Dankprofessor’s Weblog

A weblog examining sexual politics in higher education and beyond.

Rape charges dropped against Penn State football star Austin Scott

All rape and sexual assault charges have been dropped against Penn State football star Austin Scott. The charges were dropped by the Centre County district attorney.  The District Attorney’s office filed the charges in early October 2007 one week after Scott had been suspended from the Penn State football team.

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno said Saturday that he wants to help former player Austin Scott get to the NFL but does not regret his decision to suspend Scott from the team last fall.  Scott’s attorney, John P. Karoly characterized the prosecution of Karoly as being “overzealous”.

The rape charge, and the suspension put Scott in a state of psychological and career limbo.  The forfeiting of his senior football year and the stigma of the rape charge created severe doubt as whether Scott could ever play in the NFL.

In withdrawing the charges, the Centre County district attorney’s office issued a statement saying its case was handicapped by a ruling to allow the defense to cross-examine the accuser about rape allegations she made in 2003 against a Moravian College student who was later acquitted.

In a written decision, Centre County Judge Thomas King Kistler cited as reasons to allow the cross-examination, 19 similarities between the two cases, including assertions that the woman never cried for help and that she kissed both men goodbye after intercourse.

Karoly, who has won multimillion-dollar settlements in brutality and misconduct suits against the Bethlehem and Easton police departments, said he is still hoping for an apology from Paterno or the university or both.

Before Saturday’s Blue-White spring football game at Beaver Stadium, Paterno said Scott — a running back who led Parkland High School to a state championship in 2002 — was suspended for the remainder of the season because he was out late two nights before a football game.

”My problem with Austin, irrespective of [the charges], was the fact that he was out until 3-4 o’clock in the morning during the season — period,” Paterno said. ”He knows that.”

He also said he would like to help Scott, 23, pursue a future in the NFL.

With the District Attorney’s office knowing of the prior rape charge and the 19 similarities of the two cases, in the dankprofessor’s opinion this case should have never gone forward.  The decision to go forward functioned to punish Scott without trial.  Even though the ruling judge effectively undid the prosecution’s case, the District Attorney’s office needlessly allowed this charge to stand for some seven months until they were forced to admit that they had no case against Scott.

In a press conference held by Scott’s lawyer and by Scott, they implied that a lawsuit would be forthcoming.  By clicking here, one can click on and see the entirety of the press conference video.  I urge my blog readers to do so.  The video allows viewers to experience the plight of Austin Scott in a more up close and personal manner.  In the video it was also stated that a lawsuit against Penn State University was not being ruled out.  Scott is hoping to receive an apology from the university.

As for his coach Joe Paterno, he sated the following- ”Austin and I talked last week on the phone, and I said as soon as we get through this thing, you should come up and we can talk about your future a little. I told him, if I can help him get a better opportunity with a pro team after this thing is over with, I’d do that.”

As for the university’s handling of the case, such appears quite similar to how Duke University handled the rape charge against the members of their lacrosse team.  Assume guilt and offer no refuge to the presumed guilty.  Such is the world view of too many university administrators, particularly when charges of some sort of illicit sex are involved. The Duke University administrators who facilitated Duke moving against the lacrosse players still remain at Duke in good stead. Let us hope that Penn State takes a more proactive stand in attempting to right their wrongs against Austin Scott

And the Morning Call which has reported on this case and which I cite as my source in this posting has not righted their wrongs.  In the Morning call article, the Morning Call did not use the name of the woman; the Call stated that the woman’s name is being withheld “because it does not identify alleged rape victims”.  But the Call just doesn’t get it.  The woman is no longer an alleged rape victim.  The victim has been shown to be Austin Scott who was was the subject of a false rape report. 

It appears self-evident to the dankprofessor that a charge against the woman for filing a false complaint should be forthcoming.   Will the Call then reveal the woman’s identity?  And even if a charge which should be charged is not filed, the Call should still reveal the woman’s identity.  If her identity is not revealed, it will be demonstrated to like minded others that one can make false rape charges with minimal public opprobrium.

If you wish, you can write to me directly at dankprofessor@msn.com
Guest commentaries should also be submitted for consideration
to the same email address.

Barry M. Dank aka the dankprofessor™
© Copyright 2008



April 22, 2008 Posted by | consensual relationships, ethics, higher education, litigation, rape, sex, sexual politics, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: