October 27, 2005
Judge Duncan Wheale is passionate when it comes to children. That’s one reason he became a judge. And one of his toughest battles yet is getting parents to be more responsible. News 12 sat down with Judge Duncan Wheale who sits on a case that involves several students indicted for sex crimes. And while he can’t comment on any open case, he talked about how other parents and teens can learn from these types of cases.
“It amazes me and it appalls me that this kind of stuff goes on what is alleged in this indictment that is charged,” Wheale said.
Judge Duncan Wheale disappointed and sending a message to teens in his courtroom that your actions could send you to court.
“You just can’t begin to understand the seriousness of these consequences they are with you for life,” Wheale said.
The latest case involving two student athletes, one accused of child molestation and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, the other facing similar charges but also a rape charge.
“We are charging some people with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, but when a parent does it, I think they ought to be held accountable,” Wheale said.
In the same case, three underage girls all charged with fornication, a state law that makes it illegal to have sex before marriage.
“If we start prosecuting that crime it’s going to involve thousands of people I’m afraid,” Wheale said.
Which means 55 percent of all high schoolers are guilty according to a recent study. But the judge says cutting that number down begins with the parents.
“There is a different standard today than there was in 50’s or 60’s. I’ve heard parents say I’d rather have them doing it at my house than anywhere else,” Wheale said.
Comments that the judge finds hard to understand.
“It disturbs me when you see parents providing the means to have these things happen. They provide their houses, their beach houses, lake houses, and the beer,” Wheale said.
And stopping parents from doing that may stop scenes like this.
“I hope the parents in this community have a wake up call all you have to do when you leave home or if you are going to have a party is monitor what’s going on,” Wheale said.
Again, Judge Wheale could not talk about the case against the Greenbrier students. That is current open before him. He just urges all parents to monitor their children’s activity.