Due to the obsession in American culture with “Duck Dynasty”, most are aware that star Phil Robertson caused a stir last month when his family leaked their own video of him advocating marrying girls when they are 15 or 16 years old. But what many do not realize is that Phil was not simply giving advise, he apparently practiced what he preached, even in violation of state and federal law.
“They got to where they’re getting hard to find, mainly because these boys are waiting ’til they get to be about 20 years old before they marry ’em,” Robertson said in the video clip. “Look, you wait ’til they get to be 20 years old, the only picking that’s going to take place is your pocket. You got to marry these girls when they are about 15 or 16. They’ll pick your ducks.”
Robertson did advise listeners to “check with Mom and Dad about that, of course.” But according to A&E’s website, Robertson is four years older than his wife, Kay and he married her when she was just 16 years old, back in 1966. But this was not when he started dating Kay. In fact, he began dating her since she was 14 years old. She then got pregnant and Phil was apparently forced to marry her when she was 16 in order to avoid going to prison for statutory rape in Louisiana.
Most who tuned in to the controversy surrounding Phil’s comments, on the appropriate “marrying age”, focused on additional comments in the video, like “Make sure that she can cook a meal. You need to eat some meals that she cooks, check that out. Make sure she carries her Bible. That’ll save you a lot of trouble down the road.”
What they didn’t realize is that Phil violated statutory rape laws.
While the federal age of consent is 18, state-by-state the age of consent varies. But not so fast… In Louisiana the age of consent is 17, and there is a 2 year gap that nullifies these laws if the individuals are only two years apart. Phil and Kay are 4 years apart, and Kay was pregnant before ever reaching the age of consent in Louisiana. Their relationship began even before then. Translation: Phil Robertson was guilty of statutory rape, but he dodged facing time for this by marrying Kay.
After Robertson’s comments about homosexuals and African-Americans, A&E promptly suspended Phil Robertson from filming future episodes. But nine days later, the network reversed its decision. The message from A&E was clear: Money talks. Meanwhile, A&E hasn’t apparently had a problem with the fact that Phil violated statutory rape laws and advocated that others do the same.
(Article by James Achisa; image via A&E)