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September 23, 2009 - 9:18am

Police Beat: Corfu teen accused of raping 14-year-old girl

posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Stafford, corfu.

Cody L. Pahuta, 18, of 9548 Alleghany Road, Corfu, is charged with rape in the second degree, a criminal sexual act and endangering the welfare of a child. Pahuta is accused of having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl. He was jailed on $10,000 bail. The case was investigated by Village of Corfu Police.

Joel D. Prouty, 23, of 705 Old State Road, Bergen, is charged with DWI, aggravated DWI with a BAC of .08 percent or greater and citations for alleged unsafe lane change, consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle, uninspected motor vehicle and failure to notify DMV of an address change. Prouty was stopped by Deputy Jason Saile on Thwing Road in Stafford following a report of a suspicious person in the area. Prouty was issued an appearance ticket.

Doug Yeomans
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In the case of Cody Pahuta it sounds like the two were having a consensual "get-together". Rape? Hardly. In Canada (yes, yes, I'm quite aware that this is not Canada) the legal age of consent is 14. I think they have a more sane view on this matter. Of course I'd want to have a little talk with Cody if this were my daughter. The majority of society see it entirely different when it's a boy of 14 or 15 and a girl of 18. For most, it doesn't seem as bad for some reason. The law sees it from a totally irrational viewpoint in my opinion. Should a 14 year old girl be having sex? Probably not, but should an 18 year old boy/man be in jail for having sex with her and ending up on the sex offender registry for life, especially if the girl was voluntarily involved? I just don't think so. We expect 14 year old people to make decisions all the time and we give them responsibilities. Why is it then that we don't think they can make decisions about their own sexuality? If a 14 year old can be held responsible for a robbery, murder or some other crime, why not enable them to be responsible for making other choices? I'm speaking about this from a legal standpoint, not a moral standpoint. 14 and 18 are pretty close in age. In my opinion each case should be evaluated all by itself. If it's consensual and no coercion or force was used, maybe the young man and woman need some kind of intervention, but JAIL? A $10K bail? Lets call it what it is, foolish. Not rape. Lets all be realistic and think about what has happened in our own lives. Maybe you were active, maybe you weren't. Would you have wanted to be put into jail and have a "sex offender" label with your face available for all to see on the registry site? Yikes! It's rape when there's force or blackmail involved. When it's consensual, it's just that. Yeah..I know I'd probably feel differently if it were my daughter but that would just be an emotional reaction, not a common sense reaction. Lets hear from some females on this subject and be honest. Don't voice an opinion based on what you think people want to hear. Voice your own opinion based on how you see it from a woman's perspective. Anyway, just my two cents worth. In the case of Joel Prouty, how is it that he only got an appearance ticket? He had a BAC of .18 or greater. That's plastered! He was also charged with other offenses, minor, but still. He had to have been observed making an unsafe lane change if he was ticketed for it. Who does he know that he wasn't remanded to jail in lieu of bail?
Howard B. Owens
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Here's the definition of rape in the second degree in New York § 130.30 Rape in the second degree. A person is guilty of rape in the second degree when: 1. being eighteen years old or more, he or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person less than fifteen years old; or 2. he or she engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally disabled or mentally incapacitated. It shall be an affirmative defense to the crime of rape in the second degree as defined in subdivision one of this section that the defendant was less than four years older than the victim at the time of the act. Rape in the second degree is a class D felony. source There is a difference, I think, between how men and women relate to sex. It's more than just a biological act (which has its own consequences), it's also an emotional act. Fourteen is way to young to consider that a girl can be giving informed consent, especially in today's highly sexualized society. There is a valid point, possibly, for whether just a defendant should have a sex crimes file for life, appearing in public databases. Again, especially in today's highly sexualized society. For the record, I'm not commenting on the possible guilt or innocence of the particular named individual, but just the theory behind the law. As for Prouty, law enforcement officers appropriately have a good deal of discretion. A cooperative accused will receive less harsh treatment than an uncooperative accused for the same offense. And there can be other factors the officer can consider. It's a judgment call sometimes. Differing treatment does not necessarily imply "knowing somebody" (though that may be a factor as well). I'm just saying, I wouldn't read too much into it. We have pretty limited information about the incident.

