Oh, those wacky Catholics »« Awwww…

What? It’s not just Catholic priests?

The Penn State football scandal is just sickening. One of the coaching staff, Jerry Sandusky, has a long history of sexually abusing children, and the rest of the staff were apparently baffled about what to do. You report the incidents to the police, you dummies.

A Penn State graduate assistant coach shows up at the football locker room unexpectedly, and hears slapping noises from the shower. Here’s what the report said:

“As the graduate assistant put the sneakers in his locker, he looked into the shower. He saw a naked boy, Victim 2, whose age he estimated to be ten years old, with his hands up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky.”

The assistant fled in fear and confusion. Much the same way a janitor fled after allegedly witnessing Sandusky engaged in a sexual act in the showers with a “young boy” — Victim 8, later described in the report as being “between the ages of 11 and 13.”

Now it’s blowing up into a major scandal involving more than just the child rapist because all these clueless guys had evidence of child rape going on, and couldn’t figure out that this was both a crime and an offense against human decency, and that it demanded immediate strong action. Action more than just talking among themselves.

I’m getting the impression that this is what happens when you’ve got an off-balance, all-male culture (and I suspect that an all-female culture would also be off-balance and pathological in other ways). Both the Catholic priesthood and football coaching are male preserves, which serves to both attract individuals with odd proclivities and generates a kind of sexual tribalism that allows them to close ranks unthinkingly to protect their own.

Now I’m wondering even more about the military. I think the women who have struggled to crack into that field have a few stories about their refractory nature, too.

Comments

  1. NomadUK says

    I suspect that an all-female culture would also be off-balance and pathological in other ways

    Maybe, but it would probably be worth giving it a shot. How much worse could it possibly be?

  2. Algernon says

    But if reporting such crime is going to hurt sports at all, it’s wrong.

    I think this is really what it is about. Whenever people have a religious and reverent love of something they protect it. With Catholics the organization is more important than some kids. Same here, I suspect. As sickened as people may be they don’t want to rock the boat and be “traitors” to their people.

    It’s just fucked up, but it makes sense.

  3. Algernon says

    How much worse could it possibly be?

    This has never been a particularly good argument for anything.

  4. davidct says

    Apparently the physical courage associated with the sports world does not translate into moral courage. As much as I like to see the moral hypocrisy of the church, exposed, the abuse of children is more widespread. Allowing it to continue seems to also be a general problem. Fear of challenging authority and doing the right thing seems to be something too many people have a problem with. How is it that our culture makes it seem so hard?

  5. Who Knows? says

    Wow, the version that I’ve read didn’t describe the incident in the showers like that. How was it that the university officials dismissed that as horse play?

  6. Zugswang says

    But if reporting such crime is going to hurt sports at all, it’s wrong.

    Or is that an inaccurate portrayal of our society’s “values”?

    Well, more like if reporting such a crime is financially damaging enough, it’s wrong.

    This guy will go to prison for a very long time, and the people who enabled him will get off with a stern letter from the NCAA.

  7. Siveambrai says

    My husband and I are going back to PSU this weekend to see some friends and so that he can turn in his work keys to the Athletics department (unrelated to all this). I’m ashamed and disgusted right now to have ever accepted their money for his pay and I want to go and scream and punch people in that department. He may need to keep me from actually going and doing so.

  8. Sines says

    If I stumbled upon something like that, there is a good chance my brain would stop working properly and I wouldn’t know what to do. For about a minute. Five tops. Then, the course of action would be pretty damn clear.

    *sigh* Cover ups. Listen buddy, if you want to avoid scandal at your school, here’s a simple (still immoral) option. Tell the coach that you won’t report him to the police, if he voluntarily quits his job and moves far away. That way, there’s no questioning of your schools hiring practices, and you solve the problem, preventing any FURTHER problems (For your evil, selfish ass, anyway). Leaving him there where he will continue to cause problems that need to be covered up is just… stupid. It’s one thing to do the stupid thing, or the immoral thing, but it’s a whole new level of dumb to do something that is immoral, illegal, AND is going to bite you in the ass later.

  9. says

    Of course, if he was a “good” coach (in the sense of winning those all-important games) then all is permitted. Or forgiven. Something like that. Right?

  10. says

    As a mom of a small boy, I feel the punishment for this kind of act should be that the mother and father of the victim can do what they want with/to the perp. I could think of some fitting punishments….

  11. Dhorvath, OM says

    Sines, what the shit? These people don’t need suggestions on how to better be horrid to children.

  12. Randomfactor says

    Tell the coach that you won’t report him to the police, if he voluntarily quits his job and moves far away.

    Because moving the offender to a place where no one suspects his criminal nature worked so well for the RCC…

  13. NancyNew says

    #9, Sines–

    “Listen buddy, if you want to avoid scandal at your school, here’s a simple (still immoral) option. Tell the coach that you won’t report him to the police, if he voluntarily quits his job and moves far away. That way, there’s no questioning of your schools hiring practices, and you solve the problem, preventing any FURTHER problems”

    That’s as bad as, in my book. How many Catlick priests with pedo reports were shifted off into other, often poorer/more remote/”browner” areas, where they could continue abuse with even less risk?

  14. cholten99 says

    The nature of the offence aside, these people saw a child in pain and turned around and walked away. What kind of person can /do/ that?

    I don’t know what legal recourse there is for not reporting such crimes but I hope they throw the book at them.

  15. Algernon says

    Listen buddy, if you want to avoid scandal at your school, here’s a simple (still immoral) option. Tell the coach that you won’t report him to the police, if he voluntarily quits his job and moves far away.

    Even better yet, ship him off to be with some natives no one cares about so that he won’t keep hurting more important people. /snark

    Yeah, no… look if you see some one raping a kid we should be instilling people with the self reliance and independence of mind that there should be NO FUCKING INTERNAL CONFLICT and no fear of retaliation.

  16. jacobfromlost says

    Disgusting.

    Sports is very much like a religion in much of the country. Another example, although far less striking than this one, is the high school at which I used to teach. The story goes, several years before I worked there, they had a rule that if any athlete was caught drinking, they would be banned from sports for the entire school year.

    While this rule was supposedly in effect, an assistant football coach came upon the entire football team drinking and parting, did the honest thing and turned them in knowing there would be no football season thereafter (and pretty much the entire town would hate his guts), and the school instead decided to ignore the drinking and blackball the assistant coach for having the gall to report it when he knew the consequence would be no football season.

    The lesson? Everyone KNOWS you’re supposed to keep some things quiet. And they had the GALL to call it a SCHOOL.

  17. Sean Boyd says

    This guy will go to prison for a very long time, and the people who enabled him will get off with a stern letter from the NCAA.

    Two of the enablers are being arraigned on perjury charges, for having lied to investigators about the matter, and resigned their positions yesterday.

    But if reporting such crime is going to hurt sports at all, it’s wrong.

    Or is that an inaccurate portrayal of our society’s “values”?

    I don’t think you go quite far enough. While the nature of this crime is different, this is similar to, say, cigarette manufacturers lying to Congress about the addictive nature of nicotine. Or Wall Street geniuses bundling bad assets into neat little packages and gambling on whether or not they will succeed or fail. Or short shrifting safety regulations on oil wells in order to maximize profit.

    In other words, when big money is at stake, the ethics of its pursuers too often disappear. And Division I football is big money.

  18. says

    But if reporting such crime is going to hurt sports at all, it’s wrong.

    Or is that an inaccurate portrayal of our society’s “values”?

    Unfortunately, I think it’s an entirely accurate portrayal.

    Between this and the news about female bloggers receiving death threats, it’s been a depressing morning.

  19. jacobfromlost says

    “That’s as bad as, in my book. How many Catlick priests with pedo reports were shifted off into other, often poorer/more remote/”browner” areas, where they could continue abuse with even less risk?”

    Indeed. They actually purposefully put them in places where the children did not speak English.

  20. Carlie says

    It’s actually making me cry to think that safety and compassion and making that shit stop was literally a few feet away from those children, and yet the people who could have provided it turned their backs and walked off. How were those people raised? How could they do that? All that is required for evil to triumph is for others to do nothing, indeed.

  21. SamBarge says

    #9 Sines

    Actually, if you want to protect your organization, the best thing to do is report the rapist immediately to the police. An independent witness to the rape? That’s a prosecutorial slam-dunk. The rapist will be convicted for sure.

    And the organization? It gets a reputation for being willing to place itself on the line to ensure the safety of the children who are entrusted to its care.

  22. Steve Jeffers says

    The thing about these incidents … they’re *so* foul, *so* wrong, that I wonder if a natural reaction isn’t to walk away, assume it’s someone else’s problem. That does seem to be what people do on a fairly regular basis.

    I agree with people here. I like to think if I was confronted with something like that, I’d call the police, grab the guy, find a bunch of other witnesses … but time and again, we hear that actual people confronted with it look the other way, or just don’t allow themselves to believe it. It must be that it’s *such* a serious thing to accuse someone of that you begin to doubt your own eyes. *After* the guy’s arrested, people come forward.

    This is, of course, an argument for far *greater* institutional rigor, systems that short circuit this urge to turn a blind eye.

    I can sense a thousand Catholic quislings opening up their blogs and writing ‘see? it happens everywhere’ posts. Well, yes, it does. It’s what happens next that’s important. This monster’s actions have now finally been brought to light, and the senior management is resigning and facing charges. This is … not what continues to happen in the Catholic church.

    All of us just sat at a computer reading about this can be glib and pretend to be wise men of the world, or that we’d be heroes. Call it French Resistance syndrome – we all like to think we’d be out there sabotaging the railways lines, but in reality, almost all of us would be keeping our heads down.

    And this simply means that for every incident that *is* reported, there must be countless that aren’t.

  23. Kaintukee Bob says

    alexandradeufel, as father of two small boys, I empathize. This is disgusting.

    That said, “An eye for an eye” isn’t justice. It may be deserved, but I don’t think it’s moral.

