Tell Defense Attorney That 11-Year Olds Are Never Willing Participants in Sex

Target: Defense Attorney Steve Taylor

Goal: Make him understand that sex involving a minor is always considered rape.

For almost half a year, Cleveland, Texas resident Jared Len Cruse, along with 20 of his friends, repeatedly raped an 11-year old girl. Mr. Cruse’s defense attorney, Steve Taylor, argued in court that it wasn’t rape because the girl said she had been a “willing participant.” Not only did he make this shocking accusation, but he went on to say the girl was like a spider, luring the men seductively into her parlor. What Steve Taylor doesn’t understand is, no matter what the 11-year old said, rape is always rape when a minor is involved. The girl was not of age, and therefore could not be a consenting adult.

Luckily, there are some sane people involved in the case. The lead investigator, Sergeant Chad Langdon, testified before the court that an 11-year old can never legally consent to sex. Despite Mr. Taylor’s career involving the law, he apparently doesn’t understand this. In addition, another man charged with raping the same girl has already been sentenced to 99 years in prison. So far, it appears Mr. Taylor’s comments won’t do much to sway the jury, and may ultimately end up working against him and his client.

The level of violence committed in the world is shocking, and no more than when children are involved. Please, tell Steve Taylor that his remarks are disgusting and unacceptable. If his reasoning were law, rapists and pedophiles would be able to get away with far more of their crimes. This is a serious matter, and if dialogue like the kind Mr. Taylor used doesn’t go away, children will never be fully protected.


Dear Attorney Steve Taylor,

Your recent comments about an 11-year old being a willing participant in sex are disturbing and harmful to the public. I understand your job sometimes involves defending people who have done bad things, but that doesn’t mean you can say anything you want in an attempt to prove their innocence. As a lawyer, you should be familiar enough with the law to know that when an adult has sex with an 11-year old, it is always considered rape, no matter what the child says.

The comments you made only help to spread lies and misinformation. God forbid a potential predator hears what you said and decides they can get away with rape using a similar defense. If these heinous acts had been perpetrated against your child, I know you would not feel the same way. You know as well as I do that an 11-year old is not mature enough to make decisions about sex, especially when over 20 adult men are involved.

Please, issue an apology for your statements, and urge others to learn what the law really says. Regardless of the outcome for your client, I know you would never want anything like this to happen to another child.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Justin Tallis via AFP

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  1. I was gang raped by 3 men when I was 17. I pressed charges and in my state under 18 is statutory rape. One of the lawyers accused me on the witness stand of being a person with no morals.
    I went through 3 trials, one was a mistrial, one a hung jury (I inappropriately laugh under stress) and the final I dropped charges, as my main concern was that the sexual abuse would continue and going to court met that goal.
    I was 21 when I dropped charges, couldn’t take the continuous retelling & anxiety attacks.
    The remark about ‘no morals’ distressed me almost as much as the rape.
    I was under the mistaken impression that victim blaming was passe in rape trials.

    • Susan Samuel (@SueTandT) says:

      Firstly I applaud your courage in commenting about your case. It is appalling to realise that the law’s we vote for rarely offer us either justice or a sense of safety for victims involved in the judicial process. To the contrary they become an ordeal that is almost commensurable with the crime in the stress & distress the victim is subjected to.
      It is of no matter what the victims morals are or are not the law states very clearly without consent it is rape and must do two things protect the victim & deliver justice for the crime.
      The evolved practise of blame the victim is a sad & deplorable reaction of a society that is fast approaching the point were it has abandoned any desire to self regulate it’s actions.
      Your story saddens me, and I hope your courage leads you to a place of peace to move forward.

    • I am so sorry for what happened to you, Kate. I also laugh inappropriately when I’m terrified. I have discussed this phenomenon with my friends. Apparently, it is fairly common, especially among women. The courts should understand that many individuals laugh when anxious, upset, or scared. Your defense attorney should have explained this and used it to your advantage.
      As for the victim blaming, it has been going on far too long. There should be a law against using it for a defense.

  2. Please someone remove this mans license! He doesn’t understand law at all and the ones that every citizen knows that an 11 year old cannot give consent. This man is crazy and if he is using this for an actual defense that means he believes in his argument and therefore must feel that it would be okay for him to have sex with an 11 year old too, is she consented. A man like this makes the world a more dangerous place and I would even say he needs to be admitted to an asylum.

