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The Case of Tony Stancl
July 17, 2009 1:15 PM   Subscribe

"Immediately, Ike's rumor mill went into a frenzy. Wired magazine posted the criminal complaint against Stancl on its Web site, and kids downloaded the document, which identified the victims by their initials and dates of birth. Then the kids went to Facebook and searched the Eisenhower network by plugging in birth dates. Within minutes they had a full list of the names of the alleged victims, which made the story even more incredible. These were not wayward, damaged boys. They were athletes. Leaders. Popular, college-bound, bright-futured kids. Boys so unimpeachably straight that there was no way you could imagine them doing the things they were supposed to have done with Tony Stancl."
posted by Saucy Intruder (116 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't know about the substance of the article itself, but "unimpeachably straight" is almost certifiably a phrase that you would see only in the pages of GQ and/or Esquire.
posted by blucevalo at 1:25 PM on July 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


As part of SADD, Tony did seat-belt checks on the long row of cars driving out of Ike's parking lot after school. He stood with a New Berlin cop, stopping each vehicle to offer a friendly reminder to buckle up.

Doooooouuuuuuuuccccccchhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeebbbbbbaaaaaaaggggggg.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:25 PM on July 17, 2009 [16 favorites]


I was just in the process of posting this. I'm glad that we now have 'SEXTORTION!!!111!!' to replace 'sexting' as the phrase of the day to describe today's crazy youth. Truly a disturbing story.

Additional information from the NYT.
posted by uaudio at 1:29 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, this is a real quote from the story:

After agonizing over whether to talk about the case to GQ, one school employee finally justified the decision by saying, "This may ruin my career, but if I can help save just one more kid from getting ass-raped, it will be worth it."

what
posted by uaudio at 1:31 PM on July 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


He's just being hip to the youngsters' lingo.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 1:34 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I take off my wizard robe and hat...
posted by Xoebe at 1:35 PM on July 17, 2009 [23 favorites]


what

Sex obtained through extortion may not technically be "rape," but it's pretty damn close.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:36 PM on July 17, 2009


Yikes. This is surely destined to end up on Law And Order SVU. I can hear the script-writers scribbling furiously already.
posted by jamstigator at 1:39 PM on July 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm astonished that that many kids fell for it. I mean, essentially videotaped anal rape v. having a naked picture of you on the internet or sent to your parents or something?

It's beyond belief to me that 7 straight boys preferred allowing videos of them being forced into receptive anal sex to be produced. Did they really not think *that* was even better blackmail material, not to mention their fear of pain and even worse embarrassment?

What did they think would happen to the original pictures? Or was there something in the original pictures that we don't know about? Why would it be better to have a video potentially out there of you getting fucked by a man?

Once the kids knew there was a camera involved for the extorted sex, why did they go through with it?

It seems like there's something fishy about this story...
posted by Maias at 1:46 PM on July 17, 2009


I don't dispute that its rape. I think it was a strange word choice to describe the outcome of the employee's internal debate.
posted by uaudio at 1:47 PM on July 17, 2009


I got tired of clicking "next" after like 5 pages and instead just googled the guy; It's all well and good to create a narrative in an article, especially if said narrative provides context and is even slightly relevant--but... argh... here:

"A FORMER COLLEGE wrestler once nicknamed the Rhino, Paul Kreutzer is a pugnacious, compact man who at 25 became the youngest high school principal in Wisconsin and at 29 the state's youngest superintendent. Every morning, Kreutzer snaps his cuff links into place, adjusts his double-Windsor tie knot, and checks the shine of his Kenneth Cole shoes. Though he's been superintendent of New Berlin's schools for almost two years, he habitually mispronounces the town's name—it's New Ber-lin, not New Ber-lin—but he's less out of touch than students think. On the screen of Kreutzer's iPhone, a Bible application sits next to a beer-pong game.
...
The next day, after a bomb unit swept the building, Kreutzer went out for lunch at Stir Crazy, an Asian restaurant at the Brookfield Square mall. He was taking the first bite of his pot stickers when his cell phone rang."

Really? He was eating pot stickers? Did he get any sauce? Did he carefully pull out of his parking space as he left the restaurant, feeling that he might not have gotten his money's worth at Stir Crazy--and would, tomorrow, try P.F. Changs instead? Did this leave his bitter and moody for the rest of the day? Or was this simply a diversion his mind created to mask the signs of depression? Is his marriage failing? Please! I want to know more about this man.
posted by tiaka at 1:47 PM on July 17, 2009 [48 favorites]


One of the most interesting things in the article is the careful, surgeon's approach the author makes toward the concept of understanding and sympathy for the perpetrator. He never quite goes there, of course, as it's clear that the grotesque nature of Tony's crimes is completely out of proportion to whatever abuse he suffered at the hands of his classmates for being thought of as homosexual.

It sort of reminds me of the attempt to find meaning, or at least an internal coherency, in the actions of Klebold and Harris, the teenaged perpetrators of the Columbine massacre.

I was in High School when Columbine happened, and in the intervening years I've had time to reflect on the abuse I suffered from others for being thought of as homosexual due to my quiet, awkward demeanor, and wonder if under different circumstances I might have responded to alienation with criminality.

I don't think I would have.

I think people like Klebold, Harris, and Stancl are simply irreparably broken; if they weren't murdering, or entrapping and blackmailing classmates in high school, they'd be raping people in stairwells as adults. Sympathy and understanding are wasted on people like them.

I'm just glad Stancl was caught, and will be removed from society, before his list of victims had a chance to grow longer.
posted by The Confessor at 1:47 PM on July 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


This is probably my least favorite JT LeRoy story.
posted by billysumday at 1:47 PM on July 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


Students and school officials describe Stancl as a high achiever who was particularly alive in political science classes.

I'm sure that he would have done quite well moving up in either party.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 2:02 PM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Better "peachably gay" than "impeachably straight".
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:05 PM on July 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


"I'm just glad Stancl was caught, and will be removed from society, before his list of victims had a chance to grow longer."

For somebody making a good point, you really picked an awkward way to end off.
posted by mhoye at 2:06 PM on July 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


These were not wayward, damaged boys. They were athletes. Leaders. Popular, college-bound, bright-futured kids. Boys so unimpeachably straight that there was no way you could imagine them doing the things they were supposed to have done with Tony Stancl."

