This is a reader poll. We would like for all readers to read the laws cited and the events described then chime in. Please attempt to keep the conversation civil and constructive (in other words, focus on the issue, not the party involved, namely, Donald Trump).
OK, so I am behind a bit. After last nights debate, I finally watched and listened to the infamous Access Hollywood video wherein Donald Trump brags about groping women. To be fair, he did seem over-the-top, but then, that is Trump. It is part of his appeal. Still, he did admit to making certain sexual claims and these raise questions for us all.
What’s the Big Deal With Womanizing Presidents?
This website attempts to remain politically-neutral, so rather than rip on The Donald as a candidate, I decided instead to consider the facts. In addition, I wanted to give my readers a chance to chime in on the law.
Forget for a moment that these words are coming from a candidate for President of the United States. Besides, if Trump wins, he will simply be adding to a growing line of womanizing leaders of this country. Most of us already know about JFK and Bill Clinton, but there were other Presidents known to have engaged in socially-incorrect behavior of a sexual nature. Some of these include:
- Grover Cleveland
- Franklin Roosevelt
- Warren Harding
- Lyndon Johnson
- Thomas Jefferson
- Andrew Jackson
Still Presdients in modern day faced rumors of improprieties, such as Ronald Reagan and both Bushes, though no evidence surfaced to lend credence to the claims.
The video of Donald Trump does raise serious questions regarding the law
In the video, Trump is telling a story of how he cannot resist a beautiful woman. Nothing wrong with that. However, he goes one step further and explains..
“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married.”
Although to modern sensibilities, there is nothing wrong with that statement, in reality there is. We do not know the context and location of the incident described, but given that adultery remains illegal in many states, the likelihood that Trump was attempting a criminal offense is possible. In both New York, and Florida where Trump spends a good bit of time, adultery is punishable by up to three months in jail.
So this statement could be an admission of guilt of attempted adultery. But, this was only an attempt.
- New York Penal Law, Part 3, Title G, Article 110 punishes an “attempt to commit a crime.”
- In Florida, Section 4 of Title XLVI > Chapter 777, “A person who attempts to commit an offense prohibited by law,” has broken the law.
Thus, if the alleged offense described on the video took place in either of these jurisdictions, Donald Trump admitted to criminal behavior. This is a fact, regardless of the political sensibilities involved.
But Should Adultery be a Crime? What About Sexual Battery/Assault?
Adultery has entered the realm of “should’t be a crime any longer” because
- It is seldom, if ever prosecuted
- Social Mores no longer support it (which is why most states have eliminated it from their law code).
What about sexual assault & battery?
This is the reason for this poll. There is little wonder that Donald Trump did in fact commit a crime IF the event he described took place in Florida or New York. If this were the case and the woman involved wanted to file charges, she could. She would be within her rights to seek criminal charges and monetary damages. The Prosecutor would be obliged to prosecute.
But sexual battery was only alluded to in the video. In the video, Trump further states,
“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
Really? Someone should tell that to Bill Cosby.
Still, this much we know.
In the context of the video, Mr. Trump was discussing an attempt to seduce Arianne Zucker, an actress who stars on the TV Soap, Days of Our Lives. It was she who provided Trump with a tour of the set.
Zucker herself was quoted today as stating,
“How we treat one another, whether behind closed doors, locker rooms or face to face, should be done with kindness, dignity and respect…Unfortunately, there are too many people in power who abuse their position and disregard these simple principles and are rewarded for it.” – NYDailyNews.com
Very true. But not exactly evidence of criminal behavior.
The set of the show Days of Our Lives is located in Burbank, California. This places Mr. Trump squarely in California jurisdiction. What is the law in California?
Whereas Adultery is not illegal in California, sexual assult is a crime.
“California’s sexual assault laws (or sexual battery) prohibit unwanted touching of another person’s intimate parts.” This includes, the victim’s “sexual organ, anus, groin, or buttocks of any person, and the breast of a female.” – California Penal Code Section 243.4
Did Donald Trump Admit to an Attempt at Crime? Is he Guilty of a crime? Under California Penal Code Penal 21a PC, an attempt includes two elements. These are:
- intent to commit a crime, and
- a failed attempt
In listening to the video, Trump clearly intended to sexually assault Ms.Zucker, but there is no evidence he actually carried out the act. Thus, he is likely NOT guilty of a crime, but this further raises another question.
Should Touching Someone in the Context Trump Describes be a Crime?
Donald Trump describes kissing a woman and his belief that when doing so, a man who is a “star” can then do “anything.”
We would like to hear your thoughts. This is not a scientific poll, but rather a simple, give-us-your-opinion kind. Please get involved by commenting below.
Is it true that a “star” can “do anything?” If so, should “touching” the genitals of a woman (or man) remain a crime? In nearly every state, the act is called sexual assault, sexual battery, or assault and battery, but should touching someone on the sex organ, groin, butt, or breast be a crime?
Let us know your thoughts and please share this article using any of the social media buttons below.