Child Advocates Upset with ESPN Report on Mike McQueary

By Mallory Lane

Published 03/05 2014 05:12PM

Updated 03/05 2014 06:23PM

CENTRE COUNTY - A new ESPN report is claiming inconsistencies in Mike McQueary's credibility and alleging McQueary told Penn State football players he, too, was sexually abused as a child.

The article is getting a lot of attention, especially from local child advocates.

They're calling the new report unethical and said it's a violation of Mike McQueary's rights as an alleged survivor of child sexual abuse.

"Every sexual assault survivor has the right to control, when, where and how they share their abuse histories and with whom," Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape Advocate, Kristen Houser, said.

Houser works with victims of child sex abuse every day. She had a strong reaction to ESPN printing and telling McQueary's alleged story without his permission.

"It's, quite frankly, very damaging," Houser said. "Having a national magazine publish something like that without your permission is an incredible violation of privacy."

According to the report, Mike McQueary allegedly told several Penn State players in a closed-door meeting on November 9, 2011, he was sexually abused as a child. The author of the report, Don Van Natta, Jr., said two players tell him at the time, McQueary looked "pale and his hands shook. He had received death threats and barely slept."

"When I read the story and realized that these were anonymous sources saying that Mike told them, that was very disturbing to me," CEO of the Centre County Youth Service Bureau, Andrea Boyles, said.

Boyles has seen a big difference in Centre County since the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke. She says more survivors have come forward, telling their stories of abuse and more children have been helped because of an increased awareness.

She and Houser worry now, because of the article, other survivors may be less inclined to help children they know who are being abused, fearing their own histories could come out because of it.

"There are thousands of other survivors of sexual abuse in this country who have been following this case and watching it," Houser said. "They have watched some really terrible comments about Sandusky victims, about believability. This is just one more layer that can have a truly silencing effect on other survivors."

Natta would not offer comment on this aspect of the report. ESPN said they stand by their reporting. To read the full ESPN story, visit their website.

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