Can we place a moratorium on describing teenagers this way? Whether they're a perpetrator or a victim it does everyone a disservice to assume that popular kids, athletes, or rich kids aren't in any way a) wayward, b) damaged, or c) gay.

The public face is usually unrelated to the private face.

Also, I didn't expect to be so disturbed by this story, but I really am. I hope the victims can find some sort of peace after the crimes done to them.
posted by muddgirl at 2:07 PM on July 17, 2009 [17 favorites]


If Stanci did this in City of Heroes, he'd be writing an academic paper about it now.
posted by benzenedream at 2:24 PM on July 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


Wow! I am speechless.
posted by caddis at 2:27 PM on July 17, 2009


Holy shit. Can an article be written with more carefully couched homophobia supporting the status quo belief that all queers are to be feared? At least once a page, I swear. I'm the last to defend Stancl's actions, but could they have possibly chosen a reporter more tailor made to underscore "gay panic" in the predominant culture whilst telling the story of yet another victim of the closet and its warping power? Fuck.
posted by hippybear at 2:31 PM on July 17, 2009 [26 favorites]


At the courthouse, a middle-aged secretary in the clerk's office said, "When I was in high school, boys like Tony Stancl got the crap beaten out of them. Why didn't they beat the crap out of him?"

Another secretary said, "Maybe he was a cool kid."

The first secretary raised her eyebrows and touched her heavy gray turtleneck. "I saw his picture," she responded, "and he does not look cool to me."


New Berlin, where everyone, everywhere, is a giant idiot douchebag.
posted by TypographicalError at 2:31 PM on July 17, 2009 [38 favorites]


Oh jesus.

He asked, "Is this the Columbine of texting?"

Someone needs to get on the outrage bandwagon at this principal, stat.
posted by TypographicalError at 2:34 PM on July 17, 2009


well, the article got one thing right:
it's New Ber-lin, not New Ber-lin.
New Berlin, where everyone, everywhere, is a giant idiot douchebag.

Thanks! (I grew up there.) But I moved away in the early 1980s.
posted by desjardins at 2:34 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm astonished that that many kids fell for it. I mean, essentially videotaped anal rape v. having a naked picture of you on the internet or sent to your parents or something?

I too find this... weird. I mean, I can see them agreeing to meet with the guy in the hope that it would get them out of the original blackmail. But I would think that they would just want to plead with him. And then when he pulls out a camera? And takes more pictures? And he managed it with seven victims?

If it were a movie plot, I'd find it unrealistic.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:39 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


another victim of the closet and its warping power?

I'm not buying it. I think he is a fucking creep, and would be doing this kind of shit to girls if he were straight.
posted by kathrineg at 2:39 PM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think this shows why teaching your kids to be obedient is wrong.

It may help you out when they're young, and it may smooth their way in the classroom, but it sets them up to be victims of someone like Stanci.
posted by jamjam at 2:40 PM on July 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm kind of surprised this story didn't end with someone meeting him and killing him, frankly.
posted by dead cousin ted at 2:46 PM on July 17, 2009


I think this shows why teaching your kids to be obedient is wrong.

Well, there goes our educational system...
posted by brundlefly at 2:52 PM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think he is a fucking creep, and would be doing this kind of shit to girls if he were straight.

I'm not saying he isn't a creep. I'm not saying there isn't something potentially really wrong with him.

I am saying that a culture which insists that one's sexuality is wrong and must be hidden or expect public shaming, especially when the person in question has already experienced a good measure of that, can breed very antisocial behaviors as the fundamental drive of sexually-reproductive genetics kicks in. (Yes, I know, gay sex doesn't lead to reproduction, but the drive is the same...)

I don't know that he'd be doing this to women if he were straight. Because if he were interested in women, he could approach them at least with the confidence that the predominant culture was behind him in his actions. Even if he's socially awkward to a cripping degree, a man approaching a woman for a date in high school is a lot easier than a man approaching a man.

His creepy creepiness might show up in other ways, but blackmailing the women into sending him photos of themselves in sexually compromising positions by pretending he was someone else would likely not be part of it, were he targeting women with his attentions.
posted by hippybear at 2:52 PM on July 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Please! I want to know more about this man.

Don't worry tiaka, this whole article is actually the author's attempt to write a script for a made-for-TV special on this case, with the potential to be a 3-part mini-drama.

I'd like to know if the author actually asked for these little details. Did the author look at Kreutzer's iPhone? Did he check the superintendent's receipts to re-enact the whole dramatic series of events? Or did the author make it all up, figuring no one really cared about the details, but felt like the reader would be transported back into high school if the descriptions were vivid enough.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:00 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think that if he had done this young women, the blackmail might have been less likely to work. It's not just that his victims feared that naked pictures of them would be released, it's that they feared that they, too, would be labeled as gay. That's where gay panic drives this story.
posted by mai at 3:01 PM on July 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


I like how there was this shock. "Well, crap, it wasn't the damaged, awkward kids, you know .... the ones we consider disposable anyway. Oh, and the dork was banging them."

It sounds as if some of the outrage isn't over the act, but over the reversal of the social roles.
posted by adipocere at 3:02 PM on July 17, 2009 [15 favorites]


The Stancl case was perhaps more horrifying because these boys were seduced by another boy

I would say that with this line, the author takes the story from implicitly to explicitly homophobic. I regret boosting the site traffic of the publisher who thought this was acceptable. Also, the author's terminology is confusing, perhaps deliberately - seduction is an awfully strange word to use for extortion and rape, unless you're intentionally playing up the gay panic angle.

he had an after-school job as a software engineer

And this is why I regret ever putting the title "Software Engineer" on my business card. I don't see many reporters calling high school kids who make some money on the side doing construction as having after-school jobs as civil engineers.
posted by hackwolf at 3:02 PM on July 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


Well, if these boys *did* basically figure doing this was the lesser of two evils, I think it speaks of *less* homophobia, given that in homophobic places, men are taught that it's better to die than be "feminized" by having receptive anal sex.

This is why the story doesn't ring true to me-- unless kids have gotten a heck of a lot less homophobic, the number of straight boys who would agree to give a guy a blow job on camera, let alone submit to filmed anal sex-- seems extraordinarily high.

Again, I just don't get it. If you are afraid of someone going public with naked photos of you, why would you prefer them to have naked videos of you getting fucked by a man?

I just really think it would be hard to find *one* straight boy in a high school who would submit to receptive anal sex without force-- let alone seven and on such a flimsy pretext.

