Over the course of the previous week, news outlets reported on a Catholic school gym teacher, Megan Mahoney, and the crimes she allegedly committed; 30 counts of statutory rape with teenage male students. The Inquisitr reported on the situation in which Mahoney was officially charged with the 30 counts, but was released without bail.
However, some people – after reading said reports on Mahoney – say that the former Moore Catholic High School basketball coach was not really committing rape. In response, Rebecca Luxton of RYOT wrote an article asking if a 24-year-old female teacher sleeping with a 16-year-old teenage boy was ever rape? It is a very honest question because to most people, rape is something associated with force or violation. Even the dictionary defines rape as follows.
- Forcing of somebody into sex: the crime of using force somebody to have sexual intercourse with somebody.
- Instance of rape: an instance of the crime of rape.
- Violent destructive treatment: the violent, destructive or abusive treatment of something.
The source used an article by New York Post to assist in their analysis, first starting with basics. Reportedly, Megan Mahoney approached the 16-year-old teenage boy and offered private basketball coaching. Afterwards, they would just drive around and have sex in the car. Mahoney’s supervisor eventually found out about the relationship and privately demanded that Mahoney end the relationship, but she did not listen. A month later, she and the student had dinner at a pizzeria, where the student’s ex-girlfriend observed them and made it known to the authorities. The cops came and spoke with them, though no charges were made, and several weeks later, Megan Mahoney resigned.
This is where the question of rape comes up. The student says he’s been bullied by other students and teachers for his sexual exploits, (and in some reports, expelled) but among his friends, he has been congratulated. As a matter of fact, the internet is acting the same way. Pictures of Megan Mahoney posing in a basketball jersey, push-up bra, and a seductive smirk are getting positive comments. Some people complained that their gym teachers weren’t “hot like Mahoney,” while others joked that “some kids get all the luck.” The pair’s exploits have even been made into comedy gold, especially by comedian John Witherspoon.
People do argue and debate if statutory rape is really a crime, if it’s different for boys or girls, and why a certain age has been chosen as an “arbitrary” threshold for legal sexual relations. RYOT’s analysis hits many points on why this case is still considered rape.
First, there are laws in place in many states which read that anyone under the age of 17 cannot legally consent to sex. There is also the fact that the majority of 17-year-old boys and girls are still dependent on their parents, and their level of maturity and life experience is often not up to par with those who are older.
Equally important is the possibility that Megan Mahoney used her status as teacher in a “power play” for sexual gratification. Now there are many instances of college professors having sexual relations with their students, but for this situation, most college students are over 18, and the issue usually leads to dismissal rather than criminal charges.
In conclusion, when asked if a 24-year-old teacher sleeping with a 16-year-old student is ever not rape or if it is ever something that people should be congratulated for, Rebecca Luxton’s RYOT op-ed made it clear the answer is NO!
Now that you’ve read the article on RYOT’s analytic op-ed, what are your views on the matter? Pertaining to Megan Mahoney’s alleged crimes, do you agree with Rebecca Luxton and her op-ed? Or do you think that Mahoney and her student were consenting, and this shouldn’t be considered rape?
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