Lawyers for Donald Trump’s former faith advisor Robert Morris accused a 12-year-old girl of initiating “inappropriate” sexual conduct with the ex-Dallas megachurch  pastor, new documents have revealed.

Morris resigned in June after admitting to the incident. His accuser Cindy Clemishire previously claimed that the pastor had begun abusing her on Christmas Day in 1982.

Clemishire, now 52, said that Morris and his wife had been staying at her family home at the time when he asked her to come into his room, whereafter he told her to lay on his bed and then began touching her inappropriately.

She said the abuse had continued until 1987 when she told her parents.

However, 25 years after the incident, a lawyer for Morris – J Shelby Sharpe – claimed that it was the child who was actually to blame.

  • catloaf@lemm.ee
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    14 days ago

    Even if she did, so what? A 12-year-old cannot consent. The adult cannot engage. This is not a defense.

    • KoboldCoterie@pawb.social
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      14 days ago

      The fact that this post has a downvote is legitimately worrying to me. I really hope that’s not someone who disagrees with this statement.

          • stoly@lemmy.world
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            13 days ago

            libertarianism is also where I went. There are some people who think contrary to whatever appears in front of them, however.

          • barsquid@lemmy.world
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            13 days ago

            MAGAs’ core principles are bigotry and oppositional defiant disorder. They have a mental disorder compelling them to make the out-groups angry. So of course they spread to places where people hate them, including Lemmy.

          • ArxCyberwolf@lemmy.ca
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            13 days ago

            lemm.ee has a conservative community that’s full of some of the most dense individuals I’ve seen on here. It’s quite fun watching them twist themselves into knots when faced with dissenting opinions over there.

      • Grimy@lemmy.world
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        13 days ago

        We can see who did but that being said, I’ve downvoted posts many times before by accident. It’s very easy to do when scrolling, it was most likely that.

      • cygnus@lemmy.ca
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        13 days ago

        Whoever downvoted has definitely used the word “ephebophilia” unironically int he past.

      • ameancow@lemmy.world
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        13 days ago

        People genuinely are twisted about sex and age and consent, and there is no truer view into our massive flaws as a species. That we have anyone at all in this age and at this point in our evolution targeting children for self-gratification tells me all I need to know about the Fermi Paradox. We are NOT an advanced species. The very worst of us represents all of us.

    • dexa_scantron@lemmy.world
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      13 days ago

      The right thing to do if a 12-year-old makes sexual advances on an adult is for the adult to report it because the 12-year-old is probably being abused!! Not to have sex with them!! What the fuck?! (Not that I believe this shit for a second but even if it were true that makes him just as much of an abuser.)

      • HelixDab2@lemm.ee
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        13 days ago

        the 12-year-old is probably being abused!!

        Eh. I dunno. I was engaging in explicitly sexual activities with other children my own age when I was 7, and I wasn’t being abused. To the best of my knowledge, they weren’t either. Sexuality is pretty well baked into our DNA, and sexual exploration, sex play, and yes, sexual intercourse is something children tend to do because it’s so biologically coded into us.

        On the other hand, parents should probably have a frank, shame-free discussion with children about what is, and is not, appropriate behavior with adults, how consent works with peers, and discuss time and space constraints on behaviors.

          • HelixDab2@lemm.ee
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            13 days ago

            The point was that sexual behavior in young children does not necessarily equal abuse.

            • otp@sh.itjust.works
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              13 days ago

              The implication was that sexual behaviour towards adults in young children is the warning sign.

              EDIT: formatting

              • HelixDab2@lemm.ee
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                13 days ago

                Children having sexual urges towards and crushes on adults is pretty normal–particularly once they hit early pubescence and are flooded with hormones–so I don’t necessarily see it as a sign that a child has already been abused. But, again, an adult acting sexual towards any child is absolutely, 1000% wrong.

                The perspective I’m coming at this from is that, based on feedback I’ve gotten over the years, I was sexually precocious, and my parents responded by, first, shaming, and second, taking me to a professional because they were sure something was “wrong” with me, and that it needed to be “fixed”. That ended up being deeply harmful to me, and it’s taken me decades to reach some kind of detente with who I am. (The psychologist was actually quite supportive of me. He said my parents were wrong, and that I was going through normal things, albeit at an earlier age than most. But that didn’t really help with the load of shaming that I was getting from my parents and religious leaders.) Parents freaking out and immediately going to an authority is going to have that kind of effect on a child. IMO, it would likely be better for parents to have a very frank, but non-judgmental discussion with a child before leaping to the conclusion that they were acting out because they were abused, rather than because they had a colossal lapse in judgment.

