Should women who have sex with teenage boys be punished as harshly as men who have sex with teenage girls?
We've asked that question before -- and the general consensus among readers is the law should treat everyone equally -- but does it actually work that way?
We're about to find out thanks to a high-profile case involving a woman who was once the NFL's "oldest cheerleader."
Former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader Molly Shattuck pleaded guilty Tuesday to statutory rape of a 15-year-old boy.
Shattuck faces up to 15 years in prison for the fourth-degree rape charge when she is sentenced Aug. 21. More serious charges, including third-degree rape, were dropped as part of the plea deal.
Shattuck, 48, who had cheered for the Ravens since 2005, contacted the boy, a classmate of her son, last summer on Instagram, prosecutors say.
She pulled the boy out of school one day and kissed him in the back seat of her Cadillac Escalade, according to court documents. She later invited the boy to a rented beach house on Labor Day weekend 2014 and performed oral sex on him twice. She offered to have sex with the boy but he declined. She did not continue the relationship with the boy after that weekend.
Sentencing guidelines call for up to two years in prison, but the judge is not obligated to follow them.
As part of the plea deal, Shattuck is ordered to not have contact with children. She must also register as a sex offender, a fate that is "almost worse than a jail sentence," her attorney says.
Days after the 9-count indictment was made public in November 2014, Shattuck's husband, the CEO of Constellation Energy, ended their 17-year marriage.
Registering as a sex offender and losing her marriage, and what appeared to be the perfect life, is punishment -- but is it enough?
Would prosecutors have dropped the most serious charges if a man contacted a girl via social media, took her to a beach house and had sex with her twice?
What sort of sentence do you think is fair in this case?
Surely the former cheerleader won't get less prison time because she is rich, blonde and beautiful. This is America, after all.
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