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Friday, June 23, 2006

Updated: A MySpace Follow-on Suit

Thanks to Matt in the comments to today's earlier post for pointing out that the alleged third-party criminal/torfeasor is himself considering a suit against MySpace.  (Note that though the Time story refers to it as a "countersuit," it appears to in fact by a suit against MySpace; at this point, Solis (who is under criminal charges) is not a civil defendant.) would be better described as a cross-claim.  Solis is indeed a defendant; thanks to KipEsq for correcting me.  That'll teach me to post while mediating the kids' argument.

Edit: While I'm somewhat skeptical of the original case (due to some feasibility and causation questions), I'm more puzzled by Solis's potential claim.  The aserted lie by the original plaintiff was that she was 15 rather than 14 (which follows from the complaint's acknowledgment that she claimed to be 14 when she registered at age 13). 

At a glance, the Texas penal code defines for purposes of sexual and assault charges that "child" is anyone under 17.  Is there some other legal significance to her potentially being 14 rather than 15?  Perhaps a sentencing enhancement of some sort?  I don't see one at a pretty brief look, but maybe it's there...any Texas lawyers want to chime in?

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/tortsprof/2006/06/a_myspace_follo.html

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» MySpace Cross-Complaint?: Alleged rapist blames site from Overlawyered
Via Childs, Pete Solis, the 19-year-old who allegedly sexually assaulted a 13-year-old Austin, Texas, girl whose family is suing the MySpace website where the two met, is, Time Magazine reports, contemplating his own litigation against... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 23, 2006 11:01:28 AM

» MySpace Cross-Complaint?: Alleged rapist blames site from Overlawyered
Via Childs, Pete Solis, the 19-year-old who allegedly sexually assaulted a 13-year-old Austin, Texas, girl whose family is suing the MySpace website where the two met, is, Time Magazine reports, contemplating his own litigation against... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 23, 2006 11:03:42 AM

Comments

Solis is indeed a first-party defendant in the original civil action. See Item 5 of the complaint, as well as Counts VI and VII.

Posted by: KipEsquire | Jun 23, 2006 10:55:00 AM

My understanding (which may be imprecise) is that if there's less than a three-year age difference, and both parties are over 14, there's no statutory rape claim.

Posted by: Ted | Jun 23, 2006 4:51:35 PM

See Section 21.11(b): if she was 15, and he was 18, and it was consensual, no offense.

Posted by: Ted | Jun 23, 2006 4:53:46 PM

And a suit between two co-defendants is still a cross-claim, no?

Posted by: Ted | Jun 23, 2006 4:54:36 PM

Ted: Indeed it is still a cross-claim. But I believe the complaint alleges that he was 19...sure enough, paragraph 31. So it's still a four-year difference, I believe, unless there's an inaccuracy there. I'm still puzzled, then.

Posted by: Bill Childs | Jun 23, 2006 7:33:50 PM

I trying to research since these new lawsuits have been filed, and am hoping there may possibly be some lawyers around still. It sounds that some of these girls initially lied about their ages to be 18 and were thus, in the adult myspace when they lured the adult males into a romantic encounter. This seems to be false representation wherein the males accused of sexual assault would still have grounds for suing the girls parents on this basis. it seems as well that they would have grounds for suing those parents for negligence in not properly supervising their children, in essense, allowing them to play in an adult worldwide bar with all its risks, and allowing them to misrepresent their age.

Posted by: Sue | Feb 7, 2007 5:05:43 PM

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