Friday, March 24, 2006

Girl, 18, Charged With Having Sex With Minor

Noblesville, Indiana -- A Westfield High School girl is being prosecuted on felony charges of sexual misconduct with a minor for having sex with a 15-year-old schoolmate.

The father of Laura M. Wilcox, an 18-year-old senior, declined to discuss the charges Thursday. He indicated, though, that he and his wife were puzzled by the case involving consenting teens.
"We certainly have an opinion," said Daniel Wilcox, who referred questions about the case to the family's attorney. "I can't share anything."

Under Indiana law, the legal age for consensual sex is 16. Hamilton County Deputy Prosecutor Stephanie Smith said the Wilcox case differs from other such prosecutions only because the accused is female.

"If the situation were reversed, and it were a male perpetrating on a female, we would have filed charges routinely, and I don't think anyone would have questioned it," she said.

In a statement of evidence submitted last week to obtain a warrant for the girl's arrest, Hamilton County Sheriff's Department investigator Kija Ireland said the crime occurred after Wilcox gave the boy a ride home from school Feb. 1. The Indianapolis Star generally does not identify alleged victims of a sex crime.

Sheriff's Maj. Mark Bowen said authorities set up the interview with the Hamilton County Division of Child Services after the boy's parents filed a complaint Feb. 6.
Wilcox was released on $10,000 bond pending trial. An initial court hearing on the Class C felony charges is set for April 5.

Wilcox has been involved in a prior police investigation. In November 2004, she and three friends were in a car that veered off I-80 near Gary and crashed into an asphalt roller. The impact ejected 16-year-old classmates Kristin Rice and Travis Woerner. Both died.
Police determined that the four had obtained alcoholic beverages and had been drinking prior to the crash.

Source:www.indystar.com

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