I do not think this word “choice” means what you think it means.

Michael Rebbmann writes at North Buffalo Journal and Review:

In today’s Buffalo News, we learn that former Buffalo Police Officer, Gregg O’Shei, was spared a jail sentence for using his position to gain sexual favors.

A former Buffalo police officer who forced at least two women to have sex with him or face being arrested was spared a jail term Thursday.

Gregg O’Shei, 43, told City Judge Craig D. Hannah he wanted to apologize to everyone he has embarrassed by his actions, including his victims. He declined to comment as he left court.

I am troubled by the contradiction in the account of this crime.  The two women had a choice of having sex with O’Shei or being arrested.  How can someone having a choice claim to have been forced to have sex?  They could have chosen to be arrested and not had sex with the Police Officer.  Since they chose to have sex, I don’t think they should be able to claim they were forced.

I’ve read that blog enough to suspect this is not a Jon Swiftian satire.  It was funny when Jack Benny did something like this (“Your money or your life.”  Extended pause.  “I’m thinking!”), but not here.  Is it an attempt to turn “choice” against itself?  Or is it libertarianism taken to the extreme?  Help me out here.

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About James G. Milles

Professor of Law, SUNY Buffalo Law School

Posted on December 9, 2006, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Below is the answer to the question you posed on my blog and here on yours. It has nothing to do with my normally libertarian viewpoints. The news article doesn’t really provide enough information and I was just speculating on what might have occurred.

    I was just speculating on the facts as portrayed in the news article. I am not in any way defending the actions of the police officer. He was definitely wrong. My question basically is, did the women actually break the law resulting in their arrest? If so, if they had an actual choice to be arrested or have sex with the officer, it really isn’t force. It was a bargain for their freedom in exchange for sex. If they committed a crime, they deserved to be arrested but exercised a choice that resulted in no arrest.

  2. Thanks for responding. I’ve replied over on your blog.

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