When Judge Randy Stoker of Idaho sentenced 19-year-old Cody Herrera following his plea to a crime that prohibits even consensual sex with a 14-year-old (Herrera was 18 at the time of the offense), he told him that he must maintain celibacy during his probationary period.
Although Herrera’s acts were illegal based on the age of the victim (the victim was too young to consent legally), the judge added that Herrera could only have sexual relations with someone that he is legally married to (and of age), a throwback to the widely discredited fornication laws that still exist on the books in a hand-full of states.
OUR FREE OPINION
The sentence amounts to government-mandated celibacy, is indeed suspect and rooted in religious dogma. We applaud the judge’s decision to impose a suspended sentence in this case wherein the Herrera will have the opportunity to earn a non-prison sentence. However, the prohibition against consensual sexual conduct based on archaic fornication laws should be stricken from the order.
Update: Judge Stoker has since died from Cancer.