November 20th, 2011
07:30 AM ET

Opinion: Don Lemon: No matter the gender, rape is rape

Editor's note: Don Lemon anchors CNN Newsroom during weekend prime-time and serves as a correspondent across CNN's U.S. programming. He is the author of the memoir "Transparent."

By Don Lemon, CNN

(CNN) - I don’t remember exactly when it started for me.

It was before the first grade. I must have been 5 years old, maybe 4. My mother was divorced and worked during the day. My grandmother was my sitter. She watched over my sisters and me as much as she could, but even her watchful eye wasn’t enough to keep me out of the hands of my abuser.

He was an older teen: the son of one of my mom’s friends. He and two older teen boys, almost in their 20s, preyed on me and some of the younger boys in my neighborhood. The "incidents" - as I referred to in therapy for years - happened up until I was 12 or 13 years old. It was easier for me to call it the "incidents" then because calling it molestation was just too hard, even for me, a survivor of child sex abuse.

So, I imagine it’s difficult for people who haven’t dealt with abuse to confront it, face it, or, for that matter, know what to call it. But if the events at Penn State are to teach us anything, it should be that we can no longer turn away from something so ugly just because we struggle to define it or accept it exists.

So, let’s just call it for what it is: rape.

Rape is what former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky is accused of doing to at least one boy in a university shower. But because the victim is a boy, under Pennsylvania law, Sandusky is charged with deviant sexual behavior. If the victim had been a little girl, in fact, the law would call it rape.

The acts are the same. So what’s the difference? The difference, according to a friend and former FBI agent specializing in child sex crimes, who is also a survivor of child sex abuse, is that laws are just as antiquated as our feelings. Rape, he says, is typically defined as penile penetration of a female. The same behavior with a male victim is typically defined as sodomy or deviant sexual behavior. In prosecuting cases like Penn State, my friend says, just by definition, the laws unwittingly remove the sting from the accused wretched acts.

Men dare to share sex abuse stories

Sandusky would have been 59 at the time of the 2002 alleged shower rape. He’s a big guy, at least 200 lbs and more than 6 feet tall. He’s big and burly enough to have once played defense on the Penn State football team. The boy looked to be 10 years old, according to then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary, who says he witnessed the rape.

Pause for a second, please, and imagine what a 10-year old looks like. Ten-year-old boys are usually prepubescent, weigh around 85 pounds, are only about 5 feet tall and are usually in the fourth or fifth grade. The physical pain as a grown man forced himself on him was no doubt excruciating.

According to the grand jury report, McQueary “saw a naked boy, Victim 2, whose age he estimated to be 10 years old, with his hands up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky. The graduate assistant was shocked but noticed that both Victim 2 and Sandusky saw him. The graduate assistant left immediately, distraught.”

Whether McQueary intervened and exactly what he told Penn State Coach Joe Paterno is up for debate. The truth will be revealed as the case unfolds. But by leaving, what he did do was abandon a 10-year old kid in the hands of an accused pedophile. By possibly not being clear in describing what he saw, he increased the likelihood the little boy and others like him would face the same fate again.

Now imagine, if you will, that 10 year old as a girl. Do you think any grown man would leave a 10-year-old girl with a grown, naked man in a shower? What if McQueary had said these words to Paterno: “I saw Jerry Sandusky raping a little girl.” Is there any doubt that getting such a report would have spurred Paterno and officials to take quicker and more aggressive action? Think about it. It is too difficult and disgusting to even conceive.

But as painful as it is for us, as far removed as we are, no matter how much we may want to put it out of our minds, no matter how much we want to turn away, we cannot and should not. Our inability to view and talk about male and female rape in the same way might have permitted a man to continue his alleged depraved behavior for decades. Rape is rape no matter the gender of the perpetrator or the victim. Pedophilia is wrong no matter the gender of the perpetrator or the victim

As a survivor of childhood sex abuse, please listen to me: We must stop turning a deaf ear to this issue. If you don’t open your ears and minds because of my plea, do it for the eight little boys whose manhood was shaped early on by, quite possibly, a monster.

Posted by
Filed under: Gender • What we think
soundoff (283 Responses)
  1. Jen

    I am so sorry to learn about yet another person, Don Lemon, who was raped as a child. I agree with Mr. Lemon 100% that rape is rape.

    The fact that McQuery didn't step in to save the young boy being raped by Sandusky in the shower is utterly shocking and beyond comprehension. Had I walked in on Sandusky raping a little boy, my first thought would have been to locate a baseball bat or some other weapon and beat Sandusky over the head or back with it. Out of shear shock and disgust I probably would have beat him to a pulp. I don't know what would cause a grown man to walk away from that kind of situation without doing anything. But if I had seen it, by the next day I guarantee that the entire world would have known that Sandusky was a child predator. Sadly Sandusky will be able to sit in jail for years to come fantasizing about all of the young boys he's raped over the years. If grown men are going to continue to cover-up these kinds of crimes against children, very harsh, strict laws need to be passed to punish them too because they are accomplices. Needless to say I hope McQuery, Paterno and any other vile person or persons at Penn State who fought against children and pushed them into the hands of a Predator in order to avoid a scandal should do jail time too. Crimes against children are unforgivable and they need to be protected at all cost. Period. Even though I don't know if it goes far enough, I hope congress passes the bill proposed by Senator Menendez. Something has to be done in this country to stop child rapists like Sandusky. And men need to stop covering these crimes up to protect other men.

    November 21, 2011 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Absynthe

      Jen, if I ever find an adult raping a child, you bet I'll grab a baseball bat or whatever is handy, and scream at the top of my lungs, call 911, and rap the poor kid up in a towel.

      A kid can't consent, no way! That rips my heart out. I've read that many heads have rolled.

      ALSO – NO ONE demanded money first, etc. P-files seem to corner kids by themselves, away from their parents. Then those who always have an OPEN DOOR policy around adults, get hacked to pieces, and wrongfully accused.

      People, there's a huge difference! P-files separate the victims from their families, and groom them, etc. You won't find their siblings around, parents around, capeche?

      The rape laws definitely need to be updated.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. Martin

    So "innocent till proven guilty" is no longer an option?

    Who appointed you, Don, ---Judge, Jury and Executioner?

    November 21, 2011 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Tomcoffingiii

      You're either an idiot or a troll.

      You're challenging an article about a man who's decrying the act of raping kids. Unbelievable.

      November 21, 2011 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Holly Hodges

      You must have failed comprehension in your language arts classes because you clearly can't grasp the point of this article. If there are more than one complaint something's wrong there! I have a ten year old boy and guess what, rape is rape is rape. It's just about treating all children as tender and fair under the law. I lived around the corner from a teenage guy who raped all the boys that lived in his circle. No one thought a teenage boy would do such a thing, but guess what he did.....boys are just as vulnerable as girls,get it!

      November 21, 2011 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Abresh

      Exactly right, Martin. Many of these people are the same people that would be at home in the pitchfork-wielding Frankenstein mobs in the movies and books.

      November 21, 2011 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
    • bob

      There were eye witnesses and Penn State is not in the habit of firing presidents and high-ranking staff that are innocent.

      November 21, 2011 at 5:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Maryalyce

      Martin, are you a child abuser??? Why would you take up for a male that acknowledged his actions & called it horseplay? Don, thank you for your courage & painful honesty... I was abused as a young child & the words from the adults I tied to tell were " UNCLE BILL WOULDN'T DO THAT, DON'T LIE." By the time I was 12 Y.O. I was so totally out of control, started drinking & living a nightmare. I am 70 Y.O. now did 15 years in therapy, 5 marriages, couldn't live in one place, became a truck driver so I could keep moving. I ended up in A.A 35 yrs ago, still go to the wonderful mtgs, did Rapid Eye Movement therapy & am as recovered as I probably ever be. This horrible situation opened up ALOT of my wounds as I am sure it did for Don & millions of other kids, both genders. I wish I could give you the healing I was able to get. I was able to come to terms with the horrors created by the rapes & molestings. Sandusky, If we ever meet by some stroke of fate, I promise, you will NEVER EVER forget what you did to these children.

      November 25, 2011 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
    • retphxfire

      He was just repeating the facts as we know them, including the witness statements. Perhaps I missed something, but I didn't read anything stating anyone was already guilty as charged, just an emotional story that included recent accusations. Perhaps your subconscious mind has already rendered judgment.

      November 26, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bill

    You're brave, Don - a real man. Your abusers should feel ashamed, not you.

    November 21, 2011 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. JeffreyC

    I just finished listening to the interview of Mr. Lemon. The question he repeatedly had to face was why it was so hard to own and admit to the abuse. In my situation, there were multiple reasons. I was afraid of what my parents would say. You may ask, why? The answer is that I didn't feel safe. I thought that I would get in trouble, face punishment for allowing myself to be abused, or worse, get belittled. Another reason was that I didn't want peers or siblings making fun of me. And this gets to the heart of the matter; even tho I was not responsible for what happened, I felt that I was responsible. And I was ashamed. I was also threatened with physical harm if I told. So there you have it.

    November 21, 2011 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Keith

      Jeffrey, it is a conditioning and grooming process that results in shame and self-denial, and a secret burden to admit even to yourself let alone someone else... TRUST is something that is just a word after incidents like these happen to the victimized.. Would you TRUST your story with another adult after one had done that to you? Seriously? Catch a clue...

      November 21, 2011 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
      • Kim

        Keith–read Jeffery's comment again. He is the last person that needs to 'catch a clue'...He was an abuse victim himself! You probably read his comment too fast. Read it again. You are forgiven,and Hang in There Jeffrey C!

