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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Local sex abuse scandal

Shortly after the Penn State kerfluffle started, a story came out of SU, about a student who claimed he was molested by the assistant basketball coach for the team, Bernie Fine.  Apparently, the young man reported his abuse in 2003, but, surprise, the story was suppressed.  I was even more taken aback by several people I know (who shall remain nameless) who said they thought there was nothing to this story, that the accuser was just jumping on some twisted band wagon, or just wanted the publicity. (Of course, the venerated head coach, Jim Boeheim, expressed similar sentiments.) Needless to say, I was appalled at their reaction, but didn't really counter their assessment.  Then, a couple weeks later, an audiotape emerged, of the accuser talking with the coach's wife, Laurie, wherein she says, she knew exactly what he'd done - that he was in denial and she felt powerless to stop him.  Since then, 2 more accusers have come forward.  The coach was immediately fired by Chancellor Nancy Cantor, and the head coach expressed regret that his initial remarks were "insensitive" to the victims.  What makes me even more discouraged than the abuse is the dismissive way that people still treat the brave people who speak out about it.  People seem shockingly unaware that the courage to speak up often only occurs after someone else has spoken out first.  Hence the supposed "band wagon" effect.



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