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Eric the hard-liner 

Sen. Eric Johnson, R-Savannah, on felony sentences

Sen. Eric Johnson, R-Savannah, opposes a Democratic bill that might reduce the felony sentences for teens convicted of statutory child molestation before last July, when a new law reclassified many consensual sex offenses as misdemeanors. The debate centers on the case of Genarlow Wilson, a former Douglas County High School student now serving a mandatory 10-year prison term for receiving oral sex from a 15-year-old girl when he was 17.

"I strongly oppose . . . . They violated the law. Police arrested them. District attorneys chose to prosecute them. Grand juries decided to indict them. Juries convicted them."

– Johnson, from a letter on his website

"Does anyone really think that I, or most sane people, would have wanted such draconian measures?"

– Matt Towery, former GOP legislator who wrote the original law, the Child Protection Act of 1995

"Mr. Wilson participated in multiple sexual acts with a minor while she was unconscious. ... Two minor girls went to this room with five men prepared to have consensual, oral sex. Once they got there, they were fed alcohol and drugs, and were then unconscious through the rest of it. ... Are you aware that these boys videotaped that rape?"

– Part of a speech given by Johnson; CNN anchor Rick Sanchez later pointed out that the minor was not unconscious, that she was not given anything to drink and that none of the boys, including Wilson, was convicted of rape.

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