Raquel Benson is a Senior Contributor to TDA, a journalism student, humanist, and artist with issues of chronic imagination. She may be brash, but it stems from a deeper concern for the world around her.
Penn State Rape
Update November 21, 2011
The TMW Media Group has pulled “a Joe Paterno approved instructional football video” from its website because “there is a segment involving Jerry Sandusky interacting with young boys… one of whom may have been among the alleged victims.”
The media group told TMZ that they will no longer be offering the video for sale strictly because of the segment with Sandusky.
Apparently the grand jury report involving the “alleged” child diddiler, “the person identified as Victim #4 participated in ‘a video made about linebackers that featured Sandusky,’” however, it doesn’t mention the name of the video.
But, the secret may be out…not one to sit back and wait for information, TMZ searched for videos featuring linebackers and Sandusky, and in that sneaky TMZ way that we all love, the only one they found that fits both criteria is a video titled “Joe Paterno: Linebackers” which was released in the late 90s and features “Sandusky running a hands on tackling drill with a group of young boys.”
Read more at TMZ.
Update November 20, 2011
Amidst reports of a “shady real-estate deal” by Joe Paterno which had some convinced that JoPa knew more than he was letting on, the faculty of Penn State calling for an “independent investigation,” and the NCAA snooping, it’s hard to imagine that anyone wants to apply to Penn State, but then again, they have waived the application fee for the Penn State Law School. Bad timing or calculated ploy?
Reports of Paterno’s real estate deal where he handed control of the residence he and his family have lived in since 1969, to his wife, “Sue Paterno, for a dollar plus ‘love and affection,’” had quite a few people raising their eyebrows.
Some felt that there were two theories behind this deal: it either had nothing to do with the child sex scandal involving Jerry Sandusky and was done for tax advantages, or that this sale proved he knew something was going to break in the scandal.
Paterno was “diagnosed with a treatable form of lung cancer” this week and though news of the diagnosis came after the “shady real-estate deal,” it seems likely that JoPa and his wife were aware of his medical issues and were taking precautionary measures when the real-estate transaction occurred.
Scott Paterno, JoPa’s son released a statement asking the public to respect his parent’s privacy as they deal with this difficult time and that doctors believe his father will make a full recovery.
In other news, after the university announced that an internal investigation would be performed by two university trustees, harsh criticism ensued, and the Penn State faculty called for an independent investigation into how the university handled the Sandusky sex scandal allegations.
“The faculty Senate endorsed a resolution asking for an investigation to be led by a committee whose chair has no links to Penn State,” and “called for a majority of the group’s members to have never been affiliated with the university.”
The NCAA is finally poking around to determine if Penn State broke any rules in the handling of the alleged child sex-abuse scandal.
“NCAA president Mark Emmert sent a letter to Penn State president Rod Erickson saying that the governing body for college sports will look at ‘Penn State’s exercise of institutional control over its intercollegiate athletics programs.’”
“We have to examine those facts and make a thoughtful determination of what is covered by our bylaws and what is not,” Emmert told The Associated Press on Friday.
“It will be important for Penn State to cooperate fully and provide any assistance possible to the NCAA,” Erickson said in a statement. “The university’s and NCAA’s interests are perfectly aligned in identifying what went wrong and how to prevent anything similar from happening again.”
And last, but certainly not least, prospective law-school students received an interesting letter earlier this week from Amanda DiPolvere stating, “Congratulations. [...] Your application fee has been waived.”
“We know you have a lot to think about right now and we hope that Penn State Law is among the top law schools you are considering. [...] No doubt you have seen recent headlines regarding Penn State University.” (ya think Captain Obvious?) “To make it easier for you to apply, we have waived your application fee.”
The law-school dean, however, is “denying a link between the Sanduscky scandal” and the recent email sent out to prospective students offering to waive the $60 application fee. And yet, the connection seems too good to pass up as the recipients are wasting no time mocking the #badtiming of the email. #doh.
And there you have, the latest updates in the Sandusky sex scandal that is slowly unraveling the house that JoPa built.
