In midst of the investigation regarding Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse against several young boys, victims from another popular college team are speaking out about their abuse.
On November 17, two former ball boys of the Syracuse University basketball team called out associate head coach Bernie Fine for molesting them on multiple accounts. According to the victims, 39 year-old Bobby Davis and 45 year-old Mike Lang, the disturbing events occurred during the 1980s and 1990s in several places, from Syracuse’s basketball facilities to Fine’s own home to road trips out-of-state. Davis had initially contacted Syracuse police regarding his abuse in 2003, but they declined to investigate because “the statute of limitations had expired” and no other victims would talk. A 2005 investigation conducted by the University also came out inconclusive.
However, Lang was inspired to come out about his abuse after news broke about Sandusky and Penn State. In an interview with ESPN, Lang said, “[Abuse] happened to my brother in Syracuse, this happened in Penn State…where else is it going on?! It needs to be stopped, and that’s why I [came out].”
While the incidents at Penn State and Syracuse are extremely disturbing, there is a silver lining to both of these cases. These victims are standing up to Sandusky and Fine, who were supposed to mentors that they could confide in and trust, and are getting the justice they deserved for a long time coming. The victims could influence others who have suffered from sexual abuse to speak up and fight for their rights. More allegations may spurt up in the near future, but it’s for the better if abuse victims can set themselves free from the turmoil they kept inside for so long.
What Can You Do
If you think someone you know may be an abuser, take the right precautions to ensure that they don’t harm anybody else.
Fight back against abuse in a more prominent way. Organize a rally in your hometown to stand up against sexual abuse.