Kelly Hansen
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Doug, I think you are wrong - on several points. I will address the most glaring. First, this man is charged, not found guilty. Let's see the outcome before we pretend we know all of the facts. Second, the teenage brain works more off of gut feelings (amygdala region of the brain) than with reason (frontal lobe). A 14 year old is much too young to make most decisions which can be life-changing. That is why they cannot vote, drink alcohol, drive, operate heavy equipment, get a blood test w/out consent, or defend our country as part of the armed forces. A 14 year old 'person' is a child, Doug. Yes, a person, but also a child. This woman's perspective is that it is rape, irregardless of consent or lack thereof. The average age of legal consent throughout the world is 16, placing Canada well under the average. If an 18 year old individual is considered to be legally an adult, they have a moral and legal responsibility to protect the dignity, physical, emotional health of a child. That includes not taking advantage of them sexually or otherwise.
Julie A Pappalardo
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A 14 year old can also get a hunting license and run around with a GUN! 18 year olds can go to war, but we can’t give them a beer when they get back……. This sex offender stuff was a GOOD thing when it all started, but now it has been taken to the extreme: http://www.dakotapolitics.com/blogPost.asp?PostId=20582 These people were just taking pics of their kids in the tub. Now they are given the same label as a child predator. I mean, are they going to go after EVERYONE who takes pic of their kids in the tub now?? I hope they don't ruin this kid's life unless it was FORCABLE RAPE..there IS a difference! 14 year old girls consent ALL THE TIME…They also LIE about their age!
nick driscoll
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Julie. who says we cant give them a beer if they get back? oh the same people who say we cant drive over the speed limit, talk on a cell phone while driving or maybe even smoke marijuana. my point is in most cases it seems these are mere suggestions granted sometimes when you get caught you may be punished but it is your duty as a patriot to do as you please the only difference is its a game now and you have to play by the rules. dont drive more than five to ten mph over the speed limit dont talk on a cell phone while driving in front of a cop dont smoke drugs in public. DONT GET CAUGHT. i dont think many 18 year olds have trouble getting beer. and for gods sake if your son or daughter is lucky enough to come home from war and you give him or her a beer at a family party there is a great chance that nobody is going to interfere with that family decision as long as responsibility is upheld. this country was founded by brave men who chose how much their government was going control them i encourage everone else to do the same as long as its for the good of mankind and the earth! so dont comment about this post saying that any one can do anything they want regardless of who it affects, there is good and there is bad. lets do good!
Doug Yeomans
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Well put, Julie, well put. Howard, I know the what the law says but I just think it's way overboard.
Laura Scarborough
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an 18year old male or female has no business having sex w/a 14yr old period. If the 14yr comes on strong w/advances, the 18yr old needs to act as an adult. If some think it's ok for a 18yr old person to have sex w/a 14yr old (just because it's consensual) then why not a 52year old male/female having sex w/a 14year old... creepy, but yet the same idea.. 18yrs old and 52yrs old are both adults. Some 14yr olds look a lot older then they are... which is why you should get to know someone before you start a sexual relationship.
Doug Yeomans
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Here's a thought: What's the difference between "many people" (not all) and people in prison for various offenses? "A": Those in prison got caught, many people didn't. How many of you smoked weed or tried various drugs growing up? "Many did." It would have been a felony to get caught with some of those drugs. The rest of your life would've been plagued with an arrest record, the right to vote taken away and the inability to own a firearm. How many of you that tried drugs while growing up are now productive members of society? Do your friends and family trust you with the keys to their house? Do you own a business or hold full time jobs? Personally, I know "many people" who fit the description of those who never got caught and are now people you would trust your life with. Think about it. Like Julie said, (under adult supervision) we trust a 14 year old to hunt with a gun. We trust them to make large decisions and expect them to abide by those decisions. I don't think that we can put an expected level of maturity at an age number. We've all known 18 year olds who are far less mature than some 14 year olds. True? Like Julie pointed out, an 18 year old, even a 17 year old with a parents signature can join the military and die for their country. We expect them to be able to make that much of a life changing decision but heaven forbid if they have a beer. They can get married, have babies, serve, work, but not imbibe an alcoholic beverage. There are so many examples of where the laws fail us. Their intentions are good but I think they go way overboard.
nick driscoll
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doug you seem to have an alarming tolerance for underage sex 14 is an awful young age to be having intercourse. i think there is a difference between 18 and 17 than 18 and 14, maybe there should be a sliding scale of perversion for lack of a better term. but no law is ever perfect now if this case was between a 18 year old and a 17 year old i wouldnt be so concerned but 14 years old is too young to be defending that action. also i think there is a difference in rape and statutory rape and this case is about rape and there is absolutely no defending that, even if its "prison cell justice" which may be reality for Cody or any sexual predator in prison that should be something nobody should ever have to worry about because in prison there is no mercy the weak are preyed upon and and gangs and violence are things nobody will ever escape as long as they are behind those wall. our justice system may not be that swift but terms are long usually years, have you ever actually stopped and thought about how long even one year would last fearing for your safety every minute of every day and every night. this may not be the case in every single facility but in many especially state prisons thats to way it is. you dont just go in, do your time with little freedom and get out it is a very savage dangerous place and depending on what you did to get in there and how strong you are body mind and spirit more dangerous for others.
Julie A Pappalardo
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FYI...Regarding alcohol: The only time that it is NOT against the law to serve a minor is when it is YOUR kid and in YOUR house. You cannot let them drink ANYWHERE else even if they are YOUR kids. If you get caught buying booze for a minor or serving a minor, you get arrested for "endangering the welfare of a child"!!!! TOTALLY insane to me...Isn't sending kids overseas to get SHOT AT "endangering the welfare of a child"???? Back to the sex thing. Remember folks; girls mature faster than boys and that fact should really be taken into account before ruining someones life....
C D
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I'm taking a shot in the dark saying this. I believe the point Doug is trying to make is should an 18 year old kid serve jail time and become a registered sex offender because he had consensual sex with a 14 year old girl. Contrary to NYS law, having consensual sex isn't rape.
E. S. Sherman
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I understand that you all think that the age is ok.....but where do you draw the line. Like Laura said if it is ok for an 18 yr old then why should an older man be charged. I don't know the answer to it but I sure know if i caught my 14 yr old having sex with an 18 yr old I would want to kick both their butts. Like I said though what age is ok and what is not. I have boys and I have girls. I would be mad at my boys for having sex with someone that young. This is a hard one to tackle. When will we be able to convince the 14 yr olds they are way to young to be having sex. My 14 yr old wouldn't be allow to be in a situation to be able to have sex. Hopefully I won't have to deal with something like this ever but sure know I would be mad. This is a hard topic because they are both to blame but the 18yr old is supposed to be an adult....that is also crazy. Don't think 18yr olds are adults now days but who am i to say. On the drinking thing the law doesn't think they are adult enough to drink but still go to war. That's not right. If my kid is old enough to go make decisions about a war he sure as [email protected] is old enough to have a beer. Maybe if they will not let the "kids" drink they shouldn't be able to go to war.
Karen Miconi
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Having raised 2 teens and one coming up on her teen years, Ive heard it all. There could have been a number of reasons these kids had the time, and the mind to have sex. I would first question my parenting skills. I would blame myself, for not knowing where my daughter was, and why I wasn't paying more attention. Then I would question both teens together, or seperatly,(whatever works), and make sure the act was not forced. Most teens are complicated,immature, and alot of them experiance what they think, is their first love, around 14-15. I would have to hear their reasoning for the incident. While I would be mad at the boy, I wouldn't want him to be labeled as a registered sex offender. That should only be done in a worst case senario(Forceble), or if it was plain to see, he was pursueing her, and his advances were unprovoked, and without consent. I've learned too, that kids need second chances, a chance to change their behavior, and to do better. They are learning about life and relationships, along with the stress of their studies. This takes alot of time, guidence, understanding, and yes a firm parenting hand to see them through. With that I wish the best for all involved. Communication, and education is key, and also love and understanding. If that doesn't work only then do you introduce the tough as nails, stalker mom (: ( And yes my girls gave me that name years ago)LOL
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I think there's 2 issues... one is that 18 and 14 year olds can both be present in one location, high school. It isn't so unheard of for a Senior to date a Freshman. I really think the context of the situation would explain more. Second, I think some parents - because the parents can blow the statutory rape whistle - use it as a punishment against the guy that went after their daughter when it was anything but the violent act the name describes. As the apparent "stalker mom" Karen says (funny, but a good funny :-) ), education is the key... and parents play a vital role in this entire situation discussed, for they are the ones that can condemn a kid to a reputation that will be with him for life. I'm glad Doug had the guts to play the devil's advocate here...
bud prevost
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Karen- we need more "stalker" parents! :)
Doug Yeomans
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I think people are missing my point here. I clearly stated that a 14 year old girl probably shouldn't be having sex. Did I not? My point is that when something happens like this, it seems like people want to come out with pitch forks and a lynching noose. I also said that each case should be individually scrutinized and evaluated.
DOUGLAS MCCLURG
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I've been watching this thread. My opinion is that the relationship Is wrong-but how Illegal and severe the punishments are, are wrong too. Please don't beat me up on this-seems like a good assessment.
Doug Yeomans
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I finally came back and really read what everyone wrote. It seems that most of you to varying degrees share my feelings on the subject. This was a good thread and thanks to everyone who openly contributed. On another note, who was a greater, immediate threat to everyone in the original, 2 news reports? The drunk who was observed being a very real, lethal danger to everyone else on the road got an appearance ticket. The guy who was obviously having a consensual relationship with his GF gets sent to jail on $10K bail. We send people to jail for doing what people do, too young or not, but the guy who is doing something that can and does kill many people gets sent home to sleep it off.
Frank Bartholomew
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Unfortunately,or fortunately,depending on what side of the fence you're on,I believe ,and unless the law has been changed,a 14 year old girl cannot give consent, therefore cannot have consensual sex.

