Sunday, August 9, 2009

Pure and Simple Truth (2006)

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Oscar Wilde’s book The Picture of Dorian Gray backs up his remark that “the pure and simple truth is never pure or simple” or in other words, facts are never black or white, cut and dry. In the story Dorian’s gift of eternal youth, which would seem to be a blessing, turns out to be a curse, inadvertently leading him to commit several murders including that of Basil his friend and the very man who painted the “Picture of Dorian Gray.”

In today’s society I see another such enigma concerning the issue of older men with under-aged girls. Society asks, “What is the truth? Is it always a crime or not?” Some see this situation with the view that the “older man” is always at fault while others, like me, evaluate each case depending on its surrounding circumstances.

Take for instance the case of 22 -year -old Matt Koso and 14-year-old Crystal Koso whose situation was brought to public attention by the ABC show 20/20. Matt and Crystal, though eight years apart, had been friends for several years before their relationship developed into a romance. In fact, it was Crystal who took the step to move them to the next level by initiating the first kiss. Soon they were married in Kansas, which permitted the union, with the consent of both their parents who felt that marriage was the best move since Crystal had recently found out that she was carrying Matt’s baby.

With the illusion that their problems were settled Matt and Crystal tried to set up a loving home to raise their newborn baby, Samara. However, even though the USA legally accepted their marriage, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning has proceeded to prosecute Matt for first-degree sexual assault. This move ignited a public outcry on the Koso’s behalf. In his own defense Bruning stated, “When somebody has sex with a 12-year-old who’s a grown man, you can’t suddenly try to fix it by saying, ‘Let’s go get a piece of paper (marriage license).’”

As Matt awaited trial, with Crystal’s support, he hoped that he would at least be granted probation so that he could provide for his family. As he said in his own words, “One thing’s for dang sure, I’m gonna be the best father I can be. And I ain’t gonna treat my little girl badly. I mean, like I said, I’m going to grow up and just give her all I can give.”

In February of 2006, Matt was sentenced to 18-30 months in prison with no probation. He was released in May 2007.

As more and more cases of older men having sexual relationships with under-age girls are brought to light, the truth, though clear to me, always seems to be perverted by those like Bruning. While I do not advocate child marriage or rape, I feel that in situations such as the Koso’s, if both people are consenting individuals then the older member of the relationship bears no blame. Today, children are maturing at a much earlier age and before we put the brand of “sex-offender” on men who have relationships with younger girls we need to see if we are really dealing out justice or just simply settling for a one-size fits all solution?

I believe that if both parties feel like they love each other and want to be together, then they should be allowed that freedom. At the very least, no legal action should be taken unless it is against both parties. These girls should not be allowed to cop out and say, “they were coerced” when at the beginning they confessed that they wanted to be in these relationships. They need to take responsibility for there own actions. It is because of people such as these girls and Jon Bruning that Matt and Crystal’s lives were derailed.


  1. I almost want to see it mentioned that female celebrities seem to be getting younger and younger. I mean look at Selena Gomez! She doesn't look older that about 11.

  2. haha, I think she's 16 now. But, yeah, why is it ok for young female celebrities to so sexualized and date much older men, but not ok for regular people. Good point

  3. The whole thing was ridiculous. Bruning just had it in for Matt.
    In 1998 I was also married at 14 to a 19 year old in Hiawatha, KS while living in Falls City, NE, though we got married for love as we don't have kids. We knew Matt & Crystal and that is where they got the idea of where to go to be able to get married at that age.

    11 years later we are still married as well as being successful small business owners.

    We knew another couple in the same town that got married about the same ages and over 30 years later they are still married.

    Yes it wasn't the brightest idea and I wouldn't recommend it to any one.

    Once it is done, people just need to support the couple instead of tearing them down for their decision.

  4. Are Matt and Crystal still married, as well? Just curious...

  5. Several years before this story broke in the United States, I read an online newspaper article concerning an interview with a 34-year old woman whose husband was 29 years her senior. She married him when she was 14 years old and he was 43 years old, and they were still going strong in their marriage and had 4 kids together 20 years later. It saddened me when this woman had insisted that her name be kept a secret in the interview so that her children would not be harassed at school or at all. Here is the particular article>>> click onto
    Why can't our society just become more tolerant to diversity in this manner? We all can't be like Michelle Duggar and Jim Bob Duggar, who began dating each other at 14 years old and 15 years old respectively, and marry our same-age sweetheart when we're 21. Jon Bruning is a member of the Tea Party, and he violated his very own principles of government staying out of the lives of private citizens when he decided to meddle into the lives of Matt Koso and Crystal Guyer. His reference to marriage as just a "piece of paper" shows that he hypocritically disparages the very values that he is supposed to be supporting as a conservative Republican.