Matt Sandusky’s Oprah interview is a seminar in child sexual abuse, Italian court acquits Berlusconi in sex case
July 21, 2014 Comments Off on Matt Sandusky’s Oprah interview is a seminar in child sexual abuse, Italian court acquits Berlusconi in sex case
Matt Sandusky’s Oprah interview is a seminar in child sexual abuse that’s difficult to watch — but we all should
By David Jones July 18, 2014
It is hard to watch. But just think of how much harder it was to experience.
Matt Sandusky’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, aired last night, is wrenching and disturbing and visceral in the worst ways. It is not particularly graphic. It is just difficult to view a victim of child abuse try to put words to such horrific acts.
So, why would anyone want to watch this? That’s a good question. I avoided it for most of the day, even knowing that it had made news. I just didn’t want to put myself through it. It was easier not to.
And that’s why I think it might help if everyone watched it….
Because it puts a very specific description to what child sexual abuse is, how it is germinated, how victims are groomed and what the effects are. Knowing can prevent it. Just looking at Matt Sandusky’s face as he struggles to find the terms to articulate his memories and emotions during various stages of his childhood with a pedophile as his adopted father is enough to bring those effects home. In that way, it’s similar to Jeremy Schapp’s interview with MLB pitcher R.A. Dickey who was similarly abused as a kid.
Part of the reason these sick people so often get away with what they do is that their acts are so repugnant that it’s our natural inclination to turn away. We just don’t want to know that such a thing is possible….
The best part about what Matt Sandusky does is the way he keeps himself together – though it’s clear how difficult that is – and explains in simple and clear detail without being lurid exactly how the progression of grooming was made….
Italian court acquits Berlusconi in sex case
Associated Press By COLLEEN BARRY July 18, 2014
MILAN (AP) — An Italian appeals court on Friday acquitted former Premier Silvio Berlusconi in a sex-for-hire case, reversing a lower court conviction that had carried a seven-year prison sentence and a lifetime ban on holding political office.
The case has grabbed global attention, offering an unseemly peek into the 77-year-old three-time premier’s private life with witness testimony revealing raunchy, sex-fueled bunga-bunga parties at his private villa attended by a bevy of aspiring showgirls.
The prosecution alleged that Berlusconi had paid for sex with underage Moroccan prostitute Karima el-Mahroug, better known as Ruby, and then used his influence to cover it up.
He denied the charges, saying the case was politically motivated by magistrates trying to drive him from power. Both he and el-Mahroug, who was 17 when she frequented the then-premier’s villa, denied ever having had sex….
Berlusconi’s defense lawyer, Franco Coppi, said the decision “goes beyond the rosiest predictions,” adding that he would have been satisfied with an acquittal for lack of evidence. But the court went further, saying that no crimes had been committed….
Berlusconi also is on trial in Naples accused of political corruption, and under investigation in Milan accused of witness-tampering in the sex-for-hire trial and in another related case involving three aides who were convicted of procuring prostitutes for his parties….
Everything you missed from Matthew Sandusky’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, UConn to pay $1.3M in sex assault handling lawsuit, Online child abuse reports surge, says US watchdog
July 19, 2014 Comments Off on Everything you missed from Matthew Sandusky’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, UConn to pay $1.3M in sex assault handling lawsuit, Online child abuse reports surge, says US watchdog
Everything you missed from Matthew Sandusky’s interview with Oprah Winfrey By Soraya Nadia McDonald July 18, 2014
….In an interview aired Thursday night on “Oprah Prime” on Winfrey’s OWN network, Matthew told Winfrey he felt it would have been better for his children and wife if he’d kept everything to himself instead of coming forward. Matthew initially offered grand jury testimony that Sandusky was not a child molester, but recanted during trial. After he told police he had also been abused, Matthew said his family, not just him, became the target of vicious character attacks.
“I can handle it,” Matthew said, even though the abuse drove him to attempt suicide shortly after he moved in with the Sanduskys when he was 16. “I can handle people attacking me. I handled the abuse. I can take it. My wife is an innocent. My children — they’re innocent. For people to attack them — yes, absolutely, the simpler answer would have been for me to keep it, to deal with it on my own.”
Matthew said he came forward about the abuse because he didn’t want to be a “coward.” When he heard the testimony of victim No. 4 during Sandusky’s criminal trial, Matthew said he was astonished at how similar the details were…..
More than 30 boys eventually came forward to say Sandusky molested them. To avoid further litigation, Penn State agreed to a $60 million settlement with 26 victims, including Matthew, and the university disbursed payments of varying sizes. Matthew said he had no knowledge of the settlement when he came forward.
Matthew met Jerry and his wife, Dottie Sandusky, when he was seven years old through Sandusky’s Second Mile charity camp. According to The Washington Post’s Joel Achenbach:
Prosecutors say that the Second Mile became a tool for harvesting children for abuse. Sandusky, they said, was a classic predatory pedophile, a man who befriended the most vulnerable boys, the ones needing a father figure, who became appreciative that someone would bring them to football games and make them feel special.
