Sunday, August 28, 2005

Toto, I Don't Think We WANT To Be in Kansas Anymore

A 22-year-old Nebraska man started raping a 12-year-old girl whom he met through the girl's half-brother. The girl became pregnant when she was 13 and recently gave birth to the baby. She is now 14.

The rapist, whose name is Matthew Koso, wanted to marry the girl, but could not do so in Nebraska because in Nebraska, quaintly enough, both parties have to be at least 17 to be legally married. But no worries, because neighboring Kansas -- yes, KANSAS! -- allows people of any age to get married; as long as they have the permission of both parents, or the child's legal guardian, OR a judge.

The 14-year-old girl's mother gave Koso permission to take her daughter to Kansas and marry her.

So Matthew Koso married his 14-year-old victim. But Koso cannot yet enjoy marital bliss, because Nebraska's attorney general, Jon Bruning, has charged Koso with first-degree sexual assault, for which the maximum sentence, if convicted, is 50 years in prison.

“Of course the marriage is valid ... but it doesn’t matter,” he said. “I’m not going to stand by while a grown man ... has a relationship with a 13-year-old — now 14-year old — girl.”

Koso told the Lincoln Journal Star he expected to plead not guilty at his arraignment on Tuesday.

“I feel like I’m sitting on top of the world right now,” he said Friday, speaking about the baby’s birth. “But I do get worried that this is going to turn out in a bad way and I’m going to lose everything I’ve got.”

Via Laura Rozen, who notes that Kansas is becoming more like Pakistan every day.

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