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Locked Up

Earlier this year I had the distinct pleasure of working with Michel Martin and her staff on the show that has now become Tell Me More. My absolute favorite project up there (they're located upstairs from Talk, so it's an easy shorthand) was a package of interviews they put together for their Rough Cuts page that dealt with teens and sex in light of the Genarlow Wilson case. Now, thanks to yesterday's news, you may now have heard of Genarlow and his plight, but when I went upstairs in early winter, the only place I'd read about him previously was on the blog of a high school teacher (and friend) in Georgia. Michel was all over the story, though, and with good reason — it's quite a story. If you're not familiar with the case, Genarlow was an accomplished high school athlete with a serious shot at playing football in college, when he got caught on tape at a New Year's Eve party receiving oral sex. He was 17, she was 15... and in Georgia, that was a problem — a ten-years-in-JAIL kind of problem — due to the age discrepancy and the type of sex, even though it was completely consensual, and the girl wasn't inoxicated and didn't want to press charges. Genarlow is now 21 and still sitting in his jail cell, even though a judge overturned his sentence yesterday, because the state is filing an appeal. There's so much more to it than I can get to here, but if you're a teenager, or the parent of a teenager, this is a story that should have your full attention... check out ESPN's incredible profile, and the Rough Cuts treatment.