        November 21, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      JeffrreyC–I am so sorry that happened to you, and I can't hardly imagine how hard it must have been for you too. I will say this, you are very courageous to even post your comment, and hopefully your courage will give other little kids who are in an abuse situation (even as we speak!) to go out and speak up and stop not only their abuse, but the abusers' other little victims that they don't even know about! I am sure when you are that young you always think it is just you and can't imagine there could be others! Thanks for your comment and courage. Peace be with you!

      November 21, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. scott h

    Good article but i have to disagree on the one part that jopa would have done something different if Sandusky was in the shower with a girl. I think penn state was going to cover this up no matter what was going on

    November 20, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Who did you hear that from? From your fellow cell mates behind bars? You cretin.

      November 21, 2011 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
    • exey

      Yes, there is consensus. Or, rather, society knows when it is wrong, and knows when it is a gray area. This is not a gray area. Sorry, you won't be able to use this in your defense for your upcoming pedophilia trial.

      November 21, 2011 at 3:40 am | Report abuse |
  6. 5 Part Form

    I was a 10 year old girl when I was abducted from the schoolyard by a stranger with a knife who raped me repeatedly for several hours. But what hurt me the most was not the physical pain but my parents reaction to it. After the police took the report and I was released from the hospital, I was forbidden to ever speak of or mention the attack. Everybody pretended it never happened. I lost a lot that day, almost 55 years ago and it still hurts,

    November 20, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexis

      I am so, so, so, SO sorry for your horrible tragedy and what the nightmare you have had to endure. I hope that counseling has helped you in some small way. Parents think they are helping you by forbidding talk about it and that was a different generation, I am a 47 year old woman, that kind of help was not available for anyone then. So many things were taboo. I sincerely hope that you can heal someday and I really feel for you and what you have endured. You are remarkably strong and life is so unfair, I wish you peace and your captor punished.

      November 20, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • nell ryan

      I am terribly sorry for the challenge you had to endure throughout most of your life. You had to suppress the most painful and consuming feelings you had, and there was no one to comfort you, support you, understand you or defend you. I hope you found a way to ease the injustice done to you. Without knowing you, I suspect you are extremely compassionate and empathetic with others. That is one of the outcomes of a personal history such as yours. May your future offer you days of perfect serenity and feelings of high self worth.

      November 21, 2011 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Kendall

      You are disgusting.

      November 21, 2011 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
    • med06

      How horrible for you, I'm so sorry you had to go thru that

      November 21, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. Alvin

    Amazing article. It is not often I get moved like this from CNN.

    November 20, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Not giving name

    I'm a rape survivor. I was a 14 yr old boy when I was raped by my best friends older brother. First I want to say Thank You to Don Lemon for admitting what happened. It is one of the hardest things to admit, especially for a male victim. Second, i agree that RAPE is RAPE and it doesn't matter about gender. If you are raped, male or female, you need to come forward. Nobody has the right to take anything from you when you say NO. I just wish I had done that when it happened to me, but I didn't and have now been carrying it around with me for the past 25 years. Good luck to all that have suffered this and any form of abuse. We will survive!

    November 20, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. I'm sorry that would happen to you.

    they might find good people there, but not necessarily.

    November 20, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jc

    As a husband, father and rape survivor when I was a child, I want to say thank you. My childhood was taken away from me and I think that it is time that people recognize that boys can also be raped.

    November 20, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Fred Brilla

    I don't know where to start. The perpetrator develops a level of fear in the victim(s) that completely prevents the victim from speaking up. There has to be an empowering person or event that causes the victim to speak up. The victim is completely ashamed and feels they "deserve" what is happening. I am unable to say more as this stirs very bad things from my own childhood.

    The child protective services should have an "automatically" remove order on children like this until it is completely and, that means, criminally cleared up. There is little hope for these victims to regain their lives back unless they are able to forgive themselves. These men and women should be rendered harmless by a medical procedure that removes their weapons. The victims families should be allowed to discuss the sins of the perpetrators in any way deemed relevant to the family member.

    These people are criminals that are unrepentant and unable to control themselves. The need to be wearing a scarlet letter that clearly identifies them to society. The scarlet letter can be electronic, physical, or other.

    The problem is not the parents. These predators are out there in plain sight and we have no reason to suspect them of anything until it is too late. It isn't to say the parents are innocent, but it is unlikely that they are to blame.

    November 20, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sickened

    It wasn't about him! He should have thrown up, screamed, whatever he needed to do. His being appalled was not an excuse not to dial 911 immediately!

    November 20, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Maria Ashot

    Thank you for calling attention to one of the most disgraceful statistics of human history: the rape epidemic. Why is it that for so many millenia, humanity has not succeeded in tackling this atrocity - not in the way, for example, that we have tackled slavery or genocide or war crimes... Evil is difficult to eradicate, but certainly in terms of the frequency of heinous acts, a reduction in occurrences is something that is achievable.

    What happened to you was tragic, an absolutely vicious crime. You deserve praise for being able to speak and write about your trauma to educate others. However, I do not understand why there is even a suggestion that "rape happens to women." Rape is rape. It can happen to anyone, and has been used to torment and torture and subjugate members of all groups, including infants, since time immemorial. The fact that so many more rapes happen to women and children than to adult men simply tells you something about the status & protections assigned to women and children in our modern age. Rape is an utter atrocity, whenever it happens, whomever it targets - and it needs to end.

    November 20, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • kc

      we haven't tackled slavery, genocide or war crimes. there is slavery right now in the united states. war crimes committed right now. genocide going on right now. and all of these things including rape need to be tackled.

      November 20, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Martin

    I'm sure many of the posters on here consider themselves good Christians. But I don't see any pity, compassion, or forgiveness for the sinner! Pedophiles are disturbed individuals that are in the grip of a powerful compulsion. Yes they are a danger to society, yes we need to be vigilant to protect children, and yes they need to be prevented from doing harm. But get off your self-righteous high horses, folks!

    November 20, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      Maybe when he's raped in the shower I'll take pity on him... maybe.

      November 20, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Hal

    HUH??? Teresa, are you one of those who park their obese cellulite behind in front of the TV stuffing junk food in the gaping hole right smack in the middle of hanging fleshy jowls? Have some respect; your ugliness is showing!!!

    November 20, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Martin

    Teresa, last I checked, if you witness a murder and don't report it to the authorities, you are guilty in some capacity. How is that not the same?

    November 20, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Amy

    Mr. Lemon, thank you for this.

    November 20, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  18. MashaSobaka

    The fact that we even need to say that rape is rape regardless of the survivor's gender says a lot about our society, and none of it is good. The backwardness of people's minds is truly appalling.

    November 20, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Midwestmatt

    Utterly tasteless.

    November 20, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Mike

    I understand that people are born with these sick, perverted fantasies, but that is no reason to go and act upon them. Why go ruin the life of a child just so you can get one off. These people should rot in hell. I am sorry this happened to you. Very brave to come out and talk about it.

    November 20, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • No excuses

      The notion that "people are born with these sick, perverted fantasies" is utterly false and simply a tired excuse that perpetrators try to use to rationalize their actions. Every person enters this life with a clean slate, freedom to choose, and the responsibility to control their thoughts and actions. It would be better that a person have a millstone strapped to their back and be thrown into the sea than for that person to hurt children like this.

      November 21, 2011 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  21. Dee

    You are wrong, if I had witnessed that creep raping a child, I would have without knocked the crap out of the guy and grabbed the child and ran to let his naked self decide whether he would chase us or not. I couldn't have lived with myself if I hadn't done so.

    November 20, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  22. askfmb

    BRAVO Mr. Lemon
    one of the most difficult thing in human life time is to peal away ones allegator skin, and open up ones person for scrutiny. 80% of all people are unwilling to simply change their environment, which subjects themselves to constant abuse and struggles, all because is "convenience".
    For those who are strong enough to walk away from the comfort zone, by leaving a long time spouse, or a job that they don't like,,,, is tough enough, but, what you have done is twice as difficult, in that, you have opened your person, which is not required.
    It takes mental and inner strength to be the person that you see in the mirror each day, not a lot of us can do so, and after reading these blogs, I bet you a dollar, 90% of the negative comments are from people with bad character, and they don't even know what having character is.

    Bravo, and stay true to your mirror. Your you, so be you,,,, The Weak ones throw stones.

    November 20, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Ireporttwo

    How brave of you to tell your story. I imagine you were a very frightened child and I grieve your childhood lost. I wish you the best going forward.

    November 20, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  24. seriously

    why detract from the essay by claiming he took notes from Dr. Phil? Seriously, way too much deflection. Most adults have considered this very thing over the last two weeks–the concept of the predator's actions is not subject to one person's observations. I can't believe you'd look at this and try and dilute this man's personal experience.

    People need to stay on point:Sandusky was PERMITTED to abuse because no one cared enough to do what's right. There is the law of humanity that trumps whatever Penn State's or PA's written code. "Just doing what I was told" was an excuse Nazi guards used to try and get out of their guilt.

    November 20, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  25. rafael

    It's hard to come off as disrespectful and stupid at the same time, but you managed.

    November 20, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • de

      No matter the gender of the victim, rape is a murder of the soul.
      Murder should truly be the charge brought against anyone that rapes.

      November 20, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  26. lindsay

    very brave of you to recount your own experiences and share.

    November 20, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Ann

    I absolutely agree with you, Don Lemmon.

    November 20, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Deep North


    Lately you have been just full of TMI. "Too Much Information".

    First coming out with how you are gay, and now revealing how you have been abused.

    Get off the air, seek therapy some more and stop hawking your books, because you got some serious issues.

    November 20, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Ghostin Themachine

    Is about time we looked at the problem for what it is RAPE, gender aside. According to the investigation the man is not deviant he is a predator.
    He wasn't stopped MANY times through the years. There were multiple incidents witnessed, yet not followed up on. At one point Pennsylvania Department of Welfare even dropped the ball. It is time to stop cvering up for the program and end the injustice. According to the the grand jury report campus police and the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare investigated this years ago to find nothing wrong, despite a parent and child coming forward.
    Time to stop the free pass for anyone regardless of who they are.

