Crime

No Justice in Happy Valley

If you're like me, and I know I am, you can't believe they still have a football program at Penn State:

A former president of Penn State and two other former university administrators were each sentenced Friday to at least two months in jail for failing to alert authorities to a 2001 allegation against ex-assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, a decision that enabled the now-convicted serial predator to continue molesting boys. 

"Why Mr. Sandusky was allowed to continue to the Penn State facilities is beyond me," Judge John Boccabella said. 

"All three ignored the opportunity to put an end to (Sandusky's) crimes when they had a chance to do so," the judge said. 

Ex-president Graham Spanier, 68, got a sentence of 4 to 12 months, with the first two to be spent in jail and the rest under house arrest. 

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier walks to the Dauphin County Courthouse in Harrisburg, Pa., Monday, March 20, 2017. Matt Rourke / AP

Former university athletic director Tim Curley, 63, received a sentence of 7 to 23 months, with three in jail. Former vice president Gary Schultz, 67, was sentenced to 6 to 23 months, with two months behind bars. 

The judge also criticized the actions of the late head football coach, Joe Paterno, who like the other administrators failed to alert child-welfare authorities or police to the 2001 complaint, but was never charged with a crime.

These are slaps on the wrist. These are sentences designed to make old men comfortable. The punishment here does not fit any of the crimes committed. Oh well. It's not like anyone's going to atone for their mistakes or man up when it comes to Penn State. Just another day in Happy Valley.

The precedent here has been set, and this is why they still play football at Baylor--you can commit any kind of sex crime you want against a vulnerable person and the law isn't going to touch a Division I university. Some institutions are so rotted out from within and packed with filth and treasure that they simply won't be held accountable anymore.

1971

The first known case of Jerry Sandusky abusing children happened in 1971, just two years after he was hired as a coach by Joe Paterno:

Penn State's legal settlements with Jerry Sandusky's accusers cover alleged abuse dating to 1971, which was 40 years before his arrest, the university said Sunday in providing the first confirmation of the time frame of abuse claims that have led to big payouts.

The disclosure came as Penn State president Eric Barron decried newly revealed allegations that former football coach Joe Paterno was told in 1976 that Sandusky had sexually abused a child and that two assistant coaches witnessed either inappropriate or sexual contact in the late 1980s. Paterno, who died in 2012, said that the first time he received a complaint against Sandusky was in 2001.

Barron said the accusations were unsubstantiated and suggested that the university is being subjected unfairly to what he called rumor and innuendo.

Responding to questions about the president's statement and claims against the school, university spokesman Lawrence Lokman told The Associated Press and ESPN's Josh Moyer that he could confirm that the earliest year of alleged abuse covered in Penn State's settlements is 1971.

ESPN goes to great lengths to push that date--1971. Good God, forty years of being able to abuse human beings and no remorse, nothing out of these people. Why is that important? That date changes the narrative. It makes things that went away come back with a vengeance.  It opens up the whole process again because it was widely believed that Sandusky did not abuse children until the 1990s. There's a whole other aspect to this that has to be addressed, and that is the institutional indifference to human suffering.

In 1971, Paterno could and should have been fired if he had covered up Sandusky's crime. As a coach, Paterno was not a legend by any stretch of the imagination. He was definitely a winning coach--two Orange Bowls and two perfect seasons in the late 1960s will give you some power at a university, but he didn't win a National Championship until 1982. After that, he would have been untouchable. In 1971, he would have been a difficult man to fire, but it could have happened if the scandal had blown up that year and if he had played a role in covering it up.

Is the NCAA going to do anything? I sure hope so. This is unfinished business that should have informed how the school was punished initially. This new revelation makes it seem like they got off light, doesn't it?

What the University President and everyone else seems to miss is that you need to stop blaming the victims. You need to put that strategy to rest because there has been a conviction. There are no allegations anymore--they've been proven in a court of law. I think what they fear are millions more in settlements and more sanctions for the football program. I think that they have to purge college football of Paterno's records and they have to make damned sure they have institutional control over the athletic department.

We're left with what might have happened if they had dealt with Sandusky when they knew about him. There is a remote possibility that he might have gone to jail--unlikely given the times. He might have been dealt with as a problem if he had been fired but that would have simply displaced the tragedy. Instead, he rode Paterno's coattails all the way to local prominence and his own victim grooming farm, also known as his Second Mile charity.

Just when you thought the whole thing couldn't get any sicker, everything turns. Is there any way to hold Penn State University accountable? If not, then we're all part of the problem.

Norwood Teague, Chick Magnet

Amelia Rayno has a powerful piece in the StarTribune. What follows is an account of sexual harassment by University of Minnesota Athletic Director Norwood Teague:

So I agreed to have that drink. But this December night was different. Teague asked me about my longtime boyfriend, as he often did. My mistake was acknowledging that we had just broken up. The switch flipped. Suddenly, in a public and crowded bar, Teague tried to throw his arm around me. He poked my side. He pinched my hip. He grabbed at me. Stunned and mortified, I swatted his advances and firmly told him to stop. He didn’t.

