Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

June 25, 2010

Poly in two criminal cases

"Polyamory in the news" isn't always about nice people earnestly talking love and flowers. Two criminal cases currently in the news involve polyamorous relationships that are being reported as such in the media.

In Bloomington, Illinois, a 42-year-old man with a wife and another live-in female partner is denying that he raped a 14-year-old girl:

Sexual assault trial of man who had 'polyamorous' lifestyle begins

...A self-employed building maintenance worker pointed to mileage records Wednesday to support his claim that he did not sexually assault a teenage girl five years ago....

...[Ira G.] Lynch was asked if he had ever touched the teenage girl sexually or assaulted her.

"Absolutely not. Absolutely not," he said.

Lynch admitted that he is involved in a long-term relationship with a woman other than his wife of more than 20 years, Cheryl Lynch. The nontraditional, or polyamorous, lifestyle has been discussed by several witnesses during the three-day trial.

Cheryl Lynch testified Wednesday that her husband's other partner and that woman's daughter moved into the Lynch home in 2005.

"It was agreed upon by me and my husband. I'm OK with it," she said.

The defendant's wife made it clear that she would not condone any sexual activity between her husband and a child.

"I'd probably turn him in myself. That's just not right. There's a difference between consenting adults and children," she said.

The alleged victim, now 19, spent two hours on the witness stand Tuesday describing three incidents in which she said Lynch sexually assaulted her during a visit to Bloomington. The girl's mother was involved in a relationship with Lynch but did not live in his home, she told the jury.

Lynch also denied that he ever expressed an interest in having a sexual relationship with the girl and her mother.

"Nothing remotely similar to that ever came out of my mouth," Lynch said in response to questions from defense lawyer Lance Cagle.

In a videotaped deposition shown to the jury Wednesday, the daughter of Lynch's live-in partner contradicted portions of the alleged victim's testimony -- including a statement that she walked in on one of the purported assaults at the Lynch home. The witness, who now lives out of state with relatives, said she considered Lynch a father figure....

Read the whole article (June 23, 2010), and others at the same newspaper.

"With increased visibility and an increase in the practice of polyamory, I suppose stories like this one are inevitable," writes Anita Wagner, board member of Loving More and a longtime polyactivist;

Even so, despite knowing that all societal groups have their pedophiles, seeing that subject linked to polyamory in this article makes me cringe. Spokespeople may need to be prepared with a statement for the media if asked about such cases. NCSF can help if needed; they deal with these kinds of stories all the time.

And Wagner proposes that anyone who may be asked about this case have their talking points ready:

* There is no evidence to indicate that children raised in polyamorous families are more likely to be sexually abused than in any other form of family.

* Pedophilia exists in virtually every segment of our society, including communities like ours whose code of ethics emphatically condemns such behavior.

* Polyamory is practiced between consenting adults, and children by law cannot give consent to sex with adults.


The other case is the high-profile trial involving the murder of attorney Robert Wone in Washington DC. He was stabbed to death under mysterious circumstances in the home of three well-to-do gay men living as a triad. The three are charged with conspiracy and covering up evidence. They have stuck tightly together in their story of an implausible "intruder," to the point that murder charges cannot be brought against any one of them (nor anyone else). Their polyamorous family has been second only to their gay identity in attracting attention to this strange and in some ways inexplicable case.

Their lengthy, multimillion-dollar trial ended yesterday with TV trucks crowding the street outside the courthouse. Google "Robert Wone" for more than you could ever read. In particular, the blogsite WhoMurderedRobertWone.com, run by four men in the DC gay community, has provided exhaustive coverage of the case from the start. A verdict is expected Tuesday.

Update June 29: The judge declared the three not guilty on all charges — though with a lengthy explanation that their "intruder" story is apparently fake, that their actions are "damning," and that one, two, or all three of them are "very probably" guilty as charged. But because only one or two of the three may be guilty based on the spotty evidence, and all three refuse to talk, she said that she was forced to acquit each of them based on her very strict interpretation of "beyond a reasonable doubt."

As in the O. J. Simpson case, to which this is being compared, they aren't off yet. They now face a civil suit by the widow of the murdered man, in which the standards of evidence and proof will be less favorable to them.



Blogger Desmond Ravenstone said...

Bottom line, I think we need to make it clear that polyamory is not the issue here, just as being gay would not be a factor.

June 27, 2010 9:15 PM  

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