Given the wide range of sexual abuses in the headlines these days – varying from sexting to groping and even extending to rape - shouldn’t penalties also vary? Or must everyone accused resign his job or be fired no matter what kind of offense he commits? So far, there’s no set answer to incidents either past or present, even when the complaint is criminal assault.

We have an important decision to make

A recent story out of Auckland, New Zealand showed a 50-year-old art teacher sentenced to 16 years in prison for raping four of his students 14 to 18 years old over a two-year period.

The punishment amounts to four years per assault, and in light of the enticements he used, he got off light. His come-ons altered between telling a student that having sexual relations with him would help her see colors better and promising another that his penetration would make her a better painter. He also testified in court that “when you have a love for painting, you never ask why.” (I love painting, and I’m asking).

Sexting isn’t as up close and personal as rape, is it?

Another Art Teacher, Agostino Tassi, made a different overture when he raped his 17-year-old student Artemesia Gentileschi in Rome in 1611. He promised to marry her to save her reputation – necessary back then - but he never did.

After being found guilty, he spent eight months in jail. Clearly, the consequences of rape differ. What should the fallout be for sexual abuse that comes in the form of, say, unwanted touching? What then?

Is e-mailing nude selfies as offensive as fondling?

Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) admits to taking nude photographs of himself.

That’s what Anthony Weiner did, which led to his resignation from his House seat and a jail sentence of 18 months. Barton refuses to resign and remains jail-free. Then there’s Senior House member John Conyers (D-Mich.), age 88, who denies current allegations from staffers of unwanted touching. Yet in 2015 he reportedly paid hush-money to an alleged victim of his sexual advances, He cautions that “it is important to recognize that the mere making of an allegation does not mean it is true.” Fair enough, but one may well wonder why he paid a past accuser $27,000 as part of a confidentiality agreement if he didn’t do anything wrong.

Some abusers get away with their offenses, and some don’t

Accusers of unwanted touching by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) stand at four at last count, which suggests that he may be a serial molester and there have been calls for him to resign. Should he? When eight women accused 70-year-old TV talk show host Charlie Rose of harassing them by exposing himself, talking lewdly and groping them, CBS and PBS fired him. Should Rose have lost all of his broadcasting jobs while Donald Trump, who has admitted on tape to groping women, keeps his? We have some thinking to do.