Queer youth are in a precarious position. In comparison to their heterosexual peers, queer youth are disproportionately punished in the criminal justice system, and they may be more vulnerable to being prosecuted for statutory rape. They may be selectively prosecuted because prosecutors have broad discretion in whom they prosecute, and social norms favoring heterosexuals may be part of their decision-making process. In light of the significant barriers before a statutory rape defendant alleging selective prosecution, especially for juvenile defendants, limited discovery orders like the one at issue in Commonwealth v. Washington may be a pragmatic way to make equitable change.
Michael H. Meidinger,
Peeking Under the Covers: Taking a Closer Look at Prosecutorial Decision-Making Involving Queer Youth and Statutory Rape,
B.C.J.L. & Soc. Just.