    • APassenger@lemmy.world
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      13 days ago

      Hav me you read the Bible?

      Within some circles, it’s a little bit of one. Just not one that works legally or with you or me.

    • ameancow@lemmy.world
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      13 days ago

      A 12-year-old cannot consent.

      The people who need to hear this the most are also the ones who will respond to this statement with “No you idiot, it SAYS she initiated!” Or at least inside they will think this.

      I used to think that this kind of statement would carry all the necessary information to teach people about consent, but no, it’s not nearly enough. We have several whole generations that skipped PBS and education and reading and life experiences entirely, they have withdrawn to isolated spaces that indulge whatever twisted passions they have and people make far, far less effort to understand concepts than they used to.

      What you have to explain is that what a child thinks they want versus what you, an adult with adult perspectives wants, are not aligned and will lead to massive, massive power imbalances, and we protect children from their own foolish ideas ALL DAY LONG about other things.

      You can do massive damage to a child psychologically by taking away their natural pace of growth and self-discovery and replacing them with your own ideas of what a sexual relationship is. A twelve year-old has another DECADE TO A DECADE AND A HALF to go before they finalize growth and development for the most part. In that time, they will draw on all their life experiences to guide them to a healthy future and a positive attitude about themselves and sex. If someone out there is reading all this and still does not get it, you need to haul yourself to therapy yesterday.

  • iAmTheTot@sh.itjust.works
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    14 days ago

    “and so what was he to do, Your Honour? Say no to a twelve year old? Report their conduct to their parents?”

  • WatDabney@sopuli.xyz
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    14 days ago

    And this neatly illustrates the grotesquely destructive delusion that lies at the heart of religious fundamentalism - it’s ultimately, and I’m tempted to say without exception, an attempt by overtly evil people to place the blame for their evil on others, or on society as a whole.

    The underlying issue is not that other people feel lust, for instance, but that they themselves feel lust, and they consider that to be so shameful that their self-images cannot tolerate the idea that it’s a part of their own makeup. It must and can only be, to them, a thing that’s been imposed on them by “evil” people or an “evil” society, so the solution, to them, is to stamp out that “evil.” Solely in the belief, ultimately, that if that “evil” could somehow be made to not exist, it would no longer plague them.

    • lath@lemmy.world
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      13 days ago

      Back to the witch trials we go.

      “She used her evil magic to tempt me!” “Her devil powers controlled my groin!” “Oh woes me! Look at these weakened knees of mine! The succubus has drained the life out me!”

  • shalafi@lemmy.world
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    14 days ago

    Buddy of mine’s 12-yo stepdaughter was flirting with him when they watched movies. He was horrified and confused.

    “Dude, she’s just testing her feminine wiles on you since she sees you as safe, kinda testing her attractiveness. Doesn’t even have a clue she’s doing it. Just ignore it or gently push back if she goes too far.”

    And of course all was well. Thought it was a cute and funny story.

    And we have lawyers trying to slide this defense?! Not to mention the guy who took it seriously and raped a child! I swear to god they used to threaten disbarment over stupid shit like this.

    tl;dr Kids do stupid shit when they start puberty. It’s on the adult to see what’s happening.

    • tpihkal@lemmy.world
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      13 days ago

      I’m in my late thirties and I have to remind myself when a younger twenty-something girl comes on to me, that is never going to work and I have to be the mature one to shut it down.

      • stoly@lemmy.world
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        13 days ago

        lol I like the comment but it comes across a little “look what I can do still”

        • tpihkal@lemmy.world
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          13 days ago

          That is not what I meant but I don’t know how to explain it without sounding like a douche.

          The point I’m trying to make is that you have to recognize your place in life and use that as reference to help other people around you.

          • stoly@lemmy.world
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            13 days ago

            FWIW I understood what you were saying. I am a linguist which means I’m sensitive to differing meanings that the same words and phrases have. I happened to notice it on your comment and thought it was funny.

      • Empricorn@feddit.nl
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        13 days ago

        You’re correct, but keep in mind your example is still legal! The article we are discussing is not.

      • rowrowrowyourboat@sh.itjust.works
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        13 days ago

        I get what you’re saying, but let’s chill out on the infantilization of women.

        A 20-something-year-old woman doesn’t compare to a 12-year-old.

        And maybe the 20-something-year-old woman hitting on you just wants to have fun and is not thinking about anything working out with you. Presume much?

        • blazeknave@lemmy.world
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          13 days ago

          How old are you? I agree with your infantilization comment but you’re wrong here. I’m middle aged. A girl in her 20s literally looks like a child to me and the older I get, the more I see it’s fucking gross when older men date women that make them feel like they’re fucking little girls.