WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Why gender-based double-standard in sentencing teachers for sexual relationships with students?

A judge sentenced a former Essex County (New Jersey) "Teacher of the Year", Erica DePalo, to life on probation for having sex with a 15-year-old student.

The now-former teacher from West Orange High School COULD have gotten ten years in prison. However, the two sides settled on a deal giving DePalo a three-year, suspended sentence, lifetime probation, and of course, mandatory registration as a convicted sex offender.

Still, it seems female teachers facing sex charges seem to get more lenient sentences in our criminal justice system. Why?


Posted at 6:53am on April 30, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Tue, Apr 30, 2013 8:19am
The answer is simply the double-standard that we have in this country. If a male student has sex with a female teacher, then the late-night comedians will crack jokes about it and everything is fine. However, if a female student has sex with a male teacher, you won't hear the comments from the late-night TV comedians. It would be strictly-off limits.

Tue, Apr 30, 2013 8:31am
I took a quick look at the data and the margin between how a man and woman gets treated is so small, it could be skewed by one single case, where, say, a man was penalized for life, because his crime was deemed just so awful....

If you have 72 men, and all get two-year sentences except for one who gets life which we will put at 80 years, then that would be thus.... {80+(71X2)}/72= 3.08 years... as an average. Now if women all got equal 2-year sentences, we would be using the data above, saying exactly the same thing: Women are averaging less time in jail for the same crime as men. Why is this unfairness being allowed to continue???

The use of data is important, and how it is acquired determines the outcome.

I just realize on this blog, no one has mentioned the austerity movement which was determined just last week, or the week before, to be based on erroneous data. They (accidentally) left of countries whose data disproved their theory that high debt was necessary to be eradicated in every way right now. It isn't. If you need to borrow to spend to pump up the economy, you should. Because a pumped up economy can erase that future debt level faster than any cut to any spending item...

The entire European movement towards austerity, and the entire Tea Party argument, was just shown to be not only not true, but absolutely the worst possible thing America could ever do to itself in its own history!

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Apr 30, 2013 9:06am
Kavips: good point about the austerity issue. Problem is that would require the GOP to admit they were wrong and to then agree to raise taxes on that wealthiest 2% which is most of the members of their party. So being good politicians, rather than good citizens, they'll continue on as they have. Their attitude is we've got ours, too bad for you.

Tue, Apr 30, 2013 9:10am
There may still be a double-standard, but, as kavips suggests, the difference is a lot less than it once was. At one point, an affair between an adult male and an underage girl was dealt with severely - by law or by vigilante justice. An assignation between an adult female and a young boy was winked at - she'd made a man of him. Apparently, political correctness - and uptight parents - require that both have to be dealt with. Delaware is especially strange in that it sets the age of consent at 18 (higher than most states,) but makes an exception if the adult partner is under 30.

In some cultures (not influenced by sexual repressives like Saul of Tarsus and Austine of Hippo), relations between older and younger partners are encouraged in the belief that an experienced partner will provide a better first experience to an uninitiated partner.

NPR reports this morning that the U.S. is starting to pay down its debt - for the first time since Clinton was president. Funny that the biased, right-wing media are ignoring, censoring, and blacking-out this tidbit of information. Republicans historically run up the tab and then blame Democrats - and the media let them get away with it.

Tue, Apr 30, 2013 10:44am
True, Bill, and if we could just tax capital gains enough so all that money currently going into the stock market would instead be steered into creating more "demand" by creating jobs, we would finally get our roaring economy back.. The money is obviously there. The swelling volume of the stock market proves it. But without aggressive taxation, one makes more money in the market than it does making jobs. Our economy will continue to sputter until we start forcing the reinvestment by the top 1% back into our economy... Apparently after 13 years it obviously can't be enticed... We must begin to accept the reality that it must be forced.

Tue, Apr 30, 2013 10:50am
And Mike. you are right about Republicans... they won't change. Which is why we must get rid of them. America will never return to its glory as long as they continue to stop every good bill from becoming law. When they can no longer stop Democrats from making our lives better, our lives will get better.

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Apr 30, 2013 10:57am
Here are some links to the same story Billsmith heard on NPR:



Mike from Delaware
Tue, Apr 30, 2013 1:15pm
Kavips: That is why on the other thread about Chris Christie, I suggested that the moderate wing of the GOP get rid of the ultra rightwingers or start the Classic GOP party - the party that brought you common sense leadership like Teddy Roosevelt.

Tue, Apr 30, 2013 1:25pm
kavips: Last fall NPR's Planet Money put together a panel of economists to come up with a group of proposals they love but politicians would hate. You might find it interesting...


Tue, Apr 30, 2013 7:53pm
I didn't think too highly of their ideas. But they were dead-on regarding the decriminalization of marijuana. However on taxes they got it all wrong, big time.

Getting rid of all income and corporate tax and substituting it by paying sales-taxes on consumption, is impossible to fathom... If one pays $10,000 now in taxes, how much will things then cost if that same $10,000 is now spread out on everything one must buy?

For those pinching pennies, does buying a $9 gallon of milk stop one from drinking as much? Probably. I would only buy if for Thanksgiving. If everyone stops buying milk, who then bails out the dairy farmers?

I have to wonder what these supposed-economists were smoking?

It takes $2 trillion to fund our government. There are 315 million Americans. Each American must pay an average sales tax of $6,348 dollars for parity. We know that 47% now pay no income taxes. So that is a hit of $6,348 they must now incur over every expense they already pay. A couple would be charged $12,696.. A family of 4 would be assessed an additional $25,392 over what they currently spend in all expenses now.....

