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by Abigail Van Buren

Teen's Affair With Adult Ends With Man in Prison

DEAR ABBY: I am 15 years old and have a big problem. My girlfriend, "Whitney," 17, and I have been friends for a long time. Her boyfriend, "Josh," 21, broke up with her. Soon after, Josh and I started talking. I really liked him. He was cool and we had a lot of fun.

When Whitney found out Josh and I were hooking up, she got jealous. One night when I was with Josh, Whitney called my parents and told them where I was. I had told my parents I was with another girlfriend.

My father got angry and went on and on for about a week questioning me about my relationship with Josh. When I couldn't stand it anymore, I admitted we were having sex. Father called the police and had Josh arrested. He was charged with child molestation.

I told the detective I had lied about Josh and me having sex, but he didn't believe me. Josh was found guilty of statutory rape and sent to prison for five years. The court wouldn't allow me to testify.

My life is over. My former friends hate me. They call me names and write me dirty notes threatening revenge. Josh was popular and has a lot of friends.

I want to help Josh get out of prison. He did not rape me. I knew exactly what I was doing. I have had sex with boys for about two years, but my parents don't know. I'm afraid if I tell them, they'll have those other boys arrested, too.

Josh does not deserve to be in prison. What can I do to make up for what has happened because Whitney got jealous and got us into trouble? Please don't tell me to talk to a school counselor. Everyone at school hates me. -- GOING CRAZY IN TEXAS

DEAR GOING CRAZY: Regardless of your sexual history, at 21, Josh was old enough to know better. He was sneaking around with a minor -- you -- and in doing so he broke the law.

It's time for you to grow up and stop blaming others for a problem that you caused. If you won't go to a school counselor, contact a local mental health clinic and ask for teen counseling. And since there is hostility at your high school, perhaps you should consider transferring and finishing your education at another school.

DEAR ABBY: I am five months' pregnant with my second baby. At a recent family wedding, my husband's 40ish cousin came up to me and touched my stomach! No one had ever done this to me before -- and I was shocked. I instinctively "shooed" her hands away.

Well, she was offended and burst into tears. I apologized, although I thought it was very rude and that she should have apologized to me. Most of the other family members felt she had done nothing wrong.

Abby, I don't hold grudges, but my husband's family seems to. What do you say? -- MARTHA IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR MARTHA: Your husband's cousin should have asked if you minded before putting her hands on your stomach. Under the circumstances, your reaction was normal. After the baby arrives, this incident will be forgotten -- as it should be. Sometimes a dose of amnesia can have a positive effect on family relationships.

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