[The prosecutor's] office has been deluged with letters, the vast majority angrily urging that he leave the couple alone. One, from a woman named Patricia, said, "I'm sure your time can be better spent putting away real criminals."
Why shouldn't this man be prosecuted? You could say, he's been selected for prosecution not for his sexual act — which is far more common than statutory rape prosecutions — but for committing to marriage — which is a conspicuous, public act. The linked article, on the front page of the NYT, seems fairly sympathetic to the man, but I don't see it.
Matthew and Crystal met when she was 8, and he played video games with her half-brother. Mr. Koso, who was in special education classes for attention deficit disorder and other learning problems, graduated from high school in 2001 and joined the Marine Corps, but left after four months on a medical discharge. When Crystal's mother had no car, Mr. Koso drove her to the doctor and the grocery store.It seems that if Crystal were 10 years older, she would not find Koso to be an adequate partner, and that Koso himself lacks the ability to deal with the adult woman Crystal will be in 10 years. The fact that she may have loved him the whole time is no excuse. Surely, many pedophiles are capable of getting children to fall in love with them.
"He's always been friends with people that were younger," said Peggy Koso, recalling her son at age 5 or 6 passing hours with building blocks and racing cars with a neighbor of 3 or 4. "His own peers never accepted him."
The two became a couple, according to Crystal's "Happy Anniversary" drawing on the wall, on Sept. 17, 2003. She was 12 and he 20. Exactly a year later, Crystal's mother, Cecilia Guyer, who is divorced from her father, filed for a restraining order against Mr. Koso, writing of him: "He's too old for early teens. He needs to stay away."