Article Comment 

Statutory rape added to kidnapping charge


Seth Putnam



New charges have been brought against a Columbus woman who was arrested for kidnapping last week. 


Misty Rhoden Moore, 28, was charged with statutory rape Monday afternoon by the Lowndes County Sheriff''s Office. 


"The investigation continued, and we were able to find further evidence that the relationship was more than we were first able to verify," said Detective Tony Cooper, the lead investigator on the case. 


That evidence includes receipts from a hotel in Tuscaloosa, Ala. where Moore stayed with Trevor Whaley, 14, with whom she left Columbus on July 5. 


Moore, of 2152 New Hope Road, had been living with Whaley''s parents, Thomas Whaley and Tracie Janes, while she was separated from her husband. They asked her to leave, and she took the boy with her. The pair apparently were traveling consensually until Trevor Whaley called home the next day and asked to be picked up at a Walmart in Tuscaloosa. 


Moore already faced charges of up to life in prison for the alleged kidnapping. The statutory rape charge carries and additional maximum of up to 30 years. 


Moore is still in custody. Her bond is set at $500,000, and her court date is Nov. 8.




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Reader Comments

Article Comment kj commented at 7/13/2010 1:26:00 PM:

It's necessary to point out that, had a fourteen-year-old chosen to commit a crime, the very justice system that desires to use them as a child in a statutory rape case would happily and eagerly treat them as an adult in order to prosecute them.

I'm in no way defending sex with minors, but merely making the point that our current justice system cannot deliver it consistently when it arbitrarily and immorally changes the rules.


Article Comment burdine commented at 7/13/2010 4:17:00 PM:

They didn't change the rules, they are on the books for all to see, look um up.


Article Comment kj commented at 7/13/2010 10:39:00 PM:

If the ability to change the rules is on the books, it's still changing the rules to suit. Adults are adults...if kids are only adults when we feel like making them adults--codified or not--we're not delivering justice consistently.


Article Comment doj commented at 7/14/2010 8:21:00 AM:

There is a distinct difference between being a perpetrator and being a victim.


Article Comment kj commented at 7/14/2010 11:55:00 AM:

Indeed. If a minor is coerced in a sex act with an adult they are a victim. If a minor is coerced into a crime with an adult, they are perpetrator.


Article Comment doj commented at 7/14/2010 1:27:00 PM:

kj -- You deserve an A. Move to the head of the understanding the law class!


Article Comment muw-girl commented at 7/14/2010 4:41:00 PM:

Talk about double standard, how can they release the name of a minor involved in a rape act yet withold the name of a minor when he/she is involved in a crime? I'm amazed/appalled that this child's name is being released!


Article Comment cn commented at 7/14/2010 10:48:00 PM:

I'm not trying to take a stand, really, but kj does have a bit of a point. The system is free to pick and choose when to call a kid an adult. For example, That's a story right here in the dispatch, this week. A 13 year old and a 14 year old charged as adults. According to the law, you're able to decide like an adult to commit a crime, but at the same age (or even older) you're not able to decide, like an adult, to have sex.

Personally, I think somebody 28 wanting to have sex with a 14 year old is pretty warped. On the other hand, a 14 year old boy wanting to have sex with a 28 year old woman, isn't so odd (specially if she's attractive). It's definitely a double standard. I can tell you that when I was that age (14) I thought about sex a lot, and my father was a college professor, so there were many times when his classes would have get-togethers at our house. I would have been happy to oblige just about any one of the females if they so desired. They ranged in age from 18 year old freshmen, to grad students in their upper 20's too.

Here's another double standard I've always wondered about: Any time a person gets too drunk, they are still held completely accountable for their actions, unless they are a female and decide, after the fact, to regret having sex with some guy they just met. He may have been just as drunk as she was, but he's still considered able to make that yes or no decision about sex, while she isn't.

Go figure. And no, I don't have any personal experience with either of these situations, if you're wondering.


Article Comment cn commented at 7/14/2010 10:50:00 PM:

Oh yeah, one more thing. Like MUW said, what's the deal with them printing the kid's name if he's considered a rape victim? I know the law doesn't prevent that, but I don't think I've ever seen the name of a minor rape victim published before.


Article Comment kj commented at 7/15/2010 1:25:00 AM:

I think the deal with using the kid's name has to do with the fact that it was originally published as a kidnapping victim and I believe that it is standard operating procedure to get the real name out there with the kidnapping alert. My guess would be that once published, it's difficult to take back.

It's not just sex though...minors cannot act as adults in other capacities: they cannot sign contracts, purchase and consume alcohol, or gamble, for instance. In Mississippi and in some other states, once charged as an adult, even absent a conviction, minors are considered adults for the purposes of prosecution forever after, although they gain none of the patchwork of rights that emancipated minors are permitted.

In the case of emancipated minors, "patchwork of rights" is an accurate phrase, because it does not confer all of the privileges of adult status with regards to alcohol, cigarettes, driving, or sex. My beef with all of this is not that I believe all minors should be considered adults with regard to rights and privileges (I don't), but that we selectively and inconsistently assign adult responsibility to minors whom we consider to be too irresponsible to confer various adult rights and privileges.


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