Sen. Eric Johnson's poison continues to taint.
His call to Neal Boortz this morning apparently has caused not only the talk show host to think second thoughts but also Peach Pundit's Erick Erickson.
The latest spin? Although the jury in the Wilson case acquitted on the charge of rape of the 17 year old and convicted on the oral sex with the 15 year old, they really convicted on the second charge because they could not get him on the first.
Talk about tortuous logic. Nevermind there is no evidence of such a heinous deal with the devil. It only lives in the mind of Eric Johnson.
However, there is evidence the jury did exactly what they said they did. Convict based their understanding of the existing law.
First, let's look at the statute.
Ga. O.C.G.A. 16:
(a) A person commits the offense of child molestation when he or she does any immoral or indecent act to or in the presence of or with any child under the age of 16 years with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of either the child or the person.
(c) A person commits the offense of aggravated child molestation when such person commits an offense of child molestation which act physically injures the child or involves an act of sodomy.
The critical clause is "involves the act of sodomy". Sodomy in Georgia is defined as sexual contact involving the mouth or anus. There was no evidence of physical harm but there certainly was evidence of oral sex with a person under 16 years old.
Now let's look a section of the defendant's certori petition to the Supreme Court.
The jury asked in a written question to the trial judge for the meaning of the word “intent” in the aggravated charge in terms of proving an essential element of the crime. (T-164). This question shows that the jury struggled with the legal issue before them – that the law as given to them in their charge required conviction for a voluntary act of oral sex amongst teens.
It is apparent from the transcript the jury was dealing exclusively with the charges of aggravated child molestation. A charge that would not apply to the act with the 17 year old.
It is clear to all, except Eric Johnson, the jury was painted into a corner by a vague law and felt they had no choice to convict on the charge of aggravated child molestation. It is also clear the law was poorly worded, leading the General Assembly to later clarify with amendments. If these amendments had existed at the time of the Wilson trial, he would have been acquitted on all charges.
I come here not to praise Genarlow Wilson. He did some foolish things. But I do not come to bury him either. It is apparent those who do wish to bury him have no limit on exaggeration or pure fantasy in their quest.