“Don’t deny,” he said, “our chemistry.”

I told him that he was drastically off base, that my only intention in being there was as a reporter – to which he replied: “You’re all strictly business? Nothing else?”

I walked out. He followed me. I hailed a cab. He followed me in, grabbing at my arm and scooting closer and closer in the dark back cabin until I was pressed against the door. I told him to stop. I told him it was not OK. He laughed. When I reached my apartment, I vomited.

Later that night he texted: “Night strictly bitness.’’

The incident wasn’t the first with Teague.

When he first arrived at the university we would communicate via texts, mostly about athletics. But over time the tone of the messages slowly changed, particularly at night.  He would pepper work talk with comments that at first felt weird and eventually unacceptable. Once, he called me “cute.” Another night, after I declined meeting for a drink, he asked me if I was wearing pajamas.

I think it's safe to say that Norwood Teague has a bit of a charisma problem and a whole lot of personal issues that allow him to think himself as being above his accusers. Clearly, he believed himself capable of seducing the ladies and carrying on like a lothario. That crashed when the legal process finally kicked in. His sexual harassment of women has been going on long enough to make you wonder how this jackass got hired in the first place. He should have been fired a long time ago.

Go read the whole piece. And you can look for a photo of Miss Rayno on your own. I could post one here, and we could do a side by side comparison, and it still wouldn't add up to anything because blaming the victim is wrong and always will be wrong. Rayno is a drop-dead gorgeous young woman who, by virtue of her job as a journalist, had to put up with this sleazebag in order to maintain access and do her job. Her looks don't matter because taking one look at Teague should tell you all you need to know about his inability to treat people like a professional.

Powerful mean who look like Teague blame their victims for everything and get away with it far too often.

God, what a sickening story.

Colts Player Arrested in D.C.


Joe Lefeged, Colts safety, arrested in D.C. | WJLA.com

If you're going to raise hell in the District of Columbia, at least make your friend sit down:
Police say officers stopped the car for speeding and because another passenger in the car, 23-year-old Aaron Timothy Wilson, was standing completely upright in the backseat.
Mr. Lefeged was in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people doing the wrong things with the wrong items in the wrong car. That's pretty much the end of his career unless someone comes up with an alternative real fast. When the Indianapolis Colts go to training camp in the months ahead, there are plenty of people who are willing to be the next Joe Lefeged who don't raise hell in the District.

I'm beginning to think that there are people out there who are in the NFL who don't want to be in the NFL. Let them get out of professional football. Really, it's not that hard to understand. If you want to play football and make a good living, get yourself as far away from the kind of people who bring guns and liquor in cars into Washington D.C.

Pacman Jones Hit a Woman


And why is Pacman Jones still in the NFL? I can't understand that at all.

If you want to play professional football, at least pretend that hitting women is one of those things you are not going to do from time to time.

You'd think a list like this would wake people up. This is 2013. Nobody remembers what an assclown this man truly is.

The following are incidents in which Adam "Pacman" Jones, or people allegedly associated with him, have been involved since the Tennessee Titans drafted him in April 2005. There is only one charge pending against Jones.July 13, 2005: Two weeks before training camp is scheduled to begin, Jones is arrested by Nashville police at Titans headquarters. He is charged with assault and felony vandalism stemming from a nightclub altercation.
Sept. 5, 2005: Six days before the season opener at Pittsburgh, Jones attends the annual Nashville Sports Council Kickoff Luncheon. Later, Jones has a loud, verbal tantrum when told he must wait in line for his vehicle, according to witnesses. He does not pay for valet service.
Oct. 25, 2005: Five days before the eighth game of the season, it is alleged by the state of West Virginia that Jones has violated the terms of his probation, going back to a suspended sentence after a barroom brawl during his freshman year at college. A judge extends his probation 90 days.
Feb. 6, 2006: Jones is arrested in Fayetteville, Ga., and charged with possession of marijuana. He is handcuffed after throwing a punch at an officer, according to police, and charged with a felony count of obstruction and two misdemeanors of obstructing police. The drug charge is dismissed in January 2007, although his mother Deborah and a friend, Marcus Bowens, are convicted of possession of marijuana. Jones will appear in court later this month to face the obstruction charges.
March 23, 2006: A Fayette County drug task force SWAT team serves a search warrant at the Georgia home Jones bought for his mother. When Jones steps out of his Corvette, a drug investigator notices that the car reeks of marijuana. Jones admits to police he has been smoking and that it will be several weeks before he is able to pass a drug test.
April 18, 2006: According to Nashville police, who cite surveillance camera footage, Jones is one of 12 people gathered at a gas station when a fight breaks out and gunshots are fired.
Aug. 25, 2006: Jones is arrested in Murfreesboro, Tenn., for disorderly conduct and public intoxication. At the Sweetwater Saloon, he is accused of assault by Toya Garth, who says Jones spit in her face and she spit back. A judge sentences Jones six months probation provided he stays out of further trouble.
Oct. 26, 2006: Jones is cited for misdemeanor assault at Club Mystic, a Nashville nightclub, where he allegedly spits in the face of a female college student. He is suspended for one game by the Titans, on Nov. 5 at Jacksonville.
Feb. 19, 2007: Jones is present when an early morning brawl breaks out at Minxx Gentlemen's Club in Las Vegas. Three people are shot. Club co-owner Robert Susnar claims the shooter -- still at large -- acted on Jones' behalf. Jones denies this. No charges have been brought against Jones.