    Let the justice system do its job – if there is sufficient evidence to convict (and it seems clear that there is) he will serve a long prison sentence and be placed on the registry. He will never again be allowed to work or live in a way that gives him opportunity to repeat his crimes*.

    Here’s hoping the prosecution does their job and that the victims get the counseling they’ll need. As awful as this already is, it’ll be even worse if the kids don’t get help and have to keep suffering for the rest of their lives – therapy can help reduce that (at minimum).

    *Of course, he’ll never get out of jail. Child molesters don’t tend to survive long enough in prison to get released. I can’t condone this – murder is a terrible thing – but I can’t say I’ll shed a tear, either.

  24. says

    As a mom of a small boy, I feel the punishment for this kind of act should be that the mother and father of the victim can do what they want with/to the perp. I could think of some fitting punishments….

    No. No, it shouldn’t.

    Revenge is irrational. As Gandhi put it, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Our society’s obsession with “punishment”, rather than problem-solving and rehabilitation, has been making things worse, not better.

  25. Esteleth says

    For a second, I almost understood the reaction of the grad student – he probably panicked and fled the scene.
    Then, after more thought, the fact that this guy didn’t follow through – no calling the cops himself (even just to check up on the progress of the case), no keeping an eye on the coach to keep him away from children.

    I feel for that boy! The article says that the boy saw the grad student. I’m shaking at the thought of being raped, looking up to see a horrified stranger, and then see that stranger turn around and leave.

  26. Sean Boyd says

    One more thing to say to Glen at #1. I’m just remembering the issue at Duke University about 5 years ago with the men’s lacrosse team. There, prosecutors had no issue going after three of the players on the team, even though charges were later dropped. Of course, lacrosse isn’t exactly a money spinner in the world of collegiate sports.

  27. says

    All of us just sat at a computer reading about this can be glib and pretend to be wise men of the world, or that we’d be heroes. Call it French Resistance syndrome – we all like to think we’d be out there sabotaging the railways lines, but in reality, almost all of us would be keeping our heads down.

    And this simply means that for every incident that *is* reported, there must be countless that aren’t.

    Yep. That’s certainly true.

    Which is why what is needed is an end to the institutional power-structures that allow these things to occur with impunity. As long as we give people unchecked power over other people, there will be abuse. This is why authoritarian hierarchies (of which the RCC is a paradigm case, but there are plenty of secular examples too) are toxic.

  28. says

    @Zugswang

    When you’re all trying to figure out what’s going to happen to these people, just remember what happened to Jerry Epstein, the billionaire pedophile.

    Not to mention Michael Jackson. According to so many, “yes, he slept with the boys, but innocently because he was just a 10 year old at heart”.

    Can you imagine anyone saying that about someone without that level of fame and fortune

  29. Jim Mauch says

    Come on now! Don’t get on the military. You know that historically they have had only the deepest respect for women, and homosexuals, and races and religions other than their own. In the military your just one big happy family in a war against diversity.

  30. says

    How the hell does someone witness that and not call the fucking police?!? I can understand the initial shock resulting in fear and confusion, but what the fuck is there to “think about” or “be confused by” when it comes to reporting what you saw? That man was raping a child for fuck’s sake!

  31. CalebT says

    Not to pontificate on the legacy of Coach Joe Paterno, but over the past 50 years, he as acquired a reputation of a building a program that “wins with honor.” There have been no NCAA sanctions, his student-athletes graduate, he contributes money to the university, he has a record 409 wins, 3 Big Ten championships, and 2 national championships.

    That this scandal would break in what is presumbly his final year at Penn State, a year they could quite possibly win another conference championship, is a damn shame. If he knew anything about this, he ought to be ashamed and share in the punishment. Even if he didn’t, this scandal will forever shatter the legacy of the last living coaching legend of the 20th century.

    Damn shame.

  32. Anteprepro says

    From the article:

    The charity he founded was called The Second Mile. And, according to the grand jury, it was “initially devoted to helping troubled young boys.

    “It was within The Second Mile program that Sandusky found his alleged victims. . . . It grew into a charity dedicated to helping children with absent or dysfunctional families.’’

    Its mission? “Help children who need additional support and would benefit from positive human interaction.’’

    If everything else wasn’t tragic enough, the boys that were victimized were already in need of emotional help and support. He exploited and assaulted boys who needed help, under the pretense of providing them with that help. And the direct witnesses just ran away. The higher ups who knew about it without directly seeing it just swept it under the save their own asses. The entire affair is thoroughly disgusting and depressing at almost every conceivable level.

  33. Sean Boyd says

    @34 Caleb,

    And, from what little I heard on the radio this morning, in 2002 when he was told that Sandusky had been caught in the act, he reported it, not to the police, but to the athletic director. Fuck Paterno, and fuck his legacy. He could have prevented it from going further, but he apparently washed his hands of the matter.

  34. Who Knows? says

    Fuck Paterno, and fuck his legacy. He could have prevented it from going further, but he apparently washed his hands of the matter.

    Agreed 100%.

  35. Anteprepro says

    CalebT:

    Not to pontificate on the legacy of Coach Joe Paterno, but over the past 50 years, he as acquired a reputation of a building a program that “wins with honor.” There have been no NCAA sanctions, his student-athletes graduate, he contributes money to the university, he has a record 409 wins, 3 Big Ten championships, and 2 national championships.

    That this scandal would break in what is presumbly his final year at Penn State, a year they could quite possibly win another conference championship, is a damn shame.

    Yeah. Because who cares about the fact that multiple children were raped. Let’s cry over the damage it causes to the reputation of the football team. Seriously, you need to rethink what you just said or fuck right the hell off, right now.

    Oh yeah, and also from the article:

    If the report is right, Paterno, leader of men for the past half century, simply called his athletic director and passed on the information of the rape his graduate assistant described to him; like telling your boss on a co-worker who is stealing staples from the supply closet.

    No, Paterno, and the other school officials, did nothing to help the boys, or to help any other boys in the future.

    They actually told Sandusky that he couldn’t keep bringing boys from his charity onto the Penn State campus, into the football facilities, according to the grand jury findings.

    Not that they told him to stop doing to those boys what is alleged.

    Just stop doing it here.

    Rest assured, though: Your weeping over Paterno’s tarnished reputation is just as repulsive regardless.

  36. Nepenthe says

    Don’t locker rooms have, y’know, bats and other weapon-like objects in them? ‘Cause the appropriate response to witnessing a grown man raping a little boy is to make him stop and then find a fucking phone. Jesus tap-dancing Christ, sometimes I’m pro human extinction.

  37. julian says

    He saw what was happening and walked away. Yeah, that seems to be people’s response to abuse. See it happening to someone and ignore it. You’d think with something as extreme as rape we’d be willing to intervene but we aren’t. We’re a pathetic, cowardly species.

    Now I’m wondering even more about the military.

    First day in the Fleet a corporal was kind enough to inform that ‘If you have a vagina you own the Marine Corp’ and go on to list the many ‘advantages’ women unjustly had over their male counterparts.

    Two of the PFC’s with me were women.

  38. chigau (無) says

    If the witnesses had seen the coach punching a child in the face would they have stepped in to stop it?

  39. Otrame says

    Why isn’t the grad student not being NAMED. He is guilty of failing to aid a child being assaulted, both directly and by not calling the cops. NO ONE who could walk away from that deserve anonymity. He deserves to face public knowledge of just who it was who fucking WALKED AWAY and then felt telling the coach was good enough, even after it became clear that that did not lead to an arrest.

  40. Flah the Heretic Methodist says

    As a parent, my first reaction is a rage so bright and blinding as to make me have to walk away for a little while. Funny, it’s my second reaction as well. I’d like to kill this child molester with my bare hands. And fire. And two pipe-hitters with a pair of pliers and a blow torch. And to the guys that saw it and did nothing: you’d be next.

    And if you think football is more important that children, fuck you, too.

  41. Dan Jones says

    As a Penn State alum (class of 87′) I am in complete shock. I am saddened by the way PSU is handling the situation. This requires non other than a complete cleansing of the entire football infrastructure. I would go so far as to say the University President Grahm Spanier should go as well. Success with honor is now a hollow sham.

  42. abb3w says

    I think it’s more directly a culture-of-authority problem than a monosexual-culture problem, though the latter often involves unusually high degrees of the former. A lot of humans seem to be wired with some degree of person-in-authority = good; thus, person-in-authority doing something bad triggers cognitive dissonance and they’re not sure how to respond. In this case, the discovering individuals in this story are also relatively low-heirarchy, meaning retaliation is a real hazard; whistleblowers tend not to be appreciated. So, the authority-based issues seem likely a mix of both prestige (he’s proven to have a valued skill set, but also has proven a child molester — humans handle non-linear orderings poorly) and dominance (if the accusation isn’t believed, the coach will be in a position for effective retaliation).

    Of course, there’s also sometimes ingroup elements as well — a member of the group doing something bad, and other members having the impulse to protect the group’s outside image by concealing the problem. This, of course, adds a further potential for even more scandal — but there tends to be chance to get away with it, or at least hide it long enough that the scandal’s salience fades.

  43. mirax says

    Otrame,

    That scumbag is named in various reports as Mike McQueary who just went on to have a 9 year plus career with the football team. He supposedly informed Paterno the next day and all were content to leave it at pretty much that level of criminal blindness. It seems the ‘charity’ the pedophile founded cannot be left off the hook either since they were informed of the 2002 incident and pretty much did nothing. They had the gall to say this :

    ‘This clearly is a very difficult time for Jerry and his family, for all other involved parties, and for The Second Mile,’

  44. says

    ‘This clearly is a very difficult time for Jerry and his family, for all other involved parties, and for The Second Mile,’

    Yeah, clearly, because who gives a fuck about the victims in this case and what they’ve suffered through?

    Talk about screwed up priorities.