There's gotta be something else to this-- or it's fake. Or, maybe, straight high school boys just don't think it's a big deal to get fucked by other boys these days and see it as just another experience. Somehow, I just don't buy that.
posted by Maias at 3:08 PM on July 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm kind of surprised this story didn't end with someone meeting him and killing him, frankly.

Yeah. I hate to say this as god only knows we don't need any more school violence or another incident of high-school gay bashing, but purely from the blackmail angle I'm surprised that no one just beat him up.
posted by GuyZero at 3:10 PM on July 17, 2009


blackmailing the women into sending him photos of themselves in sexually compromising positions by pretending he was someone else would likely not be part of it, were he targeting women with his attentions.

Except for the blackmail part, this was extremely common behavior amongst straight men on all the dating/chat sites I frequented when I was single. Maybe I didn't get to the blackmail portion because I didn't actually send them.

It's not just that his victims feared that naked pictures of them would be released, it's that they feared that they, too, would be labeled as gay.

This doesn't make sense, since they thought they were sending pictures to a woman. Why would they think that would label them as gay?
posted by desjardins at 3:12 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I wasn't really going with the gay bashing angle in my comment and was hoping everyone could see that, not that I'm saying you aren't, GuyZero. It just seems pretty plausible that when you try to blackmail someone, especially with something sexual and embarrassing, some people have a tendency to flip out and kill you. Especially if you want to meet them in secluded areas in person.
posted by dead cousin ted at 3:13 PM on July 17, 2009


This was one of those stories where I just can't grok how something like this happened, purely from a mechanistic standpoint.

"I have naked pictures of you."
"No, you don't."
"Yes, I do. Here's proof."
"Holy shit!"
"I'm going to send these to everyone at school."
"Oh, fuck!"
"But there's a way out of this."
"What, what do you want?"
"I want you to let me blow you."
"OK, OK. But only because there's NO OTHER WAY TO STOP YOU."

?????

This doesn't make sense at all.

Occam's Razor says there's a group of gay and bi-curious teenagers at this school, and one of them has an overactive imagination.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:18 PM on July 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


Why would they think that would label them as gay?

Because in some circles, saying you watched figure skating on TV gets you labeled as gay. The alpha-male packs are pretty vicious in high schools and they have no hesitation to turn on their own. That's my guess anyway.
posted by GuyZero at 3:18 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


deejardins: wait, what? When you were single, you frequented dating sites where the men would pretend to be someone else in order to get you to send them naked / sexual pictures of yourself?
posted by hippybear at 3:19 PM on July 17, 2009


Man, I hate to call victims of abuse liars. But. The only way this makes sense is if they consented once and were then blackmailed into having more sex with the threat of releasing the gay sex photos. Anyone - male or female, straight or gay - would rather have revealing solo photos released than pictures of themselves engaged in a sexual act. Even a 13 year old can figure that one out.
posted by desjardins at 3:21 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]



By the following afternoon, authorities had found no sign of a bomb and no solid clues as to the source of the threat. In his office, Fesenmaier had corralled a few known troublemakers in an attempt to get them to confess to vandalizing the bathroom wall.

I'm would love to see what lengths that Principal goes to to punish the "known troublemakers" for not having anything to do with any of this crap.

These were not wayward, damaged boys. They were athletes. Leaders. Popular, college-bound, bright-futured kids. Boys so unimpeachably straight that there was no way you could imagine them doing the things they were supposed to have done with Tony Stancl."

I used to think this type of thinking was one of those bugs that society would one day fix. High School taught me that it was actually a feature that society would protect even if it meant losing a few kids along the way.

At the courthouse, a middle-aged secretary in the clerk's office said, "When I was in high school, boys like Tony Stancl got the crap beaten out of them. Why didn't they beat the crap out of him?" Another secretary said, "Maybe he was a cool kid."

The first secretary raised her eyebrows and touched her heavy gray turtleneck. "I saw his picture," she responded, "and he does not look cool to me."


(Editor's note: when i said this article needed more useless overdescribed assholes, this is EXACTLY what I had in mind. Good work!)

The headline for this story should have read: Kids turn to monsters while adults are busy smelling their own assholes.
posted by billyfleetwood at 3:21 PM on July 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


hippybear - sure. They'd pretend to be younger, single, richer, whatever they thought it took to get naked pictures. Fake names, fake cities. I'd be shocked if this doesn't also happen on gay sites.
posted by desjardins at 3:23 PM on July 17, 2009


Because in some circles, saying you watched figure skating on TV gets you labeled as gay. The alpha-male packs are pretty vicious in high schools and they have no hesitation to turn on their own. That's my guess anyway.

But wouldn't they be more concerned that actually engaging in sex with another man would lead to them being labeled as gay? I mean, if being labeled as gay is a primary concern, that seems like something to avoid. Especially when the guy is taking pictures.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:23 PM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


From the introductory paragraph:

What he did next will likely send him to jail for a very long time

Since the article eventually gets around to relating that none of the blackmailed students will likely testify, and the school administration and the town seem to want what happened to fade away, It seems likely that Tony Stancl won't be spending all that much time in prison.
posted by longsleeves at 3:25 PM on July 17, 2009


This doesn't make sense, since they thought they were sending pictures to a woman. Why would they think that would label them as gay?

Um yeah, you need to read the article at least up to the point where they had sex with the guy.
posted by longsleeves at 3:29 PM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I mean, if being labeled as gay is a primary concern, that seems like something to avoid. Especially when the guy is taking pictures.

I'm just guessing here obviously. But teenagers aren't well-known for rational decision making. They keep believing the blackmailer's lie that this will be the last time it happens and they keep getting pulled further in. It's no different than the "I need another $500" scam that goes along with emails from Nigerian Oil Princes or whomever - the main mistake that the victims keep making is believing the lie that the situation will ever end.
posted by GuyZero at 3:29 PM on July 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


Here is the thing about the whys and the wherefores of the extortion working.

Someone who is manipulative may proposition a dozen people before they find one that bites. Once the person has bitten once, the manipulator knows where some of their buttons are. They keep pushing those and looking for more. Once the abuser knows where enough of these weaknesses are they can couch a request/demand in language that will make the victim obey, even if after the fact the threat seems a bit silly to us.

This is all MHO, but I think I might be close to the mark.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 3:30 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just really think it would be hard to find *one* straight boy in a high school who would submit to receptive anal sex without force-- let alone seven and on such a flimsy pretext.

