Sometimes the crime is the result of another crime

A 15 year old girl is accused of involuntary manslaughter and child endangering. She is not being named for a couple of reasons. She is a minor, and she is also a victim.

She was taken to the hospital with bleeding the other night. It turns out that she had been pregnant and that she no longer was. She is accused of throwing the baby into a dumpster and the baby’s body has never been found. Some articles are calling it a baby, and some are calling it a fetus. I am not seeing any information about the circumstances of the birth, but I am assuming based on the charges and the articles that she did not carry the baby to term. She has confessed and has admitted to sexual contact with her “boyfriend” several times.

According to authorities, her 23 year old “boyfriend” Jonathan Hooven has been charged with unlawful sexual contact with a minor. He was already incarcerated in jail for charges unrelated to this case.

I don’t know if her parents were aware of her “boyfriend”. Girls of this age can be somewhat secretive about such things, especially if they don’t think their parents will approve. And kids of this age are pretty well known for their risky behaviors also. Good judgement skills are not what kids this age are known for. But by the age of 23, you would think that Hooven would have known that having contact with the young girl was illegal, even if he did not think it was morally wrong. Personally, I wonder if he was aware of the circumstances of the birth, prior to the event. I wonder what impact the loss of his child has on him? Is he saddened by the loss of his child, or more relieved at the freedom of responsibility for it and saddened by the fact  that his illegal sex with a child is going to be prosecuted?

And I feel pretty certain that this is not what the parents evisioned for their girl. To be 15, in jail and going to trial for a serious crime. And besides their fear of what will happen to their child, they have also lost a grandchild.

For Hooven’s family, there is the embarrassment of his charges, and the thought of the loss of a grandchild. And a child going to trial for a serious crime.

Ohio is one of the states that has a law for secret births. It is called the Safe Haven law. It allows for persons who give birth to secret or unwanted pregnancies to have the child, take them to a local hopital or fire department or a police department and hand their child over, with no fear of any criminal charges if the child was unharmed and turned over in 72 hours. Ohio’s law has been in effect for a number of years, though they have just begun to advertise it outside of the news media. Many states have this law. It may be called by other names (Safe Haven, Good Shepard and A Secret Safe Place are the names that I can remember). This law is designed for this type of situation. To prevent the babies being dumped in the garbage like so much trash.

This child may have grown up to have an unspectacular life. But it may have been a great person. We will never know. Because a 23 year old man got a 15 year old pregnant. If you have teens, I encourage everyone to find out if your state has such a law, and make them aware of it. No they may never need it, but they may become aware of one of their peers who do.

Notice I am not bashing the 15 year old that much. At that age, most kids have a healthy respect (or fear) of their parents opinions. They aren’t capable yet of adult actions (that is why they have to have a parent or guardian under the law). She got into a situation that she wasn’t adult enough or prepared enough to handle. What she did was very wrong. And she needs to be held accountable for what she did. But this type of thinking seems to be pretty common for that age, their response to staying out of trouble is often hiding a bad situation.

Hooven, however was the adult in this situation. He legally became an adult at the age of 18, and attained his majority two years prior. He chose to have sex with a child, and that child became pregnant. He knew that at some point, she was either going to have to choose to have an abortion or have the baby. Instead of stepping up and taking responsibility for what he did, he left it to a 15 year old child to handle. So he not only broke the law by having sex with a child, he failed morally in not taking responsibility for his child. And still I have to wonder, what he knew about the baby and when he knew it?

More information is coming out, and I wanted to update this post as some of the info conflicts with what I have written.

The baby was born alive. And it was thought to be alive when she threw it into the dumpster. According to Hooven’s brother and the prosecution confirms this, Hooven was not aware that she was pregnant. He has told his brother that he thinks he would have taken care the child if he had known about it. She gave birth at home, and her parents were not aware of the pregnancy or the birth. The reason she wasn’t charged with murder of the child, is because they think the child was alive when she threw it away, she did not cause the death with her own hands.

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