Activist Backs Plea in Teen-Sex Case
Posted Jun 17, 2007 5:14 PM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The attorney for a youth sentenced to 10 years in prison for consensual teen sex is battling with a community activist over defense tactics.
The Rev. Markel Hutchins told reporters that attorneys for Genarlow Wilson should consider a plea deal, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
But Wilson's lead lawyer, B.J. Bernstein, says Hutchins is not familiar with the legal issues and shouldn’t inject himself into the case.
Hutchins met with Douglas County District Attorney David McDade and Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker on Friday. "I'm afraid that if this thing is escalated all the way to the Supreme Court, in our obstinance Genarlow Wilson will remain behind bars,” Hutchins said.
Prosecutors appealed after a judge overturned Wilson’s sentence, declaring it to be a "grave miscarriage of justice." Wilson was sentenced for having oral sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17. The Georgia Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal.
Bernstein released a statement saying Hutchins has not met Wilson or his family and does not speak for them.
“While we welcome direct dialogue with the DA, people who notify the media first and inject themselves into the story without knowing any of the legal issues are opportunistic and attempting to gain media attention for themselves at the expense of Genarlow Wilson," the statement said.