It's not clear that the X scenario as given is exactly what happened with all 7 of the boys who were blackmailed into sexual activity with Tony. The first two encounters --- "he and Tony went into the men's room and into a stall. Tony got down on his knees," seem to indicate that the blackmailed boy was the recipient, which may have been easier to rationalize.
posted by Diablevert at 3:35 PM on July 17, 2009


I think this shows why teaching your kids to be obedient is wrong.

No offense jamjam, but you just got my vote for Dumbest Thing Said On Metafilter This Week.

One must ask: Do you have children of your own? If so, how do you get these Little Lords and Ladies of Chaos to sleep, wear seatbelts when they are driving cars and do their homework? Parents everywhere want to know your secret.
posted by Dagobert at 3:38 PM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


*It sounds as if some of the outrage isn't over the act, but over the reversal of the social roles.*

Ding ding ding. Adipocere is the winnah! The ugly are not meant to have power over the beautiful - of either gender. It strikes a deep, instinctual chord of wrongness when they do, in any situation.
posted by HalfJack at 3:42 PM on July 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


jamjam's kids a re ration actors who always act in their own self-interest. He reads Atlas Shrugged to them every night and they nod right off.

*It sounds as if some of the outrage isn't over the act, but over the reversal of the social roles.*

I would think there's some level of outrage over blackmail for sex going on in a highschool, regardless of which genders were involved.
posted by GuyZero at 3:44 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


am I the only person that thinks the perp is really not that awkward looking? could there be an unmentioned racial angle here?
posted by desjardins at 3:58 PM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Man, I hate to call victims of abuse liars. But. The only way this makes sense is if they consented once and were then blackmailed into having more sex with the threat of releasing the gay sex photos. Anyone - male or female, straight or gay - would rather have revealing solo photos released than pictures of themselves engaged in a sexual act. Even a 13 year old can figure that one out.

Mmmm....to the latter point, sure. But you have to remember that in the best con man tradition, Tony was playing two roles here --- "Kaylee/Emily" and Cousin Tony. Good Cop/Bad Cop. The article doesn't explain how he finessed Cousin Tony's willingness/desire to screw around with these boys, but it does make clear that until the case broke, most of them had not groked that Tony and "Kaylee/Emily" were one and the same --- in part because there were real Emilies whose good names he was abusing for this scheme.

So as far as the victims are concerned "Kaylee/Emily" is the ringmaster here, she's the evil blackmailer. "Cousin Tony" may well have presented himself as another victim --- say, "Kaylee" had threatened to tell his parent he was gay. Give it another layer, make it sound better: "I was telling Kaylee how much it sucks b/c I want a boyfriend but I can't come out at my school and she said she could hook me up with a guy she knew, when I found out the real deal I tried to back out and she said she'd tell my parents about me..."

Is this dumb? Yes. But the victim is already on the hook, at this point. They're so wrapped up in hoping that is they do this one thing this will all go away that they're definitely not asking themselves, "if this goes wrong, how much more screwed will I be?" You see the same thing in victims of con artists. Once you send the first $500, the next $5,000 is chasing after the sunk costs....if they already have terribly embarrassing pictures that you'll do almost anything to prevent getting out, does it matter how many more embarrassing pictures, of what stuff? Besides, they swore if I just did this one more thing it will be over....
posted by Diablevert at 4:05 PM on July 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


Parents everywhere want to know your secret.
I'm pretty sure he means blind obedience to perceived authority, not the simple concept of doing what someone else who you can trust to have your best interests in mind (trust that a good parent has established with their child) asks you to do. Establishing the concept of limits to authority: someone being crosswalk supervisor means they can tell the child what to do when crossing the road at the crosswalk. Someone being a teacher at the child's school means they can tell the child what to do while at school, within the limits of the school rules, the education department rules, and the law. Someone being an officer in a soldier's chain of command means they can give the soldier some orders within defined boundaries.

A parent's authority over a child starts with complete control for a reason: they were born knowing nothing and able to do nothing, but over some time depending on how the child educates and improves him/herself, maybe it will take twelve, maybe twenty years, they will become an independent adult and the parent will know no more than the child and will have no control over the child. Around about twelve or so, depending on the child's grandparents' physical and mental condition, is probably the time to start introducing them to the concept that the parent will eventually become less able than they the child will be - and this, child, will happen to you.

I think what jamjam was getting at is that with authority comes responsibility, that the obedient, by obeying, give a gift of sorts to those whom they obey, and that gift must be respected - or else the authority is not deserved, and if they will not change, must be resisted in a way that will achieve the desired ends of removing them.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:07 PM on July 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


BTW, responsible exercise of authority is as far from the philosophical message of Atlas Shrugged as it is possible to get. Rand apparently believes that all authority is coercive, always, which would imply that you should struggle to accumulate wealth so that you can be the coercer rather than the coerced. Like "paying your fair share of tax so that things of benefit to the group can be bought", "obeying orders so that things in the group interest can be done" isn't something Objectivists really get.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:12 PM on July 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Man, I hate to call victims of abuse liars. But. The only way this makes sense is if they consented once and were then blackmailed into having more sex with the threat of releasing the gay sex photos. Anyone - male or female, straight or gay - would rather have revealing solo photos released than pictures of themselves engaged in a sexual act. Even a 13 year old can figure that one out.

Bingo. There is no way he went from "I have a picture of your dick" to "now bend over and take it" without getting slugged. There is something more insidious at play, by which I mean I suspect this started with fairly normal adolescent sexual exploration that took a (deliberately) wrong turn when Tony wanted more.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:18 PM on July 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


filthy light thief - That's what I thought as well, as there has been a history of feature films being adapted from articles, my favorite of which is Die Hard 4; Seriously, it's based on a wired article; I know, right?

But this? I could see this story being on Law and Order or something, but they don't need to buy the rights, they'll just change some names and set it in New York--and call it a done deal;

I think, instead the writer got paid by the word, and the editors weren't there that day, or thought it'd be a great source of ad revenue (11 clicks, 11 impressions). I don't know.

It's not like I don't appreciate a well-done yarn in my journalism--not at all; But this is just atrocious.
posted by tiaka at 4:19 PM on July 17, 2009


Asked to name the second-most traumatic thing that had happened at the school, the principal stared blankly and halfheartedly mumbled about a teacher who died of cancer the previous year. Asked the same question, Ike's head counselor thought for a while and then remembered a season of suicides in the 1980s. Seven people died, she thought, maybe eight.

