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Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Hygiene Defense in the Sandusky Case

     Former football coach Jerry Sandusky's lawyer in the Penn State sexual molestatin case, pursuant to his "hygiene" defense, says his client's only "crime" was teaching young boys how to soap themselves in the shower. This one is right up there on the lawyer embarrassment scale with the "Twinky" defense raised years ago in a San Francisco murder case. (The defendant blamed his homicidal outburst on a sugar-high brought on by excessive Twinky consumption.) If I remember correctly, the Twinky defense worked. But it was California. As loopy as that criminal justification was, it makes more sense than the hygiene defense.

     My first male teacher was an eigth grade physical education guy who insisted we all take showers after gym class. In response to objections over this policy, the coach reminded us that if the President of the United States found it necessary to take a daily shower, we lowly West Virginia hillbillies should do the same. It made sense to me. Had our gym teacher taken it upon himself to follow us into the shower to give us hands-on instruction on how to soap ourselves, he would have been a pedophile. Fortunately for us, he didn't do that. He just didn't want us to stink.

     What do you think would have happened if Coach Sandusky had sent each of his kids home with a consent form allowing him, in the name of hygiene, to soap-up these boys? How many parents would have signed that waiver? How many would have gone to Coach Paterno? Or better yet, the police?

     Sandusky's attorney should give us a break. Does he think we are stupid? I think he does.

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