“I enjoy young people …love to be around them, but, no, I’m not sexually attracted to young boys.” This is one of the many statements made to NBC’s Bob Costas when telephone interviewing Penn State former coach, Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky responded to questions by Costas as to the allegations and charges he faces over accusations that he sexually molested several underage boys on the campus for over a decade.
Similar words were spoken by the late entertainer Michael Jackson when he was accused of molesting a young boy at his home/amusement park he often opened up to underprivileged children. Jackson admitted sleeping with several young children in his bed and felt there was nothing sexual about it. In court, he even testified his “love” for children.
Does celebrity or special privileges make it easier for parents or guardians to overlook the “playgrounds” they send their children to, alone? Do they not investigate the circumstances of a sleepover or a trip behind-the-scenes to a men’s–not boys-locker room? Parents in my suburban neighborhood call other parents to ensure there will be supervision of “who, what, where,” of a boy-girl party or an overnight visit as ‘tweens sometimes stretch specifics. Would they if the host were famous?
In both of these cases, well-known celebrities, worldwide or local is inconsequential, had long-standing access to children through organizations they created, such as Sandusky’s Second Mile, or in Jackson’s case, through non-profits that grant wishes to chronically children or provide a “day without stress” for kids living in poverty. Charities have boards that oversee operations, but they are usually not involved with day-to-day activities. Certainly, it is rare to see founders so engrossed with recipients of their donors’ kindnesses.
Why did no one question Sandusky, not just hanging with kids, but showering with them? Until Coach Mike McQuerey, then a grad assistant, witnessed an alleged incident in 2002, which he reported to the university and has declared through an email he alerted police as well, why was this kid exposed to naked strangers? Just like in Jackson’s case, everyone from housekeeping to Elizabeth Taylor knew of his young bedfellows.
I hated taking the required “communal showers” in junior high with the adult gym teacher watching 100 unclothed adolescents run through sprinklers. Gym has been taken out of many schools due to lack of funds, but if not, I hope this policy has changed.
Globally, many countries have more relaxed views on nudity. Families’ showering together is commonplace. In the United States, most unclothed activities or viewing “pleasures” are reserved for those of legal age and familial modesty is normal.
That being said, unsupervised, unwanted, illegal situations occur every day worldwide between adults and children. It is called pedophilia. Does celebrity allow one to feel above the law and sanity to engage in this without considering victimization?
Moreover, unwanted touching, human to human, regardless of age, is a crime. Period.
Sources: Associated Press, Yahoo! Sports, NBC Sports