This morning, students at Penn State University were watching television in anticipation of the release of the Freeh Report, the inquiry into the Penn State sex abuse scandal headed up by former FBI investigator Joeseph Freeh. But as 9 a.m. rolled around — the appointed time when the 267-page report’s details would be released and revealed on CNN — the school’s televisions suddenly went blank. When the TVs came back on, they were broadcasting a local public access channel instead.
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Last night, Jerry Sandusky was interviewed by telephone by NBC’s Bob Costas on “Rock Center.” Sandusky, of course, is the former assistant football coach at Penn State who is accused child sexual abuse against eight alleged victims. When asked by Costas if he is a pedophile, Sandusky replied with a curt, “No.” But he did admit, ”I could say that I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them, and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact.” He also admitted to some wrongdoing, saying, “I shouldn’t have showered with those kids.” Keep reading »
It’s clear from the response we received in the comments to yesterday’s piece on the Penn State scandal that people have strong feelings on the topic. I’m going to keep writing about any new developments as the story continues to unfold.
- The mother of Victim 1 (the first victim to come forward and report Sandusky to police) appeared on “Good Morning America” this morning, and said that her son, who was 11 at the time the abuse started, told her of the abuse Sandusky inflicted, “I didn’t know what to do … you just can’t tell Jerry no.’” [ABCNews] Keep reading »
Earlier today, I wrote about the firing of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in the aftermath of the sexual abuse allegations against his former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky. It is an utterly tragic case for obvious reasons; Sandusky is accused of molesting and raping eight boys over a period of 15 years and when a witness to one of his assaults reported it to his superiors, they didn’t go to the police. The case has illuminated just how far people will go to protect their “reputations” and to adhere to a chain of command rather than their own moral compass. The student protest/riot in State College, PA, following Paterno’s firing further emphasized that hero worship leaves otherwise decent people blind. The more I read, the more depressed I feel.
But I also came across one article that left me incredibly annoyed. Over at Jezebel, Erin Gloria Ryan has written a piece which asks the question, “What if Penn State’s coach had victimized girls?” and tries to make the point that if Sandusky’s victims had been female, the public, private, and media response to the allegations would be very different. While I wholeheartedly agree that female sexual assault victims are very often not taken seriously, and that they are somehow blamed, at least in part, for the crimes against them, etc., I have a serious problem with the Penn State scandal being used as an example of how male sexual assault victims are treated somehow “better” than female sexual assault victims. Keep reading »
Last night, legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was fired in the aftermath of the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the university. Thousands of students reacted by rioting, throwing rocks and overturning a news van, shouting, “We want JoePa!” Their loyalty is disturbing. Joe Paterno, yes, has a reputation for being one of the greatest coaches in college football history; he chose to “protect” that reputation by not turning a child rapist into the police. Keep reading »