    November 20, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  30. nathan

    Coincidentally, there is an editorial in today's NY TIMES about the exact same issue.

    November 20, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  31. sandy

    This is a very major concern

    November 20, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nara Simhan

      Yes, it is a major concern. But, really, Don, really - what are you pushing now? Sandusky's alleged crime or your own situation or 'Transparent" . somehow, I feel as soon as an alleged crime act appears on the horizon, a journalist or a celebrity pushes or revisits his/her claim about that a similar criminal act that was done to them. Please, this is a bit more than disgusting. By the way, I feel Sandusky should be punished what he has done to these kids.

      November 20, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • RLee

        Your commentary is exactly why this needs to be said and will continue to need to be said for some time.

        November 20, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  32. That Guy

    The punishment for pedophiles and rapists should be death. Period. Nothing excuses them for what they do. Why should they receive any of the mercy they never showed?

    November 20, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • teresa, ohio

      @ that guy: i'm with you. all pedophiles should be put to death. it's a se-x ual mentality. the see nothing wrong with what theyve done, dont realize the lifetime impact and if thats how they get their "satisfaction", they are of no value to us as a society. Pedophiles must be put down for good.

      November 20, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • jzzlkkr

      @thatguy: The mommy in me says you move too quickly. They need to be subjected to 24 hours in a locked, windowless, sound-proofed room with the loved ones of the victim – one at a time. Amnesty for all of them, of course. I can think of at least a dozen ways to make the predator sorry s/he ever LOOKED at my child, all of which would leave him/her alive for the next one to eke out vengeance.

      The pacifist in me just died a little.

      November 20, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • DYBO

      Do you realize how many priests we will have to put to death?

      November 20, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lizzy10

      Yet our esteemed leaders in Congress just voted that a paedophile can carry a concealed weapon.

      November 20, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • John

        Being a paedophile isn't a crime, so that would be correct. That said, do you know how many people would kill someone like that given the chance? this is a matter of self defense for someone who has probably never done something, get off your high horse.

        November 21, 2011 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  33. MonkeyDLuffy

    @ChuckCreig: Its a double standard, when something like a female teacher has relations with a student most people don't care. But if you reverse the gender roles they would be crying for blood.

    November 20, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • mdwestgrl

      they both should be punished equally. we do tend to look the other way the older a boy gets...maybe because of physical strength? Makes no difference. Its usually not just about physical power anyway, it is also about psychological power

      November 20, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  34. ChuckCreig

    Why on Earth would anyone write this article? What is the point of emphatically declaring something that already known and understood, as if you you are making some revelatory conclusion for the first time? Uh, rape is rape regardless of gender? Uh yes, because the definition of the word rape doesn't mention anything about gender. WE KNOW THIS EINSTEIN. I'm going to write a new article for CNN: "Chuck Creig's Unique Opinion: Regardless of What anyone tries to tell you, the Sun rises in the East." Or how about, "An orange, believe it or not, is ACTUALLY orange in color."

    November 20, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • SK

      You are such a fool Mr Craig.

      No doubt you have never sat on a jury where the most intimate discussions of rape of girls vs sodomy of boys was deliberated in detail. I have sat on the jury in Atlanta and it made me sick – and it was the FATHER of two young girls and a boy who raped and abused them for years. We learned after we found the monster GUILTY that the young son could not testify because the abuse had caused brain damage, and as the young girls testified, they shookwhen testifying as you could tell if he was set free, they probably would have beenraped again and again and probably killed by this awful spectacle of a human being.

      I applaud Mr Lemon for clarifying this topic. Our laws are antiquated and need updated.

      November 20, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • AlianaHT

      Did you not read the article? In Pennsylvania it is NOT considered rape because the child was a boy, not a girl. Don makes an excellent point that more people would have been doing something if the child had been a girl and not a boy. Hand the whole thing is eerily similar to Catholic priests that rape young boys. Makes me sick.

      November 20, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • ally

      Oh, stop it, read the article. Yes, it is obvious to you and all around, but some states as the state of Pennsylvania do not consider this a rape, that's why the article. If you don't live in Penn state, then it is shocking for us! If you do, I don't know what one should do if something like this happens to you (if you are a boy); you are not protected by law and the perpetrator will continue with you once he gets over his small misdemeanor charges...
      come on folks, get on your state and make if fair

      November 20, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • sami

      You did not have to read the article. It is an important article. Many people do not seem to know what you know. I can't understand why this article would disturb you so.

      November 20, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Dalton

      What are you talking about ChuckCreig? You sir sadly are a m0ron and NOT an Einstein. If people reacted to what this was a child RAPE then the witness would have immediately intervened and rescured the child AND called the police..

      November 20, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  35. MonkeyDLuffy

    Referring to the topic of the article, I dunno about that. I think I would enjoy a few hot ladies having their way with me.

    November 20, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Renee


      November 20, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Neel

    Money, Power & influence will always make people to either do horrible crimes or turn a blind-eye when one is committed....no matter how hard we try to be condescending towards other countries(calling them 'third-world')...the proof is always in the pudding on who we are....

    November 20, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  37. joinedtheclub

    Just like so many of you that have posted comments, I too was molested by a parent (Dad). I really didn't realize it was wrong until my teenage years. He was clever with it by making it into a game.. I blocked it out until I was in a car accident when I was 29 yrs. old. It all came back as though it happened that day. He is now deceased which I hope will rot in hell forever! I have tried to move on with my life, I am 55 yrs. old female and this will always be with me but it will not define me. I pray the young boys will get their day in court to meet this "devil" face-to-face and let him know he did not win! There is not a jail big enough for him, so just do us a favor and give him the chair. I'll volunteer to pull the plug....

    November 20, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • I'm sorry that would happen to you.

      I'm sorry that would happen to you. Everyone that it has every happened to. I'm sorry for your loss.

      November 20, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Listenup

      I am terribly sorry you lost your childhood and had no father care about and look up to. I would tell you to forgive him for your own sake but I never forgave my offender and never could. Instead I forgave myself of all the self blame I carried like a load on my back and that freed me to live without that hatred buried inside me...

      November 20, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • ally

      I am so sorry you went through this and there was no one around (where was your mother???) to protect you...

      November 20, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • joinedtheclub

        ally, my Mother was in my life but I never said anything to her because as a very young child (4-7), I did not know it was bad until I got older. The bad thing is we teach our children to watch out for strangers, but we fail to tell them about our families!!!! Mothers & Fathers can be the worst thing to happen to some children.

        November 21, 2011 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
    • mdwestgrl

      Im sorry that happened to you. It is truly horrible and not excusable, but that same thing was probably done to your father.

      November 20, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wink

      The good news is that Honor Among Thieves does exist. Within 3 years of his conviction, Sandusky will "die of a heart attack" *wink* as my Dr friend who volunteers at a prison said. He will receive, if only a small measure, what he gave and WILL be taken out by those around him.

      November 20, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  38. John

    What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Right now this is all allegations. He might be innocent. If he is innocent then you are all committing a grave injustice. Please everyone, just calm down and let the truth come out before you wreck any more lives.

    November 20, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Let's not think for ourselves and talk about our opinions on anything before they're proven in a court of law? Which is always fair and just and puts all bad people in jail and let's innocent people walk free 100% of the time? Get real. This is freedom of speech, not a court room.

      November 20, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Listenup

      Agreed, if and when he's proven guilty then by all means trash away, but we've been duped too many times before by false accusations to get sucked into a story before facts are presented..

      November 20, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      Absolutely, but you are totally missing the point, which is that if everybody had done their job (and most likely, as the author says), then we would have had this discussing a decade ago. And if he were to be found guilty, that means that a lot of children would have been saved. And if we do this not only for this case but for the thousands of cases that have certainly remained unreported because witnesses or those in power thought that they were only "minor" situations, some of which at least would likely be "true", then many many victims would have been saved. The discussion here goes well beyond this particular case and this particular people.

      November 20, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • SK

      John, you just do not get it, hiding behind the law of innocent until proven guilty.

      You cannot bear to think of this happening to a college sport figure. Had that been the case, you would have remarked more about the victims than orotection of the "alleged" perpetrator – which suggests to me you believe that eight young men lied in front of a grand jury.

      And no doubt, you believe OJ Simpson is innocent of killing two people. Even tho found not guilty, most people believe he was NOT innocent but in fact committed the crime.

      If these victims had been your family members and/or girls, I think, based on your curt and dried response, you might have commented in another way.

      November 20, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • JomoDaMusicMan

      It's amazing everytime a White Male is accused u people are always hollering "INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILITY" even after a dozen or so victims comes forward. But when a Black Person is accused, u never even whisper "innocent until proven guility" even after OJ was found innocent u people still said guility. The African Maid was Raped in N.Y. by Rich White Frenchman and nothing was done about it. U people think only white people are qualified to serve on jury duty or even play QB in the NFL. Donovan McNabb, D Garrard, Aaron Brooks and numerous other are over the hill at 30 but Terry Collins, Mark Burnell and a half dozen other whites can stay in the league past 40/ RACISM IS VERY MUCH ALIVE & STILL GROWING IN AMERICAN

      November 20, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  39. xtine

    Mr. Lemon – Thank you for sharing your story – it is a very courageous and most likely, difficult, thing to do. It is important to bring these crimes to light so that the general public can know that the problem of rape and abuse of young children is very common, and must be addressed. Once again, thank you for your courage.

    November 20, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Mike

    I wonder if the 10yo boy in the story may be the man whose head we want cut off 30 years from now when he does it to a young boy.

    Not defending this of course but some of the victims become the predators later on.