  3. A house cat may be in heat and want mating but for a man to have sex with it would be a crime.
    A child has little more wit than that. They don’t know what they are consenting to, it’s a crime

    • Janet Caterina says:

      You have a good point, Judie. A person may consent to something or be led into it if they do not know what they are doing. But even a cat will object if you mistreat it. They have pride and instinctual revulsion to what is wrong. 40 men and one girl could not be considered an act of love.

  4. Unbeleveable !

  5. I am sure that little girl was terrified and threatened with her life and/or of those she loves. Wake up Mr Taylor, a child does not consent to sex. This was perverse and out of her hands. God help her and protect her. You need your license to practice removed !

  6. Even if a 17 y/o consents to having sex with an adult, this is always classified as statutory rape, regardless of her agreement. I believe this to be a federal law in the US. I cannot even try imagining 20 adult men having sex with an 11 y/o without extreme discomfort! Was she rendered unconscious? Many elements of this case are missing. VERY, VERY sad! I predict she will never have a normal and gratifying marriage regardless of the circumstances involved in this atrocity.

  7. I was unable to sign the petitions for three reasons.

    1.I agree that sex with minors is not necessarily rape. It can happen between two consenting parties, ie. a 17 and a 18 year old couple.

    2.On the other hand, giving consent does not always make it not rape, since many people are being socially conditioned and psychologically pressured into ‘consenting’ to sexual violence. In a patriarchic dominator society such as the US, sexual violence is propagated and worshipped to the point that one can’t see the forest for all the trees anymore. Worrying about single cases of rape while denying the underlying structure of society shows a major inconsistency and hinders the prevention of rape.

    3.The words ‘God forbid’ are inappropriately religious and have nothing to do in a legal statement. It is furthermore disrespectful to mention Christian terminology since this religion is widely known for its patriarchy, misogyny and pedophilia.

    I would be more than happy to sign the petition if these points were not so obvious to me.

    • Janet Caterina says:

      Why would this be a legal case at all unless the girl had some objection? It is clearly a case for damages in any culture or any religion, regardless of social conditioning.

  8. stop picking on kids!

  9. It’s illegal to have childporn but raping a kid can be allowed?? wtf!! This lawyer has some mental issues

  10. Young girls today dress to be sexy apply makeup and end up looking much older than their years so they are not always blameless. That however does not change the fact that it is illegal to have sex with an underage person and this particular case is frightening even if the child says she was willing.
    What frightens me just as much is the thoughtless comments on this page. Lawyers are required by law to make the best case in defense of their client. It doesn’t matter how they feel they have to make the best effort to obtain their clients freedom. Failure to do this can result in him or her being disbarred. If all the lawyer’s refused the case the court will have to appoint one as part of the legal system demands that all defendants have proper, impartial representation.I am certain many lawyers have been presented with this choice and have hated the results they obtained but that is their sworn duty. So lets not attack the lawyer he is only doing what he is required to do by law. If he was defending you would you except anything less.
    Do you really believe that a judge would be influenced by such insane reasoning?
    Lets just pray that the correct decisions are made

    • No one is saying he should not be defending his client. However, the things he said are simply not true. He knows what the law says, and he is misrepresenting it. His comments only encourage other predators to think the same way.

    • this is clearly not about defense, but about attacking the child who has been GANG RAPED.

      you are a useless shit if you think “they are not always blameless”.
      those children are ENCOURAGED to dress that way.
      would you have said “young boys often wear skinny jeans and put product in their hair, and so are not entirely innocent when men rape them”?
      get over yourself you misogynistic bastard.

  11. if this had been an eleven year old boy that twenty men had been raping, there would have been no question of the rapist’s guilt, and no blaming of the child.

    not one person would have asked “what was he wearing” or if he was too seductive.

  12. Karen Peralta says:

    As a victim of several rapes, including one gang rape, I can understand the horror of being told “no crime was committed” against me. And the “sex” with an eleven year old is definitely nothing but rape. Sex with 20 men? That is a gang rape beyond monstrous. That lawyer should be disbarred and prosecuted.

  13. I won’t be surprised to learn this man’s on the wrong side of the law. He really should be disbarred.

  14. Linda Indyke says:

    I am wondering how this poor excuse for a lawyer managed to continue being licensed. His ignorance of the law verges on legal malpractice IMHO.

  15. Sharyl yeisley is a liar she abuses and mentally abuses her children and lies about other people all the time if you see a post on hear from her don’t believe it.

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