It’s Time to Acknowledge that Jerry Sandusky is a Rapist

By | December 21, 2011

Every time I listen, watch, or read the news, it is inevitable that the story of Jerry Sandusky and his countless acts of preying upon children will come up. While I find it mollifying that his celebrity status as a sports coach is offering him little protection for these terrible crimes, I have an issue with how the media is covering this story.

Jerry Sandusky is a rapist.

And no one is willing to admit it.

Most reports tend to only use the words “molest” or “sexual assault.” However, let’s look at the definitions:

To bother, interfere with, or annoy; to make indecent sexual advances to.

Sexual Assault:
Illegal sexual contact that usually involves force upon a person without consent or is inflicted upon a person who is incapable of giving consent (as because of age or physical or mental incapacity) or who places the assailant (as a family friend) in a position of trust or authority.

The unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse; any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person; an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation.

While it is clear that Sandusky is guilty of all of the proceeding, every time a new report surfaces of witnesses claiming to have seen him “having intercourse” with a child, the word rape is always suspiciously lacking.

A child cannot “have intercourse” with an adult. This phrase implies that there was some kind of mutual exchange or consent. A child can only be raped by an adult.

So media, it’s time to start using that four letter word that nobody wants to hear…


I’ll say it one more time so we can all get used to it,


It’s inappropriate and wrong to try to sugar coat what he did to his victims without acknowledging the full breadth of  his actions and their consequences.

What are your thoughts on how the media is treating the Sandusky case?


Michelle on December 21, 2011 at 10:40 pm.

I hadn’t thought about it a whole lot honestly, but one possible explanation is that, while he did rape at least one of the children, others he molested and assaulted but did not rape them; perhaps they are saying “sexual assualt” because they want to include all the victims, and not just the ones he raped? But I think it more likely that you are right, and they are trying to avoid that visceral reaction one has when one hears “raped children” that isn’t quite the same if one hears “molested children”.


Tegan on December 22, 2011 at 8:31 am.

Just another example of society’s inability to define rape by anything more or less than a black dude jumping out of an alleyway and attacking a turtle-neck wearing virgin in the middle of the night as she goes to church.


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