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SNOWBALL THROWER OUSTED, BUT SEX ABUSER IS WELCOME - The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

STEVE ADUBATO JR.
The Record (Bergen County, NJ)
11-24-1996
SNOWBALL THROWER OUSTED, BUT SEX ABUSER IS WELCOME
By STEVE ADUBATO JR.
Date: 11-24-1996, Sunday
Section: REVIEW & OUTLOOK
Edition: All Editions -- Sunday

THE 'second chance' signing of football player Christian Peter by
the Giants raises a host of troubling questions and issues. This
incident speaks volumes about how we continue (even post-O.J.) to give a
wink and a nod to talented ballplayers with histories of physically and
sexually abusing women.

Christian Peter was once a star at Middletown South High who played
on two national championship teams at the football factory known as the
University of Nebraska. At 6 feet 3 inches, and 300 pounds, Christian
was an imposing figure around campus. He was a star, named captain in
his senior year despite 'some problems with the social thing,' as one
teammate put it.

The 'social thing?' Meet Kathy Redmond, who claims that on two
occasions in September 1991, Christian raped her. He says he was falsely
accused. Not long after, former Miss Nebraska Natalie Kuivenhoven went
to the police claiming Christian grabbed her crotch in a crowded Lincoln
bar. He eventually pleaded 'no contest' to third-degree sexual assault.

Melissa Demuth claimed Christian sexually assaulted her after they
met at a club and went back to her apartment. She says he held her down
and sexually abused her. He said the sex was consensual. The police
dropped the charges.

Janulle Mues charges that Christian abused her physically and
verbally when they got into an argument. The 95-pound girl said the
300-pounder grabbed her by the throat, then called her a string of
obscenities. Christian cut a deal with the county prosecutor by pleading
guilty to 'disturbing the peace.'

Christian was also arrested for trespassing, urinating in public,
refusing to comply with a police officer, and third-degree assault for
threatening to kill a parking lot attendant. Nice kid.

Amazingly, on April 21 of this year, the New England Patriots
drafted Christian. Did they know his history of 'social problems' at the
time? Well, a few months earlier, Christian claims, he met with a group
of Patriot coaches and scouts. When they asked if he had ever been
arrested, he answered, 'Do I have to give them in order?' Later
Christian described the reaction to his question: 'The whole group
started laughing . . . cracking up.' He said that once he finished
running down his record, 'these guys started telling me their own
stories . . . That's nothing, they told me.'

Nothing, until women's groups in New England went nuts. With the
public pressure on, three days after they drafted Christian, the
Patriots released him, claiming they didn't know all of his criminal
history. Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne felt his player had gotten a
raw deal and banned professional scouts from his team's practices.

If this story ended there, it would be bad enough. I mean, how could
it be this kid wasn't chastised by the entire University of Nebraska
campus for his criminal antics? How could his coaches allow him to be
named captain of the team? Would the Patriots have dropped him if the
National Organization for Women and the Boston newspapers (one called
him 'a dysfunctional piece of trash') hadn't trashed them?

Enter the Giants, the losing franchise that wants to give Christian
Peter a 'second chance.' They want to sign him to play in 1997. Truth
is, the Giants brass wanted to keep this whole thing quiet (head coach
Dan Reeves wasn't even told until the story was about to hit the papers)
until this sorry season was over.

Dr. Joel Goldberg is a sports psychologist handling Christian
Peter's 'rehabilitation,' which includes substance abuse treatment
(Christian says he is an alcoholic who doesn't remember any of the
incidents he was involved in), treatment for attention deficit disorder
(the other explanation for his actions), and psychological counseling.
Goldberg convinced the Giants that Christian was ready for a second
chance.

Goldberg says Christian finally admits to being an alcoholic. That,
and his good behavior over the past six months (no rape charges), were
the keys to the doctor's recommendation. Why haven't the Giants demanded
a single word of responsibility or remorse from Christian for the pain
and suffering he inflicted on several innocent women? That's right -- he
doesn't remember.

Listen to Giants co-owner Bob Tisch, who says his team is 'helping
society' because, 'We've taken a kid with problems, made him a better
young man.' What a saint. Giants General Manager George Young offered
this, 'There are hundreds of guys in this league who did worse than he
did. We're not in the choirboy business.' Thanks, George.

Caroline Janus, who started New Jersey Rape Survivors, says, 'We
are offended the Giants would even think to hire a man with his history
of violence against women.' Giants President Wellington Mara says he is
'concerned about the possible reaction, but it's not going to stop us
from doing the right thing.'

Think about it: Anyone caught throwing a snowball at Giants Stadium
is banned from going to another game; yet, if all goes as planned,
Christian Peter will be on the field playing for the pathetic Giants in
1997. Pretty sick, huh?

Keywords: FOOTBALL. PROFESSIONAL. ATHLETE. DRUG. ALCOHOL. ABUSE. WOMAN. ASSAULT.
CONTRACT

Copyright 1996 Bergen Record Corp. All rights reserved.