Paul Grad for Oregon Governor: Increasing Penalties for First- and Second-Degree Rape

As Governor of Oregon, I would press the legislature to increase the penalties for 1st- and 2nd-degree rape, and use the funds saved from the Cannabis Prisoner Pardon, which I discussed in the previous post, to pay for it.

Penalties for first-degree rape in Oregon are, in my opinion, far too lenient. (Actually, I feel that rapists should be segregated for life, first serving a sentence in prison, and then being released into a surrounding city which would be an extension of the prison, but where they could lead comparable lives to citizens on the outside. However, they could never leave this city-prison. Such a program should be undertaken by the Federal Government, due to the huge costs it would impose on any single State.) But unfortunately current law only stipulates a mandatory 8 years 4 months for first degree rape. As Governor, I would seek to increase this by 50% to 12 years 6 months. Personally, I feel one count of first degree rape, which is forcible rape, deserves a sentence of 12-20 years, if approximate justice could be done.

Second degree rape (consentual sex with someone under 14) seems to me to not be a crime, if the age difference between the two participants is less than three years. How could a loving couple, 13 and 14 years old, having consentual sex, be a crime? I believe that the Netherlands has also taken this view, and changed their law so that sex between consenting children less than two years apart in age is no longer considered a crime. Certainly it doesn’t deserve the mandatory 6 years 3 months it  can draw, although currently  in Oregon, an age difference of less than three years may be offered as a defense.

But outside of these cases of consenting adolescents, I think the penalty for second-degree rape, which is sex with a child under 14, should also increase, perhaps by one-third, although age should be taken into consideration. (For example, a 17 year-old having consentual sex with a 13-year old might be treated much more leniently than a 30-year old.)

We need to lengthen our sentences for violent rape drastically, and as Governor, I will attempt it. If we weren’t wasting so much money persecuting, prosecuting, and jailing drug users, we’d have the money to jail violent criminals, and that is what Libertarian Law would concentrate on.

Paul Grad,


13 thoughts on “Paul Grad for Oregon Governor: Increasing Penalties for First- and Second-Degree Rape

  1. Mr. Grad,
    Please pick another platform and be acquainted with the topic….how about something that will actually serve the greater good. Something that will protect all children from sexual abuse and its called “prevention!” If states would fund Sexual Abuse Prevention programs I think that would protect society, don’t you? Programs that teach parents how to begin a dialog about sexuality with their children and teach children and teens ways to keep themselves safe. The recidivism rate for another sexual offense by a registrant is 3-5% according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics while researchers indicate 90-95% of sexual abuse comes from within the victim’s family, acquaintances or those having access to the children.

    President Bush signed into law the Adam Walsh Act in 2006 and as part of that “law” the states had to come into compliance with the requirements or lose 10% of their Byrne Fund Grant money… Only 17 states have been certified as “substantially compliant” and NONE as “totally compliant” and many of those have already realized they are spending state money for something that was “never” funded by Congress and where there is no noticeable reduction in recidivism. There are many degrees of sexual abuse but if one looks at the way the Justice Department stacked the tiering system you will clearly see it is a witch hunt. The United States is 5% of the world’s population but the United States has 25% of the world’s incarcerated. Maybe a better platform would be something along the lines of ending mass incarceration. A sentence of 20 years for possession of child pornography is ridiculous but the private prison industry (GEO Corp, etc) appreciate it.

    I am president of a national organization, Women Against Registry, who advocates for the families of registrants due to the things they are subjected to because they have a loved one on the registry. Let’s be clear, we should protect ALL children from harm even those who have a Dad or Mom on the registry. Also, after a person has been adjudicated, paid their debt to society and are living a law-abiding life they should be allowed to do so with their family without vigilante activity directed at them.

    There are over 774,600 men, women and children (as young as 6, 8 and 10 in some states) required to register and the “crimes” range from urinating in public (indecent exposure), sexting, incest, mooning, exposure, false accusations by a soon-to-be ex-wife, angry girlfriend, or spiteful student, viewing abusive OR suggestive images of anyone18 years old or younger, playing doctor, prostitution, solicitation, Romeo and Juliet consensual sexual dating relationships, rape, endangering the welfare of a child and many others.

