CNET news reports that charges of “of aggravated harassment and endangering the welfare of a child” against 18-year-old Isaiah Rodriguez have been dropped. He was accused of this behavior because he left a series of messages professing his undying devotion to a 14-year-old girl on her MySpace page.
According to CNET, the harassing words in question were: “I love you;” “we need to be together;” I will see you every day;” and “I will never stop trying to talk to you.”
Ruling in favor of Rodriguez, Judge Michael Gerstein stated:
“ The words “we need to be together;” “I will never stop talking to you;” and “I love you” are not threats, but appear to be merely the symptoms of unrequited love–the same hopeless affection that, among countless others, Dante felt for Beatrice; Don Quixote for Dulcinea; Cyrano for Roxane; Quasimodo for Esmeralda; Young Werner for Lotte; Jay Gatsby for Daisy Buchanan; and that Charlie Brown felt for the Little Red Haired Girl. While these romances do not usually end well for the pursuing party, the People have cited neither statute nor case law that might punish the communication of unrequited love, even if such is undesired.”
The defense also could have cited Helen Fisher’s work on love as evidence that we don’t know what the heck we are doing when we first fall in love:
But it does beg the question, at what point does/should age difference matter here? If the guy was 50, not 18, would the charges still be dropped? What if the two youth were both 14? Technically, the age gap from 14 to 18 is statutory rape territory. Though apparently no physical contact took place, it is somewhat surprising to me that age was not discussed more in this article.