Charita Goshay: Enshrinee’s arrest exposes an ongoing travesty

Once a year, Canton becomes Football Nirvana as thousands of Cheese Heads, Hogs and Dawgs descend on the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s enshrinement celebration.

The enshrinees always seem genuinely touched that so much effort would be put into honoring them. It’s one of the few times you’ll get to see a grown man cry.

But every now and then, a story will seep out about a visiting former player who’s, shall we say, less than gracious to fans who plunked down $75 to shiver in some frostbitten stadium to cheer him on.

Because of Lawrence Taylor’s reputation as a womanizing drug fiend and all-purpose hell-raiser, the Hall of Fame considered adding a morals clause as a condition of induction.

However, the few times the New York Giants enshrinee has been in town, he was generally friendly and accommodating to those in the cheap seats.

Taylor seemed to have pulled his life together in retirement. In a 2003 “60 Minutes” interview, he said he had found sobriety and salvation in golf.

Obviously, that isn’t the case. Upon his arrest last week on rape charges, the married Taylor told investigators he had paid $300 to have sex with what turned out to be a underage prostitute.

He claimed he was told she was 19, not 16.

But that isn’t really the point, is it?

THE BIGGER STORY

However, Taylor’s arrest must not be allowed to subvert the bigger story, namely that a 16-year-old girl was bought and sold like a slab of meat.

It is not simply another case of another celebrity in trouble. It is the travesty of human trafficking, hiding in plain sight.

The story is that there are adults who see nothing wrong in trafficking a child for sex and, worse, there are adults willing to pay for it.

It happens here, too. The Trafficking in Persons Study Commission notes that of the estimated 1,800 people trafficked into Ohio every year for sex and cheap labor, 1,000 are children.

Another 2,800 kids are lured into prostitution, such as the teenage runaway in Taylor’s case, who likely was forced into the trade, as evidenced by the bruises on her face.

Despite a new state law that increases the criminal penalties for trafficking, make no mistake: Child-sex trafficking remains in business. In March, a 17-year-old was found working as a dancer and prostitute in an Akron strip club.

But you don’t even have to look that far.

The next time you see a young girl strolling through the Newton Zone, or loitering outside some dive when it’s clear she’s too young to be there, think twice before you disparage her. She may be a hostage to a so-called “victimless” crime.

MATTHEW HERTTNA

A story I wrote last week about the St. Dymphna National Shrine in Massillon neglected to mention its founding chaplain, the Rev. Matthew Herttna, who died in 2006.

Located on the campus of Heartland Behavioral Healthcare, the shrine will celebrate its 72nd anniversary at 3 p.m. Saturday. St. Dymphna is the patron saint of people who suffer from mental and emotional distress.

source:  http://www.cantonrep.com/opinion/columnists/x289811066/Charita-Goshay-Enshrinee-s-arrest-exposes-an-ongoing-travesty

for educational purposes only

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Wonderful. I agree.


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