Yesterday, an additional part to the Sandusky saga was beginning to break across the internet — would John Ziegler of FramingPaterno.com release the name of Victim 2? Would he “out” an anonymous victim? While this question was out there, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape released this statement on their site that spoke about re-victimization and the importance of anonymity.
Meanwhile, Ziegler and/or his team released the following preface to their article:
Even with the release of said article the conversation remained shaped around the controversy of “outing.” And for good reason. Following the “Editor’s Note” he went on the defensive again — this time with more ferocity:
Editor Conaway’s Update: Later on in the article from which the above quote was pulled, Ziegler and/or his team did release a name. Based on my own research, I believe this was the name of Victim 2. I monitored the website for hours and despite countless tweets from individuals and organizations asking to please remove the victim’s name, the first and last name remained visible for the world to see for several hours. Only recently (time of writing is about 3:30am EST) did the site make some updates—removing the many mentions of this name and replacing it with ******* when Ziegler mentioned it and with ——- when it was mentioned in the interview with Sandusky.
Ziegler’s media appearances highlighted another problem: while trying to portray himself as simply a truth-seeking researcher who wants to show how “the media bought into a narrative that makes no sense,” the name of his website is a phrase intentionally crafted in order to fuel the fires and rally a select group of troops. Real research demands the scientist’s inquiry into a theory, the novelist’s openness to discovery. FramingPaterno.com? It sounds and feels and reads like a fabricated answer with a team hellbent on forcing it to bleed true.
Regardless of where you stand on the recent controversies, Ziegler has certainly caused those still following this scandal to shift their focus on different (and perhaps new) details. Here’s a passage about Victim 2 from the article’s original release:
Along with discrediting McQueary, Ziegler is relentless in pointing out the level of support shown by Victim 2 for Sandusky:
The counter to Victim 2’s defending Sandusky was addressed by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape‘s most recent post on the matter. Here are a few of the issues they mention:
Taking into consideration the fact that Victim 2 is a Sergeant in the Marine Corps, and is married, it is perhaps even more likely that he would choose to deny the abuse occurred. Coming out against an abuser must be hard enough, but when you add the expectations of masculinity that go along with being both a Marine and a husband, and in light of the way sexual abuse victims are treated with regularity in both the justice system and the media, it’s certainly easy to speculate on how he may have altered facts or even denied the abuse entirely. The new question at this point is not whether Sandusky is guilty or if the man referred to as “Victim 2” was in fact assaulted, it’s whether it is ever okay for the name of a victim of sexual assault to be released without their prior knowledge or permission. And then another layer: What if the victim was not anonymous originally but then decided to be?
We at the Good Men Project support, under any circumstance, the right of every survivor to choose anonymity.