The Birth of a Nation got mixed reviews by many critics, and the box office hasn’t been great – to date, the film has passed the $14 million mark, which is okay for an independent film but not great for a film that was supposed to be a huge awards-season contender. Of course, some (not all, but some) of the controversy around the star/director/writer Nate Parker could have been mitigated. The problem, as we saw time and time again, was that every time Parker spoke, he came across like a sociopathic predator, still unapologetic and still thinking that he was the biggest victim. This story might be the final postscript to TBOAN’s nonexistent Oscar campaign though: the NYT discovered an incident involving Parker allegedly exposing himself to a female student trainer working with the Penn State wrestling team. Parker was reinstated on the wrestling team while he was still facing trial for rape, and his alleged victim went to Penn State officials and they did next to nothing about it. You can read the NYT’s full story here.
As the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal at Penn State continues to play out in the prosecution of former university officials, state investigators have begun examining whether the school mishandled the case of a student wrestler who went on to become a Hollywood actor and director, Nate Parker.
Interviews and documents reviewed by The New York Times, including court records, indicate that Penn State officials appear to have been lenient at times with Mr. Parker. Suspended from the wrestling team when he was criminally charged with rape, he was reinstated in the fall of 2000 while still facing trial. Within weeks, a female student trainer complained that he had exposed himself to her. But after she decided not to go to the police, despite the urging of the university, Penn State appears to have dropped the matter.
Now the Parker case has drawn the attention of the state attorney general’s office here, which is prosecuting three former university officials on charges that they failed to report Mr. Sandusky’s sexual abuse of children. One of the three, Tim Curley, the former athletic director, played a role in how the university dealt with the exposure complaint against Mr. Parker, according to interviews with several people, including the woman who made the complaint. Prosecutors are trying to assess whether the school’s handling of Mr. Parker suggests a broader pattern of inaction by the athletic department when it came to complaints of sexual misconduct, according to two law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation who are not authorized to discuss it publicly.
Mr. Parker said through his lawyer that he was never told of any exposure complaint, and that no such incident had occurred.
“This is the first Mr. Parker has ever heard of this,” David J. Matlof, his lawyer, said in an email. “He recognizes the seriousness of the issue, but this claim is completely untrue.”
At this point, I would believe that Nate Parker could have killed someone at Penn State, buried the body on school grounds and Penn State probably would have thrown him a party. I realize that the point of this is that Penn State’s conduct is in question, that the bureaucracy of the university failed to protect children and co-eds from violent predators enrolled at the school or employed by the school. But it’s absolutely fascinating that this woman reported the incident to Penn State and they literally sat on their hands about it… and Parker and Jean Celestin’s rape trial hadn’t even started!!! And this was after they allegedly harassed their alleged rape victim ON CAMPUS. Everyone at Penn State was like, “move along, nothing to see here” regarding their star athletes. Ugh.
Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.
Well , call me surprised( or not).
As a Penn State alum, I am not the least bit surprised. There is a deeply engrained culture that athletes can do no wrong and the university wants no scandals related to them. I don’t think we’ll ever really know the extent to which the university looked the other way. If they weren’t willing to stop a pedophile, I can only imagine what else they let slide.
Seriously. That’s scary to think about. And I don’t think Penn State is alone by any means. Many universities will go to great lengths to avoid scandals, I’m guessing.
I am glad that it’s coming out because the ongoing abuse of women by male athletes without any consequences is pervasive & insane. Penn State may be one of the worst but it’s not unique. F- Penn State & any & all athletics that it had. Ever.
Nate Parker did a film about systematic abuse of people & his personal life is similar. Penn State represents the unbelievable power that athletes get and their “prizes” for it- money, fame and pu$$y. People told them & then doubled down that they didn’t have to ask for it. They are enabled to do what they want. Penn State willingly gave their children & women up for abuse to keep athletes happy and we shouldn’t forget that but it’s true on a lot of campuses.
I agree with everything you said but I just don’t get where is this absolute adoration of athletes coming from.
Yes, they have great bodies and they are hot, but still, to allow them abuse in all shapes and forms like sacrifices you make to the gods is just primitive.