    If you multiply the number on the registry by 2 or 3 family members you can clearly see there are well over 3million wives, children, moms, aunts, girlfriends, grandmothers and other family members who experience the collateral damage of being harassed, threatened, children beaten, have signs placed in their yards, homes set on fire, vehicles damaged, asked to leave their churches and other organizations, children passed over for educational opportunities, have flyers distributed around their neighborhood, wives lose their jobs when someone learns they are married to a registrant….all these things occur when these people try to hold their family together and provide the three things that professionals state are needed for successful re-integration; a job, a place to live and a good support system.

    Vicki Henry, Women Against Registry dot com

    1. Ms.Henry-
      Thank you for bringing this topic up, which I realize I haven’t given any thought to, and should. First, I don’t see that lengthening 1st degree rape sentences from the absurd 8years 4 months sentence will not help the common good. The problem of child sexual abuse is a little different from forceable rape offences between adults. @nd degree rape is trickier, because I don’t think two children, say 14 and 10, who consentually have sex are criminals, or if an age difference is 3 years or less if one participant is legally an adult, so I would craft exceptions to such situations.(I think the Netherlands has legalized sex between children.)

      I can see that being on a registry for sex offenders for something like urinating in public or mooning is absurd, and so are many other situations.

      I’d tend to sympathise with your position on the impact of the registry. If someone has served their sentence, then as a Libertarian I don’t think they should be subject to any further interference. Libertarians also don’t believe in public schools, so these child abuse prevention programs and requirements by the Federal Government really wouldn’t apply to a Libertarian administration. They wouldn’t be funded by the state in a Libertarian society, but by private groups and individuals like yourself, and remember, since there would be no income tax, you would be free to keep and donate that tax money to private organizations that would carry out these abuse prevention programs. I agree that such programs would prevent far more misery than is currently created by not having them, and then having to incarcerate and then register these offenders. But like many government programs, they sound good, and the public thinks they are working, but as you point out, many innocent and non-threat individuals end up with an albatross around their necks for life because 30 years ago they peed in the bushes after drinking beer, and a policeman happened to see them.

      Thanks a lot for your comment. I will study this in more depth, and address it in my platform. Frankly, it’s a problem I haven’t given much thought to, but thanks to your comment, I see it is very important.
      -Paul Grad

      1. Thank you for your reasoned response. However… wondering how you reconcile your call for sentencing reform including specifics with this statement – “which I realize I haven’t given any thought to, and should”?

      2. Nikki-
        Simply because I had not given a thought to registry problems, though I had thought about sentencing for rape, and after reading the initial two comments from Ms. Floyd and WAR, I realized it was an issue I hadn’t dealt with. I’ve dealt with about 40-50 issues in my platform, but sexual registry wasn’t one of them. There are a lot of issues to deal with if you run for Governor.
        -Paul Grad

  2. Mr. Grad, you want to lengthen the prison term for those who committ forceable rape, why not leave Sentense to the hands of the judges who have all the facts of the case.
    For example the Steubenville rape case, they were charged with forceable rape, but was found that they were innocent of the crimes they were charged with. What about the innocent men who were charged with rape by a woman who regret their actions the next morning, or the girl who decided to get even with a boy and claim rape! Let’s leave the Sentense to the judges that listen to all the facts of the case. And we have harsher sentenses on those who are repeat offenders.

    I have had family members affected by sexual assault; I know what it’s like to be affected by these crimes. However, I also agree with WAR (Women Against Registry) that we need to give the men and women who have been charged with these crimes to pay their debt and move on. With a 3-5% reoffense rate, why spend $20k/yr+ for each offender if they pose little risk to society? Let’s reinvest the cost savings into education and prevention services, and put money BACK into our schools. Research has shown that those with higher education is less likely to reoffend. Why not work to reduce our prison system and address the lack of education? Or is your political campaign funded by the prison industry and you really don’t care about public safety?

    1. Jean-

      If you’d taken the time to read my complete platform, you know that I am not accepting donations, so the prison industry is not funding me. You’d also find out that I want to pardon anyone in prison solely on a cannabis charge, and I would legalize all drugs less addictive than caffeine according to the Benowitz Scale of addiction.
      The 3-5% reoffense rate was for people on the registry, according to the comment from WAR, not for people in prison, whom it said had a 90-95% reoffense rate.