    November 20, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • james

      so that excuses not reporting/taking action

      November 20, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • tipsana

      Prior abuse is, at most, an explaination. But it is never an excuse.

      November 20, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • SK

      OMG – are you serious?

      November 20, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • lindsay

        Most people who abuse children were abused themselves. This is true. But most boys who are abused do NOT go on to become pedophiles. This is especially true if they speak out about what happened to them and receive appropriate help.

        November 20, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  41. jake

    I agree and disagree. Yes, it should be called rape. But I think the large issue isn't with boy vs girl, but the problem of too many have confusing the coercion and mental conditioning abusers use on their victims with consent. If the boy was being held to the ground crying and screaming, there may have been a very different reaction than if the boy appeared to be consenting or even participating. With teens and pre-teens, many will not use the word rape- male or female if the victim appears to be willing or possibly enjoying the abuse. People might run to the aid of a child being held down and raped but turn a blind eye if an adult is simply having a relationship with an underage person. I reported a 22 year old co-worker who was dating a 13 year old girl. He was completely out in the open about the relationship. Police got involved and it turned out he'd been sleeping with her since she was 11. Many people knew but they didn't think it was their business.

    November 20, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denise

      Mouth agape! Whether the 22 yr old you knew was having a "consentual" relationship w/a 13 yr old (their "long" relationship beginning when she was 11) or not, it was still and always will be rape. An 11 yr old cannot reason and make the necessary determinations to say it is or is not okay for an adult to have a relationship with him/her. Period. This is not debatable. If that adult wanted to have a relationship w/that child, then he/she needs to be mature enough to wait until he/she is of legal age before beginning the relationship. I mean, after all, if it was meant to be, then waiting should not be a problem. I am disgusted by the story you tell, particularly in the authorities and parents involved for letting it continue uninterrupted. Thanks for at least trying to make a difference.

      November 20, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • Abresh

        Will it? The fact is that not EVERYONE agrees that is rape and many people are coming to the conclusion that we have made the s exual abuse and statutory rape laws way too strict and intervened too much in children and teenagers lives.

        November 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Pay Attention

    You're wrong, as a parent you are the FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE. I've been on sports teams, debate teams, in band, choir, drama, and student government. When I participated in these activities I was left in the care of my coaches, instructors, and teachers. As they were the head of those areas, it was THEIR responsibility to watch over and protect me while I was in their care. They were the NEXT LINE OF DEFENSE. The LAST LINE OF DEFENSE, in my opinion, are the laws that are set to protect us.

    I work with college students who live in residence halls (dorms) and have for 15 years. When parents drop their students off, they trust that they are leaving them in a safe enviornment with people who are going to look out for their sons or daughters well being. As a university official, it is my obligation and duty to protect my students to the best of my abilities.

    November 20, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  43. bob

    no it is not just the parents responcibility. it is the schools, the churches,the police, etc. the community and everybody that makes contact with your children. you cannot watch your child in day care, or school, but you , as a parent can take steps to educate your children against there type of people.

    November 20, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  44. ro

    Mr. Lemon,

    Thank you for posting your story which is allowing others to come out of the dark. I am a female and I was first molested by a female daycare worker at the age of 5. Unfortuanetly, she was not the last. I had so much shame behind these incidents even until my adulthood until I realized that it was not my fault. And that my past does not define me. It is important to remember that molestation has no gender and as you have pointed out so poignantly...Rape is Rape. I am a survivor! Thank you again.

    November 20, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Jared

    You make it sound as if the parents are somehow at fault here. A coach is a trusted position within a community and it is not out of the norm to occasionally leave your children in a coachs care. The only person responsible for any of this is the coach who is a sick in the head pedophile. Saying anything that takes some of the blame away from the coach is sick as well.

    November 20, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • ruth

      I have also wondered where were the parents in all this. I have two boys who are now teenagers and when they were younger, they weren't out of my sight for long periods of time. I didn't trust anyone and always instill in them that they always needed to tell me if anyone did anything bad to them. These kids come from troubled households which made them the perfect victims. Sandusky still thinks he did nothing wrong and he will get away with it. Hopefully, he won't last long in jail once convicted.

      November 20, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Anon4this

    Just as a case in point about rape occurs irrespective of gender; I was raped multiple times as a 13 year old boy by my mother. At that point she couldn't over power me physically, instead she threatened suicide if I didn't.

    Being intimidated and overwhelmed can happen to boys regardless of gender.

    November 20, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • gma0161

      Anon4this I am very sorry for what you went through. No one really wants to believe that someone's mother would do that. Mine did it and I am a girl. People are shocked when I tell my story. I wish you well.

      November 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • imsorry

      I'm so sorry 🙁
      Reading your story is heartbreaking. My mother is also emotionally abusive but never to that level. I can't imagine the horrors you went through. I hope you've cut her out of your life and are in therapy. Best of luck and good wishes.

      November 20, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anon4this

      Thanks for your kind thoughts. I should have added that my life wasn't destroyed. I eventually was able to forgive her albeit while keeping an extensive distance from her emotionally.

      Here i am 20 years Iater and I'm married to a great woman, have been successful at most things that have mattered to me, and generally satisfied with my life. The abuse shown to me did not define my actions or choices.

      November 21, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  47. KARAN

    Mr. Lemon:

    I am so sorry for the horrible molestation and rape you suffered as a child – you did nothing wrong – you were preyed upon by the absolutely worst of the worst predators – pedophiles.

    Count on this – if I had or if I ever do see a child being molested or raped, I will need to be peeled off the attacker with a razor blade. I would not hesitate to kill someone raping a child. I wish I had been able to stop your pain.

    God Bless.

    November 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  48. magilla

    Unless you're Bill Clinton, then it's a "Private Matter"

    November 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Amie Callaway

    I can say with absolute certainty I would have stepped in. You have to make that decision ahead of time, so when faced with a situation like this you don't do something you would regret. It is just not in me to walk away. I was abused and I could never allow it to happen to another human being. Its deplorable to have walked away from a crime being committed in front of you.

    November 20, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      So right! Thank You!

      November 20, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Kathy

    Don – I applaud your courage. Your behavior is exactly that of a "real man."

    November 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Lemon is absolutely correct.; gender is irrelevant with rape.

      November 20, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  51. bobby

    what the are you talking about? get off here and leave logical responses to the rest of us

    November 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  52. pazke

    And what exactly is his agenda?

    November 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  53. JFritz

    Don Lemon is an incredibly courageous man who is a beacon to everyone who has ever been touched by this ugly, ugly crime–male or female. One only wonders what could be your agenda in failing to see this? Sorry, either it's so hard to look at you'd rather put your head in the sand, or what??? Time to bring the shame of rape where it belongs–on the rapist.

    November 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  54. albendia

    Mr. Lemon:

    I agree with you, and as old as I am, I remember my brother molesting me and when I told, my mother hit me, and I approximately 7 years old. The main person is the focus, and he does not believed he did anything wrong. Even when you think someone does not know you are being abused, trust me, they do! It is not hard to not to observed, it is easy to ignore. I made sure when I had my children I did not let them out of my sight. I did not trust anyone, and that included family members. I made a vow and promise to my children that if anyone, including ministers, ever touch them or tell them that they will hurt me if they do not allow them to be rape, do not believe them, but they must believe I will seriously hurt them, and that was my promise!

    November 20, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • wren

      I am so sorry albendia for what happened to you. The subhumans that do this type of thing are monsters whether its a female or male child.

      November 20, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • ally

      I am glad you overcame it and have a family and kids and take better care of them then your mother did.
      Yes, as a mother, it is NORMAL not to trust to anyone (sometimes even the father or a brother of the child!!!)
      Kudos to you for protecting your kids against horrific crimes like these!

      November 20, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Naamah

    I think many people are in denial about the real problem within our cultural norms that allow this type of abuse to continue.

    First, when we know and love people who seem completely normal, we refuse to believe the worst about them. Think about your 2 best friends. If someone you did not know or trust very well accused them of raping a child you did not know, would you believe that stranger over your friend? Most of you will say yes, but in reality if the situation occured you would have serious doubts, because you would not be able to accept you loved and trusted a monster capable of raping a child. You would take the implication that you were a friend of someone like that personally. For example, my ex-husband was horribly abusive, and when I finally got the courage to tell our friend group (mostly friends I went to HS with), they turned their back on me because they could not believe a guy they were friends with and liked could be capable of being abusive.

    Likewise, I truly doubt anyone in the Sandusky thought they were protecting a pedophile.
    Some probably thought they were protecting an upstanding citizen from false allegation OR protecting Sandusky's family. This is generally why these things go unreported.

    One of my friends was molested by a family member. She is now a social worker. Her molester was a relative, and the family discouraged her from ever reporting the incident. Even though she has taken the kids of strangers out of abusive homes, she still abides her kids being in the same room with her molester for fear of causing family problems; she does however watch here children like a hawk when the man that violated her is there. Of course, she abhores molestors and rapists, but she abides her own. This is NOT uncommon.

    There is a similar incident in my family. My uncle attempted to molest my mother and did molest one of my aunts. No one believed my aunt when she was 10 yr old, and now everyone in the family knows about it except the branch of the family he was married into. Why was nothing ever done? Because it would cause problems with their sister. Her husband, the pedophile, was a preacher! People often don't report molestation because it is usally a relative or close friend, and the embarassment along with all of the innocent people that will be dragged into the situation seem like a large cost. No one wants to be known as a former friend, former wife, or relative of a pedophile.

    Reporting child abuse forces people to deal with several uncomfortable realities. The victim is often embarrassed, and is especially unwilling to go after justice if no one belives them or if they are warned of how many people they will hurt. Others in the know often feel like if the victim doesn't want to come forward it is their right to remain quiet, and they don't want the embarassment of association.