South American Kidnappers and Major League Baseball

This is sad:

The mother of former major league pitcher Victor Zambrano was kidnapped Sunday, Zambrano's agent Peter Greenberg said late Sunday night by phone. Elizabeth Mendez Zambrano was abducted sometime Sunday morning from her son's farm, about half hour from the central Venezuela city of Maracay, Greenberg said. Venezuela has been haunted in recent years by the kidnapping of rich and famous people. Yorvit Torrealba Jr., the son of Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba, and his uncle were kidnapped this summer. They were left unharmed on a road a couple days later. Torrealba has since moved his family to Hollywood, Fla. Former Angels infielder Gus Polidor was killed in April, 1995 while trying to prevent the kidnapping of his infant son via a carjacking. Zambrano played seven years for Tampa Bay, the New York Mets, Toronto and Baltimore. His last game in the big leagues was Sept. 30, 2007.
The attraction is, of course, money, and big league players have certainly been flush with cash. While a player like Zambrano may not have played under a lucrative contract in recent years, there is a perception that anyone who has played in the big leagues has money, and in South America, that means the threat of kidnapping. Throughout Latin America, kidnapping is used to extort money from the rich, or from people perceived to be rich. Here's an older article about the situation, but I think it is indicative of how the crime has perpetrated itself throughout the world, not just Latin America:
Kidnapping is defined as "to hold or carry off, usually for ransom", and encompasses a wide variety of crimes. Economic kidnapping – or the kidnapping business – is where a financial demand is made, which could be either hard cash, or some other financial resource. Political kidnapping, on the other hand, is where political concessions, such as the release of prisoners, changes to the law and policy retreats, are demanded. This distinction may seem straightforward, but in reality cases are rarely this clear cut. There are often grey areas between political and economic kidnapping. For example, the FARC in Colombia is a Marxist-Leninist guerrilla group, but kidnaps for money and is thought to earn hundreds of millions of dollars from it each year. Criminals with political aspirations have also been known to diversify. Definitions are often regarded as the preserve of hair-splitting academics, removed from the reality on the ground. But effective policies and practices for tackling kidnapping are not possible unless they respond to the motivations for the crime and take account of the way kidnappers will react to pressure. For this reason, it is vital that kidnapping cases are defined in terms of the immediate demand rather than any higher order political, religious or other goals a group may have. Economic kidnapping is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. It is estimated that kidnappers globally take home in the region of $500 million each year in ransom payments: the hostage is a commodity with a price on his head. Reliable statistics are hard to come by, but it is estimated that there are approximately 10,000 kidnappings each year worldwide. The undisputed kidnap capital of the world is Colombia, where the activity has been described as 'a cottage industry'. In 2000, the Colombian National Police recorded 3162 cases. Colombia's problem has not been contained within its own borders. Colombian kidnapping groups often cross over into Venezuela and Ecuador to take hostages, and both countries feature in the top ten. Other hot-spots around the globe include Mexico, where the problem has risen dramatically in the last five years, Brazil, the Philippines and the former Soviet Union. The following table shows the top ten hot-spots in 1999.
Global Kidnapping hot-spots – 1999 1 Colombia 2 Mexico 3 Brazil 4 Philippines 5 Venezuela 6 Ecuador 7 Former Soviet Union 8 Nigeria 9 India 10 South Africa
As the table above shows, Latin America is an important hub for kidnapping. However, it would be wrong to see the crime as a uniquely Latin American problem. Over the past decade or so, kidnapping has risen in parts of Africa, most notably Nigeria and South Africa. This can largely be traced to the expansion of multi-national companies into these countries following the rich natural resources on offer. Similarly, companies moved into parts of the Former Soviet Union following the collapse of communism at the start of the last decade, and the kidnapping rate has grown there, too.
How sad is it that, ten years later, this sort of thing is still prevalent, even in Venezuela? Let's hope that Zambrano is able to get his mother back safe and sound.

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