"Latino Machismo" Used As Excuse For Statutory Rape

Kelsey Peterson, a 26-year-old 6th grade math teacher from Lexington, Nebraska, plead guilty Wednesday to having a sexual relationship with her 12-year-old student, Fernando Rodriguez, and transporting the boy to Tijuana, Mexico in an attempt to dodge authorities.

Today, Peterson's lawyer, James Martin Davis, argued in an interview with Star Jones that Rodriguez was the aggressor, not the victim, saying, "I resent the term 'child.' You're baby-fying this kid. This kid is a Latino machismo teenager." Hold up.

At the time of their relations Rodriguez was 12 years-old -a minor – not even a teenager. He watched Disney movies on the drive to Mexico! Peterson’s lawyers argument that Rodriguez, at twelve-years, was not a child, shows total disregard for legal statutes and definitions.

But what is far more offensive is Martin Davis’s use of ethnic stereotypes as a justification for rape. What is next? Blaming every Latina who is a victim of sexual assault because she is ‘saucy’?

Martin Davis’s comments are racism and victim blaming at its worst.

Bravo to Good Morning America for calling Peterson’s attorney out on his ridiculous statement, and shame on any person who would use stereotypes to indict an innocent child.

—Alicia Menendez

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About this author

Mariela Rosario,

I'm a raging opinionista and I love to share my ramblings on everything from pop culture to food to stuff that makes me laugh & cry! I've worked in all types of media (TV, film, print) and was previously the online editor at Latina magazine before joining Mamás Latinas. On most nights you can find me working my way through my library of cookbooks or playing with my puppy Lola (my only child so far). I have a wonderful hubby who shares my passion for any and all kinds of travel. Together, we've formed a semi-professional wine drinking team.

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