    Child abuse is horrible, but most of us don't know how to deal with our own emotional baggage when the pedophile is someone in held in high regard within our social circle. Things need to change. But really it starts with "US" just as much as it starts with "THEM", because many of us probably know of some injustice that we haven't reported, either because it was old or none of our buisness.

    November 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Freygunnr

    It is NO ONE'S fault BUT the pedophile's. It is not the fault of the child, parent, lack of parent, organization, place, or time. Looking for fault anywhere else other than the pederast, is defending the criminal. Period.

    November 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • pazke

      That is true. However, anyone who witnessed or otherwise had knowledge that the abuse occurred should also be held responsible for failing to act.

      November 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Everything in Moderation

    The problem with this article is that the writer believes that female rape victims are treated well, believed or given the justice they deserve as victims. That's patently untrue.

    I don't want to detract from how horrible it is when a boy is raped. Nor would I take away from male victims the additional stigma some very small-minded people who think that they wanted/asked for it.

    Girls get that too. Girls are often completely ignored as victims. They are often accused of asking for it. The whole idea of the lolita character is based on this skewed belief that the little girl is to blame for what the man did to her.

    November 20, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • albendia

      I agree. Rape in all genders is not an exception, it is simply rape. At 53 years of age, it has always been males and females as rape victims.

      November 20, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • JFritz

      This is not, nor should be, a contest to see who is the biggest victim. Male/Female: we should be united in bringing this horrible crime into the light of day and placing the shame where it belongs, on the rapist.

      November 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • ra

      You have a good point. I am female, and I can say for certainty that women and girls have been treated horribly when raped and they still are. I missed that part of the story.

      November 20, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tankeryanker

      Girls are going to be poked sometime anyway where as boys never should get poked. Some say that is why boy and girl rape is treated differently.

      November 20, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tammie

      I am a survivor, too, of rapes and other forms of abuse, and people's responses varied a lot but most were not good. The worst was the police officer who accused me of trying to cover up an affair by saying I was raped. So, I do understand all too well that females are often treated terribly after being raped.

      However, I did not take this article the way that you did at all. I do believe that it is even more stigmatized when the victim is a male, and as the article pointed out, in Pennsylvania, the law actually distinguishes between the two, as well. That is so incredibly wrong!

      I commend Don Lemon for writing and speaking out about this. I also think that the more people speak out about rape, whether the victim is male or female, the less shame will be attached to being a survivor.

      November 21, 2011 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  58. Yeahthattoo

    What I think we should also keep in mind is that Sandusky stands accused. He has not been convicted of anything just yet. What we have so far is either a person who has demonstrated an incredibly weak will, for whatever reason, ten years ago, or a liar who accuses Sandusky. Something like that happening to child is monstrous, but by taking potentially inappropriate conduct, such as his showering with the kids that he couches, and marking that as completely indicative of his being guilty of what he is accused is foolish...I think. I have seen a few inappropriate that would have landed teachers and couches in trouble, and I would not ever suspect these people of doing anything that would harm a child emotionally or physically. I really do appreciate this article. I think that it is definitely something that needs to open up more because there are many boys being damaged and overlooker because there is a social conception of boys being able to move beyond traumas more completely than girls or that this kind of thing just does not happen.
    We also do not need to support the idea of one parent households either. Noone can do it alone unless they are quite wealthy, or live in some kind of secluded and well furnished situation. And if they are wealthy they are PAYING someone to help them. By and large people who are "doing it alone" successfully have the help of their extended family in some very meaningful way and, in my opinion, are not doing it alone and are being quite self glorifying. It is for the safety of a child for parents to have a safety net of people to help prevent this kind of stuff.

    November 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • mcoles49

      How much more evidence do you need? Im sick of people saying this guy is innocent until proven guilty and Im a legal student. Grand jury statements are made under oath. This isnt one child we are talking about its 8! I suppose they could have all conspired together to share very similar experiences with this sicko to sue Penn State and get Sandusky thrown in jail. Please the guy is guilty as charged. Disgusting waster of human space...

      November 20, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • appapo

        "I'm a legal student"? I suppose you mean a LAW student. My God! Reading your comment, I just wish you luck in your studies; you'll need it.

        November 20, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • ruth

      Sometimes a person is just guilty. Read the grand jury report, what this man did to this kids was absolutely disgusting and he was able to get away with it for so many years which in itself is also inexcusable. Penn State and the "hero" Joe Paterno allowed this man to pray on children for years. They didn't want to bring any scandal to their precious football program. They sacrificed these children in order to protect themselves but they knew that one day the truth would come out.

      November 20, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Getaclue

      What I think we should also keep in mind is that Sandusky stands accused.

      Have you READ the grand jury report. It is all there in black in white an eye witness account of the rape of a 10 year old boy

      November 20, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  59. onceachild

    I can't understand how the man who walked in on this scene didn't rush to rescue that boy and the proceed to pound on that disgusting man! I don't care if it was my own grandfather, father, husband, or brother, I would do rescue that child and then proceed to whip on the guy. And then I would all the police. I've come across much less drastic but still serious situations and stepped in. Someone has to.

    November 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Everything in Moderation

      "If I were there it would have been completely different!" you and I can only hope this. You cannot say for sure that you would react as a hero in every situation (because it takes only one in a string of time when a person "should have" been physical where they didn't). This man did ensure the rape ended—I'm guessing by yelling something—then reported it to his superiors AND the police.
      He's not superman, but he's not some ignoramus loafer, either. YOU are not superman. I am not superman. NOBODY should be condemning the actions of a person who DID report abuse, however he managed to do it.

      November 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Freygunnr

        I disagree entirely. To stand by and do nothing is to be complicit in the crime. History is rife with such stories from Germany to Rowanda. CNN tells the stories over and over: a toddler run over in China as people walk around her body, children raped for over a decade and parent knew, educators knew, the police knew the DISTRICT ATOURNEY knew! Every person who failed to act/report was complicit in the crimes and deserves condemnation and shunning. Every one who had a duty to act/report should be fired and prosecuted for failure to do their duty.

        November 20, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • albendia

        As a Child Welfare Advocate, Therapist, Counselor, this is only one view of many. I cannot tell you how many times removing a child out of predators exists, the physical and mental damage that it causes. I just believed this is an area we must continue to address and parents, family, and all that care, please observe and contact the Child Abuse Hotline. This is the point. Contacting the Child Abuse Hotline if you don't want to give your name!

        November 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emmaleah

      Because we are raising young men to believe that consent is a grey area, that power negates consent, and that real men don't take no for an answer.

      McQueary didn't act because, on some level, he didn't think Sandusky was doing anything wrong—or at least that Sandusky had enough power to make what he was doing right. When we don't educate people about the absolutes of consent and personal autonomy, we teach them that everything is up for grabs.

      November 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • MR

        Excellent comment! Please keep posting this perspective wherever you see stories about rape and/or child abuse.

        November 20, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • JFritz

        I agree, excellent comment. For all the smug, "I would have stopped it" folks–ever REALLY been in a locker room? Abuse of all kinds is second nature in many of them. Coaches often degrade boys in the name of making them men. And often teach them to degrade each other. In our lovely, suburban high school, baseball players were encouraged to call each other f...s if they ate a salad for lunch! And that was in the lunchroom. Can you imagine what the locker room was like. It took me one week to pull my kid out of there after being told how the coach ignored scenes of simulated s-x from older to younger players. No sport was worth teaching my son to be an animal. It's time to take a good, hard look at what sports really teaches boys about manhood today. Time to stop fearing and revering the bully-boy coaches.

        November 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandi

      Exactly! I would have first proceeded to administer a good swift kick up the "you know where" to Mr. Sandusky, which would have stopped him dead in his tracks.

      November 20, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ireporttwo

      Prey not pray. Just had to correct since he definitely wasn't doing any praying. Thanks

      November 20, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  60. unowhoitsme

    How about when a WOMAN rapes teenaged boys? The judge releases her of the crime on "good behavior'. That's what my former wife did and got away with for 15 years, unbeknownst to me. Karma got up with her, and she was killed in a car accident. She was sorry for nothing, never apologizing to anyone. She should have been put in prison, but because she was a woman, she got away with raping several kids. Our judicial system fails our kids.

    November 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  61. DS

    Mr. Lemon,

    Very good article. Raping boys is just that, raping boys. Unfortunately, the conduct of some priests, other reliigous leaders, coaches, Boy Scout leaders, and older youths have destroyed the innocence of too many young boys who unfortunately, may carry the scars to their death beds.

    I wish I had a solution to this sad epidemic. A start might be to stop subsidizing the lifestyle of women who choose to have babies without a commitment from the "baby daddy". In general nobody looks out for a son like a father. This recommendation is not a cure all just a possible strike at one of the many root causes.

    November 20, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Confused

      So you would remove what protections a child without a father has because the child doesn't have a father? That won't make more children have fathers, it will just mean that they're less likely to be taken care of and more likely to be abused.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • chars

      This has nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to d with the woman being unmarried. SHAME on you. MEN rape children regardles of whether there is a dad or no.Hold the male responsible not the women. Sheesh!

      November 20, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • DS

        Perverts do rape boys whether they have zero, one or two living parents. It is tragic for kids to grow up without one or even worse two of their parents. Two parents are more likely to be able to protect their children than one. Unfortunately, some kids are forced to grow up without one or more parents due to the death of one of them.

        However, when a woman consciously decides to raise her child alone without a commitment from the baby daddy, she is increasing the odds that her child will be at risk.

        Maybe some day we will learn what percentage of raped boys had involved dads relative to the percentage of boys that are not raped. The Second Mile foundation was a feeder to Sandusky. How many of the at risk boys participating in Second Mile were raised by unwed moms?

