It's Only About Sex

October 2, 1998
When is perjury not perjury? Well, according to many commentators, perjury isn't very important when "it's only about sex." And perjury isn't that important when it happens in a civil trial. Or so the defenders of the president say.

Well, tell that to Pam Parsons. In 1982 Pam Parsons, a former coach of the University of South Carolina women's basketball team, sued Time, Inc. for a Sports Illustrated story that accused her of having a lesbian relationship with one of her players. During the trial, Miss Parsons and her 17-year-old alleged lover both denied a sexual relationship. When an eyewitness surfaced to testify that there was such a relationship, the libel trial ended in a verdict for Time. Both Miss Parsons and her lover were charged with perjury. Both pleaded guilty, were sentenced to three years in prison, and served four months.

Or how about Ku Klux Klan dragon David Wayne Holland, who was prosecuted in 1994 for perjury he committed in a private civil rights lawsuit? He lied under oath to hide his assets. He was convicted of perjury, but the trial judge reduced his sentence because it was a civil case. This of course, took place before the current Clinton defense that he only lied in civil trial. Well, a federal appeal court would have none of it. They rejected the argument and imposed a heavier sentence. The sentencing judge wrote, "Perjury, regardless of the setting, is a serious offense that results in incalculable harm to the functioning of the legal system as well as to private individuals."

Perjury is a crime whether it is "just about sex" or only occurs in a civil trial. You know, the president's defenders should find some better arguments. There are just too many legal precedents against this line of reasoning.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.

© 1998 Probe Ministries International