Wanted for Statutory Rape and Sexual Abuse: Volleyball Coach

by: Mickey Ingles (Photo credit: ABS-CBN News)

A couple of days ago, sports reporter Mav Gonzales posted on her Facebook page a picture of an arrest warrant for one Dennis Gregory Laping. The accompanying story stated that this Laping fellow had allegedly repeatedly molested an 11-year-old girl.

Sadly, the victim was a volleyball player and Laping was her coach.

Apparently, Laping had in multiple occasions forced himself on his player. He had been previously arrested for different sexually related charges, but after posting bail, has gone on the run with the help of his son. The girl’s family is offering a P100,000 reward for any information that will lead to Laping’s arrest.

arrestwarrant
Warrant of Arrest for Luping (credit: Mav Gonzales/FB)

The arrest warrant posted by Ms. Gonzales covers the following crimes, which we’ll explain below:[1]

  • Statutory Rape, and
  • Sexual Abuse under Republic Act 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act, in relation to the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Statutory Rape

According to Article 266-A, statutory rape is committed by a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under 12 years of age. (Take note, it’s 12, not 18 as most people believe.) The law is clear. Any sexual intercourse with a victim below 12—whether with the presence of force, threat, or intimidation or not—is considered rape. It doesn’t matter if the victim consents. It’s rape by the mere fact that the offended party is below 12.

The Supreme Court has been consistent in defining carnal knowledge—as long as the penis penetrates the victim’s labia majoria, then rape has been consummated. The Court has even gone to say, “in a manner of speaking, bombardment of the drawbridge is invasion enough even if the troops do not succeed in entering the castle.”[2]

According to news reports, Laping allegedly had carnal knowledge with the girl before she turned 12 years old, therefore making him liable for statutory rape. The penalty for statutory rape is reclusion perpetua (20-40 years).

Sexual Abuse under RA 7610, in relation to the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012

 A child is deemed subjected to other sexual abuse when the child indulges in sexual intercourse lascivious conduct under the coercion or influence of any adult.[3] The “child” here talks about anyone (whether male or female) below 18. As long as an adult coerces or influences someone below 18 to engage in sex, then that adult will be liable for sexual abuse of a child.  If the child is below 12, then it’s automatically statutory rape.

The Cybercrime Prevention Act increases the penalty of sexual abuse if it was committed by, through, and with the use of information and communications technologies (ICTs).[4] News reports do not say how Laping allegedly used ICTs to coerce or influence the victim, but as ICTs do include computers and mobile phones, so maybe those devices were used by Laping to coerce the victim (but again, news reports are silent on the matter).

This is saddening to hear and downright heartbreaking. The relationship between coach and player is sacred, and betrayal of this nature should be dealt with to the full extent of the law. Let this be a warning to all coaches and staff out there, do not break that sacred trust. We don’t want any Larry Nassars ruining the country and our athletes. No way.

Again, if anyone knows any information on Laping, please contact the family at 0945-4636430.

Mickey Ingles is the editor-in-chief of Batas Sportiva.


 

[1] News reports state that there are actually three arrest warrants against the volleyball coach.

[2] People v. Escober, November 6, 1997.

[3] Olivarez v. Court of Appeals, July 29, 2005.

[4] Section 6, Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

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