  45. What a Maroon says

    One thing that doesn’t add up: Sandusky retired from coaching in 1999; the grad student saw him raping the boy in the shower in 2002. (And of course Sandusky’s victims weren’t from the team; he had to set up his own charitable organization to find them.) So why were the PSU officials so intent on covering this up? It wouldn’t have brought any shame on their organization to expose it (although I guess people might question why Sandusky still had access to the showers). It makes no sense.

    Unless, of course, they were already aware of it.

  46. andrea says

    and one more reason that I really despise “atheletics” in schools. In that culture, nothing is more important than the idiotic sport.

  47. mirax says

    Sandusky’s arrest followed a multiyear investigation that raised questions not only about his behaviour but about the behaviour of a roster of others who were allegedly aware of it – a high school principal, foundation executives, the university president, the school’s lawyer, an assistant coach, even janitors.

    “What’s apparent when you read the grand jury report was just how often the red flags didn’t go up for folks,” said Cathleen Palm, executive director of Protect Our Children, a state-wide coalition of advocacy groups. “You had folks who were very well vested in power, who it appears made a choice not to act with the power invested in them.”

    It sounds like exactly what abb3w at #46 wrote.

    #49 the so called charity paid the university $120 000 a year to use its facilities.

  48. CalebT says

    Fuckin rage-ahol is addictive stuff.

    I quite clearly said that he deserves punishment for any wrong-doing he was involved (especially in the accused cover-up!). So fuckin chill the fuck out!

    My “weeping” over Paterno’s legacy is just a comment on the corruption that elaborate systems of bureaucracies and payoffs can create. I can’t believe Paterno would be an advocate of child-rape or torture. The bureaucracy of an Athletic Department, much like that of any organization (I’m thinking of the Executive Branch right now, and the 44 pigs that have inhabited it over the past 230 years), is self-preserving and will do anything to sustain itself, including covering-up heinous crimes.

    No one individual at Penn State would have tried to cover this up, but because every one of them depended on the organization for their livelihoods, they all became pigs to protect the system.

    If the allegations are true, Paterno, a once honored man in his profession, is filthy pig.

  49. CalebT says

    By the way, if you’re a fan of college football like myself, you’re entitled to a little bit of grief over this news (like most people who discover that their heroes are villains). Or did none of you ever have that experience before?

  50. Sean Boyd says

    That this scandal would break in what is presumbly his final year at Penn State, a year they could quite possibly win another conference championship, is a damn shame. If he knew anything about this, he ought to be ashamed and share in the punishment. Even if he didn’t, this scandal will forever shatter the legacy of the last living coaching legend of the 20th century.

    (emphasis added)

    I’m curious, CalebT, that if your sole intent was to rightly castigate Paterno, why it was important to point out that this will tarnish both a successful football season and the legacy of a storied coach. Would what happened be less disgusting if Penn State were winless on the season? Or if Joe Paterno had never won an NCAA game in his life?

  51. CalebT says

    @ Sean Boyd,

    Okay, everyone is reading too much into my comment and needs to chill out. My post was merely expressing the universally felt grief most people have in learning that (once) great men and former heroes are actually villains…I’m struggling to come up with an example, but maybe this will suffice. It’s sorta along the lines of how people felt about Reagan after Iran-Contra.

  52. Who Knows? says

    My “weeping” over Paterno’s legacy is just a comment on the corruption that elaborate systems of bureaucracies and payoffs can create. I can’t believe Paterno would be an advocate of child-rape or torture.

    I don’t think any of these people would be an advocate of rape either. But I have to wonder how the discussions about this went.

    Well, it appears Sandusky’s fucking little boys in the shower again.

    Fuck, who’s the witness?

    This graduate student. Says Sandusky had the kid up against the wall and was fucking him in the ass.

    Shit, what should we do about it?

    Sandusky can’t bring kids here any more.

    Do you think Paterno could hire the grad student?

  53. JGC says

    As far as I’m concenrned, everyone who became aware of the Sandusky’s acts who did not (egardless of whatever else they did and to whoever else they reported the problem immediately report Sandusky to the police (that would be the township police, not the campus police BTW) are acessorires after the fact to the assaults.

    As for the graduate assistant I believe he’s guilty as a simple accessory, rather than as an accessory after the fact, in the same way that someone robbing a liquor store with a companion is guilty as a an accessory to murder if his companion shoots the perosn behind the register. He saw a coworker assaulting a child and made the deliberate decision to walk away allow the assault to continue when in all likelihood all it would have taken to bring it to an end was to raise his voice–“Hey, what in the hell are you doing,Sandusky!”

  54. CalebT says

    @ Who Knows,

    This fucking thing goes all the way to the top. Trust me. Whatever happened, the president of the university KNEW! There will be a lot of people going down for this (provided they don’t have the money or other resources to cheat the system).

  55. Ing says

    It’s sorta along the lines of how people felt about Reagan after Iran-Contra.

    Sorry, there were people dumb enough to feel that the guy who fiddled where HIV was running rampant was a hero? Or the asshole who attacked our social wellfare? Or the one who tore off solar panels because “fuck you hippies!”?

  56. Ing says

    He saw a coworker assaulting a child and made the deliberate decision to walk away allow the assault to continue when in all likelihood all it would have taken to bring it to an end was to raise his voice–”Hey, what in the hell are you doing,Sandusky!”

    Reminds me of the one scene in King’s novel “IT”. I found that one scene more horrifying than any of the supernatural stuff because I KNEW I had seen adults do that.

  57. Ing says

    The scene being a preteen being assaulted with some sexual undertones (if I recall correctly) and the adult witnessing it turning around and heading back inside pretending he saw nothing.

  58. Sean Boyd says

    @CalebT,

    How many instances of the downfall of “great” people do you need before you realize that greatness and success might correlate, but are not synonymous?

  59. maureen.brian says

    The next time someone appears on this blog denying that a rape culture and any number of rape apologists exist we’ll be able to point him to CalebT, won’t we?

  60. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Okay, everyone is reading too much into my comment and needs to chill out. My post was merely expressing the universally felt grief most people have in learning that (once) great men and former heroes are actually villains…

    Fantastically misapplied grief for 1000 alex.

  61. CalebT says

    @Sean Boyd,

    I don’t need to realize it. Though I voted enthusiastically for him, I saw right away that the Obama administration was going to be shitty after they decided to postpone the closing of Guantanomo.

    That being said, it still feels like shit to see it happen again, and again, and again.

  62. Sean Boyd says

    @CalebT,

    Oh, and as to your “If he knew anything about this…” comment, he knew. You know goddamn well he knew. He told the AD in 2002 about the incident. So don’t equivocate about it. Paterno is revealed as a dirtbag; get over it. Shed your tears for the actual victim, which is not your poor fragile psyche, but the kids who suffered at the hands of a rapist, and who likely knew there were adults who could have, but didn’t, help.

  63. CalebT says

    Fucking flame warfare going on, so I had better stop soon.

    I do have one question for those of you who continue to think of me as some sort of “rape apologist”. Would my original post had been better off had it not cited all of the career achievements of Paterno? Is that what we’re getting so hot about?

    If so, allow me to rephrase my original post to be more succinct and a little less delicate:

    “FUCK SANDUSKY, FUCK THE PSU ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT, AND FUCK PATERNO. THEY ARE PIGS!”

  64. maureen.brian says

    Too late, CalebT!

    What you are and the disgusting way your mind (sic) works have already been spotted.

    Just fade away quietly. It is your only option.

  65. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I do have one question for those of you who continue to think of me as some sort of “rape apologist”. Would my original post had been better off had it not cited all of the career achievements of Paterno? Is that what we’re getting so hot about?

    No, and you thinking that’s the issue is telling. The point that sticks with me is you were concerned with Paterno, who no doubt has some fault in this, instead of the boys that were raped.

    That Paterno was the one you were concerned with.

    That’s pretty much the point. Rape kind of has a history of this same type of misapplied concern. You just continued this pattern.

    Maybe not on purpose, but you did.

  66. CalebT says

    @Maureen

    Last post, then I’m gone.

    Keep in mind people that PZ’s original post focused more on the institutional dysfunction that allowed the crime to go unpunished. Perhaps PZ should care more about the victim and less about the perpetrator(s)?

  67. Ing says

    Keep in mind people that PZ’s original post focused more on the institutional dysfunction that allowed the crime to go unpunished. Perhaps PZ should care more about the victim and less about the perpetrator(s)?

    You’re a fucking idiot.

  68. d cwilson says

    As a Penn State alum (class of 87′) I am in complete shock.

    Ditto (Class of ’92 for my Bachelor’s and ’01 for my Master’s). There are aren’t words to describe how shocked I feel about these allegations. While I was at State College, I participated in fundraisers for Second Mile. Even though I never met Sandusky during my time up there, I almost feel like an accomplice to his (alleged) crimes for supporting what I thought was an organization to help kids in need.

    I think this may do what age and several university presidents have been unable to do: Get Paterno to retire. If you have never attended PSU, it’s hard to describe the culture. Paterno is considered a god up there and Sandusky was his right hand man for years. It’s hard to believe that the two officials already indicted were the only ones who knew this was going on. I think a lot more heads are going to roll over this.

    It is hugely disheartening to learn about this. I can understand the impulse to lament on how this will tarnish Paterno’s legacy because he has done a lot of good for the university. He’s raised a ton of money for PSU. There are thousands of alumni who give annually solely because he’s there (one of the reasons why no one has been able to nudge him into retirement).

    But this is far more serious than one more’s legacy. As they say, it’s time for Paterno to come clean about “what did he know and when did he know it?” and then accept the consequences.

  69. Anj says

    Yeah, I’ve compared sports with religion in a humorous way, but I didn’t mean it seriously!

    I’m appalled that the abuser/assailant actually had people WITNESS him in the act and not report him!

    The questions that are still nagging me: How do you get an underage kid into the football locker room? (Yeah, he’s the coach but still kids that age aren’t common on college campus.) Whose kids were these? How many were there?

    and of course the kicker

    WHO KNEW?