Angie Kline, school counselor, was enjoying her Doublemint gum when she stopped chewing for a moment to answer, "Oh yeah. Remember that time all those kids were offing themselves? Yeah. That was kinda bad." The principal made a face as though he just smelled something rancid; the odor of unpopular kids doing stupid things and making everyone else feel bad, something he didn't choose to dwell on. He leaned back against the wall, crossed his arms, and squinted his eyes searching his memory. "I'm thinking of that time Eric Stevenson twisted his ankle in the fourth quarter of the state semi-finals? We lost that game and we should have won. I remember everyone was pretty traumatized." He smiled and nodded, satisfied that he had summed up the school's second-most traumatic event.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:20 PM on July 17, 2009 [9 favorites]


I like how there was this shock. "Well, crap, it wasn't the damaged, awkward kids, you know .... the ones we consider disposable anyway. Oh, and the dork was banging them."

To be fair, it could be that these kids were seen as more confident, less vulnerable.
posted by dilettante at 4:25 PM on July 17, 2009


hippybear - sure. They'd pretend to be younger, single, richer, whatever they thought it took to get naked pictures. Fake names, fake cities. I'd be shocked if this doesn't also happen on gay sites.


Actually, most gay sites I know of (and hang out on) are too frightened of being accused of being pedophiles to even interact with someone who claims to be below the age of consent in whatever jurisdiction the chatters may be in.

But I take your point as a good one. While I do hang out on gay sites which are known for being used for hooking up, I've never misrepresented myself in order to score a hookup. I'm also not known for sending people naked photos of myself based on a small amount of conversation.

In any case, none of my involvement, nor I'm sure the involvement you encountered in your straight hookup websites, came anywhere near close to the "oh well, if you're really interested, meet this person and have this sexual encounter with them and I'll know you mean it" stage.

Still, gay or straight, there is a lot going on here. This poor kid was made to feel so unwelcome in his own skin that he resorted to underhanded tactics to finagle sexual contact with the kids who had belittled him so brutally. Or is that an unfair way to read this? I really see the earlier widespread mocking of this man for being gay as instrumental in the formation of his aberrant behavior.
posted by hippybear at 4:30 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


am I the only person that thinks the perp is really not that awkward looking? could there be an unmentioned racial angle here?

This is a total tangent, but the name Stancl sounds Czech. In the photos of the guy you linked to, he doesn't look Czech, unless he's Roma. Traditionally, Roma were disadvantaged in Easter Europe, and certainly face a lot of discrimination in modern day Czech Republic. Here in the U.S.? Not so much - I mean, maybe there's some latent racism against "gypsies" as Roma are called, but frankly, in this here melting pot, it's hard for most people to tell apart Roma, from, say, a "generic" Latino. So, how would the "unmentioned racial angle" work here?
posted by VikingSword at 4:33 PM on July 17, 2009


VikingSword So, how would the "unmentioned racial angle" work here?
Bullied for his looks based on his race as well as his specific individual awkwardness.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:41 PM on July 17, 2009


Bullied for his looks based on his race as well as his specific individual awkwardness.

Hmm. I guess it comes as news to me that there's bullying of Roma here in the U.S. based on "race" (Europe, yes, absolutely). I never heard of such a thing here, and I read the papers as much as the next guy. Live and learn.
posted by VikingSword at 4:44 PM on July 17, 2009


Hmm. I guess it comes as news to me that there's bullying of Roma here in the U.S. based on "race" (Europe, yes, absolutely).

RTFA. He's adopted, from Peru.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:50 PM on July 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Vikingsword: before we go into more Roma theories: "Tony and his sister, Stephanie, were adopted as babies from an orphanage in Lima"
posted by ouke at 4:51 PM on July 17, 2009


This is a total tangent, but the name Stancl sounds Czech. In the photos of the guy you linked to, he doesn't look Czech, unless he's Roma.

He was adopted from lima, peru. Thanks for reading the article.
posted by dead cousin ted at 4:51 PM on July 17, 2009


VikingSword: The article does say he and his sister were adopted, hence his desire to sell his car to raise money to go to Peru and build shelters.

I'm actually feeling more sympathy for Tony Stancl than anyone else. Jail time? Yeah, some, but not too much... I don't think he did anything too horrifically wrong here. From what we've read, it sounds like the kid was awkward and made to feel more so: the various people in the story repackaging the "Oh man, the ugly dork thought he could do something to our precious, pretty, athletic, popular kids- lynch him!" angle doesn't exactly make me feel that New Berlin is all that victimized, and that maybe, just maybe, had it coming.

And as others have said, the nature of the story itself doesn't sound right: I think it's more a case of experimenting + guilt = Um, I was tricked! I don't buy for a second that the 7 victims didn't figure out what was going on, or thought being videotaped having anal sex with a guy was better than nude pictures to a girl. Even teenagers aren't that dumb, that consistently. I have to believe they were somewhat willing and later embarassed- these kids would be too immersed in the digital world to fall for such a story.
posted by hincandenza at 4:53 PM on July 17, 2009


This is a total tangent, but the name Stancl sounds Czech. In the photos of the guy you linked to, he doesn't look Czech, unless he's Roma. Traditionally, Roma were disadvantaged in Easter Europe, and certainly face a lot of discrimination in modern day Czech Republic. Here in the U.S.? Not so much - I mean, maybe there's some latent racism against "gypsies" as Roma are called, but frankly, in this here melting pot, it's hard for most people to tell apart Roma, from, say, a "generic" Latino. So, how would the "unmentioned racial angle" work here?

Uh, it says in the first page or two of the article that he was adopted from Peru, along with a sister. He's Latino by birth.
posted by availablelight at 4:57 PM on July 17, 2009


Sorry, I missed that. Never mind then.
posted by VikingSword at 5:00 PM on July 17, 2009



"I have naked pictures of you."
"No, you don't."
"Yes, I do. Here's proof."
"Holy shit!"
"I'm going to send these to everyone at school."
"Oh, fuck!"
"But there's a way out of this."
"What, what do you want?"
"I want you to let me blow you."
"OK, OK. But only because there's NO OTHER WAY TO STOP YOU."

?????

This doesn't make sense at all.