Mitt Romney, now down to himself and Anne in his household, would pay a paltry $12,696. Pretty darn cheaper than the $1.9 million on his last released form.

Are you sure those were Republican economists culled from the ranks just to do this study?

Wed, May 1, 2013 1:17am
Once again, "tax the rich" class-envy rears its ugly head. I sometimes wish you guys would get what you wish for, so you could experience the consequences of 50% or higher unemployment that would result from such a move. Besides, the government would not use the money as you so fantasize, but rather the government would just use it for more new deficit spending and debt. It's about 17-trillion now - what's another 30-trillion or so by 2025 or sooner? Who cares, at this point?

I think sex offenders regardless of gender should get life sentences and used as all-purpose free labor for the taxpayers. Bring back the chain-gangs!

Wed, May 1, 2013 1:40am
Tax the rich has nothing to do with class envy. It is a necessity largely due to the fact that they have stolen all the money. If you are going to pull a Willie Sutton and go where the money is, it has to be the rich...

Socially, that is enhanced because the top echelons can give up billions and hurt less than you or I giving up a single penny... "Hello, Comcast. I can't pay my bill this month, I gave up my last penny to Obama."...

Third, from a total economic perspective, for us to let the rich keep all their money is the equivalent of us putting our leftover money into our mattress. It does the economy no good... Just like we should invest our money so it grows, from an economic point-of-view, our nation needs to put the money just sitting in the 1 percent's mattresses, to work.. Doing something.

None of these have anything to do with envy... They are smart, robust, invigorating ideas that jump-start the economy.

I saw yesterday's New Journal editorialized we need to give up on having any more jobs. It wasn't happening...

Well, put that money siphoned out of the economy, back in, and we will get those jobs. The best way to get that money back into circulation is to tax it....

I too wish we could get the top marginal rates as well as capital gains back up to 50%... if that were to go into effect, your pizza business gross-sales would rise by $100,000 dollars...

High taxes stimulate economies and grow jobs... Low taxes freeze them... High tax-rates provide incentive to create domestic tax shelters which in turn create domestic jobs, that reoccur year after year... If economic doom didn't happen under Reagan (50%), or Kennedy (70%) or Eisenhower (80%) or Truman/Roosevelt (95%)...some of America's greatest economic times ever, it sure won't hurt our economy now.

And it has nothing to do with envy. I has only to do with one's love for America and the desire that she get up, back on her feet again as quickly as possible...

Wed, May 1, 2013 7:03am
kavips: I made a mistake in posting only the "headline" or "Cliff Notes" version of these proposals. The full version goes into more detail and addresses the issues you're concerned about, so lower income people do pay less. The basic issue, however, is the income tax seems to tax what we want to encourage. Many European countries have long used the VAT (or Value Added Tax) which seems to work successfully for them. Of course, the reasons why we have an income tax is corporations decided early in the 20th Century that instead of using the government to protect them from foreign competition (meaning the government runs on tariff revenue), they want to export and out-source (so, voila, free trade). The other issue is all the federal transfer payments distributed (with strings attached) to state and local governments - so those politicians can talk about how they don't raise taxes.

mrpizza: It's sad that people who work for a living have been brain-washed to protect the wealth of rich people. You hate taxes. Fine, welcome to the club. If the rich pay less, you pay more. Funny, how this country was more productive and more profitable with a higher marginal tax rate - and rich people were still very comfortable. Those folks are still greedy; maybe if you tax them more, they actually work harder and create more jobs. Now, they can take it easy, play games with other people's money, and still exercise their greedy impulses. You call it "class envy." I call it acting in one's own self-interest. Write 100 times: "Rich people are not my friend. Rich people don't care about me."

Mike from Delaware
Wed, May 1, 2013 8:09am
Billsmith and Kavips: Well said.

Wed, May 1, 2013 5:40pm
billsmith: I have wealth and riches you know nothing about.

Thu, May 2, 2013 5:56am
mrpizza: You mean ....
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Or you expect us to believe delivering pizza is your hobby? You do it just to spread joy by bringing people pizza and you don't do it for the money?

Mike from Delaware
Thu, May 2, 2013 10:13am
In Mrpizza's defense: Sure he delivers pizza to earn money,which is the tool our society uses to purchase things and services. This isn't Little House on the Prairie where Mrs. Ingles can give the doctor some eggs or some veggy's from her garden as payment, todays' doc's require hard cold cash.

So I doubt Mrpizza is a hoarder piling away his excesses rather than sharing with those less fortunate, not on a postal salary or a pizza delivery salary. My guess is, as both Mrpizza and I are brothers in Christ that yes even though we both are "working class" folks who work hard for our pay checkes and are NOT wealthy in monetary ways, we are wealthy in ways the world does not understand, and that's where our treasure truly will be found, in Christ.

Thu, May 2, 2013 11:48am
MikeFromDelaware: If you follow Jesus' instruction to give all you own to the poor, you won't have to worry about taxes. Funny how right-wingers DO worry about taxes, though. Funny how they go "postal" at the thought that those taxes are being used to help (feed, clothe and shelter) poor people and take care of sick people.

I don't see much evidence of Christians living the way Jesus said people should live. All I see is self-righteous hypocrisy and using religion to beat-up people.

Mike from Delaware
Thu, May 2, 2013 3:16pm
Sir, you have blinders on and I'm not going to waste more energy as this horse has been beaten enough here. We don't agree and that's the way it is. Be at peace.

Thu, May 2, 2013 8:05pm
MikeFromDelaware: No, sir. I am going to save you from the evil cult which has ensnared you. You have been brainwashed, a good person led astray by bad people.

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