Newsweek: Were Accused Coaches’ Wives Complicit or ‘In the Dark’?


Sexual abuse allegations against coaches Jerry Sandusky of Penn State and Bernie Fine of Syracuse University prompt what Newsweek calls “perplexing questions about the women who shared the alleged molesters' beds while it was all happening. How on earth could they not have known? Does it take a certain kind of woman to live this kind of lie?” The magazine explores whether Dottie Sandusky and Laurie Fine were complicit since Fine was recording talking about her husband’s abuse and some of the incidents alleged against Sandusky happened in the basement of that couple’s home.

Yet researchers say that cluelessness is typical: pedophiles' wives are usually in the dark. What seems to fool the women over and over, says University of Arizona psychologist Judith Becker, is that the abusers are usually charismatic and popular. “They don't come across as angry or aggressive,” says Becker, who has evaluated more than 1,000 of these men. “And they tend to be kind and loving around children.”

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