It makes sense in a movie. A movie with a lot of very short dialogue exchanges. And maybe a plumber and pizza boy thrown in.
posted by The Whelk at 5:05 PM on July 17, 2009 [12 favorites]


It makes sense in a movie.

I'm sure a film crew has set up that premise for filming in Palm Springs this weekend.
posted by ericb at 5:07 PM on July 17, 2009


The thing I don't get is this: You (average guy) are finally face-to-face with the dude who has been blackmailing you, he's some pencil-neck dweeb renowned for having a head disproportionately large to his body, and you don't stomp him into the ground and one-up the blackmail with violent extortion? Someone explain that to me.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 5:24 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


They were athletes. Leaders. Popular, college-bound, bright-futured kids. Boys so unimpeachably straight that there was no way you could imagine them doing the things they were supposed to have done with Tony Stancl. closeted.

There. I fixed it.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:35 PM on July 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


VikingSword - keep in mind that his surname being Czech only means that his father's family is at least partially Czech. Sayeth the half-Asian lady with the Slovak surname.

Other than that, I'm really reluctant to speculate on Stancl's racial background, since a) those photos are awful, and b) "looks white" =/= "is white." But he definitely doesn't look WASPy, and the (so, so sensationalistic) article describes New Berlin as a uber-white, uber-conservative town, so added to his other problems fitting in, it's perfectly plausible to me.

I don't know, I've never been there. desjardins, you might have more insight.
posted by bettafish at 5:38 PM on July 17, 2009


Other than that, I'm really reluctant to speculate on Stancl's racial background, since a) those photos are awful, and b) "looks white" =/= "is white."

I'm going to go out on a limb and speculate that he's of Peruvian origin.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:42 PM on July 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Bingo. There is no way he went from "I have a picture of your dick" to "now bend over and take it" without getting slugged.

I don't think it's that unrealistic. If there's one thing that young people today know, it's that pictures never go away, never, ever. Pummel the guy, and he might go to the hospital, but the pictures will be there when he's back at the keyboard. We all know how desperately concerned with "face" a teenage guy can be. Short of actual homicide -- and that would be a long shot -- how else could a young, trapped, scared person think to get out of this situation?

Of course we know better, but we aren't eighteen and we weren't there. I don't care to blame any victims, here.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:49 PM on July 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


Yeah, sorry everyone, I now realize he was adopted. I missed it because that article is written in such an awful way that I found it painful to read, so I kinda skimmed through it with half-closed eyes. But, I missed it, so no excuses.

And bettafish, you make a good point - the family might only be part Czech.

I just found it such an odd suggestion that racism might have something to do with this, maybe it's living here in LA CA, but there is so much diversity around, especially Latino, that I cannot imagine racism at school based on looking like 50% of the population. Regardless, I misread, so I'll shut up now.
posted by VikingSword at 5:52 PM on July 17, 2009


And of course, there's the whole issue of the fictional blackmailer. What good would it do to beat up the guy that "Emily" asked you to fuck? "Emily" still has your pictures.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:53 PM on July 17, 2009


Although I find that a little thin. I would think that they would jump to the conclusion that "that faggy kid who looks at me funny" is who they really sent their pictures to, unless they're really stupid.

But then, sending naked pictures of yourself to another kid is kinda stupid...
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:56 PM on July 17, 2009


I missed it because that article is written in such an awful way that I found it painful to read, so I kinda skimmed through it with half-closed eyes. But, I missed it, so no excuses.

Ok, that's a perfectly good excuse because this article is truly awful. I read most of it but ended up just googling the guys name and reading something that didn't sound like a script pitch.
posted by dead cousin ted at 5:57 PM on July 17, 2009


Even in the Lifetime movie version of this story, the victim would say, when confronted with the presence of Tony, "Hey! It was you all along!" or something.

Maybe.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:58 PM on July 17, 2009


I wish this journalist wasn't such a shitty writer because this sounds interesting but it's just so fucking awfully written.
posted by Damn That Television at 6:00 PM on July 17, 2009


The kids' resilience raises what may be the most disturbing implication of what happened here: The phenomenon of teens trading naked pictures with one another is something they at least think they can deal with.

I can see where it's all going. Terrified by horror stories related by parents and teachers of the potential consequences of "sexting" and "sextortion," teenagers around the nation resort to doing the unthinkable: getting naked in person and having consensual sex.
posted by nanojath at 6:01 PM on July 17, 2009


You (average guy) are finally face-to-face with the dude who has been blackmailing you

As far as the victims knew, the person responsible for blackmailing them was "Kayla." Even teenage boys can figure out that beating up the minion doesn't stop the criminal mastermind.

I just found it such an odd suggestion that racism might have something to do with this, maybe it's living here in LA CA, but there is so much diversity around, especially Latino, that I cannot imagine racism at school based on looking like 50% of the population.

Dude, you need to get out of California more often. Wikipedia says about 5% of Wisconsin's population is hispanic and New Berlin is less than 2% hispanic. That kid's living in one of the whitest places on Earth. It's named New Berlin, for God's sake!

And in general, I think some of you guys are expecting too much logic from teenagers and abuse victims. It's getting a little close to blaming the victim in here.
posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 6:14 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Bingo. There is no way he went from "I have a picture of your dick" to "now bend over and take it" without getting slugged.

I don't think it's that unrealistic. If there's one thing that young people today know, it's that pictures never go away, never, ever.


I was a gay kid in highschool. Trust me, it didn't happen the way that is claimed in the story. I'll be prepared to eat my hat if different came out at trial, but seriously? No.

I mean seriously. "I'm a girl and I have a picture of your dick. Now fuck my friend in the ass or I'll show everyone your cock!"

Doesn't even come close to passing the smell test.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:32 PM on July 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


New Berlin as a uber-white, uber-conservative town

You're right about the whiteness. They were just starting to bus in black kids when I went to school there in the early 1980s. It caused quite the uproar since many of the whites who lived there were part of the white flight from Milwaukee. I can't speak specifically to the politics, but I can't imagine it's much different than the rest of the county, which is notoriously conservative. The county blocked light rail to/from Milwaukee basically because they didn't want black and brown people without cars to be able to get there.
posted by desjardins at 7:50 PM on July 17, 2009


Man, I totally lost track of the adoption thing as well, and I even remember eyerolling at the bit about buying a flatscreen TV when he couldn't go on his trip to visit the homeland. Mea culpa.

