Another “Cool Mom” Caught

In the same week that Silvia Johnson’s 30 year sentence for giving drugs and alcohol to teenage boys and having sex with them makes news, we now have the story of a 37 year old “cool mom” and her involvement with a 15-year-old. However, Lisa Lynette Clark does Silvia Johnson one better. She married her teenage boyfriend.

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As a magistrate judge, Johnny Tallant’s most frequent duty is officiating weddings. His return address decal features a set of wedding bells.

But Tallant, who has kept a photograph of every ceremony he has performed, will never forget the wedding that occurred Nov. 8 in his driveway in northern Forsyth County.

That was the day Tallant married Lisa Lynnette Clark, 37, identified on her marriage license as Lisa C. Howard, and a 15-year-old Gainesville boy.

“I knew he was young,” Tallant said, “but I had no idea she was 37. I thought she might have been in her 20s.”

He also said Monday that it was obvious the woman was pregnant.

Since Wednesday, Clark has been held at the Hall County Detention Center on charges of child molestation. She is accused of having sex with the 15-year-old boy who now is her husband. Bond has been set at $10,000.

It literally boggles the mind. If I’m reading this article correctly, apparently it was illegal for them to have sex but not illegal for them to marry? And they actually found a judge willing to marry them? And he didn’t happen to notice that he was marrying a grown woman to a teenage boy? Again, adult/child sex is one of the places where I draw the line.

There are just so many levels of wrong here that I hardly know where to begin to address them. I’d put Clark and Johnson pretty much in the same category as Pamela Smart or Mary Kay Letourneau, and I’m sure I’d say the same thing if she were a man messing around with a 15-year-old girl or boy.

Of course, not everyone else thinks the same way. And there maybe some questions to discuss.

On the other hand, this does bring up a discussion about the age of consent. Do we really think that 16-year-olds should be able to drive but shouldn’t be able to make decisions about sexual behavior? And, if we say 16 is okay, why not 14?

…Are partners with drastically different ages always mismatched where “power, authority, maturity” are concerned?

I’m not sure the driving analogy quite fits, as sex and driving are two different things. We don’t let kids drive legally at 12 or 13 either, for a whole plethora of reasons, but mainly because the overwhelming majority of 12-or-13-year-olds aren’t ready for the responsibility that comes with getting behind the wheel. I think the same thing can probably be said when it comes to sex.

That said, I have less of a problem with teens having consensual sex with each other, because at least there’s a better chance that they might be on equal footing on a number of levels. That might be the case in some adult/child pairings, but I doubt it’s true of most of those pairings. And having seen some of the damage that results when children are taken advantage of sexually by adults, I think there’s a case to be made for society having an interest in protecting the overwhelming majority of children from that danger. And I’d rather do that then toss out all laws concerning adult/child sex.

I said earlier that when I happened to engage in a discussion on the whole question of adult/child sex (I’m no longer using the term “intergenerational”) — with someone who doesn’t see a need for laws against, say, a 37-year-old having sex with a 15-year-old — I think I come of sounding pretty conservative. And just feels weird to me, because I don’t think my position is so much conservative as it’s just common sense, and maybe a bit colored by the reality that I’m a parent.

I just can’t see a scenarios in which adult/child sex is OK. Maybe somebody else can? Am I missing something here?

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About Terrance

Black. Gay. Father. Buddhist. Vegetarian. Liberal.
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12 Responses to Another “Cool Mom” Caught

  1. Rachel S says:

    We keep seeing all of these stories about women and teenage boys, but there is a big part of me that wonders if these older women and teenage boy parrings are becoming more common or if the media is just picking up on it because and older man taking advantage of a younger women just isn’t as sensational (or maybe some combination of the two). What do you think?

  2. Terrance says:

    I think it’s probably the same as the cases of missing women/girls/children. I don’t think they’re any more common than they were before. I think that the media is picking up on it more. I’m not sure of all the reasons why they’re picking up on these stories more. Maybe to distract us from something else?

