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Appropriate punishment?

BREMERTON, Wash. -- The mother of the YMCA employee accused of child rape claims the police have the story all wrong.

Malachi Powell, a 21-year-old employee of the Kitsap Family YMCA, has been charged in the rape of a 13-year-old member of the club.

But Powell's mother, Vanessa Kroger, says Powell had consensual sex with a girl whom he thought was much older.

"When he called yesterday, it was, 'Mom, I can't believe this. I did not know she was 13,'" she said.

On Friday Powell, charged with second-degree child rape and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes, faced a judge.

Investigators say Powell met the girl while working as a receptionist at the club at 60 Magnuson Way, and gave her and her family a tour of the facility when they joined in May.



Asked by AprilDJC at 4:11 AM on Jun. 13, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Level 20 (8,524 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • I'm thinking if she LOOKED significantly older than 13, and was knowledgeable about sending repeated "explicit" texts/images, and actually went through with such acts with this young man at the age of THIRTEEN, that the girl KNEW what she was doing, and isn't as innocent as her parents want to believe.

    I think young men in general need to start requesting picture ID from their potential "hook ups!" This is certainly not the first case like this, and it's not going to be the last.

    Answer by LoriKeet at 7:22 AM on Jun. 13, 2009

  • The two traded sexually cell phone communications, which eventually progressed to sexual encounters, police said. Powell has not denied the sexual relationship.

    Bremerton police were called by the girl's parents when they discovered that their daughter had been communicating "inappropriately" with the YMCA employee, said Police Sgt. Kevin Crane.

    "They were suspicious of their daughter's activities, so they looked at the communication. The communication was very sexual in nature and explicit," he said.

    Officers then interviewed the girl, who provided them with information leading to the man's arrest.

    Court documents state Powell believed the girl was 17. But the girl told detectives she was very upfront about her age. The girl said Powell "was always very paranoid when they were together and made statements like he didn't want to get caught because he didn't want to go to jail or get fired from his job.

    Answer by AprilDJC at 4:12 AM on Jun. 13, 2009

  • "I have reason to believe that she did lie to him about the age," she said. " I have seen her and to look at her, you would not think that she was 13 years old."

    Even though investigators say none of the sexual encounters took place at the YMCA, the club said it is taking extra precautions to prevent similar incidents in the future.

    "We screen these employees extremely well," said Bremerton YMCA Board Chairman Patrick Boyle, " We train them all of the time and it's really disappointment when you find out something like this, but we still don't know it's a fact."

    Powell is being held at the Kitsap County Jail on $25,000 bail.

    "I just pray, pray that he is exonerated," Kroger said.

    What do you guys think? I think that this may be one of those cases of he said/she said that is never fully figured out. She may have lied about her age. What do you think the appropriate sentence would be?

    Answer by AprilDJC at 4:14 AM on Jun. 13, 2009

  • I agree with Lorikeet.

    I think it's VERY possible that she lied about her age, I've seen girls do it all the time. They look much older than their age and they go to the mall all dressed up and with faces full of makeup, and then they flirt with the 20 somethings who work there and tell them they are older than they are.

    Young men need to request picture ID because it could get them in big trouble. This young man could serve time in prison, AND have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life... All because he didn't make SURE she was as old as she said she was.

    Answer by Cavalrybaby02 at 8:15 AM on Jun. 13, 2009

  • I don't let my 14 YO son have a cell phone. When he would borrow mine to text his friends, I checked the damn thing every day to read what he wrote (I'm a big fan of snooping on my teenager, I explained it's not that I don't trust HIM, it's his hormones I don't trust!). When he started texting a girl who had some dubious intentions, I snatched that phone right back. So how come her parents let it get to the actual sex stage? Do they not check her phone? And because she was out of control some guy's life is ruined?

    Answer by plylerjones at 8:21 AM on Jun. 13, 2009

  • When I was 13, I lied about my age too. Of course I wasnt doing anything sexual with guys at this age, whether of that been taking risque pictures or having sex, but I did lie and they did believe me. So it wouldnt surprise me if this girl lied too. I think parents of young teenagers should really be monitoring their childrens activity, cellphone, computer, etc. I'm not one of those moms who are 'crazy' about restricting everything, but I am a firm believer of MONITORING. Obviously this girl was not monitored as much as she shouldve been.

    Answer by BEXi at 8:55 AM on Jun. 13, 2009

  • I had a friend who was 5'10" and very mature looking at 14. She lied about her age all the time, got into bars, and was dating college boys.

    Answer by mancosmomma at 9:26 AM on Jun. 13, 2009

  • If he gave the family a tour...did they not possibly chit chat about age and what was required about supervision. Being stupid does not alleviate responsibility. It seems sort of like a rape victim who dresses sexy--so it is her fault? Now this girl looked older, and may have some sexual experience, but it is still illegal and considered rape. IF the family did join he would have access, most likely, to records that show age and birth dates. If the girl lied she lied, but I have a feeling this guy should have had more indications about her age if the family came to the YMCA together, for a tour. Still who really knows...........2 sides to every story and then there's the truth!


    Answer by Teachermom01 at 9:34 AM on Jun. 13, 2009

  • My nephew met a girl online and after talking for months, agreed to stop in and see her when he was passing near her town on spring break. Her parents answered the door and apologized for bothering him - she was 13. And the worst part, according to her parents, this wasn't the first time she'd done it. She used her own real pictures online, and easily would've passed for 18. He was fortunate that her parents at least realized who was at fault, but that could have destroyed his entire life, and her parents apparently weren't even taking steps to prevent her from doing it again.

    Who knows which is the case here, but I wonder if these parents will pay any more attention to their daughter and what she's doing now.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 9:56 AM on Jun. 13, 2009

  • Agree with lorikeet

    Answer by lovinangels at 10:10 AM on Jun. 13, 2009