawrence v. Texas.
Anyway, that chart tells us that Brazil has the same ages of consent for all kinds of sex, so that doesn't really help answer KJ's question. Information on the Democratic Republic of Congo, however, is unknown - except for man-man sex, which is illegal. So on a very basic level, had the Foreign Service officer been doing this with 14- to 17-year-old boys and been caught by authorities in the Congo, yes, he would be in jail. But keeping everything the same except the gender of the children involved, would the carriage of justice - in the U.S. on child porn charges - have been the different? Does our history of legislating gay sex differently from straight sex have lingering effects when it comes to the application of justice? It's hard to know for sure, but I suspect KJ is right when she says yes to these questions.