As for the blackmail situation itself, and the dangers of veering towards victim-blaming - it's always important to remember that none of us were there, that it's hard to keep a cool head in that kind of situation, and that the press distorts everything. (Hard to forget that last one, with this article! Sigh.) I'm going to be excessively optimistic and hope that the details get straightened out in the legal system, and that these kids can get their lives back on track.

I also want them all to go to liberal arts colleges and get the heck out of New Berlin, if New Berlin is even half as bad as that article makes it sound, but one can't have everything.
posted by bettafish at 8:17 PM on July 17, 2009


What a confusing tale, but, consistent with my own experiences.

In highschool (Canadian N. America - fuck, Vancouver, North Vancouver) there was "The Candyman" - a boy who was videotaped anally pleasuring himself with a candycane. The videographer was, by all accounts hetero.

Said candyman suffered casual ostracism but upon graduation, the (male) valedictorian (there was a co-V and she was female and picked solely along similar lines), picked solely based on popularity, and candyman entered into a public and affectionate relationship, after graduation.

Politics and stuff that seems important in highschool can... dissolve out after graduation.

What some mainstream reporter tries to tell a story of a highschool situation, that account should be taken as if it was a Chinese Party newspaper reporting about how the leadership is avoiding eating meat and travelling by trains instead of jets.
posted by porpoise at 8:22 PM on July 17, 2009


A couple of side notes:

There are (unless the whole story just falls completely apart) plenty of crimes that happened, but nothing to do with child pornography. The US justice system needs to find another route than proceeding with a straight face as if all non-celibate high school students were pedophiles.

A respected columnist at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel suggested that true justice would come when Tony was turned over to the ultimate sex predators, prison rapists: "Has Stancl pondered the possibility his cellmates will have some schemes of their own to spring on him?"

This shit needs to stop too.
posted by Bokononist at 8:35 PM on July 17, 2009 [13 favorites]


Whatever else he may be, Tony Stancl is an opportunist. He rode the big wave that more and more kids ride, out to a place where every flesh-and-blood kid is also a phantom, where adolescence isn't so lonely, where you don't have to wonder, Isn't there anybody who wants what I want? In this world, no IM goes unanswered—and for every teenager who types the question will u send it?, there is another typing, Yes.

And, I agree that the true criminal here is whoever wrote this crap.
posted by Bokononist at 8:38 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know, every now and then, as a young, urban and urbane male, I think to myself- self, I like wearing suits. I enjoy cocktails. Perhaps one of the magazines that address my demographic might suit my fancies. I could read about expensive watches, or the world's fastest car.
Thank you, Esquire. Thank you for printing this, so I may be sure to never give you any of my money.
posted by 235w103 at 10:31 PM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


UGH correction GQ.
Esquire...you're on notice.
posted by 235w103 at 10:32 PM on July 17, 2009


Eponysterical
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:18 PM on July 17, 2009


Hmmmm....there are many people in here slamming the author for being a terrible writer, but there are also a lot of people who don't seem to have read the article very closely. The style ain't setting my world on fire, but it didn't make my ears blister either.

As for some of the allegations: The article states that 7 boys had sexual contact with Stancl, but outlines the course of events in detail for only one. As I said above, it is not at all clear from the article that all of the victims had anal sex with Tony. After reading all these comments, I got curious about whether the criminal complaint would clear the matter up, and it does (.pdf is availible at the original Wired post). Except for X, the sexual contact in all the other incidents involved Stancl giving the kid a handjob or blowjob. (In at least one other instance he pressured a victim to engage in anal sex.) To me, that's quite a different kettle of fish than getting talked into being a bottom, which seems to have only been this one kid. It's certainly possible that for him the blackmail was the straw that broke the camel's back with something he harbored a desire to experiment with anyway, but I also think it's certainly possible he was telling the truth. He was fifteen, you know? I was certainly able to talk myself into believing some dumb shit at that age.

Further, in regard to the writers reporting of the case --- it's possible that he's glamming up some of the details for the sake of sensationalism. (Well, it's guaranteed, actually; he chooses to highlight the one case where the victim had anal sex with Stancl.) But this is not a case made up purely of he said he said stuff --- the whole sequence of events is preserved in texts and email and IM chats. If the blackmail were the thinnest of pretexts for mutual experimentation, than the availible evidence will show that. But given that the author has seen more of the evidence than we and talked to more of the people involved, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that the evidence does in fact point to unwilling boys being coerced into sexual contact with the defendant. That's definitely how the complaint reads, as well.
posted by Diablevert at 1:46 AM on July 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


Do you have children of your own? If so, how do you get [them] to sleep, wear seatbelts when they are driving cars and do their homework?

Not sure about the homework, but you could always hire Tony Stanci to check the seatbelts.

He's very qualified.
posted by rokusan at 6:18 AM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Does it bother anyone else that one of the reporter's angles is to point out how foolishly easy to decode the police report was (initials and birthdates made it easy to find the real victims mentioned), and yet at the same time the reporter himself includes this:
Bobby (not his real name)... was a year ahead of Tony at Eisenhower, never hid the fact that he was gay and so took his share of shit in the hallways. Bobby was funny, flamboyant, and tough in the way that the only openly gay kid in a midwestern high school has to be.
The only openly gay kid in the school, huh?

Good thing the reporter changed his name to protect his identity like that.
posted by rokusan at 6:21 AM on July 18, 2009


The only openly gay kid in the school, huh?

Good thing the reporter changed his name to protect his identity like that.


This incident took place during Tony's senior year, meaining the Bobby would have graduated, and would almost certainly be over 18 and no longer a minor. The author clearly interviewed Bobby for this article; it would be standard practice in such circumstances to discuss with the subject how he is going to be referred to in the article. The default setting is for reporters to use full names (with important exceptions such as victims of crime, particularly minors) anything other than the default setting usually indicates that the subject was unwilling to be quoted by full name and an acceptable compromise was found.
posted by Diablevert at 7:32 AM on July 18, 2009




I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that the evidence does in fact point to unwilling boys being coerced into sexual contact with the defendant. That's definitely how the complaint reads, as well.

Yeah, but either way it's okay, since they probably had it coming.
posted by the other side at 10:10 AM on July 18, 2009


Since when are collegebound kids actually smart? There are thousands of colleges and universities in this country, and most of them seem to accept anybody with a pulse.
posted by anniecat at 10:18 AM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think some of you guys are expecting too much logic from teenagers and abuse victims. It's getting a little close to blaming the victim in here.

