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01Feb03b Next USA madness... 

USA: 14th January 2001, Press message

DA prosecutes mom who gave teen son condoms

You find out your teenage son is having sex. So what do you do? Do you try to stop him? Do you protect him by buying him condoms? Do you talk to him about it? Do you tell a priest? Guidance counselors? The police?

A 33-year-old Baraboo mother bought her son condoms, and could face up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine because Sauk County prosecutors think she made the wrong decision.

Because she told police she did not stop her 13-year-old son from having oral sex and sexual intercourse with his 15-year-old girlfriend, prosecutors allege, the mother failed to prevent her child from being sexually abused - and that's a felony.

Prosecutors and the mother's attorneys have until February to finish filing briefs before Sauk County Judge Guy Reynolds in the case, and a court date probably will be set then if the case is not dismissed.

Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett said no one in her office would comment on the case. But the mother's attorney, Derek Horkan of Reedsburg, argues that talking to your child about sex is constitutionally protected speech that can't be restricted by state laws.

"The prosecutor in this case, what her position is, is taking the statute beyond its intended meaning," said Horkan, who said his research has not turned up a similar case that went to trial in Wisconsin.


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