Update November 16, 2011
The latest news in the Penn State rape case, former coach Mike McQueary, now claims that he did indeed stop the incident he allegedly witnessed between Jerry Sandusky and an innocent 10-year-old boy.
According to an email which was sent from McQueary’s Penn State email account to a “friend,” McQueary writes: “I did stop it, not physically… but made sure it was stopped when I left the locker room.” WTF?
McQueary who says “his emotions are like a snow globe,” feels like he is getting “‘hammered’ for handling this the right way or what he “thought at the time was right.”
One little problem – the contents of this email seem to contradict the information he gave to the grand jury. The grand jury report indicates that a graduate assistant (later identified as McQueary), “witnessed the abuse then left to ask his father for advice.”
In addition, McQueary told the grand jury that “he did not go to the police and he did not intervene when he saw the rape,” but in the email he indicates that he “did have discussions with the police and with the official at the university in charge of police.”
When asked about the incident, McQueary said “This process has to play out. I just don’t have anything else to say at all.”
Read more at NYPost.
Update November 15, 2011:
Social Issues – In an ironic twist of fate Joe Amendola, the lawyer for accused child rapist and former assistant coach for Penn State, Jerry Sandusky, impregnated a teenage girl a decade ago.
Amendola was the attorney for Mary Iavasile’s “emancipation petition from Sept. 3, 1996, [...] filed just weeks before her 17th birthday,” which is approximately, according to reports from Iavasile’s mother Janet, when the teenager became pregnant with his child.
“Amendola seemed more like Mary’s ‘mentor,’” Janet Iavasile said. “She met him through the school district she was interested in the law.”
Apparently Amendola and Mary, who is now 32, got married in 2003, had a second child, and are now split.
Irony at its finest.
Read more at the New York Post.
Update November 15, 2011:
Jerry Sandusky gives his first interview since the “alleged” sex scandal involving children broke and the former Penn State coach claims that he is “innocent of all charges.”
In a phone interview with sportscaster Bob Costas, Sandusky claimed “he’s not a ‘pedophile,’ despite having ‘horsed around’ with kids in the shower.” He added that he “hugged them and touched their legs without intent of sexual contact.”
His final words? – “I shouldn’t have showered with those kids.” Well no shit, captain obvious. You shouldn’t have touched them either. Dumb ass.
Do you suppose he’s going to be on the opposite end of that if in prison?
Read more at the Daily Beast.
Update November 13, 2011:
Social Issues – Sponsors are dropping like flies in the wake of what is now being called the “Penn State Scandal.”
Approximately six sponsors so far have run for the hills including, Cars.com, who, along with other advertisers, have asked ESPN “not to air their ads anywhere near discussion of the matter.”
“I have multiple advertisers pulling ads from the ESPN broadcast,” said one ad buyer.
While some big names like Pepsi and State Farm have taken no action, “GM and health insurer Highmark say they are reviewing their sponsorship.”
Following the Tiger Woods scandal it took a few weeks for sponsors to ask “Tiger Who?” and it was at least two years before they felt safe enough to pick him back up.
However, according to the vice president of a sports marketing company, “Unlike Mr. Woods, this story affects more than a family unit, it affects all moms and dads so it will take longer to repair the schools image.”
Read more at Newser.
Update November 12, 2011:
Social Issues – Mike McQueary, the assistant head coach, who actually witnessed Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of a young boy, but didn’t stop it or report it to the police, has reportedly told Penn State players that “he’s currently in protective custody after receiving several threats and ‘double fisting’ alcohol.”
A PSU coach allegedly allowed McQueary to speak to players on campus via speaker phone and he told them “I wanted to let you guys know I’m not your coach anymore. I’m done.”
McQueary, who is married and has a 2-year old daughter, testified to a grand jury that “he saw former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky rape a boy in the showers at a campus locker room in 2002 and said he reported what he saw to Paterno.”
Public outrage reared its ugly head following the news that McQueary, who many believe could have intervened and prevented the scandal, would not be fired as Joe Paterno was.
Although Paterno has not been charged in the case, reports confirm that he has indeed hired J. Sedgwick “Wick” Sollers, a prominent Washington criminal defense lawyer. Sollers, “of King & Spalding, has in the past represented former president George H.W. Bush.”
