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Putting Marriage Technicalities to Rest

March 17, 2003 15:12

Elizabeth Smart is considered by Mitchell to be his wife. While obviously no court of law or organized religion, let alone her family will recognize this, a radio host brought up an interesting potential technicality with regards to possible sexual abuse. The age of consent in Ohio is 16, although as long as the victim is at least 13, if the offender does not know the age of the victim, this is also a potential loophole, but not one that is likely to help.

However, if the victim is married, statuatory rape wouldn't apply, and in some cases, sexual assault wouldn't apply either, as marriage tends to imply consent. So if through some greasy wheel of the legal system Mitchel and his lawyer are somehow able to convince the jury that the marriage was legitimate, any sexual assault and even the entire kidnapping issue could be thrown out or lessened. However, this is not likely

Refer to the marriage laws of Ohio. Ignoring the religious aspect, I will focus on the legal aspect. Here is a list of some of the requirements for a legal marriage that were not fulfilled:

A valid picture ID must be presented.

A marriage license is required, and both the bride and groom must be present to apply.

A $45 fee is required in some counties.

For anyone under the age of 18, parental consent is required.

For anyone under the age of 16, approval from the juvenile court is also required, and they may require additional counseling. Both parties must also assure the court that the marriage is voluntary and in the best interest of the minor, mostly to prevent parents from forcing one of their children to marry due to an indescretion of some type, but it applies here too.

For common law marriages, those without a ceremony which are legally declared husband and wife, both parties must be competant and able to give consent, must be able to get married, and held themselves out such that others perceived them to be married. If the standard line was that she was their daughter, this last reason could not apply.

To perform the ceremony, one of the following is required to officiate:
A minister, rabbi, priest, mayor, judge, county clerk, Native American spiritual adviser, Governor, court commissioners and judges, and particular members of the legislature. The only possibility here would be the minister, but for that to apply, the minister must be in regular communion with a religious society that can perform marriages. Mitchell was excommunicated, so he could neither perform nor ordain.

Two witnesses over the age of 18 are required.

It's a safe bet that there are no grounds, legal or otherwise, to consider Elizabeth Smart his wife, no matter what happened. So if he continues to ramble on that point of contention, treat it for what it is. Rambling. Rambling of a sick degenerate who is now safely located where he can no longer hurt himself or others any longer.

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