Judge Appalled at Teen Sex Allegations

By: Erich Spivey
By: Erich Spivey

October 25, 2005
Judge Duncan Wheale presided over Tuesday’s bond hearing and at times offered his opinion about what he considers lazy parenting. News 12 was in his courtroom today and has more on all of it.

We’ll start at the very beginning. Judge Wheale’s attacks on what he calls poor parenting and a growing acceptance of underage drinking and sex.

“It amazes me and just appalls me that this kind of stuff goes on, what’s alleged in this indictment. I hope that parents in this community have a wake-up call,” Judge Wheale said.

A wake-up call straight from the bench. Judge Duncan Wheale has seen his share of teen sex cases. And now, he’s seen enough. At times, cutting off lawyers to continue his warning.

“Is anybody else troubled by this? Is any other parent troubled by this? I don’t know if the parents are present. It happens in my neighborhood, it happens all over this country. Parents go out of town, they go to Hilton Head, they leave their teenage kids at home with the big old house, the bar’s open, there’s no key on the bar, beer in the refrigerator,” Judge Wheale said.

Some parents in the crowd nod in agreement as Wheale’s words continue. Many of the younger crowd from Greenbrier High just sit and listen to a bold message on this day off from school.

“It’s serious, it’s big time serious. The parents say it’s no big deal, but it is a big deal. It’s not just this one incident we’re here on today. It’s happening all over this country and people know it and they laugh about it, they joke about it and the parents facilitate it,” Judge Wheale said. “And then when somebody does call a neighbor, they get mad at the neighbor. It just befuddles me.”

Judge Wheale, obviously very irritated, hinted that he might start pushing for more parents to be charged in these cases. The lawyers for Reggie Rice and Shad Harris pointed out several times that their clients are innocent until proven guilty.

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