  70. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Keep in mind people that PZ’s original post focused more on the institutional dysfunction that allowed the crime to go unpunished. Perhaps PZ should care more about the victim and less about the perpetrator(s)?

    Now is the time I feel compelled to remind you of the first rule of holes.

  71. Ing says

    Perhaps PZ should care more about the victim and less about the perpetrator(s)?

    Lover the sinner, hate the sin!

  72. CalebT says

    @D cwilson,

    I’d like to refer you to D cwilson’s post who expressed the sentiment I wished to express better than I could.

  73. Dhorvath, OM says

    Caleb,
    As someone who has skirted the same hole, just stop justifying. If you can’t see that you are digging, at least consider that nothing you have said constitutes climbing out and call this conversation a failure on your part. By continuing to attempt to rescue it you are in fact causing harm.

  74. CalebT says

    @ANJ,

    Sandusky was the Defensive Coordinator at PSU, meaning he was next in the chain of command under Paterno for the football program. As such, he might have had the ability to get “visitors” (wink, wink) in and out of football facilities with a simple nod of the head. That being said, I doubt the graduate assistant was the only person to witness the crime.

  75. says

    Fleeing in confusion and panic, I think I can understand. Failing to call the police after you’ve collected yourself is what I can’t understand.

  76. Aquaria says

    Keep in mind people that PZ’s original post focused more on the institutional dysfunction that allowed the crime to go unpunished. Perhaps PZ should care more about the victim and less about the perpetrator(s)?

    You fucking scumbag liar.

    PZ’s concern was with the RAPED CHILDREN who were doubly abused by an institution that should never have turned a blind eye to what was happening to them. Your concern was with the PEOPLE WHO COVERED UP FOR THE PERSON WHO RAPED CHILDREN, you lying sack of shit.

    Fuck off and don’t come back.

  77. Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says

    Keep in mind people that PZ’s original post focused more on the institutional dysfunction that allowed the crime to go unpunished. Perhaps PZ should care more about the victim and less about the perpetrator(s)?

    If Joe Pa and the officials at Penn State cared more about the victims, Jerry Sandusky would have been fired and his keys taken away decades ago.

    But it is much more useful to whine about a person who has nothing to do with the rapes.

  78. What a Maroon says

    How do you get an underage kid into the football locker room? (Yeah, he’s the coach but still kids that age aren’t common on college campus.)

    If you’re a well-known and well-loved former coach who’s also known for running a charity for at-risk kids, you probably don’t get many questions about who you’re bringing with you.

    Whose kids were these?

    These were “at-risk” kids. Not sure how they defined that term, but at-risk kids often don’t have responsible adults at home keeping track of them

    How many were there?

    He’s accused of abusing eight boys. But there’s probably more.

  79. Anj says

    NVM

    Someone’s comment about a “charitable organization” was enough to give me something to search on. Ew. Ew. Ick.

    An organization to serve at-risk youth!

    Guess what kind of kids fit the profile that abusers look for?
    At-risk children.

    Yes, the children most likely to lack reliable adults in their lives, with low self esteem and weak social networks. The kind of kids who likely don’t have any adult to tell, or adults would not believe them if they did tell. The kids who don’t know how to set boundaries.

    There is a reason that most organizations serving children will screen closely anyone who works or volunteers them – because they know abusers are looking for access to children, especially vulnerable children.

  80. heironymous says

    I’m sorry. But the first reaction should be beat the living shit out of him. The second reaction should be to cut his fucking balls off and feed them to him.
    Then, you should call the authorities.

  81. heironymous says

    Caleb –

    You are so fucking wrong

    Coach Paterno’s name will now be synonymous with child abuse.
    The entire Penn State program is as diddled as the Catholic Church. JoPa knew and he let those boys get raped.

    This is the opposite of unsullied. Ask yourself how many football victories are worth a young boy getting raped by an assistant coach.

  82. jenniferphillips says

    d cwilson@88:

    Thanks for the link. The ‘donate now’ button underneath their statement is a nice touch.

    I read the whole grand jury report. It’s appalling.

    I still can’t get my mind around the fact that not just one, but TWO of the victims assaulted in a public place (shower room) were seen–and saw themselves being seen–by passersby who didn’t stop to help. I can scarcely imagine the added shame and discomfort that this added to their already horrific experience. Many words were spent describing how upsetting the experience of seeing these assaults were to the eyewitnesses. It’s alarming how many people seem to thing this is a mitigating factor for anything.

    I shudder to think how many more victims there are who have not come forward or been reported.

  83. d cwilson says

    How do you get an underage kid into the football locker room? (Yeah, he’s the coach but still kids that age aren’t common on college campus.)

    That wouldn’t be hard at all. VIP’s can arrange tours of the facilities for almost anyone they want. Most adults would probably consider giving such a tour and a chance to meet some of the players as an experience of a lifetime for a young boy.

  84. says

    Sines @#9

    I think that was what the Catholic Church was doing…Don’t report it, move the priest to another parish, move along. Wash, rinse, repeat. Done it for centuries. No problem.

    Why haven’t these institutions been financially eviscerated???

  85. Siveambrai says

    So I have effectively gotten no work done today as a result of PZ’s twitter message being the first thing that popped up on my screen upon opening my computer.

    The one thing I HAVE done is written an open letter to the university and those involved. Please feel free to read it and send your own. I have included the contact information for many people at the school. I specially urge any other alums to do so. http://negativekarmaengine.blogspot.com/2011/11/open-letter-to-penn-state-university.html

    To just comment on Paterno’s reputation. It didn’t really get out of Happy Vally but he really doesn’t have the best history when it comes to things like… actually valuing honor over football. There were multiple accusations of rape and assault against players in the last 10 years. At least 2 cases made it through the local court systems and in all cases Paterno’s response was “Well boys will be boys.” suspend them for a brief period and then get everyone to ignore it. Not to say the whole football team is bad but there are certainly abuses that happen at PSU and Paterno doesn’t always respond with the zero tolerance policy one would expect.

  86. d cwilson says

    Coach Paterno’s name will now be synonymous with child abuse. The entire Penn State program is as diddled as the Catholic Church. JoPa knew and he let those boys get raped.

    You are probably right. It’s a bitter pill for us alum to swallow, but Penn State’s reputation as both a “clean” football program and a university has taken a severe blow. And deservedly so.

  87. What a Maroon says

    To just comment on Paterno’s reputation. It didn’t really get out of Happy Vally but he really doesn’t have the best history when it comes to things like… actually valuing honor over football. There were multiple accusations of rape and assault against players in the last 10 years. At least 2 cases made it through the local court systems and in all cases Paterno’s response was “Well boys will be boys.” suspend them for a brief period and then get everyone to ignore it. Not to say the whole football team is bad but there are certainly abuses that happen at PSU and Paterno doesn’t always respond with the zero tolerance policy one would expect.

    Sounds like Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech. And probably a lot more college (and high school) football (and basketball) coaches.

  88. Sines says

    I think my point was misconstrued. I was simply pointing out that not only were the people in charge evil, they were also incompetent. That if they were willing to behave immorally to cover their own asses, there were ways that would have solved their problem much better. They’d still be evil bastards, of course. It’s sort of an odd pet peeve of mine. It’s an abandonment of both morality and basic common sense. Kind of like adding a parking violation after you’re caught for speeding away from the police.

    And what I suggested is NOT what the catholic church does. The point would be to get rid of the individual out of a place that could reflect badly on you if he were to be discovered. Seeing as how the Catholic Church kept the priests, the blame could still fall on them. If they were to simply let the priests ‘quit’, the church could claim plausible deniability when the ex-priest molested children again.

    All in all, I’m making fun of how idiotic these coverups are. Nobody needs me to point out how what they’re doing is wrong. I’m just pointing out that they’re also morons.

  89. neuroturtle says

    @Anj (76)

    Penn State is big in community outreach. They host kids’ camps all summer long (mostly sports, but science too), and have lots of programs throughout the year. It is not at all unusual to see kids on campus, especially in the areas dedicated to sports. Then add in the warm fuzzies of “oh, look, big important coach mentoring at-risk kids!” and nobody asks questions.

  90. d cwilson says

    @Siveambrai:

    Yeah, I’ve followed those cases pretty closely. I think this is something far more serious. Despite Paterno’s cavalier attitude, the university didn’t cover up the bad behavior of the players. In many cases they couldn’t, because the incidents sometimes occurred off campus and local authorites got involved pretty quickly. But because they cooperated with investigators, the university has weathered those incidents pretty well and passed them off as isolated incidents.

    But this is different. There is no doubt that high ranking university officials knew about the incidents and did not report them to the police. Like the Catholic Church, they covered them up.

    This isn’t like how people felt after Iran-Contra, because, let’s face it, most of Reagan’s worshipers bent over backwards to excuse, justify, or deny his role. To me, I imagine the feeling is like how a devout Catholic might feel if they found out that a respected priest in their parish had been molesting boys for years and the diocese overlooked it for a decade or more.

    That an institution that had been a part of my life for so long could betray people’s trust like this is unforgivable.

  91. d cwilson says

    Then it was all “Jerry” our buddy rather than Mr Sandusky. They too are trying to cover their asses now.

    Of course they are. Putting as much daylight between themselves and Sandusky right now is about the only thing they can do if they hope to survive as an organization.

    And they may not survive. Which would be a shame for the kids that they have helped. If I were on the board of directors, I’d be talking about a name change and perhapds a total reorg from the ground up.

  92. Special One says

    and I suspect that an all-female culture would also be off-balance and pathological in other ways

    My extensive research into yuri manga certainly seems to confirm this.

    All joking aside, they need to clean their football program out from stem to stern.

  93. Algernon says

    Well gee whiz Sines, thanks for the funny insight on how to better protect rapists and cover up their crimes!

    That sure was a fucking laugh!

  94. says

    Sines@#99

    Your comment was just noticed not misconstrued. Immorality as you referred to it is still immoral, religious aspersions aside. If we could just “put aside” the offenders it would be one thing. Just moving them out of the “system” does not solve the problem. As late as it is being discovered, at least this problem may be addressed. Though as with the Catholic Church scandal, nothing much will probably be done.

