On Tuesday and Wednesday I was in Superior Court, watching the trial of Christopher King. I listened as a young lady – all of 17 years old – calmly told a crowded courtroom details of her sexual encounters with a man who was twice her age and who had been her teacher at Marietta High School. State law does not specifically prohibit consent as a defense for a teacher accused of having a relationship with a student over age 16, and Judge Robert Flournoy ultimately found King not guilty. Certainly the district attorney found this unacceptable, which is why King was prosecuted, but the judge made the correct decision. The law is flawed and should be rewritten. State Rep. Doug Collins, a Gainesville Republican, is trying to do that.
Wednesday night, though, brought more bad news: A kindergartener from Mountain View Elementary who had been hit by a car as she got off the school bus had died. By this point in the week, I was unable to sleep. Thursday morning, I visited with Karla Campos’ family in their home. I wanted to cry with them. Karla’s mother had witnessed the accident, which would only seem to intensify the pain. I was stunned to learn that she also recently gave birth, and I can’t imagine what it must be like to be tending to the all-consuming needs of a newborn while mourning the loss of another young child.
Wednesday was also opening day for a trial in which a 12-year-old boy from Florida was accused of killing his 5-week-old cousin last summer in west Cobb. Honestly, what is wrong with people? Sure, a 12-year-old is not an adult. Clearly, he should never have been left alone with the baby, even for the 18 minutes the baby’s mother ran inside a Target store. But he was, and another child’s life is gone.