Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Soap opera comparison in Sandusky trial and coaches showering with kids just isn't normal, Jurors Report Split Over Church Abuse Charges

Soap opera comparison in Sandusky trial adds insult to tragedy
Alleged abuse victims weren't characters on daytime drama — and coaches showering with kids just isn't normal

John Kass June 20, 2012

....If you don't think something's wrong with an adult naked in a shower with kids, then you're not a parent. But this week, Amendola put witnesses on the stand to say that it's not unusual for grown men to take showers with children at Penn State. The witnesses said it was normal.

So we asked some experienced coaches if it was normal here, in Illinois.

"That type of thing is not part of any culture or system I've been in in high school or college or as a coach," said Brett Detering, 1st vice president of the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association. "There are separate facilities for coaches and students."

Detering is the head coach at Anna-Jonesboro High School in southern Illinois. He played football in high school and in college, and he's been coaching for 17 years. And he doesn't take showers with his players. He's never taken showers with his players.

"I would say that's just common sense," Coach Detering said of not showering with his players. "How anyone could be confused about that is beyond me."

John Elder, executive director of the Illinois Coaches Association, spent 40 years as a football coach at Alexis High School in western Illinois, and retired from coaching eight years ago. He played at Alexis as a boy.

"But it was not normal, even then, for coaches to shower with the team," Elder said. "It wouldn't have been done back in the day, and it definitely wouldn't be done today.",0,4414967.column

Jurors Report Split Over Church Abuse Charges
By JON HURDLE and ERIK ECKHOLM June 20, 2012

PHILADELPHIA — In its 12th day of deliberations, the jury in the landmark trial of a Roman Catholic Church official accused of covering up sexual abuses by other priests said Wednesday that it was deadlocked on four of the five charges in the trial.

“We, the jury, are at a hung jury status on all charges except for one,” jurors said in a note that was read aloud by Judge M. Teresa Sarmina of the Court of Common Pleas.

The judge instructed the jury to keep trying to reach unanimous agreement on all five charges. The church official, Msgr. William J. Lynn, is accused of two counts of endangering the welfare of children and one of conspiracy. A priest, the Rev. James J. Brennan, faces charges of endangerment and attempted rape. Deliberations will resume on Friday.

Monsignor Lynn, 61, served as secretary for clergy for the 1.5 million-member Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2004, in charge of recommending jobs for priests and investigating charges of sexual abuse. He is the first church official in the United States to be tried on accusations of enabling the depredations of priests, rather than committing abuses himself. Prosecutors said he had repeatedly played down credible accusations of abuse, lied to inquiring parents and parish officials about predatory priests and reassigned them to unwary parishes.

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