    Torches and Pitchforks. anyone?

  95. alissa says

    This is horrible. How they hell do you not call the police?

    I worked at a summer day camp one year and a 7 year old girl told us that she was tired because her stepdad kept coming into her bed at night and waking her up, even though her mom had told him not to come in anymore. Myself and another counselor went to the camp director, who went to the head of the camp network, who told us we could *NOT* call anyone. She said she would lose her ability to lease the public school for summer camp if we reported any cases of abuse. Then she threatened to fire us and withhold paychecks for violating employment contracts (legally she couldn’t do this, of course). You know what we did? We called CPS anyways, like decent human beings. THAT is how you handle finding something like this out. (the police then fucked everything up, showed up at the family’s house and told them someone had reported them, and then just left them alone. I still think about that poor little girl). The director of our camp forbid any of us from talking to her the last week of camp.

    Police told us off initially, but then dropped it once the family said they’d previously been under investigation in the town they just moved from.

    It’s really not that hard to call CPS/police. It’s great if your boss supports you, but it’s not like you can’t call and report it without approval!

  96. says

    I’d like to think I’d report him, as soon as I got my breath back, and take the kid to a hospital straight from the change-room.

    But even if the institution wanted to look the other way about a completed act of child rape, why in Heaven’s name wouldn’t they assign the coach a manager who would *always* be with him when he was around kids. And I mean always. And not an “assistant” who could be ordered away. Furthermore, there would have to be a standard letter to parents letting them know that the operational standard was never to leave their children alone with a coach and one of them should always tag along with any given group.

  97. says

    I was just over at ESPN.com reading articles & comments, and needed to come back here for some fresh air.
    Most commenters were appalled and aghast, demanding that heads roll…but a lot of others were making jokes and conflating pedophilia with homosexuality. Disgusting.

  98. What a Maroon says

    Furthermore, there would have to be a standard letter to parents letting them know that the operational standard was never to leave their children alone with a coach and one of them should always tag along with any given group.

    Hmm, what would that letter look like?

    Dear Parents,

    We are writing to inform you that during your child’s presence at our facility, he may be exposed to a man who has been witnessed raping children on the campus of PSU, where he was formerly an assistant to coach Joe Paterno (go Nittany Lions!). We do not wish to bring any embarrassment to that fine program, or to our own institution, but we also want to assure you that we take your child’s safety seriously, and we are taking all steps necessary to ensure that your child will never be alone with Jerry said gentleman. We also encourage you whenever possible to join your child on center outings.

    Please accept as a token of our gratitude for your cooperation and silence in this matter the enclosed season tickets for the Nittany Lions football team.

    Sincerely,

    etc. etc.

  99. Slaughter says

    Heironymous said (#89): I’m sorry. But the first reaction should be beat the living shit out of him. The second reaction should be to cut his fucking balls off and feed them to him.
    Then, you should call the authorities.

    Gee, those were my thoughts exactly on a thread in another group site I frequent. I was told that I didn’t have all of the facts, so how could I judge? If you saw someone doing that to a little boy, how could you *not* act?

  100. Velociraptor says

    Steve Jeffers@ 24 wins the thread with this:

    “All of us just sat at a computer reading about this can be glib and pretend to be wise men of the world, or that we’d be heroes. Call it French Resistance syndrome – we all like to think we’d be out there sabotaging the railways lines, but in reality, almost all of us would be keeping our heads down.”

    This is so accurate it is uncanny. It applies in MANY situations. One of the more common ones is when there is a mass shooting somewhere, the Gun-nuts love to say that an armed person would have prevented it. This is bullshit. Unless you have been in a situation like that before, you have NO IDEA how you will react. As an active-duty member of the Army, I have been in Iraq and Afghanistan, and been in a number of shoot outs. Before I had though, I didn’t know how I would react.

    The (sorta) corrolary to this is, I suppose, that if the person(s) who witnessed this disgusting crime(s) knew the perpetrator, who would likely be believed over the witness in an accusation given his position and stature, would likely easily be able to crush the witness.

    We all like to believe that we would be the White Knight riding in to save the day and be the righteous hero. The truth is often not so neat and pleasing.

    All that being said, I sincerely hope that this case is followed as far as the evidence takes it, no matter HOW UGLY it ends up being. The sexual abuse of children (and its cover-up is an appalling crime that should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

  101. Dhorvath, OM says

    We all like to believe that we would be the White Knight riding in to save the day and be the righteous hero. The truth is often not so neat and pleasing.

    So what? The truth is that those children deserved better, if the best we can do by them is to shame some future person into intervening, we should do so to the best of our ability. It is not okay to walk away. It is not okay to ignore shit under our noses. It is not okay to think someone else will fix shit. It is not okay to excuse these people.

  102. Slaughter says

    Velociraptor makes an interesting point, but given my experience, I’m pretty confident that I would have attacked Sandusky. Years ago, on my home from a softball game, I came upon three teens in the parking lot of a convenience store surrounding a fourth teen, who was shielding a girl. I pulled over, pulled out two bats and tossed one to him. “OK, what’s going on?” I asked, and the three ran away. The other guy dropped the bat, and he and the girl ran off in the other direction. I have no idea what the fuss was about, but I defused it. Many times I have stopped to help stranded motorists, and once I stepped in when I saw an elderly woman pushing her wheelchair-bound husband up a hill. In all of those cases, many others passed blithely by. Odd that I, an immoral atheist, thought that the right thing to do was stop and help.

  103. says

    I don’t think it’s being an all male environment that does this. We don’t see a similar problem of child victimization being routinely covered up in the gay community, as much as the religious right would like to believe there is.

    What college sports, the catholic church, the military, the boy scouts, and police departments (all places where abuse and corruption has been shown to be covered up as a matter of course) is that they are highly regimented organizations where there is a culture where protecting the organization become more important than what is right. Add to that a sense that you are a member of something special and that your loyalty is first to the organization and your “brothers” within it and you have the perfect environment for abuse.

  104. crowepps says

    Why haven’t these [Catholic] institutions been financially eviscerated???

    Because as religions there is zero oversight of their assets, and they have many, many well trained Jesuits and accountants to hide the money and file bankruptcies and shuffle assets around. It is just amazing how a church that is stony broke when a judgment is entered has millions to be buying up secular hospitals.

    Because there is zero oversight of their employees and their status, so they can assert that someone like the vile Lundowski was a ‘lay brother’ during his reign of terror at Catholic Churches in small Alaskan Villages and not someone they could supervise or control. The Vatican switches back and forth like a strobe light between “How DARE the police in Belgium enter and search OUR sacrosanct religious property” and “The priest/bishop/archbishop/cardinal isn’t OUR employee, we can’t tell them what to do. Not OUR responsibility.”

    And because the politicians and the Church have a centuries’ long mutual defense pact in which they cover for each other. A pact which I was thrilled to see Ireland apparently abandoning.

  105. chigau (無) says

    Heironymous and Slaughter
    your first reaction should be to stop the assault, next get the child to safety, next phone an ambulance and the police.
    Beating the shit out of the assailant is WAY down on the list.

  106. Who Knows? says

    Slaughter, I once came upon a father hitting his son in a park.

    I told the father if I ever saw him hit the kid again, I’d beat him to a pulp. The father just stood and stared at me while the kid defended his father, he (the kid) did something wrong and deserved it. I told the kid fine, but if your father hits you again I’m going to kick his ass.

    But that’s not really the problem with this situation. The problem is what happened after the incident was reported. In the calm light of day, in the safety of their offices, a decision was made to not pursue the matter.

    In other words. A bunch of assholes heard credible stories of one of their own raping children and did nothing.

  107. Who Knows? says

    Beating the shit out of the assailant is WAY down on the list.

    Probably effective in accomplishing the first objective.

  108. maureen.brian says

    Not necessarily, Who Knows?

    It could allow him to claim that he’s a victim – he probably does that anyway – and will do nothing to break a pattern of compulsive and abusive behaviour.

    You haven’t really thought about this at all, have you?

  109. heironymous says

    @Velociraptor 113

    I didn’t see the earlier comment. But I beg to differ.
    If I saw this occurring, I wouldn’t walk away. I wouldn’t participate in a cover-up. I would interrupt, send the boy away and proceed to kick the snot out of the naked man.
    I’m not a particularly violent person, but rape of any kind is a hot-button issue to me. And I will defend the defenseless.

    If I didn’t think I could take the slime committing the crime, I’d interrupt, get the boy away and get a posse. But you have to consider that a man with his pants around his feet (or naked) is particularly vulnerable.

    FWIW, my grandmother fought in the Belgian resistance while my grandfather was in a (work) concentration camp. It wasn’t all cutting phone lines. Most of the time it was just little things. At the end of the war, they knew who the collaborators were. “Band of Brothers” shows a relatively accurate portrayal of this in Holland.

    You don’t have to go in there and physically confront. Interrupt, get the boy out and then make a phone call.

  110. heironymous says

    @chigau

    Yes, the rapist will definitely have to pause while he tries to remove my blackberry from the back of his head. Depending on how traumatized the victim looks, I’d either tell him to get dressed and get coach or participate in cutting the guys balls off. The pop Psychologist in methinks it might help with the feelings of helplessness that will doubtless ensue.

  111. says

    Janine writes:

    If Joe Pa and the officials at Penn State cared more about the victims, Jerry Sandusky would have been fired and his keys taken away decades ago.

    Don’t you mean “He would have been taken away in a police car”? Because fired+loss of keys seems a bit like a slap on the wrist.

  112. chigau (無) says

    (this is going to be late)
    To those who want to beat:
    Your first action should be to succor the victim.
    Take it as a given that he is traumatised.
    Don’t trust your judgement on how traumatised he “looks”.
    Watching a bloody beating would probably add to the trauma.
    Once the penis is removed from the anus, wrap the child in a towel and get the both of you to a phone.
    (I do agree that the assailant should be immobile but you don’t want him going to the hospital in the same ambulance with his victim.)
    (If you have time, you could go make sure the assailant hasn’t slipped in the shower a few times.)