  3. Sex says:

    Incredible! What a country of biggots! Sex is baaaaaad! Burn your bibles and fuck more! Scientifically, teenagers are adults from a sexual point of view. What has the law got to do with nature? Sex is natural when we become teenagers. Only neurotic christians can be full of negativity about sex and two persons having sex joyously. What teenager wouldn’t want to fuck an adult woman? What teenager would be traumatized after having sex with such a pretty woman (picture above)? This woman is a hero for millions of virgin teenagers! I worship her! I call on all US teens: save this woman from the mental illnesses of the judges! Revolution! Or doom.

  4. Tim Who? says:

    While for the most part I agree with you Terrance. But I think you’re being a parent is coloring you view so I have a question or two for you and I’m sorry to put you on the spot but better to face it now and work it out with yourself than to hit a brick wall later.

    Parker comes to you and says he wants to become sexually active but wants your permission to proceed. At what age do you say yes?

    At what age is he allowed to select his own sexual partner without your input. And you stand behind his choices.

    If he’s 20 and wants to date a 45 year old is that any of your business?
    19 and date a 30 year old?
    Can he make those choices at 17?

    I joined the Navy at 17, moved out and traveled the world. You’ll forgive me if I didn’t call home to ask for permission to shack up with a 35 year old man. Yes TWICE my age and it was wonderful

    Yes the world is full of sexual predators but if you raise Parker with the full understanding the world around him he’s less likely to fall victim to a predator and more likely to have a loving relationship regardless of his or his partners age.

  5. Will B. says:

    Regarding not seeing "scenarios in which adult/child sex is OK," I’d say it’s less you being conservative than being a product of your culture–and certainly none of us can be blamed for that. In various cultures throughout the world, adult/child sex is practiced without stigma or second thought. In the famous example, pederasty was commonplace in ancient Greece, particularly between teachers and students. In a modern case I’ve heard of (forgive me for not remembering the specific society), it’s traditional for adolescent boys to fellate older men as a rite of passage. And of course there’s the old western European tradition of girls being married off in their early teens to men in their thirties.

    All this being said, I do agree with you that in our culture, maturity/authority/power differences do make a good case for adult/child sex having a great potential to be harmful to the children involved.

    I have friends who’ve studied a lot more anthropology than I have and so could answer this much better, but I’m here now so hopefully this is at least coherent. I guess my bottom line is, pairings with large age gaps are the exception in our society, so they seem wrong to us–you and me both–but there are others who wouldn’t bat an eye at it.

  6. Chance says:

    Wow. It’s interesting to see that some of you support adults having sex with minors.

  7. Miss Beth says:

    The question has been asked, “is this seemingly growing trend of young man and older women a young boy’s fantasy or are we now facing an epidemic of female predators”?  It certainly appears that we are indeed, in many instances, entering into an era of severally ill female mutilators and exploiters of our young boys.  Oprah has said repeatedly, that “if a young girl is walking or running around in front of an adult male stalk naked the man ought to look the other way”.  She has said many times over, “that in situation of this sort then an adult man should be able to restrain himself and not act upon his lust or entice”.  The same should be said of older women.  Dalliances between men who are 30 to 40 years of age and young girls are condemned, so why aren’t we as appalled when the roles are reversed?  If this was a young, under age female, many of us would consider it a shameful, shocking breach of a power relationship that earns opprobrium and disgust from all corners of society.


    The older woman, young MAN relationships is one thing but the older woman, young BOY relationship is quite another.  And to the latter I am highly opposed.  Perhaps we ought to start taking a closer look at this situation and start aggressively prosecuting more of these predatory women. 


    I believe that mature, self-respectful women who are mentally intact do not and would not engage in such hideous conduct and those that do should be punished to the fullest and I mean FULLEST extent of the law. 