        The perpetrator is the rapist. Society has an obligation to prosecute the rapists. Society does not have an obligation to subsidize the lifestyle of women who choose to have babies merely to get state funds without working for a living and without having to deal with ups and downs of a commited relationship. In fact to the extent that society encourages unwed pregnancies by forcing either the state or the "deadbeat uninvolved baby daddy" to foor the bill - there will continue to be more and more boys placed at risk.

        As I wrote before this is only one part of the puzzle. Of course there are boys who are raped that do have involved dads, but if you have to wait for a scientific study to prove that involved dads reduce the risks, you are in denial.

        November 20, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • What

        MEN don't rape children, monsters rape children. Get a grip.

        November 20, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Carla

        @WHAT – since it is impossible to differentiate between "real" men and other men who apparently have the equipment, you will just have to deal with the generalization that men can rape children as well as women. If you have never been a victim, you do not realize how lucky you are. If you have, as most people venturing an opinion here as well as myself, it is what it is and it really does not matter who did what to whom. It is a lifelong endeavor to try to heal from this and I, for one, can honestly say that I am still skewed. This will be with me forever!

        November 24, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • pazke

      "in general, nobody looks after a son like a father". Yea, try messing with my son and see what happens. - a mother.

      November 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • two to make one

      I agree with Chars, the "men" a.k.a "baby daddies" who f–k and chuck women and then run away should be punished severely when they do that. I agree that society definitely should not be funding parenthood for those who are unable to parent on their own but the idea of heaping all responsibility on the woman demonstrates part of the gender skew the author is talking about. It takes two to make a baby. We need to make it very unattractive for BOTH people being irresponsible to curb this kind of behavior from happening. Shame on you D.S.

      November 20, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tankeryanker

      Somewhere along the line, some ones father is guilty of showing domestic violence to his son who showed it to his son etc... So no, having a dad around is not always the best thing to do.

      November 20, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • What

        It's not NORMAL to not trust the father of your child, unless he has given you a reason. That's unbelievable you feel that way. Ive seen so many instances where it's a bad idea to have the mother around

        November 20, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Overprotective Mama

    This is so sad! I hope people really pay attention and protect their kids. Don't put them in unsafe situations. If you aren't able to watch them keep them in a safe place. NO co-sleeping with other people, etc. Never can be too careful with your babies!

    November 20, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Shirley Good

    It just breaks my heart for the things little boys and little girls have to go through. I have often wondered what kind of monsters do this. I know without a doubt that if I would have witnessed what was happening to that little guy I would have stopped it even if I had to find something to hit the abuser with. I just hope the little one's get all the help they need.

    November 20, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  64. myview

    Thank you, Don for writing this powerful and heart felt plea. I admire your courage to speak up on behalf of eight little boys/young men now. Much appreciated.

    November 20, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Overprotective Mama

      I second that! Very brave and selfless. Sharing your story will help so many and open the eyes of those who need it. Thank you!

      November 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  65. deb johnstone

    I understand from a news report that McQueary's family were friends with Sandusky and his wife and kids. So if McQueary as a child hung out with Sandusky's kids, it is pausible that Sandusky violated McQueary. This may shed some light on McQueary's unforgiving behavior of not protecting the child and calling the authorities. McQQueary may be a Sandusky victim too.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Qpid

      Victim or Procurer ??

      November 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jakey

        Come on. It would make a lot more sense if he were a former victim already scared into silence than if he suddenly decided "hey, I'm going to help this guy rape kids for no reason!"

        November 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • Qpid

        The other side is that as a victim he possibly helped in procuring and then had a change of heart. If he had gone to the police initially he could have been charged with procurement, but he went to his superiors, telling them of what he saw minimizing his role.

        November 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Everything in Moderation

        maligning the name of anybody who is associated with the perpetrator is both unfair and distracting, not to mention, you had to pull it out of the air. There is NOTHING that points to McQueary other than your paranoia.

        November 20, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Qpid

        Paranoia?? Do you know the meaning of paranoia?? If he had the wits to tell his superiors which he had to locate, why could he not call 911, from the school, from his cell, from home???

        November 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Everything in Moderation

        Qpid, there is NO reason to accuse a man who DID report an incident, other than somebody seeing villains all around them, hence the accusation of paranoia.

        You have no reason at all to malign McQueary, to accuse him of being part of a pedophile attack. That's a horrible thing to say about somebody. Unless you have an actual reason for it, you should be ashamed of having done so.

        And your only reason? He should have done more, acted sooner, called somebody different. Any of those add up to something sleazy like pedophilia? no. Not to a reasonable person.

        I'm not happy with the people condemning him for not being a burly hero, but I'm completely disgusted with you for calling him a "procurer."

        November 20, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Everything in Moderation

      "unforgiving" you mean unforgivable, but I'm betting you've never been caught in that crisis yourself to make you a good enough judge of what that young man's reaction was. He did what was in his power to do. I'm sorry it does not live up to your imagined response, but reality is a lot stickier and a lot more stressful than dreams.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pay Attention

        You are seriously delusional or stupid, I can't figure it out. McCeaury did NOTHING. Let me say this again NOTHING!!!! He admitted to doing NOTHING but calling his dad and reporting it to Paterno who reported it to the athletic director and vice president. He stood there, by his own admission for 35-45 seconds. How about you stop right now and look at something for 35-45 seconds and tell me how much time that really is..........it's a LONG TIME to stare and watch a child being raped and do NOTHING to stop it or at the least call the police. He DID NOT EVEN CALL THE POLICE, he called his FATHER. What the heck was his father going to do? He was in his mid twenties at the time, he know's the difference between right and wrong, or he should anyway.

        Not stopping Sandusky was wrong, but not calling the police and reporting it, that was worse. He is a poor excuse of a human being and frankly, so are you for defending him.

        November 20, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Corvus1

    Anyone who thinks female rape victims are treated "better" than male rape victims is sorely deluded. Rape victims one and all are shunned and blamed by the public while the rapists receive excuses, support, even praise.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jakey

      Couldn't agree more. Appalling treatment of female rape victims and appalling treatment of male rape victims are two sides of the same misogynistic coin, unfortunately.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christina

      So true. This was a brave piece of writing and said a lot of things that needed to be said. However– while male rape victims indeed do have a stigma that they can't/shouldn't be able to be raped, female victims also have a stigma that they were somehow "asking for it" or flat out disbelieved. And they also get derision if public opinion rules that she didn't fight back hard enough. So I don't think either gender has it worse when it comes to this horrific crime. But PA law needs to fix this glaring oversight– rape is rape, male or female. Let's call a spade a spade.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Qpid


    November 20, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yeahthattoo

      What I think we should also keep in mind is that Sandusky stands accused. He has not been convicted of anything just yet. What we have so far is either a person who has demonstrated an incredibly weak will, for whatever reason, ten years ago, or a liar who accuses Sandusky. Something like that happening to child is monstrous, but by taking potentially inappropriate conduct, such as his showering with the kids that he couches, and marking that as completely indicative of his being guilty of what he is accused is foolish...I think. I have seen a few inappropriate that would have landed teachers and couches in trouble, and I would not ever suspect these people of doing anything that would harm a child emotionally or physically. I really do appreciate this article. I think that it is definitely something that needs to open up more because there are many boys being damaged and overlooker because there is a social conception of boys being able to move beyond traumas more completely than girls or that this kind of thing just does not happen.
      We also do not need to support the idea of one parent households either. Noone can do it alone unless they are quite wealthy, or live in some kind of secluded and well furnished situation. And if they are wealthy they are PAYING someone to help them. By and large people who are "doing it alone" successfully have the help of their extended family in some very meaningful way and, in my opinion, are not doing it alone and are being quite self glorifying. It is for the safety of a child for parents to have a safety net of people to help prevent this kind of stuff.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • BMcG0256

        Read the Grand Jury report. There are multiple eyewitnesses, multiple victims, and at least one, I think two, high schools banned Sandusky from the campuses for inappropriate conduct. There is a lot of evidence.

        November 20, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      In part, because we don't know whether he reported it to the police or not. Everything that is not is a very biased grand jury presentment is pure speculation by the news media and millions of people who think they know what happened but really have no facts. We do know that he reported it to Gary Schulz who had supervisory authority over the police department. I think McQueary could reasonably conclude that by doing so, he had reported it to the police.

      I am not defending McQueary or anyone else with this post – only pointing out that many conclusions have been drawn – often in all capital letters – with no facts at all to back them up.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pay Attention

        I work at a university, I've worked at 5 universities over the past 15 years. In these 15 years I've worked very closely with the university police departments. There is a HUGE difference between talking to the vice president and talking to the Chief of the police department or any officer for that matter. A verbal report is not official, nothing is official for university police unless they have an official report. And I can guarantee you that EVERY employee of the university, whether they are student staff or professonal staff, know that difference.

        And yes, we do know that he did not call the police, he admitted to not calling the police and only calling his father. Trust me as someone who knows the university system, if he had done an official WRITTEN report with university police, it would be on file, in record, and we would not be having this conversation, PERIOD.

        November 20, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Everything in Moderation

      Exactly, Steve (about the capitals, too. Yikes!)

      Keyboard heroes have a whole lot to say about how somebody else should have acted in a situation they were never in.

      November 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ένα πρόσωπο που εξόργισε

      OK Qpid, picture this, you walk into a room, in this room is the naked, defiled, and abused body of a raped child girl or boy it doesnt matter, the very first thing you do, that the majority of people do is to STARE, you don't immediatly leap to their aid to see if they're ok or even still alive. You stare in disbelief and even though you're horrified by what's been done, but on some level you're not thinking of them at all, one of the first things that go through your head is terror that whoever raped that person is still around and will do the same to you. Now imagine you walk in on someone raping a child, you see what happened, how the child is in pain, how they're terrified, and in most cases shame, and you don't immediatly leap to the childs age because on some level you're scared that if you step in and stop it it'll be you there instead. So when someone sees a child/person raped the fact that they're able to tell someone what they saw is still an act of bravery.

