Art Gallagher has an interesting item over at More Monmouth Musings. Art’s reporting that Chris Christie’s April 30 fundraiser in Middletown has a convicted sex offender on the Host Committee.
He’s Christian Peter, former NFL star who has a long history of abuse of women from his playing days as a college football star, and a reputation that followed him into his days as a pro. Here’s the invitation; scroll down for all the names, which include a long list of GOP electeds, including Asm Mary Pat Angelini and Sen. Jennifer Beck. Peter is listed as a Supporting Member of the Host Committee.
Redemption can be a commendable thing, if it’s paid for in admission and redress. I’ll leave it to Christian Peter to determine for himself what kind of man he’s become, though the kind of man he spent years being is clear enough. But the optics of Christie hobnobbing with an abusive for campus sports demigod this week, as Rutgers broils over its own campus sports scandal of abuse … well, let’s call it a questionable choice.
Want to know more about who Host Committee Chair Joe Kyrillos has helping pull in cash for Christie? Yeah, so did I. Rest of the story, below the fold.
Last year, Kathy Redmond of Denver told the New York Times the story of how she was sexually assaulted as a University of Nebraska freshman by a first-year student and football recruit, Christian Peter, and then again the next day, when he forced his way into her room with two of his buddies stationed outside as lookouts. She describes an athlete treated as campus demigod whose friends intimidated her on campus.
Then she sued Nebraska – a groundbreaking lawsuit – charging it was liable for failing to protect women on campus and responsible for the behavior of the athletes it recruited. Boom.
Well. After that? Melissa DeMuth filed a complaint with police accusing him of sexual assault. And he was arrested for grabbing a former Miss Nebraska by the crotch in a bar. He got 18 months of probation on the sexual assault and had four convictions on an assortment of offenses. But, remember, Christian Peter was a campus sports demigod. Looks like his only punishment by Coach Tom Osborne was suspension from one game.
Osborne – I swear, you can’t make this stuff up – became a Republican congressman. He later apologized to Redmond, who by then started National Coalition Against Violent Athletes, to battle what the Times calls the “athletic culture of invulnerability that has become increasingly explosive in the college and professional sports industries.”
Does this sound familiar?
Unclear whether he was driven by kindness, guilt, or the potential gender gap hit of having an articulate and emerging leader taint his coaching glory days, Osborne reached out, apologized for only giving Peter a wrist-slap. Christian Peter became rich and famous, and got treatment and counseling and chalks his issues up to alcoholism and attention deficit disorder. He’s married, four kids, lives in South Jersey. He played for the Giants, after the New England Patriots renounced his draft rights because the team owner’s wife objected to his being on the team, and also for the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears. He retired from the NFL 9 years ago, opened a sports bar that since closed, and now sells insurance in Red Bank.
Art called Christian Peter, who didn’t respond by the time this was posted. Art also asked Senator Kyrillos about Christian Peter’s inclusion on the host committee for the Christie’s funder. Kyrillos referred Art to Mike DuHaime. DuHaime didn’t get back to Art, though if he does, I’ll post that too.