  8. Angel says:

    She is not a sexual predator.  He actively and repeatedly pursued her.  He called her repeatedly.  They were friends first.  She didnt even like him at first and wasnt at all attracted to him.  He also lied about his age and said he was 17.  She still wasnt interested.  He said he loved her from the moment he laid eyes on her.  He knew what he wanted and didnt let up until he got it.  It took months before she even agreed to go out with him and was still uncomfortable even thinking he was 17.  They fell in love.  Love has no limits and no bounaries.  Who are we to judge?  Age was not even an issue until the 1900’s.  There is a big difference between an 8-year-old and a 15-year-old.  This guy was obsessed with her from day one.  He has already said this and that it was all consentual.  Besides, he is Cuban and told her that at 15 Cubans are considered men.  At 14 they join the military and carry a rifle.  He also told her he had dated other older women and his grandmother didnt care who he dated.  He clearly wanted this.  This situation should not be compared to others as there are so many twists and turns in this situation.  She is pregnant and they want to be together.  She should not do time.  She should not lose their baby.  She has been through enough.  She has been slandered internationally now.  The state of GA is going to lose taxpayer $.  $100,000 for the trial and $35,000 a year.  Who pays?  The taxpayers.  A better punishment would be to let them live it out together.  Can you imagine the problems given the age difference and they can pay for their own divorce and furnish their own lives together and/or separate.  Why should we? 

  9. You'll know me says:

    I say who cares, as long as neither of them have no problem, leave them both alone.  Now if one of them says it was unwanted and they were taken advantage of then thats another story.  Who cares of what age they are. I think people need to start minding their own business and stop forcing their rules and values on to other people.  It makes me sick to think that if a group of people don’t think something is right, so then everyone is forced to think the same thing.  Its called persecution, not extreme but none the less persecution.  I know the laws are there to protect us but I think its getting out of control.  What happen to freedom.  Freedom of expression, choice, ideas.  Why are we forced to live a Regulated Free life and not a Free life. 

  10. john says:

    are you people friggin kidding me.  this woman should do 20 years in prison.  if she was a man and the boy was a woman, this would be an open and shut case.  this is just another unfair double standard.  the boy is 15 years old, he probably doesnt even shave yet.  who cares what he wants, he isnt old enough to know what is good for him.  she is a pedophile and a child molester.  the fact that you people are even considering that this is an alright relationship is sickening.  use some common sense.  she says that he pursued her; so what.  it makes no differance whether he pursued her or not, she is 37, she is not only a terrible person, but a terrible mother.  she should have all of her children taken away from her.  any person who excercises judgement that poorly is not mentaly competant enough to raise children

  11. Concerned Citizen says:

    Why is there even a debate on this? This is a child molester and rapist of the worst kind. I just watched her on Tyra show. I can’t believe she takes no responsibility, feels no remorse and actually claims to have been seduced. This is known as blaming the victim. This is compounded by the fact that this child is so young. Who knows how long this had been going on? The sexual relationship admittedly started at 14, but can we take her word for it? With morals that loose what is her definition of ‘sexual’ relationship anyway? I was abhorred by what she said she told her boys about dating, that they can do it any time with anybody. Is that any useful guidance for young people seeking advice on how to establish a healthy relationship? In fact her corrupt influence on them is tantamount to child andangerment. 20 years behind bars is too leanient a verdict.

  12. Steven says:

    I also just watched the Tyra show that she was on and it was shocking! Tyra had no freakin clue what to say to this molester! The Dr was lenient with her. The audience were also!
    I am a 37 year old man and if the roles were reversed I would be wearing stripes right now with everyone in the country praying I went to jail and receive my sentence from men named Bubba! 
    This woman broke the damn law! Forget every other arguement. She broke the law.
    I can’t wait to see her get the book thrown at her. Today on Tyra she basically shut the prison door closed on her life for 20 years with her lack of remorse and brainwashing of her poor kids!

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