      November 20, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pay Attention

        So what you're saying is people are so self absorbed that they can't stop to help a child because they are too afraid of what might happen to themselves? WOW....you should never have children or ever be around them.

        November 20, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Kirstie

    I agree with this. Rape is Rape. We will never be able to change attidues until it is understood that wheather it's touching or penatration is going on this is rape. It is not welcomed and if a child under age or if they give consent. AKA Mary K Laterneau. Kids are to young to understand the emotional damage that can be done. It doesn't matter if it is a man or woman that does the rape. I in grained in my son that NO ONE had the right to touch him. He HAS THE RIGHT to tell someone. I let him know that grandpa, grandma, teachers, police, a frined of the family it didn't matter. NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT to touch him. Teach this to your kids when they are young. Let them know it's ok go say something. The more people speak out about this the more we can bring creeps like this to justice. Remember men and women rape children. Don't think it's just a man that rapes. Washington state has one of the worst womens pedifiles in prision. She admits to it and fears that she will re-offend if released. So I'm thankful for an article like this but I believe the Sandusky victims are brave and should be commended for coming forward. I think as this case goes forward we will learn more and hopefully more victims will be encourage to come forward if a rape happens to them.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Blank2

    I am all male and was raped, too, by a well known Doctor (heart specialist) who was "well respected" by much of the local police force for about a year. He took care of the police for all their medical needs and they took care of his perversion by "looking the other way". The abuse has got to stop!

    November 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  70. blank

    I was molested and my life threatened by a boyfriend when I was in college...I was so full of fear that I told only one person, my religious leader at the time. I was told I was to blame for tempting my boyfriend and for not trying harder to get away. I lived with fear and guilt for years, and I still suffer from depression and horrible social anxiety. I am a woman...Admitting you are a victim is such a painful experience, no matter what the gender. People have no idea how much strength it takes to admit that these horrible things have happened to the victim. Thank you for sharing, Don.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leslie B.

      Dear blank: Please, PLEASE tell that you have gotten help since, from someone who know what they are talking about. And while I am by no means condemning all religious leaders as idiots, please tell me that you go out of that church and possibly even found the courage to go to a REAL Christian leader for help and counseling. I can certainly understand if you did not/do not want to do this, but please be assured that this "person of God" was no such thing. I am so very sorry for what happened to you and then being blamed for it.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • blank

        I tried to get help...years later....but the counselor I went to insisted on hugging me after every session and I just shut down...I am on meds to help me with depression and anxiety, and suicidal thoughts...but for the most part I just forge ahead one day, one moment at a time.

        November 20, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • kc

      blank, please don't give up. know that it was not your fault. know that even hugs are not ok if you don't want them and that you have the right to say, who, how, and how long any one touches your body (if at all) and if someone disregards that, THEY are in the wrong. Not you. No matter what kind of touch it is. Please continue to try to get help. I know it is painful, and there are a lot of subpar counselors, but there are also a lot of good support groups out there full of people who have been through it. Don't give up. Ever. You are a worthy person.

      November 21, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  71. April Craigie

    What happened to that little boy happens all too often. I can't even imagine what he will have to go through for the rest of his life. This world needs more people like you to come forward and tell your story so that one day we can get these disgusting molesters of the streets. That man was probably an idol to so many young boys and all he did was take the innocence of that little boy and maybe others. I am shocked that the law on rape has not changed. Rape is rape. Thank you for your story and I applaud what you are doing to help boys all around the world.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Minerva

    Don, Thank you for your courage in speaking up. When people see a handsome, successful man, in a prominent and public role in society, like yourself, they will finally realize that rape crosses all genders and all social strata. Maybe this will lead people and politicians to action. It must be all the more scary being in the public eye as a news anchor, but your message on CNN video and book, is all the more powerful for it. I applaud your personal courage and commitment to the cause of exposing rape for what it is: an act of violence against the most vulnerable. Kudos to you and CNN!

    November 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  73. 10 year old boy's Mom

    Don, thank you for sharing your story. I can tell you that as mother to a 10 year old boy, I was absolutely heart sick to learn someone would turn and walk away distraught over what he had just witnessed. I think I would have bashed the guys skull in, helped the kid and then called the police. My 10 year old little boy is totally excited by his toys, playing with his sister and their friends...and that fact that Santa is coming next month. It totally sucks that anyone would ever hurt a child or destroy their innocence.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Paul

    Unfortunately the SAME THING would have happened if it was a little girl. The desire to not cause waves because it threaten one's own station in life supercedes the humane thing to discern between right and wrong.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Audra

    Don, I just wanted to applaud you for tackling these important issues with such honesty and transperancy. I agree with you 100% and wish we had more people in the public eye like you. I can only imagine how difficult it is to share your story and commend you as I am sure it is helping an untold number of survivors as well as bringing awareness to save other children from being abused in the most vile ways. Great job!

    November 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  76. When Men Speak out Against Rape, Something Will Get Done

    I still believe that when men speak out against rape, something will get done. I don't believe much will get done until then.

    I am really glad to hear that you survived and are actually doing well (if that's true and not just on the outside. sometimes that's when we decide to look at it...when we are doing well and it doesn't have the grip on us as it does when we are struggling. but then you can go into a downward spiral (grieving process) when you finally realize how much of your life it really did get. hopefully, it won't happen to you).

    i still struggle with questions like why? why me? why three? (in my case) and then learned about my brothers case about 40 years later and it just brings up more questions. i doubt we will get actual answers from them. i doubt they know. so...those are still unanswered for me. i might have some. enough to get it to settle down and leave me alone anyway.

    November 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Sounds like you need more therapy...or a different therapist...or peer support. Something. Because letting go of questions like "why me?" is ESSENTIAL to recovery, and you apparently haven't done it in more than 40 years. Letting go of these pointless questions...and, yes, they are pointless...is part of letting go of the guilt, part of letting go of the belief that you were somehow responsible for this happening to you.

      But the truth is that you were NOT responsible. And you were NOT all-powerful. The truth is that you had NO control over your rapist. After all, if you *had* control, he wouldn't have raped you...therefore you had no control.

      Accept that fact...accept that you have absolutely no control over what other people do...and become free to move on. It's the guilt that's holding you back, and the only person making you feel guilty...is you.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • 123deanna

        Perhaps its the way you've written your reply but, it comes across so harsh...like ...get with it man, its not you, its him, how dare you keep walking around feeling guilt! Its simply not that easy, it isn't. Your harsness in your reply comes across very abusive and I wonder why....I too was raped as a child beginning around 5 or 6, so were two of my sisters, two of my neices, and he is still abusing, now its his own grandchildren...yes the rapist is my own brother! Do I wish he were in jail, absolutely. But, he isn't and probably will never go to jail. He's now 78 yrs old, his wife divorced him, but took him back recently...I'm sure he told her he would stop raping....yeah right. Men have it worse, woman take in, men don't..You're right in saying its a control issue but, one wonders why this sicko has to have control, after all he appeared to be thee 'king of Penn State, look at all the $ he brought to the school, my guess is he also brought a lot of little boys to the facility and others as well. Penn State do NOT want investigators to investigate them. Of course not, they will reveil they too were involved in 'towel whipping' little boys. It breaks my heart, here are young little boys already being dumped and dissappointed by their family, and then once again abused by this pedophile..bez that's what he is!! He needs to be in jail NOW, instead he's free to rape yet another little boy.

        November 20, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leslie B.

      I couldn't agree more: until MEN speak out, not much will change.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • Null

        You're using these boys' tragedy as an excuse to slander all males? Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you?

        November 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • Cecilia

        to Null – no one is using this tragedy to slam all men – your statement is the exact reason why men need to speak out against rape. Most men are not rapist – so the ones who are not need to step up and speak out for that very reason. Innocent men suffer from the accusations of rape also. stop being defensive although it is understandable and get on board with educating the pubic about what rape is and who the rapist are

        November 20, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • Null

        Responding to bigotry is not being defensive. Saying men need to stop a particular behavior implies that men, as a birth group, are a monolith that actually have the power to so, and that when they do not, they are all therefore in some degree complicit in and responsible for the crime.

        This is patently untrue, of course, but it breeds the notion that a birthgroup of people are responsible for the actions of a few. The logical end to this argument is thus that these boys, who were probably victims of rape, are or will become, when they reach 18, complicit in the crimes against them and other boys.

        Why do I have to point out that this is counterproductive and wrong?

        November 20, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Martin

        Couldn't agree more. As a man, I know that (unfortunately) my voice tends to count for more in this partriarchical country. Men make up the majority of our lawmakers who dictate what is deemed right or wrong and just how right or wrong in our society. When the group in power takes responsibility, things start to change.

        November 20, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • why

      This is actually a question for 123deanna. Why if you know this about your brother is he still free? If what you say is true about him you should be doing everything you can to protect the victims and potential victims around him. You need to report him asap! Like right now.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  77. Ursus

    I agree with Don, rape is rape and no means NO!!!!! Taking advantage of a child makes it even worse. If you look beneth the covers though, in most cases you will find that the criminal was abused also as a child. Thankl you Don for sharing your story with us

    November 20, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Keith

    My past understanding of rape was that it included violence against the victim. I do understand the mental damage and emotional damage caused by the act, but I also think that ageism in the sense of automatically defining an age limit is wrong. A person can be seduced or psychologically manipulated at any age and that resulting emotional and mental damange is just as violent as physical pain. A problem legally exists with how we treat those that are not mentally stable, or are mentally challenged to the point of not being able to discern the actions against them by another person committing the crime. I think TV shows have addressed this especially L&O:SVU. But many don't understand that an vulnerable or challenged person who can't understand a crime can still be a victim of a crime. Also by this understanding, there should not be a statute of limitations on this sort of crime.

