Guest Post by Oscar S.
São Paulo, Brazil. A few days ago two boys who met online, one 13, the other 18, skipped school to go to the movies. It was a date. Watching the film they cuddled, shared their popcorn and a cup of coke. After the movie, they sat in the cinema café. They hugged and eventually they kissed.
Then hell broke lose, changing their lives forever.
The lady at the popcorn machine was shocked. She called the manager. He called the mall security. They called the police. What happened then can only be described as one of the most bizarre convictions on sex assault ever. The older boy was ARRESTED for alleged RAPE.. He was sent to a cell with very real criminals. Not people who gave an innocent kiss, but robbers, murderers and the like. Jails here in Brazil are not like the prisons in the USA or Europe. They are overcrowded, dirty and dangerous.
Law in Brazil is pretty clear – if someone gets into a libidinous act with someone who is under the age of 14, it is RAPE. Works pretty well to put real paedophiles into jail. But when a kiss becomes rape there is a misinterpretation of the law. And there is something else: Images of the older boy showed that he didn’t even look like 18. This was a pure act of homophobia. If they would have been a straight couple–nothing would have happened. If it was a 13 year old boy issuing an 18 year old girl he would get a high-five.
The boy was released Saturday night. His name on the news is now reduced to his first letter (it wasn’t before). He might face 14 years jail for rape. Hopefully he will be free, but he is probably traumatized for life. He is making a university prep course with 140 students on his class. He will now have to face his family, colleagues, school mates and people in his neighbourhood. He will have to face homophobes. The same applies to the younger boy. And everyone knows what happened. And all this because two boys sneaked out of school for a movie, some popcorn and a kiss. Two boys are marked for life.