It’s about money, als. College sports brings in a lot of money through ticket sales, merchandise and alumni donations. They also bring prestige (such as it is) and boost enrollment when teams are winning.
Interestingly, college sports don’t bring in nearly the amount of money people think. Yes, there are some marquee programs that bring in a lot, but something like half of all college football teams actually lose money because they don’t bring in enough $$$ to offset their enormous costs. Scholarships, huge (and expensive) coaching staffs, equipment, fancy charter buses (or airplanes), not to mention the huge cost of the playing facilities, including when they decide they need new stadiums. There’s an attitude of needing to spend money to keep up with the other schools and recruit more talent, but realistically some of them would be better off ditching football entirely. Not to mention the cesspool that some of these athletic departments have become.
So when people tell you how important football (and occasionally basketball is, but they don’t have nearly as large rosters) is to a university, remember this.
Bridget- so interesting & good to know!!! I hear all the time about the need to fund & bring in money for sports. I’ve been weary for a long time…..
What about the idea that these guys entertain the most elite and that keeping the entertainment is the most important. The athletes are fresh meat to the power that be, just like their rape victims are. The men at the top don’t care about these boys who get head concussions, destroy their bodies or even use drugs (just keep it secret). Rich, white men want to be able to drink beer & watch a game on Sunday to relax, goddammit! Why would we mess with that! They don’t care who they are watching, how they get hurt, who they hurt or how it all comes to be- just entertain them.
They didn’t really care about Nate Parker as a person and would have been fine throwing him in jail for rape for the rest of his life…….if he was not a good wrestler. They just want to be entertained and keep their status quo. As a kid I wondered why quarterbacks were typically white (not hit as hard & heros) and it’s the African American boys/men who get injured protecting them. They don’t care about their athletes except to keep them fed & happy so they preform better. If raping girls help them get pumped for the big game, so be it. We should hate the raping athletes but we should also go after the institutions- that’s the head of the snake imo.
It’s the idea that they could be the ones to put it all together and win. If they just put together the right recruit class, come up with the right play schemes. Not to mention, it’s not just sports, we’re talking about tradition. It’s not entertainment, it’s a hope to be the best. The best athlete, the best team, the best school.
But yeah. Think about schools that axe their wrestling, cross country and track all while paying their football coach for a losing team $1 million. Skewed priorities.
When I was about ten or eleven my best friend and I walked to the library. A man was walking towards us. As he got close we saw he had it out and it was at full attention. We didn’t say a word to each other just turned around and ran like hell till we got home. One of my brothers and his buddies went looking for him…..unsuccessfully. Not relevant to story, but there are so many predators out there. To this day, I keep my defenses up. My husband showed me many years ago how to head butt a guy…..they tend to pull a woman in close, so that’s your opportunity to try for the nose, it will leave him in a daze and you just run like the wind.
That happened to my friend and I while walking to school, we were in first and third grade! We didn’t run home, though, and instead raced to school (we were probably halfway between home and school) and never told anyone. Guilt and shame for years after.
Years ago, I was about 11, we were on a subway in NYC visiting family. My mom and i were sitting there, I was just excited to be on a NYC subway (dork, I know), when this guys sat across from us, staring at me pretty obviously- he had his hand shoved under his shirt, in his pants, and there was the impression of something hard there, with a rhythmic movement. My mom saw him, didn’t panic, just grabbed my hand and got us off the subway at the next stop. Me, I was a complete dunce- I thought he was concealing a weapon/gun or something in his pants- had no clue. I told my mom, she just made this strange face and said “yeah.” and kept moving. Looking back, it’s amazing what you think as a kid.
What baffles me about all these stories (and mine) is that we were taught to lower our eyes, feel shame & move. What the hell! I remember 1980’s stranger danger and being taught to not talk to strangers & just move.
It’s nuts that we’ve been operating, as a society, where a woman or child wouldn’t be able yell out “pervert!” as a man touched himself so that every person around would protect them. It’s crazy that we feel so scared in PUBLIC that we slink away. It’s crazy that someone else would see this stuff happening and not say anything (come on subway riders). It’s crazy that these guys get to expose themselves & then do it again without any public shame, ridicule or consequences.