      I guess you don’t know that Libertarians are opposed to government schools, so I’d give the money back to the taxpayers, not waste in on those brainwashing institutions that teach our children to conform and obey, and compare them through grades. Public schools are horrendous. All schooling should be private, and would open up a huge industry for anyone who had anything to teach and tutors. As a Jeffersonian Minarchist, I could see the State teaching reading, but this could nowadays easily be done through community workshops and any group who thinks it is important to read. Why should children be dragooned into these prisons known as public schools? Children learn all the time, and many of America’s most successful industrialists and financiers left public school as children. Classes could easily be conducted over the internet. Instead of this huge, costly, unnecessary institution you could give every child an internet connection and computer dedicated only to the educational station, and then have the top dozen teachers (as voted by the public) in the state record lessons. Public schools are ripping off local property owners to subsidize the fodder for big corporations. Why don’t corporations pay for education instead of small homeowners? They get the greatest benefit because they don’t have to pay to teach their workers. The property taxpayer pays.
      Leaving sentencing in the hands of judges doesn’t do much good if the maximum penalty isn’t adequate. That said, I do oppose mandatory minimum sentences which are often absurd, or three strikes your out laws. While I think 1st degree rape sentences are way too lenient, if you make rape sentences too long, the public won’t convict.
      Please take the time to read my entire platform before you accuse me of taking money from the prison industry. I believe no one should be in jail for possession of a drug, and 70% of the profits for prison guards come from the incarceration of individuals for drug offenses loved by the Democrat and Republican lawmakers and voters. I call those bipartisans Fascists.
      =Paul Grad

  3. The 90-95% rate you referred to as “reoffense” is actually the recidivism rate, which includes arrest for parole violations (like having a bible with a photo of Jesus holding a child on his lap), which is the highest reason for the recidivism rate. As Ms. Henry has stated the reoffense (that’s arrest for another sexual offense only) is reported by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which is a government agency that has no vested interest in reporting a low reoffense rate. It’s the government agencies that want to inflate the numbers so they can inflate the budgets for the prison population.

    Mandatory sentenses affects the families of those incarcerated. Why not allow these men and women to have a shorter Sentense so that they can get back home and work, and care for their children, instead of the government having to pay to take care of them. We are paying $25k+/yr for prisoners, and this doesn’t include the money we spend on welfare, food stamps, etc because they don’t have another income contributing to the household. The wives, children, and parents are also punished with their loved one in prison. They are penalized by having to out money on their loved ones books for food, phone calls, long trips to visit their loved ones several hours away…like Ms. Henry has stated, we are the 5th largest country but have 25% of the world’s prison population. We had our war on drugs and now 30 yrs later we found it was ineffective, so we have moved too the war on sex!
    Your assertion that people won’t convict if there was a lesser penality is ludicrous. If people believe the person is guilty, they will find them guilty. When we had lower prison sentenses, people were still convicted! If you increase the penalty, you will only find non-violent, and those are rehabilitated and no risk to society filling up your prison system.

    Both Dems and Reps LOVE the prison system. We DO need reform, but not just for drug charges, but across the board.
    I do agree that our schools need to be reformed, and while I don’t believe that we should eliminate the public schools, I do agree that we can do things better and only keep good teachers. Not every child will benefit from online classes, as most need the daily interaction with other children their age.
    I am not a Libraterian, but an Independant. So, I don’t know the platform of the Libritartian party. But when it comes to the upcoming elections, I will seriously look at every person and see who will look at facts and make policy based on those facts, or who is playing the “I’m tougher on sex offenders then they are” game when statistics show they have one of the lowest reoffense rates. Maybe we can lower their recidivism rate if we stop throwing them in prison for stupid things like having a bible.

    1. jean-
      I wonder how carefully you read what I wrote. I used the term reoffense because that was the term Ms. Henry used. The term “reoffense” indeed can include a minor offense like running away from the police (known as resisting arrest). I also didn’t say people wouldn’t convict for a lesser sentence, I said just the opposite, that they wouldn’t convict if the sentences were too harsh. That’s why I didn’t ask for 20yrs for first-degree rape, which is what I personally think the sentence should be.

