Local News

Fayetteville Tries to Curb illegal Sex

Posted September 8, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Fayetteville has a big problem. Teenagers are becoming targets for sex.

From June 1996 to June 1997, 97 adults were charged with having sex with a juvenile. Some cases involve military personnel preying on teenagers, but most are civilians. According to Tracey Bass-Maynor of the Fayetteville Police Department, many of the perpetrators claim that they did not know how old their victims were.

But, in the Tarheel State, ignorance is no excuse. The law states, "A defendant is not excused by being misled or mistaken about the victim's age."

Lyteasha Bass is a student in Fayetteville. She says that she has been approached by older men for sex. When she tells them she is only 13-years-old, many of the offenders do not seem to care. She says that some of her friends are having illegal sex.

Police say that it is a matter of education. Girls should understand that having illegal sex is a serious offense. Men should understand that if there is any question about the age of the girl, they should abstain from having sex, because they can be prosecuted.