What if we all just started pointing and yelling “that man is xxxxx!”. Or just took out our phones & started snapping pics. Would we be safer? Would the public come to our defense?
Amen!! Actually, I was on a very crowded ferry boat as a 17 year old, and I was SO startled I shouted, “Who is touching my bottom?! “. NO ONE acknowledged I’d said a thing, but everyone moved away from me a bit and I even had some space! Train all girls to SPEAK UP immediately!
Our picture-taking culture will probably help! It certainly is making a big difference in racial incidents.
I remember back in the ’80s, riding the subway in NYC on the way to work and getting in an empty car but for one person. I remember thinking how lucky I was to get an empty car! Then I looked at the man across from me and he had a full erection with his hand on his dick. What a way to start the day!! Of course I went into another car at the next stop, but that kind of thing happened a lot in the ’80s.
When I was a child, I was walking with a friend — we were maybe 8 or 9. A car pulled up to us and the man asked directions. Again, the hand on the erect penis. Our eyes traveled downward and we freaked out and ran like crazy to the closest public building, which was a rehabilitation home for disabled children. We breathlessly told an aide there what happened and asked if was okay for us to be there, and then hung out in the foyer until we were calm, then ran to my friend’s house — another half block away. This was in the ’60s. I think this kind of behavior will never stop.
I was walking home from bus stop, not 1/4 mile from home. A man drove up and exposed himself to me. I laughed out loud, which may have saved me from something worse. Just luck, my strange reaction. I was the same age as you all, 10 12 ish. I am 43 and just told my family about this the other day, probably as a result of a discussion here.
My daughter is twelve. I cannot have her go through this.
I am hoping it is changing and I think it is, although too damn slow. Men will always try this, that will never stop. Racism & sexism will always exists imo. But what we do about it, as a society & individual, will change and that is what we have control over. We can control what happens after victims speak out & trying to minimize any abuse they suffer by stopping it stat. Nate Parker’s victim is the perfect example of that- what he did to her was horrific but what happened to her after is so, so sick & an institutional issue. So many people failed that young woman.
In the 80s I had a crazy dangerous encounter with a pervert at a park and it was text book after school special (stranger who parked his car oddly, watched me, started sneaking up, hiding behind things, had his car running & the doors wide open). After I wouldn’t let it go my mom finally let me call the cops. They just sat there in silence and then I was chastised for wasting their valuable time when they could have been paying attention to important things. Then my mom did an “I told you so” and I was not in good favor in my home for a while. That taught me a lesson about speaking up & how I should feel shame when a weirdo does weird things. That started my habit of not speaking up when things happened to me. I think it would be different now. I hope.
My little part is that I am raising two boys who I am telling & showing to speak up- not just when they are potentially in danger but when they see others in danger. I have taken a personal oath (not joking) with myself to always speak up, stop my life and do my part to help hinder ANY of this crap.
I have given rides home to young women who were way too inebriated & who I didn’t know because I know that I will help them pee, get them home & carry them to bed without a danger of rape (my husband didn’t get why I wouldn’t let him help me carry that very drunk girl but I did it!). I sit next to weird guys who are staring at girls or women on the bus and then I just stare at them (so satisfying). I follow men out to parking lots after they secretly abuse waitresses and yell at them for all to see. I call the cops when I see weird things. I wish someone had done that for me and there were many opportunities, unfortunately, so I hope I can do it different on the other side.
The biggest power that these perverts have is keeping their stuff secret. Never keep their secrets in any capacity.
Wow MC2 that is horrible what happened to you. But it made you into a hero! I wish there were more people like you.
MC2: I hated reading all these stories….but I never felt shame or guilt just anger. I learned how to protect myself and not let myself become a victim if I could help it. Had my brother found that perv, I can’t honestly say what he would have done, but it would not have been pretty.
MC2–you’re an amazing person. I just hope I can become as courageous and vigilant as you are when I encounter situations where people are in danger.