      If there were no such thing as sentencing guidelines for certain crimes, and it was all up the the judges discretion, what happens when a racist judge lets a Klansman off with a hand-slap for killing a Black man? The reason people got mad and demanded mandatory minimums was because individual judges were handing out too lenient sentences in publicized cases. I voted against mandatory minimums.

      It’s the Democrats and Republicans who’ve filled the jails with drug offenders. Libertarians believe in self-ownership, that your body is yours, and you can do what you want with it, as long as you don’t aggress against the person or property of any other individual. There would be no drug crimes (other than offenses involving delivery to minors) in a Libertarian society, and the jails would be 70% less crowded.
      -Paul Grad

  4. The 90-95% I referred to is the percentage of sexual abuse that “never” gets reported and originates in the victim’s family, acquaintances or those having access to the children (i.e. coaches, swim instructors, teachers, etc).

    Studies by academics such as Dr. Jill Levenson, Lynn University, Richard Tewksbury, University of Louisville, Chrysanthi Leon, Univ. of Delaware, Justice Policy Institute, some Bureau of Prisons documentation are recognized as experts.

    The media, in an effort to boost ratings, promotes fear mongering among the public when they do teasers or lead news casts with stories about “sex offenders” and the public push their legislators for better protection of their children and to our elected officials that translates to more laws and more restrictions. Hence, the ruined lives of those ranging from 8 to 80 years of age. Read Raised on the Registry or some of the Lisa Ling (OWN) reports, one of which just came out…

    If a person doesn’t believe all it takes is an accusation of sexual impropriety and you are automatically guilty they might be out of touch. Take a look at Brian Banks, he plead guilty, out of fear of being incarcerated for many many years, served 5 years and then with the help of the Innocence Project folks was acquitted after “he” provided video proof that he had not done anything. The end result was a ruined pro football career and NO CHARGES ever filed against the female….

    Vicki Henry

    1. Ms. Henry-
      Thank you for the clarification on the 90-95%. I think anyone who makes false rape charges, and then is proven to be a liar deserves the same penalty as rape carries. Perhaps even more.You make many good points in this comment, and I’m glad that anyone reading this post will think on them. Hopefully there will be many.
      =Paul Grad

      1. A healthy debate produces informed candidates and voters. Our organization, Women Against Registry, has a support line and we talk to registrants and registrant families from all states. All children should be protected but, more punitive laws directed at those who have already adjudicated, paid their debt to society and are living a law-abiding life is not the answer and further prohibits the re-entry and possibility of a happy and healthy registrant family. For instance, we have a family in Rhode Island and the father was adjudicated for posession of some child pornography. Their 11 year old son was being harassed and bullied at the public school because of his father so they took him out. Then applied and were accepted to a Montessori School only to be called two days after school started and asked to pick the student up as he could not attend there anymore. The 11 year old did NOT do anything to cause this, it was the fact that his father was a registrant. We had a registrant and his wife shot and stabbed to death in South Carolina last July by a skinhead couple who had a list of registrants in their pocket that they were going to kill over the next few days when law enforcement caught up with them. The Parkers had a surveillance camera on their porch and that is how the police knew who murdered them. We told the legislators about this case last year when they stopped at our exhibit table at the NCSL Summit in Atlanta.

        There is a new report released by the NACDL which I have attached that talks about restoration. The report is 100 pages long but the summary is 7 pages.

        I know this is any election year and the sex offender issue is a topic which many candidates hang their hat on but, I am asking that folks take the registrant families into account. Realizing it would be political suicide to say our current practices are over-reaching as Rep. Sam Moore did in Georgia a few months back which gained him ridicule by his legislative peers in front of media called in explicitly for that.

        Simply put, if you can’t help our families please don’t make things worse.

        Vicki Henry

    1. amyjmesa-
      If you’d taken the care and consideration to first read my platform and candidate’s statement, you’d know that I am not accepting donations from anyone. I oppose private prisons. They should not exist under our current system.
      =Paul Grad

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