    November 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • When Men Speak out Against Rape, Something Will Get Done

      i don't believe in age limits. i think that's just one more road block put in the way of victims so someone that was wealthy/powerful enough to make laws could get away with it (probably schools, and evidently churches also).

      November 20, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Kevin

    There needs to be more resources for pedophiles to get the help they need. We need to diagnose it as a mental disorder so they won't be as ashamed to admit they are pedophiles and they can get help before they rape a child. There is an assumption that all pedophiles are child rapists and that stereotype and stigma is what keeps these pedophiles from facing their problems and getting help. As for the ones that do rape children,they are not bad people for raping children(because its part of their sickness), they are bad people for not getting the help they needed which could have prevented them from raping children.

    November 20, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bad People Do Bad Things

      Being a pedophile does not mean that you have to act on those desires. I'm sure that for every child rapist, there are probably 20 pedophiles who will not carry out their fantasies because they really DO care about children, and know the damage it would cause the children. This type of pedophile is simply sick, and not bad.

      But from all appearances, Jerry Sandusky is the type of pedophile that puts his own selfish interests above the lives of his victims. This kind of pedophile is EVIL.

      Maybe you're right. We shouldn't judge them all by the same standard.

      November 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • T3chsupport

      They ARE bad people for raping children. Any good they may have done in their lives is wiped away when they do that to anyone, much less a defenseless child. Bad. People. Forever.

      I agree that there needs to be treatment for those who are afraid they might act. It IS a sickness, but as was mentioned, not everyone with the urge will act on it. Those who do need to be made a HUGE example of, and removed from society.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Now you take notice

    It annoys me that so many people are up in ARMS now!!! This whole thing is sad, but it makes me angry is that many, many, many women and girls get raped or trafficked all the time to staggering numbers. Where is the outrage for those unheard voices. I only seem to hear half the world population: the male gender chime in when it's their gender affected or their sports icon doing the violations: otherwise men – a blind eye is turned. All College rapes should be reported and acted on despite if it it a coach raping a boy child, or thousands of women co-ed's getting raped on that same campus and then tens of thousands more women that are raped accross the US on other campuses. Perspective. When you act- please also include support for the 91% : The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (1999) estimated that 91% of United States rape victims were female and 9% were male, with 99% of the offenders being male and 1% of the offenders being female.

    November 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • jaybee

      post of the month

      November 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jakey

      Well put.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • T3chsupport

      Wasn't CNN's last big campaign about trafficking and slavery? The voices are there, don't let the shiny object take your attention from what's already been mentioned. Just because people talk about one thing doesn't mean they necessarily forget about what they JUST talked about... or maybe they do.

      November 20, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • What

      So the 9% of rape victims that were men aren't important. You're sick.

      November 20, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Katie

    I agree that the law should be changed, but I disagree that people would have intervened earlier or been more outraged had the victims been female. Female victims, even ones as young as Sandusky's male victims, are often victim-blamed. Most likely people would have claimed that they had "seduced" him or dressed provocatively or looked older than they actually were. I think people are actually more horrified by the victims being male because in their eyes it adds a more "deviant" aspect to the behavior, whereas they could dismiss it more easily had the victims been female.

    November 20, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pay Attention

      I disagree. I think had McQueary walked in and saw Sandusky raping a 10-year-old little girl, he would have charged that man and beat the he!! out of him.

      As for your comment about people potentially blaming the little girl for dressing too provactively, only simple minded people who think the way a person dresses determines whether or not they are "asking" to be raped. I don't care if a woman, man, boy, or girl is walking down the street butt naked, no one has the right to touch, rape, or harm that person in anyway. Everyone has free will and everyone is responsible for their own actions and decisions, no one can make a person do anything, period!

      November 20, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  82. cathy

    If it sounds like a duck, walks like a duck and looks like a duck than its a duck. Rape is rape. Doesnt matter the victims gender, color or even age. No means no and rape is rape even when the victim can't or won't speak for himself/herself.

    November 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  83. LM

    Don, I was watching you when you said on live TV that you had been abused. You had been interviewing a young man who had been abused by a pastor at a megachurch in Atlanta. I will never forget it. I believe you shocked yourself by saying it out loud. I cried. I'm a survivor, too. When you said it out loud, on national tv, you took so much stigma out of it. A million thank yous. I didn't tell anyone until I was 31 yrs old. We must do more to protect our children. We have to keep them safe. Again, thank you Don. You have helped me to be brave.

    November 20, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cecilia

      Don may have open the door for you, but the courage is yours. the best of everything to you in your courage to heal

      November 20, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Darren

    Thank U...Thank U...Thank U...Don...u r a beacon of hope and change that is needed in this country and around the globe...and yes Rape is Rape

    November 20, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  85. general question

    are they raping something they hate? for example, white males raping women, mexican guys raping white kids, white guys raping black kids. is there some idealization that they are "over" someone? is that patriarchy thing there again? when boys are taught that men are over women and children and even other men if they are different than themselves. are they choosing targets that they want "power" over? my therapist said its something about power, but i didn't really understand that part. what do they mean?

    November 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  86. armymom

    Thank you Don for sharing your story.about a yr ago my son whom is serving in the army told us that for many yrs he was RAPED(this is what it is!)by a man that was very well known to our family.my son was NOT able to tell us face to face,he sent me a message thru facebook..I WAS DEVASTATED.i also have 2 daughters whom i thought would be a target of such monsters...HE WAS BRAVE AND I KNOW IT WAS SO PAINFUL TO SHARE.but his healing has begun.I can only hope laws are changed and FAST.It is FAR harder for a young man or boy to come forward with their story.its time for this to change we need to EMBRACE them and listen carefully to these young men.their stories need to be heard.....IT IS RAPE..PLAIN&SIMPLE...THANK YOU DON...WE LUV YOU!!!

    November 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Simon

    Don. For many years I worked with him on a show called Criminal Minds. During these years I learnt so much about crimes against children and the people who commit those crimes and societies reaction to them.

    In the UK I attended an all boys boarding school where these kinds of acts often occurred, sometimes carried out by the teachers themselves. I know of a few boys that were raped, one in particular who was one of the toughest kids I have ever met, yet when he spoke of the rape, it terrified him. I seem to remember they'd always refer to these acts of rape as sodomy. I'd have to stop and ask, what does sodomy mean. I know what rape means. But that happens to women.

    I watched one of the defense lawyers on CNN talking proudly about how he blew apart, on the stand, every one of the prosocutions witnesses. How we can not jump to conclusions and believe what we are hearing. So we don't believe and our children remain silent. It is up to us all to except our own failings and realize that calling rape anything less than rape only further victimizes the child.

    November 20, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  88. TC

    Hard words to say, important to hear. Thank you for this, Don.

    November 20, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Aunie

    Don- Because of your braverly, more male victims will undoubtedly come forward. Thank you Don. And never stop fighting for justice.

    November 20, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  90. oh...i see..now. thx.

    I'm with ya. I also don't think people should be able to take kids out of schools and such without their knowing about it. I believe that my brother was. The guy raped my brother for many years. Starting when he was about nine. I agree. They are babies. Nine and ten year olds are just the sweetest, most tender hearted age. RAPE? that's too cruel to be real, but it is real. Yes, there really are weird people in the world. And we have met them. I'm sorry for your case, and I'm glad that you can strp forward.and I'm glad that you can talk about it and report it. THANK YOU!!!

    November 20, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  91. ladyalchemist

    Oh, I forgot to say the most important think Don. HOW BRAVE OF YOU!!! BRAVO!

    November 20, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  92. Sabrina

    Don, you are correct in every single thing you say. Let me just say that sometimes similar things happen to girls. Wait, let me change that, it use to happen to girls, many many years ago. Your right though. This is the raping of children. It makes me VERY angry. May God forgive him for the monster he is.

    November 20, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  93. Phyllis Causey

    Don is absolutely correct! When we see something terrible, we should not run away from it. If we think about the victim, we need to save the victims.

    November 20, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  94. Sunny Lee

    Couldn't agree more with Don Lemon. Why can't we come up with more severe punishment for pedophiles? As a mother, everytime I encounter this kind of story, I feel powerless and hopeless. Just sickening.

    November 20, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  95. Cassandra

    That's right! ........girl ou boy, rape is rape.

    November 20, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  96. Fitz

    There is no punishment too cruel for a monster like Sandusky. I believe the same goes for Paterno and every other adult who helped protect this grotesque individual allowing the rapes to continue. They're all equally at fault. I have two little ones and the Penn State case has kept me up at night. It's disturbing to know so many adults would allow this to happen. You're an amazing advocate for abused children, Don. The more you speak from experience, the more lives you will change. Keep up the good fight.

    November 20, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  97. laura poisel

    I just shared the article with my comment and I am shaken due to P.T.S.D. My dear grandson lives with or is in contact with such a dreadful man. I asked Don to be my friend on Facebook. I cannot at this time do anything but to refer Don back to me on F.B. to read what I said and then come back to this story when I snap out of it.

    November 20, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Intentional Blocking

      doesn't it seem like the laws are designed to intentionally block? probably written by and enforced by schools. i asked many years ago why schools don't do anything (i mean anything...not even prepare kids to protect their own self much less ptsd, trauma, csa, or anything that goes along with that – kids get murdered in this stuff). they told me that they know families are involved and they don't want to get involved in that (interestingly, schools are too). i think its a crock. not protecting the right people. bad people thrive in this. good people spend a lifetime trying to die from the inside out.

      November 20, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • That didn't post in the right place.

      That didn't post in the right place and the one that i wrote about this never did appear. Sorry.

      November 20, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Malcolm

    Don is totally correct. Rape is rape no matter gender. If it was a little girl then I believe this would have ended years ago. But why when its a little boy we are not calling out rape. Their state law needs to be reformed bc rape its rape

    November 20, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
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