Matthew told Winfrey how he resigned himself to being molested almost as a tradeoff for being around an otherwise stable and loving family. He came from a broken home, he said, where there was physical abuse and even running water wasn’t something that could be taken for granted. He often lived with his grandparents….
Matthew began to act out when he was a young teenager. He tried to cut Sandusky out of his life altogether, but Matthew told Winfrey the coach would come to his biological mother’s home unannounced. He would pull Matthew out of school. There was no escaping him, and Matthew became a truant. He started doing drugs and stealing, and was eventually arrested.
Matthew had a choice: Move in with the Sanduskys, or go to juvenile detention.
The Sanduskys moved him into their home with five other children, all adopted. Matthew so dreaded Sandusky’s nighttime visits he tried to kill himself. He said after that, the sexual abuse largely stopped. The family legally adopted him when he was 18 and pressured him to take the family name so he would be privy to a tuition break thanks to Sandusky’s employment at Penn State….
UConn to pay $1.3M in sex assault handling lawsuit
Jul 18, 2014 By PAT EATON-ROBB Associated Press
STORRS, Conn. (AP) – The University of Connecticut will pay $1.3 million to settle a lawsuit by five women who alleged the school did not take seriously their claims of sexual assaults on campus.
The bulk of the settlement, $900,000, will go to Silvana Moccia, a former UConn ice hockey player who alleged she was kicked off the team after reporting she had been raped by a male hockey player in August 2011.
The other four women will receive payments ranging from $25,000 to $125,000.
University officials adamantly denied that they have been indifferent to reports of assaults and did not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement. They said the legal fight would be costly and bad for UConn’s image.
Online child abuse reports surge, says US watchdog
By Dave Lee Technology reporter, BBC News 17 July 2014
There has been a dramatic rise in reports of child abuse images posted to commonly used parts of the internet, according to a US watchdog.
They include photos posted to publicly-accessible parts of social networks.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a record number of reports in the first week of July, four times the weekly average.
It comes in a week UK authorities arrested 660 people in connection with online child abuse.
That investigation was believed to have been targeted at those using the so-called “dark net” – parts of the internet that are hidden and can be hard to access without special software.
But the NCMEC stressed there was still a significant and growing challenge for law enforcement agencies to deal with material on the open internet as well as the harder-to-reach areas….
Jerry Sandusky Son Discusses Alleged Sexual Abuse, Child Sexual Abuse Raises Likelihood Of Cardiovascular Problems For Middle-Aged Women
July 18, 2014 Comments Off on Jerry Sandusky Son Discusses Alleged Sexual Abuse, Child Sexual Abuse Raises Likelihood Of Cardiovascular Problems For Middle-Aged Women
Jerry Sandusky Son Discusses Alleged Sexual Abuse
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Jul 17, 2014
An adopted son of convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky is providing details of the alleged sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of his father.
Matt Sandusky, who was initially a foster child of the Sanduskys, tells Oprah Winfrey in a TV show airing Thursday night that his overnight visits with the family as a child were good “except for one part, bedtime.”
At bedtime in the Sandusky’s home in State College, he said, Jerry Sandusky’s “ritual began.”
“The overnight visits were — they were good. I mean, except for that one part, bedtime. Bedtime was the bad part. But any other time that we were in the home, that we were doing anything in the home with the family, it was fine and it was — again, you would look at that family and you would say, wow. Like I wish that I had brothers and sisters that cared about me. I wish that I had a mother who cooked dinner every night for the whole family. I wish that I had all of these things. But then at bedtime, his ritual began,” Matt Sandusky told Winfrey in a brief clip released by the network.
The network said Sandusky discusses the grooming, methodical control and manipulation he faced as a child.
He had also discussed the alleged abuse in a documentary, “Happy Valley,” shown earlier this year, and in an audiotape of a 29-minute interview with police detectives that NBC obtained at the time of Jerry Sandusky’s 2012 trial….
Child Sexual Abuse Raises Likelihood Of Cardiovascular Problems For Middle-Aged Women
By Ben Wolford Jul 17, 2014
Women who were sexually abused as children are more likely to show the earliest signs of heart disease in their 40s and early 50s, researchers said Thursday….
Examining the health histories of 1,400 women ages 42 to 52, the researchers discovered those who suffered sexual abuse had thicker inner linings of their arteries, something doctors call intima-media thickness, or IMT. That thickness can lead to atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque, and eventually blockage. About 14 percent of American children are victims of some kind of abuse, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In this study, the rates were higher: “About 16 percent of the women reported a history of childhood sexual abuse, across all racial groups, with the abuse as high as 20 percent among African-Americans,” the researchers reported….
But the new paper in Stroke found trends that couldn’t easily be explained. For one, women who reported suffering non-sexual child abuse weren’t any more likely to have IMT than those who were not abused. And, oddly, cardiovascular risk factors like obesity and high blood pressure were not predictors of IMT. In other words, abuse victims who were otherwise healthy still showed the higher rates of IMT.
Source: Thurston RC, Chang Y, Derby CA, et al. Abuse and Subclinical Cardiovascular Disease Among Midlife Women: The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation. Stroke. 2014.