Paterno’s son, Scott, indicated in an email that Paterno “wants very much to speak publicly and answer questions. At this stage, however, he has no choice but to be patient and defer to the legal process.”
As the horror of the alleged sex scandal rocks the University town, fears are surfacing that there may have been a “possibly high-level cover-up.”
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has chimed in on the case saying that the “Penn State sex abuse scandal should lead to ‘soul-searching’ by all Americans, not just Penn State” and that “the scandal shows that Americans’ first priority needs to be protecting kids.”
The president added “when people see someone mistreated, it’s their responsibility to step up and take responsibility-and not rely on bureaucracy.”
Which, I think, is exactly why people are not exactly happy to hear that McQueary is boozing it up at home while collecting a pay check.
Update November 10, 2011:
Social Issues – In the wake of the “sex scandal” allegations surrounding former Penn State assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, the Board of Trustees held an emergency meeting during and fired both head coach Joe Paterno AND the University President Graham Spanier. Only moments later, students poured into the streets by the thousands in protest over the coach’s dismissal, flipping over a news van and causing widespread damage.
The announcement came hours after Paterno indicated that he would be retiring after his 46th season; however despite the Board’s earlier announcement that Spanier could “quit or be fired” it seems that the bad publicity and increasing reports of Sandusky’s crimes whipped the Board into a frenzy and made the decision for not only Spainer, but Paterno as well.
During a news conference Board Vice Chair, John Surma, indicated that both Spainer and Paterno were notified by telephone about the decision to remove them and said “The university is much larger than its athletic teams.”
“We were unable to find a way to do that in person without causing further distraction,” Surma said.
While Sandusky continues to deny the charges, Paterno has indicated that he should have done more, and Spanier-well he claims he was not “told the details of the attack,” at least not fully until last month.
Yet, reports indicate that Spanier was informed about Sandusky’s alleged rape of a child and did nothing more than ban him from campus, “a ruling that ultimately went unenforced.”
Paterno said in a statement “he was ‘absolutely devastated’ by the case, in which Sandusky, his onetime heir apparent was charged with molesting eight boys in 15 years, with some of the alleged abuse taking place at the Penn State football complex.”
“This is a tragedy,” Paterno said. “It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”
And Spanier released a statement indicating that he was “heartbroken to think that any child may have been hurt,” and that he was “stunned and outraged to learn that any predatory act might have occurred in a University facility or by someone associated with the University.”
This horrific scandal has already caused Athletic Director Tim Curley and Senior Vice President Gary Shultz to resign from their positions earlier this week, and the Department of Education has announced that it “will launch a full investigation into the events that have transpired at Penn State”
Original Article November 9, 2011:
Social Issues – AP State College, Pa.- Two of Penn State’s top officials are being charged with veiling allegations of a child-sex abuse scandal that had been traced back to former defensive coordinator Gerald “Jerry” Sandusky. After an emergency meeting of the university’s Board of Trustees, Sandusky formally stepped down from his position.
Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley asked for administrative leave in order to set aside time to gather his defense for other charges surrounding the case.
Accused of failing to report the child abuse to police, Curley and vice president for finance and business, Gary Schultz, were charged after a grand jury investigation of Sandusky’s sex abuse case. Horrifying accounts of molestation surfaced as the former defensive coordinator faces charges of sexually abusing eight boys over the span of fifteen years.
The highly revered Penn State football coach Joe Paterno is under some harsh examination for possibly having knowledge of events of Sandusky’s sex abuse dating back to 2002. Attorney General Linda Kelly stated, “This is a case about a sexual predator who used his position within the university and community to repeatedly prey on young boys.”
Paterno stated, “If this is true we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things, and we grieve for the victims and their families. They are in our prayers.”
Once considered a potential successor of Penn State football coach, Sandusky shocked his fan base with the sickening accusations. Although visibly saddened by the legal battles, Paterno’s knowledge will be further inspected. There are requests of his resignation. The coach’s son and former Penn State football player (1999-2002) said, “It’s sickening, shocking. It’s very saddening. Hopefully it’s not true. And, if it is, man, it’s just bad.”