I'm a Californian, and here's my take on this situation. It is pitiful in so many ways, but this Spear's family seems to just unravel, and unravel. ****** Unless it's changed, a California girl 17 years and under is under-age, and if the male counterpart is 18 or older, he can be charged with statutory rape in that state. We knew some folks whose 17 year old daughter was dating a 17 year old boy from the same high school in California where we live. The two kids had your typical break-up, and the girl told her parents that she had been having sex with her ex-boy friend in a way to make her look like an innnocent, forced victim. Her boyfrined had turned 18 just a few months before the break-up. The parents of the girl went on a vendetta after the ex-boy friend, and had the boy arrested for statutory rape. As far as I know the boy didn't get felony jail time, but was put on 3 years probation. The district attorney felt that though the girl was a minor, that the sex seemed to be consensual. The girl, after the breakup, tried to convince her parents that the sex had been forced on her, and the girl's parents went with wild abandon to nail this boy. These parents were upstanding church going folks, and I think they were in denial, that their precious little girl could consensually have sex before marriage or under 18. The case really was the parents of the girl versus the boy. Also the boy's parents were really put through the "ringer", with the possiblity of their son facing felony jail time, and also having a criminal record over this. The girl obviously was afraid to admit complicity in the sexual liason part of her relationship with her parents, and told Mommy and Daddy that this was a very bad boy. Funny how this little going-steady with the bad boy went for about a 1 1/2 years? Even though, I think the boy was wrong as well as the girl, I'm glad that the courts showed some leniency on the boy, as the girl and he had been carrying-on sexually when both were under age before the break-up happened when the boy had turned 18. Felonies in California mean state prison, and an 18 year old boy sentenced behind bars in a California state prison for turning 18 before his girlfriend does, and being charged with rape would have ruined the kid in my opinion. He would have been "ripe" USDA Prime for the perverts in our California state prisons. ********** Now if the guy who got Spears Jr., pregnant is 19 that's a little different. That's one big old age difference, and a 19 year old, having sex with a 16 year old, and capping it off with a pregnancy does push the limits of leniency in my opinion. I think the 19 year old Papa needs more than a slap on the hand, and should face some judicial encounter. Also a 16 year old girl may have the body of a mature "of age" women, but mentally, and emotionally she's just a pubescent girl in my opinion. She's ripe for being taken advantage of sexually by older men, if her at- -home parental modeling has been lacking in morals, integrity, etc... Male, sexual predators, prey on Lynn's age group. They are so vunerable to the older, mature, guy, who gives them that fatherly love image that alcoholic (Spears Papa), absent papa Spears didn't. There is a reason in California and many states why kids that commit some pretty terrible crimes aren't sent to prison or charged in the same way as the state considers an adult. There is an accountability level that has an onset with humans, and children often don't see or understand the magnitude of their actions, because of their mental, and emotional maturation levels. They still need some lawful discipline, and that's where there are sentences given out to juveniles, but with some altered approaches, or enactments. Obviously the state has to put a starting-point for adulthood somewhere, although I'll have to admit that there are a lot of 20,30,40,50 year olds and above that have stunted mental emotional levels stuck back in their childhood years because of drug addiction, or lousy parental teaching/modeling of accountability. Anyway, statutory rape laws weren't made to protect the victim's or her parent's honor, but to draw a line between accountability and inability to be accountable in the biggest of life decisions; namely procreation and personal human conduct or behaviour. It also has it's cultural impact on the society, because limits must be drawn in sexual behaviour so that society doesn't undo itself at the seams of behavior that divide us from unreasoning animals, and wisdom endowed creatures. Rome was just one example of gradual creeping anarchy and/or splintering of a cohesive society that became sexually amoral, and fuzzied the lines of appropriate and and inappropriate human/societal behaviour. If anyone wanting a little understanding of the Rome case; just rent the HBO series called, "Rome" that ran for two years. I understand, that though there was some liberality involved in the drama as far as non-fiction accounts go, the depiction of Roman society was not at all blown out of proportion from reality.