  113. Hairhead says

    My son, age 12, didn’t come home from school today. His friend who walks with him, came back saying he couldn’t find him. I rushed up to the school, ran through the halls and found my son. My heart was beating a mile a minute, I was sweating, and once I found him, I was faint from relief.

    If I walked into a locker room, heard a “slapping sound”, looked and saw a naked adult man anally raping a ten year old child, and the child looked at me . . .

    I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to speak. I’d walk up real fast, grab the rapist by the back of the neck and pull him out; probably very damn hard, probably the guy would be thrown a few feet down onto the shower room floor. Which, if you’re naked, is pretty painful.

    I’d say, kid, come with me. Bring him into the locker room, cover him with a towel. Then I’d scream at the rapist that if he came into the room I’d beat him to death. Then I’d call the cops.

    I’m shaking writing this. I mean, you HEAR the sound, you SEE the cock in the anus, you LOOK at the victim and he looks at you — AND YOU WALK AWAY?

    I can’t imagine that, I just can’t.

    Look, if this graduate student had seen the coach holding a ten-year-old boy down, rhythmically punching him in the face, over and over . . . would he have walked away?

    I’m sorry. I can understand (and deplore) all of the institutional coverups — but I cannot understand . . . walking away? From a child? Being raped?

  114. says

    heironymous says:

    I’m sorry. But the first reaction should be beat the living shit out of him.

    No, the first reaction should be to attempt to understand the situation. Asking “excuse me, but is this consensual?” establishes a great deal, very quickly. Depending on how bodies are positioned it might be more or less easy to tell if one of the parties is a minor. Rational and moral behavior sometimes involves giving up the tactical advantage of surprise.

  115. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Unlike all the macho he-man white-hat wearers, I have no idea what I’d do if I came across a man raping a child in a shower room. I know what I’d like to do, I know what I should do, but I don’t know what I’d actually do. And I strongly suspect nobody else here knows what they’d do either.

    So could we have a little less chest-pounding, please?

  116. says

    I suspect that an all-female culture would also be off-balance and pathological in other ways

    Or basically the same ways. Three words: Magdalene Sisters Asylums.

  117. Dan Farbowitz says

    I’m a long time reader and current Penn State student. I think the charges are pretty unambiguous. Even if Sandusky were completely innocent, the administration still demonstrated its willingness to cover up the whole incident. They must go.

    I have been and shall be calling for Spanier, Paterno, and McQueary to step down as often and frequently as I can. Please write or call the university. You may visit the Penn State page and let them know what you think (http://www.facebook.com/pennstate) although I am fairly sure they are deleting dissident comments. There is also an ad-hoc facebook group calling for resignations: http://www.facebook.com/groups/154968907933864/

  118. Hairhead says

    Marcus, I think I know what a 10-year-old’s body looks like. The difference between a 70-lb 10-year-old and a 170lb man is stunningly obvious.

  119. Hairhead says

    I’ve been in a few emergency situations; saved a couple of lives, too. I’m pretty comfortable predicting what I’d do. And even if some specifics don’t work out the same, I KNOW I’m not going to walk away from something like that.

  120. says

    hairhead writes:

    Marcus, I think I know what a 10-year-old’s body looks like. The difference between a 70-lb 10-year-old and a 170lb man is stunningly obvious.

    Yes, I agree. But why does that make it harder to take a second and assess the situation while asking “excuse me, is this consensual?”

    I understand that your testosterone poisoning is a real and serious problem, but sometimes it’s a good idea to take the time to understand what’s going on before you act. Or, oh, excuse me, are you chest-thumpingly upset that I might be suggesting that a surprise attack to the kidneys is not the smartest or most manly thing to do?

  121. says

    Many words were spent describing how upsetting the experience of seeing these assaults were to the eyewitnesses.

    That’s absolutely appalling. I don’t care how upset the eyewitnesses were…there’s no fucking excuse for not calling the cops when you see an adult man forcing himself on a young boy.

    I’m sure their emotional distress is just soooooo much more important than that of the victims. /snark

    Isn’t it a law that if you see a felony in progress, you are obligated to report it or you can be considered an accessory to the crime? Even if you don’t have a decent, compassionate HUMAN emotion in you, at least follow the fucking law.

  122. Algernon says

    Meh, I know myself too. I have *very* poor impulse control in certain situations due to a combination of PTSD and my general personality. I am not strong or intimidating, but I probably would have screamed out loud, half blacked out, and possibly gotten myself hurt as well lunging at the guy.

    I’m not sure if that’s a “white knight” move and I’m kind of female anyway, but I do think you have to take some people at their word when they say they would probably act towards the guy.

    Hell, I chased a guy once because he stole something. Not smart of me, but I wasn’t really thinking anything but YOU FUCKER I HATE YOU DIE FUCKER at the time.

  123. Algernon says

    By the way, I actually agree with Marcus that this may not be the best thing to do at all. For this reason, I have spent a good portion of my adult life working on my rage/impulse control issues and trying *not* to do stupid things when I feel threatened.

    Carlie’s argument is very good. You never want to give some one like this even the slightest chance of pretending to be the victim here.

    While I think it is beyond wrong not to report what was witnessed to the police, it probably would be amazingly stupid to attack the guy, not to mention that the kid could also get hurt more in the mess.

  124. Hairhead says

    Marcus, what is wrong with you? Seriously. A 10-year-old cannot given meaningful, legal consent to sexual intercourse. While walking up to the coupling couple, I can easily see if I was mistaken, if it was simply a short, slim adult. You’ll notice I didn’t say, “Run up screaming”, or “take a baseball bat and smash the guy”.

    Likewise, lying about me bragging about kidney-punching someone when I did not make that statement immediately makes you worthless to debate with.

    And wishing to stop a rape doesn’t make me testosterone-poisoned. In these threads, that’s the equivalent of calling someone a “pussy”, a sexist insult which is frowned upon in this blog.

  125. Dhorvath, OM says

    ‘Tis,
    I am not saying I do know what I would do, nor that I think we can preemptively determine what anyone would do. I am saying that I, or anyone else in such a situation, should do something. Having a script, an unalterable “get involved”, even if it doesn’t work out in cinematic glory, has to be better than walking away.

  126. says

    The thing about being made aware of things like this is that it enables you to file an action plan in your head.

    People who have read about the Milgram Experiment (where people obeyed orders from “authority figures” i.e. people in white coats to continue administering electric shocks to a an actor “victim” in apparent distress or even medical danger) or the Stanford Prison Experiment (where arbitrary assignments of “guards” and “prisoners” led to serious behavioral changes, including outrageous bullying behavior by the guards, in a shockingly short time) are forewarned and far less likely to go along easily with the temptation to conform to expectations, far more likely to apply their own ethics.

    People who have read this account and pictured it in their heads are more likely to behave, now, in the way they would like to imagine themselves behaving in such a situation.

    That’s about as silver a lining as I can put on this atrocity; like the Kitty Genovese case, or Jonestown, or the Catholic Church child rapes, the accurate reporting of it may help prevent recurrences, by making at least some people aware that it happens, wary of the possibility and more prepared to do something when confronted with similar awful events.

    Of course, as all those events also show, some people are still going to stay blind to the possibilities.

  127. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I have no idea how I would behave though I have some history with walking up on crimes, not this kind mind you, and I know what happened then. Not always the brightest moves. Anyway…

    I do wonder what the best course of action would be. You want to stop the rape of course but I wonder what the best way to do this that least traumatizes the victim? Assuming the description of the events are correct, this isn’t like a violent use of physical force to submit the victim type of rape. This is more a coercion type of rape. That coercion has already created scars and how would someone walking up on it and creating a huge scene affect the victim?

    I’m not saying this isn’t what should be done, I’m just curious if that would cause more damage than some other approach? And i have no idea what other approach is an option.

  128. echidna says

    ‘Tis:

    And I strongly suspect nobody else here knows what they’d do either.

    We might not know what we would do in a novel situation, but, as Hairhead points out, we do have experience of past reactions.

    I know that my own sense of self-preservation goes out the window in abuse of power situations, and somehow adverse consequences that may arise just don’t seem important.

    It’s a bit of a double-edged sword, though.

  129. says

    Rev and hairhead:

    “excuse me, is this consensual?”

    wait

    WHAT?

    The idea being to get the other part(ies) to stop, face you, and make some kind of statement of their intent. I completely understand that a child cannot “consent” to being rape. If you calm down and take a deep breath perhaps it’ll make more sense. I suppose if you’re a cop you can try “wots all this ‘ere then eh?”

    It gives you an instant in which to observe the ‘victim’s’ reaction as well as the ‘attacker’s’ If you know anything about what occasionally happens to cops that break up domestic disputes, it’s as often that they are attacked by the victim as by the batterer; things get complicated quickly and the first moment is the one chance where you may get a completely honest response. You’re a damn fool chest-thumper moron if you waste that and immediately jump in and start hitting people.

    Additionally in assault situations one of the first challenges that the person intervening will face is whether they clearly saw the attacker and victim. Charging in and starting to hit people is a great way to ruin your credibility as a witness. But if you say, “I asked ‘excuse me, is this consensual’ and the man who was holding the other turned to face me and said “oh shit!” while the other yelled “help” you’re a credible witness.

    I know some of you have your testosterone levels all jacked up right now, but, damn it, use your brains just a little bit and don’t shoot the messenger, OK?

  130. Algernon says

    I know some of you have your testosterone levels all jacked up right now, but, damn it, use your brains just a little bit and don’t shoot the messenger, OK?

    Dude, I wish you’d stop saying that. I don’t have very much testosterone.

  131. Hairhead says

    Marcus, you’re using the testosterone insult again, a sexist insult, all the while you’re telling me to be calm.