Every time more Penn State dirt comes out, Im reminded of the time I was driving in the Garden State parkway and there was an SUV in front of me
It was very obvious they used to have a PS sticker on the window that they, in the then recent wake of of the Sandusky/Joepa scandal, had clearly torn off in shame and revulsion.
When I first saw the headline, I read Penn Station, and was like OMG!!!!
Penn State is just the absolute worst. Shameful.
Doesn’t surprise me in the least.
Penn State and now Baylor…
I recently went to a library on Santa Monica Blvd and a guy was jacking off like woodpecker while watching his laptop. Signaled it and the guy left like a coyote. fortunately there was no kid but still we were a dozen adults here and there and we were still chocked. last year a guy did the same in the library of Los Feliz and they never caught him despite his picture blasting for a few days. But this one was sitting near kids.. who knows what exactly he was watching. libraries should have a software that signal them porn browsing. as far as athletes raping, molesting etc women can report it but Universities are reluctant to file report to the cops. they often want “more proofs’ or ask the victim to seek ‘venue of compensation with no formal complaint’. and then we end up with woman carrying her own mattress and be branded cuckoo and being told “enough of you and your mattress if you still going on with this you will be let go of the university’. politics of silence and shaming the victims so that their golden egg boys keep playing for them and bring some mullah.
I tried to report a guy who was jacking off in my uni’s library while staring at me. Guy at the desk told me to just go to a different room. Because a guy’s boner clearly took precedence over my needing to use the books in that room. smdh.
i would have reported the front desk as well. i would have reported thru a letter or email to the library so they can reeducate their workers. it’s this ‘laissez-faire” that screws things for women. turning a blind eye and these pedo/sicko feel free to roam in a public place when it should be a sanctuary.
I have a very bad temper and absolutely would have started burning books, I’m so sorry for what you went through!
Surely no one here is surprised. Those of his friends and fellow actors that still support him…I wonder if they ever asked him about what really happened. If I were his friend I would want to know, and I’m sure his version of events would give me pause and the friendship would end.
Side note: I read on another forum somewhere that his wife knew his victim but married him anyway. How sick is that
Penn State might as well put an unmarked white van, chloroform and ruthies as a part of their welcome package.
Penn State certainly handles things internally very badly but there was this in the article: “But after she decided not to go to the police, despite the urging of the university, Penn State appears to have dropped the matter.” So it seems that PS *did* encourage her to go to the police about it?
That is what they CLAIM. Based on their handling of such matters, for all we know their “encouragement” could have sounded a lot like “well OK, you can go to the police, but no one will believe you and everyone will hate you because STAR ATHLETE.”
Just like Cosby and Trump, when there’s multiple complaints surrounding the same kind of illegal, predatory behavior, it’s very very hard to believe everyone is making it up. I’m so disgusted.
He’s utterly disgusting. And Penn State’s conduct is shameful.
I am really sick and tired of this guys face. God I hope this latest claim buries him.
Kudos to the NY Times for pursuing this story.
Shame on NP and his partner in crime whose name I have already forgotten for tarnishing Nat Turner and his story by association with them.
Penn State is disgusting. I still feel sick when thinking about the Sandusky case and what happened to children under the very eyes of supposed adults in authority at Penn State. There is a sick, sick thing going on in American higher education and American culture with the idolatry of college athletics.
I don’t have children so it is quite possible I am not up to date on the rules and regulations for those that attend Universities.
But if I did have a child my number one rule would be insisting they report things to the police and not the campus authorities. Seems to me the problems that are arising are because the outside Authority are not being notified. It could be that I am totally off base here and you are not allowed to report it to the outside authorities before you have notify the University? That you could be penalized for doing so?
I feel very fortunate to have gone to a uni where campus will put student and faculty wide alerts out for incidences like this, and then actually help the victims with talking to and filing a report with the police.
I think it is more, you can report it to outside authorities (i.e. the town/city/county/state police, not just the campus/university police), but jurisdictionally the outside authorities may bounce it back to the campus police.