Brian Graz
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This case is going to be interesting to follow... unfortunately. How much nicer if it never happened. The law is complex, and convoluted, and I have to scratch my heard and wonder who and how the hell they came up with some of it???

"if the child is at least 13 and younger than 15, and if the adult is less than four years older than the child at the time of the sexual conduct, then that would release the adult defendant of criminal responsibility. Because this is an affirmative defense, the defendant, who usually carries no burden of proof at trial, has the burden of proving the age difference beyond a preponderance of the evidence (which is far less than the prosecution's burden of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt.). Further, a 17-year-old would not be guilty of rape of a 12-year-old if the younger child agreed to the act. The 17-year-old might be guilty of a misdemeanor sexual offense, however."

So if a 17 year old is having sexual relations with a 13 year old, it is at worst a "misdemeanor sexual offense". But if the 17 year old turns 18 before the 13 year old turns 14, then it becomes "rape".

https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/new-york-age-consent

Are we having fun yet?

Ed Hartgrove
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Brian. You do realize, I hope, that "this case" happened back in 2009.
The 14 year old girl would now be in her early 20's.
But, I guess it would be easy, now, to research back and find out the outcome of the trial.

Howard B. Owens
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I don't know why a couple of comments on this post popped up in the recent comment box on the left of the page. There's no evidence they were edited. But, yes, this is an old post.

John Roach
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Howard, do you know what was the result of this case since it is 9 years old?

Brian Graz
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No I didn't notice the original date. I don't understand why sometimes when I'm looking at the Batavian an old story like this comes up among the current stuff. I'm thinking it was in the 'Recent Comment" list. Why??? Oh well.

Ed Hartgrove
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Brian. I can't explain ALL the irregularities on here, but, this old story popped up because Doug Yeomans posted a comment yesterday (on an 8 year old story).

Howard B. Owens
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Ed, no, Doug's comment is old. For some reason, it popped up in recent comments. I have no idea why.

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speaking of Doug, haven't heard from him in a long time.... I hope all is well with him.... maybe he retired and he's out fishing somewhere without internet.

Ed Hartgrove
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OK, Howard. If you say Doug's comment is an "old" one, I guess I have to believe you. As I didn't even know thebatavian existed in 2009, I don't have a screenshot of that original comment thread (that's a poke, Howard).

I assumed (MY mistake) that, because the time/date stamp of Doug's comment read Jan. 2009, it was a "new" comment. Especially since nobody else's comment from that original thread had their time/date stamp changed. As I told Brian, "I can't explain ALL the irregularities on here".

D'ya suppose it's possible that Doug (could have) reposted his comment yesterday? I guess we'll never know, unless Doug chimes in on whether that's what happened. No biggie, either way.

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