    Then you make the remark again about “charging in and starting to hit people” once again ascribing to me actions which I did NOT describe.

    Then you tell me I’m “shooting the messenger”, ascribing to me some kind of rhetorical violence upon you. Another insult, and another lie.

    You have no idea how to have an argument or a debate. First, stop insulting me. Second, stop lying about my statements. Third, stop claiming victimhood.

    Ever been raped? Ever had witnesses who watched you being assaulted walk away? How about listening to some of the people on this thread who have some relevant experience instead of theorizing.

  132. Lymie says

    PZ, for reeeelz, “Both sides do it?” I don’t think so, and this was a stupid thing to say.

    “I’m getting the impression that this is what happens when you’ve got an off-balance, all-male culture (and I suspect that an all-female culture would also be off-balance and pathological in other ways). ”

    What evidence do you have of the destructive nature of all-female culture? Ya, none. Check your f**** patriarchy rape culture equivalences.

    FSM, sheesh.

  133. Lymie says

    Nunneries are just full of old mother superiors forcing the young acolytes into lesbo action, yeah, you’ve heard that, amirite?

    FSM

  134. Algernon says

    Lymie, my aunt was brutally beaten by sisters in the convent. Maybe they didn’t rape her, but they withheld food, smashed her head with wooden blocks, and did other crazy things.

    I’m not kidding.

  135. Algernon says

    Forgive me, it was a hinged desk they hit her head with, because she forgot her head covering and had to run back to get it out of the desk.

  136. says

    Rev:

    I’m not saying this isn’t what should be done, I’m just curious if that would cause more damage than some other approach?

    I hate to sound cold-blooded but if it doesn’t look like someone’s life is immediately in danger, it’s best to start with words and try to defuse the situation. Mostly based on the principle that “it’s hard to outrun a radio” – which is another reason you don’t want to immediately get involved in a melee. You want to stop the assault, get the attacker to leave after you’ve gotten a good look at them, and tend to the victim. Running people down and collaring them is what cops are for.
    Besides, every building’d have surveillance video, etc; you just need to get horizontal distance between the two parties and let it all get sorted out later.

    I intervened in a domestic quarrel, once, and managed, through a verbal interruption, to get the attacker to stop beating a woman long enough for her to escape. I called the cops and they didn’t come for an hour. The next day the attacker knocked on my door with a firearm and proceeded to scare the living fuck out of me. That was when I moved from that area. I don’t think there is a right way to handle things when they get that out of hand, but if you charge in and become part of the fight you’ve limited your options severely and you may wind up being victim #2. Or what if you hit the guy and he turns around and pulls a badge and a 9mm? To me, it seems that these things are all incredibly situation-dependent, which is why anything you can do to clarify the situation increases your chance of making the right choice, whereas committing to a line of action reduces your choices.

    Basically, you want to take off and nuke them from orbit; it’s the only way to be sure. That always means keeping your distance rather than getting within hand-reach, and, yeah, having a strategy for what to do if the attacker turns on you sure doesn’t hurt.

    Our society constantly pushes images of violent decision-making in our faces. We’re trained to jump into action, rather than to try to negotiate, when in fact negotiation is often a very viable option. And any negotiation begins with establishing a decent idea of the situation as it appears. In the case where you walk in on what appears to be a grown man assbanging a boy in the shower, the guy’s choices are: a) he’s busted b) he tries to kill you c) he gets stupid and runs – you actually want to encourage option c) if it means telling him “just leave, I won’t tell anyone” until he’s out the door and you can call the cops, so be it. Some promises don’t have to be kept.

  137. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Yeah I don’t know. I’ve intervened in a number of assaults including domestic abuse. Some were while I was working as a bouncer some were in other circumstances.

    Rape is a different animal. And this kind of rape is an even different animal.

    I don’t think attacking him would be the best course of action. But I’m not sure what would be. You want to stop it, but as I said, you want to do some limiting the trauma the victim is subjected to during your intervention.

  138. says

    @hairhead
    Wow, you’re really going pretty far out of your way to find offense in my comments. And I’m not trying to play victim, for fuck’s sake.

    You are the ‘hairhead’ who wrote:

    I’d walk up real fast, grab the rapist by the back of the neck and pull him out; probably very damn hard, probably the guy would be thrown a few feet down onto the shower room floor.

    Did I mischaracterize that as chest-thumping? It certainly strikes me as machismo bullshit and if you’re going to complain that people accuse you of sounding testosterone-impaired maybe you should dial back on the rhetoric of thoughtless violence.

    As far as my involvement in domestic violence or how many of my friends have been raped or not – I don’t think it’s relevant to go there, really. Sadly, like most guys, a large number of the women I know have been assaulted and, like most guys, it’s enjoyable to fantasize what you’d do if you were there. But, perhaps unlike you, I understand the difference between fantasy and reality.

    The only thing I have been advocating in this entire silly thread is that it’s not a bad idea to ask “what’s going on?” before you embroil yourself in a situation. Because, well, you might learn something useful before you make a bad situation spiral out of control. Now, your responses to me are a perfect example of spiralling out of control. Am I getting through to you?

  139. Lymie says

    Algernon

    That is terrible. My blood boils for your poor aunt. There are a ton of atrocities and brutalities committed by religious sects. Yet, the nuns were not systematically sexually abusing their pupils. Yes, they were assholes in the name of the church. I believe the physical abuse was an equal opportunity horror. I think the sexual abuse was a uniquely male pustule, condoned by a male hierarchy. That is all.

  140. Algernon says

    I think the sexual abuse was a uniquely male pustule, condoned by a male hierarchy. That is all.

    I get it. But I think people tend to abuse those they have access to, especially in a hierarchical organization. Remember the that the church is, itself, patriarchal. To be honest, we just don’t *have* a lot of traditionally held all female bastions of absolute social power to figure from and I *do* think that your drawing attention to that insofar as any attempt at equivalence is correct.

    At the same time though, I don’t think that there is any valid claim to be made that women really inherently less abusive, less sexually exploitative, or less cruel. What research I have read has been troubled by the fact that many females like this fly under the radar precisely because of prevailing feminine stereotypes.

    I guess I just don’t want to let it be somehow assumed or accepted that women are somehow inherently less likely to be abusive.

  141. Hairhead says

    Marcus, you haven’t apologized for the multiple insults, and you keep on insulting and lying about what I say.

    . . . if you’re going to complain that people accuse you of sounding testosterone-impaired . . .

    Once again, you insult, using gendered insult language not welcome on this blog.

    . . . maybe you should dial back on the rhetoric of thoughtless violence.

    What is it about pulling a rapist off of a rape victim, then leaving the rapist to help the victim “thoughtless violence”? It isn’t. I didn’t advocate beating him, I didn’t say I’d kidney-punch him, or any of the other things you lie about.

    . . . unlike you, I understand the difference between fantasy and reality.

    Really? How about: I’ve worked with violent convicts, drug addicts, child rapists myself; and also victims, both child and adult, including victims of torture. I’ve got a very *unfortunate* lot of experience with reality. I’ve stopped physical assaults, I’ve . . . but it doesn’t matter what I say. You will continue to lie and to insult. Your continued dishonesty makes you garbage, Marcus.

    I’m done.

  142. linzel says

    Turn and run…..NO!
    Tell him to stop and leave?……NO!
    You pull the a$$hole off the kid. Tell him that if he moves you are going to MAKE him stay still. Help the child! Call the cops. All the while try really hard not to kick the perps head in. I know I would have a great deal of trouble not finding a bat and using it. But help the poor kid first.

  143. etameson says

    Lymie – I encourage you to examine bullying perpetrated by all-female cliques in high schools and universities, and even in workplaces. Insular, inward-looking, loyal groups are inherently predisposed to destructive ends, regardless of the gender of the members of the groups.

  144. cmv says

    Lymie – check the OP again –

    I’m getting the impression that this is what happens when you’ve got an off-balance, all-male culture (and I suspect that an all-female culture would also be off-balance and pathological in other ways).

    (emphasis added)
    Does not equal

    Nunneries are just full of old mother superiors forcing the young acolytes into lesbo action, yeah, you’ve heard that, amirite?

    The abuse Algernon describes is the result of an off-balance and pathological culture.

  145. {PORNALYSIS, wearing spiked blog armor} says

    I am shocked–STUNNED–to see this, from you, Professor Myers:

    “and I suspect that an all-female culture would also be off-balance and pathological in other ways.”

    Thank you for that. It has a healing effect. Please keep up the good work in that vein.

    And this damn near made me bust a tear duct, if I didn’t already, and am just lying about not:

    “assistant fled in fear and confusion. Much the same way a janitor fled after allegedly witnessing Sandusky engaged in a sexual act in the showers with a “young boy” — Victim 8, later described in the report as being “between the ages of 11 and 13.”

    The absolute betrayal–the abandonment of inaction? How could anyone NOT know exactly what to do in that situation?

    [You know what? From your performance elsewhere, I can see that we don't need your kind around here, scumbag. Bye bye! -- pzm]

  146. Azkyroth says

    *sigh* Cover ups. Listen buddy, if you want to avoid scandal at your school, here’s a simple (still immoral) option. Tell the coach that you won’t report him to the police, if he voluntarily quits his job and moves far away. That way, there’s no questioning of your schools hiring practices, and you solve the problem, preventing any FURTHER problems (For your evil, selfish ass, anyway). Leaving him there where he will continue to cause problems that need to be covered up is just… stupid. It’s one thing to do the stupid thing, or the immoral thing, but it’s a whole new level of dumb to do something that is immoral, illegal, AND is going to bite you in the ass later.

    But then you’re selling out the kids wherever he happens to move to.

    If you want a “moral” option that doesn’t involve reporting it, you may have to skip straight to handing him a revolver with one bullet.

  147. Azkyroth says

    The (sorta) corrolary to this is, I suppose, that if the person(s) who witnessed this disgusting crime(s) knew the perpetrator, who would likely be believed over the witness in an accusation given his position and stature, would likely easily be able to crush the witness.