I don’t think there is a blanket rule that outside police are always better and campus police worse. In MN recently there was a case where a student at the University of Minnesota was violently assaulted by a fellow student, who had a history of assaults. She reported right away but the Minneapolis police were terrible and dropped her case in part because the assailant’s fraternity brothers secretly taped her supposedly saying it was consensual (the Star Tribune newspaper published the tape on their website a few weeks ago, the fraternity brothers totally mumbled a question to trap her into supposedly saying that). After the Minneapolis police dropped it, one officer at the University police doggedly pursued the case. The assailant’s family is well off, he was a former intern of the governor, and they sent him to Australia when they realized the heat was on with the investigation. The University police officer tracked the guy down and arrested him on Christmas Eve as he flew into Minneapolis for his sister’s wedding. The offender is now in prison.
This guy’s face should come with a trigger warning. Every time I see it anymore, I feel like I’m reliving my own assault. I just can’t believe he was allowed to walk away-smash the patriarchy, smash rape culture!
To be clear, I don’t mean we should stop covering him. I’m so GLAD he is finally facing some sort of consequences, even if it’s only a tiny bit of what he deserves. I just want to punch his smug f*cking face.
I also hate his smug face and wish someone would sucker punch him. Stupid rapist piece of crap belongs in jail. All the stories above made me feel so mad. I will never understand the entitlement of rapists..never.
What is wrong with Penn State?? I know they’re not the only school that covers up athlete misconduct but dang! Also, I used to find Nate so handsome and now I want to punch him in the face every time I see a picture of him. He’s got that smug look and attitude and it’s just ugh!
You and I are channeling the same rage girl!
as a blk woman working at a university it pains me to see how women flock to the athletes and surround their lockers and throw the sn@tch at them. and yeh fact is most of em are white girls gunnin for the BBC. I get how this culture is cultured and its hard to resist. i also was flashed at the age of 7 walking to school. the 1st time i saw a pen!s.
I was an Assistant Director for a public city library in 1995. Many evenings we were short staffed. We didn’t have a Children’s Librarian many times because of this. The facility is a three story building.
One night a known pedophile was in the building. He was walking around the first floor; the Children’s section is on that floor.
I was working in Reference, but was the top Administrator that night. Someone from the Circulation staff contacted me to let me know that this person was on-site. They also observed that it appeared that two children were alone in the Children’s Room.
I frantically searched for a parent; located the mother on the third floor. I told her that a pedophile was on the first floor. She stared at me and ignored me. I ran up and down the stairs three times that night. She never went downstairs to be with her children; she stayed on the third floor. I implored her multiple times to get her children. She ignored me and kept perusing the adult fiction section. We implored the children to go to their mother, but this appeared to be something she did all the time.
The staff and I were sick all night. Due to the skeleton staff no one was available to sit in the room. I had to work in my Reference, but was in constant communication with Circulation.
The status of the charges against him are hazy now. However at that time, as opposed to current practice, he was not banned from any contact with children. We couldn’t have the police escort him from the building without cause.
When I still consider it today I am heartsick about this situation. I tried to do everything I could, short of dragging their mother downstairs to be with them. We all did our best to protect these children. I just wanted to pipe in because as a public servant I have always done my best to protect the public. Other incidents occurred as a librarian and in my personal life. However this was the most disturbing. People care. They are on the lookout to spot situations & stop them.
I still worry about the fate of these children with a parent who didn’t protect them and didn’t care.
I’m confused. Why couldn’t you call the police?
Obviously she couldn’t call the police because the pedophile hadn’t actually done anything to the two children on the first floor. The police aren’t going to be happy to be asked to come down when no one’s been accused of anything yet.
Ok but i just think if a librarian calls to report “a known pedophile” hanging out in a library with unsupervised kids, local police worth their salt might come by and make their presence known. To serve and protect, etc.
One of the things I see throughout these stories seems to be a hesitation to call the police and report the incident. Stop that! The police are there for us as citizens. No matter what we are reporting to them, they owe us their attention.
I cannot imagine any officer telling a victim that their call was a “waste of time” in today’s world. Maybe 20 years ago, but not nowadays.
The value of these reports to the police is that they become aware of which neighborhood may have a predator and they can keep their eyes open while on patrol. And yes, do take a picture of the offender if you can safely do so!