Here’s my memo to all news outlets: Light-hearted euphemisms for assault, particularly sexual assault, are offensive.
“The Georgetown Cuddler” was an insultingly cute way to refer to a man who would break into people’s homes and assault them while they slept. I was willing to grade on a slight curve since this was such an odd sort of crime, but that gets you very little slack.
Here’s one where you get no slack, WaPo: it is not possible in any state in the union for an adult to have a “sexual relationship” with a 13-year-old. A 13-year-old – particularly not one in a student-teacher relationship with a person – cannot give consent to an adult.
If you can’t bring yourself to call rape rape, by all means, fall back on local law terminology and say sexually abused (DC ST § 22-3002). Modern district law, which wasn’t yet passed when this alleged incident would have occurred in the 80s, even tacks on a 1.5x modifier for someone in an authority position – say, a teacher or coach (DC ST § 22-3020).
But it is no more a relationship than I am acquainted with someone who says “hello” to me before stabbing me in an alley.