    Cell phone camera. Text copy of picture to first reliable person in contact list. Citizen’s arrest. Possibly excessive force. Apology to victim for the delay. Be ready to go to press if stupid happens.

  148. Gen, or The RadFem of Dhoom says

    I know how I’d like to think I’d react in the heat of the actual situation (walking in on a rape in action) itself, but honestly, I don’t know what I’d actually do, right there, right then.

    However, whatever it is, it WOULD end with at least a call to the police. Even if I don’t have the strength to intervene right then and there or whatever, KEEPING SILENT about this? No fucking way.

    I understand, I really do, how institutional pressure, hero worship and the Dollar Almighty (metaphorically speaking, not limited to the US) can influence people’s morality (and even then I’d like to argue that it’s temporarily, that people’s good natures would win out in the end, but I’m naive and optimistic that way), but CHILD RAPE?

    No. Just no.

    But then, I’m one of them dirty socialist radical feminists who believe in less suffering rather than more moneys.

  149. maureen.brian says

    Marcus Ranum,

    I don’t want to get in a fight with you but you seem to be trying to address this without any reference to two key aspects.

    1. This is a pattern of abusive behaviour – earliest date I’ve seen is 1994 – and someone who behaves like this, if he’s not completely stupid, will have a whole set of “but what a nice guy he is” witnesses lined up and ready. Turning him into a victim, even for a moment, may indulge some urge but does not help the child – top priority – or ensure a conviction.

    2. You are not taking account of the process of grooming – plenty of suggestions of it in the various media reports – which by the time we get to naked in the locker room could well mean that the kid will be emotionally dependent on the rapist, feel he “owes” him something, and the rapist will lose no chance to tell the world how very generous he has always been to the chid.

    A little light reading by you on grooming, perhaps? And I endorse the assertion that a 10-year-old cannot give valid consent. The problem is that he may believe – see 2 – he is consenting, which will take a couple of good brains and as few flying fists as possible to sort out.

  150. Samantha Vimes, Chalkboard Monitor says

    Those of you talking about getting violent with the coach: maybe you could do it. But I’m 5’6″, and not a martial artist. Coaches tend to be ex-players, and on the large size.
    I recommend getting a phone, calling 9-1-1, and being very loud. “911? Yes, I’m calling to report a rape in progress, that I am witnessing at location. Mr. ________ is raping a little boy in the showers. We need a police car here immediately and possibly medical care. Please stay on the phone as he may become violent with me.”
    I can’t see how the evil turd would have any choice but to pull out, zip up, and try to convince the caller to retract. His name has already been given to the authorities; if the witness is attacked, it just gets worse for him.

    Oh, and I think it isn’t same-sex groups; it’s hierarchical groups. Plenty of predatory sex scandals have come out about churches where women as well as men are in the spotlight of the ministry. And according to my Women in America history course, as soon as the idea of lesbians entered public awareness, women’s rights leaders were accused of being lesbian. So I think if they had a problem with sex abuse, it would have made headlines and, if hushed up, the historical record.

  151. mb says

    @Rev BigDumbChimp said:

    Rape is a different animal. And this kind of rape is an even different animal.

    I don’t think attacking him would be the best course of action. But I’m not sure what would be. You want to stop it, but as I said, you want to do some limiting the trauma the victim is subjected to during your intervention.

    Speaking from experience(and my own situation was far less horrible than this one), what a victim in this type of situation needs at a minimum, is to have the abuse stop, AND, so important that I can’t stress it enough, to hear over and over until he believes it, ‘it wasn’t your fault, you were just a little kid’. This part might take some time. Like years. Just stopping the abuse at the scene of the crime still leaves the kid wondering if he was culpable in some way, if the fact that maybe he enjoyed going to games or playing football meant that he was responsible for what happened, if the revulsion on the face of the assistant coach was meant for him. Etcetera.

    So this is where both the assistant coach and Paterno lose me. They both failed this kid. They each booted the complaint up the chain of command and never thought for a moment about helping that boy. Paterno seems to be claiming that he didn’t know the extent of what happened, that all he knew was that something ‘inappropriate’ was happening in the shower. Like abuse is only a problem for a kid if it is full-on penetrative rape. Sorry Joe, that’s just fucked up.

  152. Svlad Cjelli says

    I agree with Marcus’ longer-term strategy. But I’m still chest-thumpingly testosterone-poisoned.
    I just happen to thump my chest about my callous contempt instead of my “throwing guys across the room so the planet breaks”-itude.

    I am, in fact, partial to “Och hur står det till här då?” (Wot’s all this ‘ere then?), but my tickish salt-talk would more likely result in “shit, hey, what the fuck is it now?” even if I tried to be sneaky.
    No matter. My voice is faster than my fist, a ranged weapon, and about as effective for the situation. Maybe I won’t even need more than that, but if I do, one of us is more dressed anyway.

    And I happen to be an exception to “nobody would harm a naked guy”(, though the guy might only be partially undressed).

  153. Svlad Cjelli says

    An active coach may well best my moderately trained physique, but I’m trying to ruin his day, not win a championship belt.

  154. Who Knows? says

    maureen.brian says:

    Not necessarily, Who Knows?

    It could allow him to claim that he’s a victim – he probably does that anyway – and will do nothing to break a pattern of compulsive and abusive behaviour.

    You haven’t really thought about this at all, have you?

    Seriously Maureen, I’ve thought about these kinds of things quite a bit and I’ve concluded that in a situation like this, it is not important what the rapist thinks or tries to claim. What is important is to stop the rape and get the kid to a safe place. If that requires kicking the rapist’ ass. Fine.

    If there is justice, there will be plenty of time for the rapist to consider what he/she has done and deal with it.

  155. Dan Farbowitz says

    I just came from a pro-Paterno “unity” rally with singing and dancing to “Sweet Caroline” (no idea why). Now some of those people have moved on to riot downtown. I could not be more ashamed right now.

  156. BabblingBear says

    If using violence when it violence is due makes you a “chest-thumpingly testosterone-poisoned”, then you can count me in with the “chest-thumpingly testosterone-poisoned” (though I was told such gross appeals to sexist innuendos was frowned upon on this website).

    There’s no reason (at least for me physically, I realize not all of you are in the same boat) that ass-beating, coupled with victim securing and police calling can’t all go down.

    Twice I’ve ventured upon similar, though not as bad, crimes and I know what I would do–And I’ll be damned if I feel sorry for it. The first was during undergrad years when a rapist was predating women walking a poorly lite, “foresty” walk between the uptown bars and some of the dorms. This had been going on for a few weeks with no luck catching the dude. A buddy and I happened upon this scumfuck one night in the process of trying to rape his 8th or 9th victim, can’t recall the number anymore. Anyway, proceeded with a foot party proper. Checked the victim and comforted her and held his ass down with a foot on the back of the head while we awaited the arrival of the police. My buddy took the victim a little further up the paved path so she didn’t have to wait in his vicinity.

    The second was a dude smacking around a girl outside a bar. I did try a verbal intervention which was met with threats on his part–Enter the ass beating. I actually continued to check up with the girl afterwards as she told me she had been trying to get out of this relationship and the guy had some stalker-esq qualities and tracked her down numerous times. I helped her file the police report and gave my witness testimony to the cops. He eventually left her alone after the restraining order was in place (note I realize, unfortunately that lots of times it doesn’t workout so neatly for abuse situations).

    My second point is one others have raised as well. I think you can hardly blame this on the product of an “all-male culture”. That’s about as stupid as equating pedophilia with homosexuality, or owning cats. My sister suffered from eating disorders (still does) from her time spent in a “all-female culture” (dance). Its no more the product of “female culture” as is this sick fucks infatuation with fucking children is a “male culture” problem. Its the problem of hierarchical organizations that put the organization or institution before the individual. Institutionalization and group mentality breeds differences in people (like religions, catholic church anyone?). And seeing people as different fosters inhumanity.

    Pedophile predators are attracted to positions of power, because such positions give them leverage over their victims. Most of them are the “charming, person-next-door-types” and tend to create a strong social network which they can use to bully potential allegation makers of things that often happen behind closed doors. Normally when these are thrill seeking bastards and get caught with their dicks out, its harder to turn blind eyes.

    Anyway, epic fail on the part of PSU and those involved. The main concern of course needs to be the victims and making sure they receive all the help they will need (now and in the future) in overcoming the serious psychological issues that will be a burden unto them. However, (call me what you will) I take comfort in the fact that this sick fuck Sandusky will be venturing off to a place that has habit of landing fired hardened toothbrushes (shanked!) in the eye of people who like to diddle little boys.

  157. reverie says

    Asking “is this consensual?” is totally inappropriate when you are witnessing the obvious rape of a child. You should not be giving the rapist an out, or an opportunity to make excuses. What if he turns out to be one of those NAMBLA creeps and responds with “Yes, it is consensual”? Are you going to have a polite debate with him on the intricacies of how we determine the age of consent?

    If you prefer a verbal approach first, “What the hell are you doing? Get the fuck off of him!” is much more suitable. I would probably yell something along those lines and move towards the perpetrator waving my arms. With someone who is demonstrating that they hurt those who are weaker than them, you cannot start from a position of weakness. Since I’m a 5’6 woman, my only shot at getting a football coach to stop doing something is startling, scaring, or shaming him.

    If I was too afraid to directly interfere, I would at least take a picture with my cell phone and immediately call 911.

  158. Antonov An-225 says

    What’s up with all the toxic masculinity in this thread? The last thing I expected was a bunch of loud proclamations about how righteously the proclaimer would have kicked some pedophile’s ass. Also, that’s nice that you totally beat the shit out of some guy who punched his girlfriend, but honestly: no one cares. Bragging on the internet about what a manly man defender of the weak and helpless you are just makes you sound like the conservative pundits who crawl out of the woodwork after every mass shooting to tell everyone that they totally would have shot the perp in the face and isn’t it too bad that every man woman and child can’t openly carry a gun?

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