A disappointing reversal of fortune in the case of Genarlow Wilson, the Georgia man sentenced to 10 years in prison for a consensual (and videotaped) sexual encounter when he was a teenager. Wilson will remain behind bars until at least July 23rd, the date of a scheduled bond hearing.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Wilson learned Monday that his more than two years in prison were apparently coming to an end with the order by Monroe County Superior Court Judge Thomas H. Wilson. Within hours, however, state Attorney General Thurbert Baker filed notice that he would appeal the ruling to the Georgia Supreme Court, arguing the judge had overstepped his authority."
Wilson, 21, was convicted of aggravated child molestation for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17-years-old. CNN's legal analyst notes state law was later changed to make such cases a misdemeanor, "but that change wasn't made retroactive, so it did not affect Wilson."
"Normally an appeal takes months," says defense attorney B.J. Bernstein. "Even at an expedited level it is still going to take a while."
An unfortunate reminder of historical biases against black male defendants in the South, but, more is at issue than race. AG Thurbert Baker, in office since 1997, is Georgia's highest elected black official "and received more votes and a higher percentage than any other Democrat running statewide in 2006." Baker is a possible contender for the governor's office.
Atlanta blogger C. Baptiste Williams draws an interesting comparison to a similar case with a celebrity defendant: "It was five years ago today that a Cook County grand jury indicted R&B superstar R. Kelly on 21 counts of child pornography for allegedly videotaping himself engaging in sex acts with an underage girl. The girl [was] 14 years old when the tape of her and Kelly was made."