Ditto. People who say they can't imagine a situation are usually admitting they have little empathy. Blackmail works because humans aren't rational.

And I understand why people don't want to have empathy for the perpetrator, but mobbing has horrible effects. Not everyone who is mobbed acts cruelly in turn, but often, people who do horrible things have often, and maybe always, been treated horribly.

Previously on metafilter: Workplace Mobbing. Though the focus is "workplace," the phenomenon is broader.
posted by shetterly at 10:31 AM on July 18, 2009


What good would it do to beat up the guy that "Emily" asked you to fuck? "Emily" still has your pictures.

"Look you wimpy little punk, if those pictures ever appear anywhere you're going to stop breathing. I don't know who Emily is but I do know who you are. It's your job to make sure those pictures disappear or else." or something along those lines, but maybe some of the kids did do that and others didn't.

Anyway, the more I think about this the more the whole thing smells fishy. I think the people who are saying that this was a lot more consensual than implied by the articles are correct.

As for whether he will do time or not, those kids don't need to testify. They caught him with child porn
posted by caddis at 11:51 AM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


And I understand why people don't want to have empathy for the perpetrator, but mobbing has horrible effects. Not everyone who is mobbed acts cruelly in turn, but often, people who do horrible things have often, and maybe always, been treated horribly.

Anyway, the more I think about this the more the whole thing smells fishy.

I actually had to dial back my first blush of empathy toward the perpetrator. I had a pretty decent High School, but if you want me a spittle-flinging rant, talk to me about the horrible abuses gone to gay (or just gay-seeming) students which are ignored, if not supported, by the administration.

Having read the article two times now, I'm sure there is something, if not several things, being covered up here. Otherwise it would just be horrible people behaving horribly to each other for seemingly no reason, which usually only happens in Mike Leigh films.
posted by The Whelk at 12:01 PM on July 18, 2009


Yeah, but either way it's okay, since they probably had it coming.

This thread is nearly dead, so perhaps it is foolish to bother, but --- I certainly don't think these kids "had it coming." I don't anything I've written here implies that I thought so. By grabbing a quote from my comment, you seem to be suggesting as much, and I don't care for it.

In my view suggesting that any of these kids deserved what they got or must really have wanted to fuck around because they didn't beat the shit out the perpetrator is pretty fucking disturbing and dispicable. There's plenty of people out there who don't think rape's rape unless the victim was held down and had the shit beat out of them, and therefore any rape victim who hadn't been beat up must secretly have wanted it. The same inference seems to be being drawn here, and I think it's fucked up. While I certainly hope and believe that most of them boys involved will go on with their lives and be fine, shorty needs to go to jail.
posted by Diablevert at 12:15 PM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think this shows why teaching your kids to be obedient is wrong.

No offense jamjam, but you just got my vote for Dumbest Thing Said On Metafilter This Week
.

No offense taken, Dagobert-- just let me know when my T-shirt is ready and I'll send you my shipping address.

I don't have a child, more's the pity, but I seem to recall years and years actually being one and observing the others, as well as being responsible for a fair number of many different ages belonging to friends and family and in more formal institutional settings, such as the 50 day bike trip for 13-15 year-olds from NYC I led as the sole adult, one summer.

I don't have anything to say for myself which is likely to equal aeschenkarnos' excellent defense and explication (for which I am extremely grateful, by the way) but I generally got kids to do what I thought was absolutely necessary by letting them have their way as much as possible and letting the logical consequences be visited upon them (and me, and the group) up to the point anyone was actually in some kind of danger, when I would step in and keep anything too bad from happening.

I have been amazed over the years how many kids will actually go into a kind of hysterics if authority figures are not telling them what to do at every moment, even, perhaps especially, the most rebellious, who are in my experience dependent on being told what not to do in order to do anything at all.

No offense, but you and parents like you are raising a generation with crippled wills who have little idea what it would even mean to run their own lives, who barely exist when they are by themselves, and who are profoundly vulnerable to predators of all stripes.
posted by jamjam at 1:22 PM on July 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


As for whether he will do time or not, those kids don't need to testify. They caught him with child porn

Which is really an overly-simplistic view, and has nothing to do with what kiddie porn laws were supposed to do, namely protect children from adults, and not contemporaries from each other. Law of unintended consequences, etc.

Having read the article two times now, I'm sure there is something, if not several things, being covered up here.

Agreed, wholeheartedly. The entire story didn't come out. And again--amended as apparently not all the boys had intercourse with Tony--there is no way on God's green earth that straight boys get blackmailed into receiving blowjobs from other boys simply because a girl has a picture of them naked. Seriously. It just does not happen.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:21 PM on July 18, 2009


I'll chime in and say that I, too, felt that there was more going on there. At the risk of sounding old and uptight, teenagers are even more casual about nudity than ever. Having a server at a restaurant, who I knew casually, say, "Hey, I got a new tattoo, wanna see?" and surprise me with, uh, where it was located, was something of an eye opener for me, in more ways than one.

So, unless this is a town where something in the water has caused these boys to all suffer from micropenis, I just can't see them being very worked up about the pictures. Were they all in Bible study or something?

It could be something as innocuous as a latent desire to experiment and being given this "opportunity," sort of the tar baby approach to guinea-pigging. "Oh, you have a naked picture of me! Whatever will I do?! *hands to face* I guess I will grimly face the horrible trauma of fellatio!" Although seven seems like a high number for finding jockish boys who will go through with it.

It could be something far more sinister.

My guess is that we'll see a mix of motives and approaches. The same exact scam seven times in a row just ... I don't know, people fall for spam, I guess. It'll be an interesting trial.
posted by adipocere at 3:36 PM on July 18, 2009


It might be more interesting to find out what happened to the boys who didn't comply - the ones that blocked the messages from the perpetrator. It seemed like he just moved on to other victims, in the classic 419 fashion.
posted by calwatch at 4:04 PM on July 18, 2009


I certainly don't think these kids "had it coming." I don't anything I've written here implies that I thought so. By grabbing a quote from my comment, you seem to be suggesting as much, and I don't care for it.

I wasn't suggesting that at all. In fact, I favorited your initial comment before making mine. Admittedly, the hyperlink at the end of my comment may not be obvious.
posted by the other side at 6:55 PM on July 18, 2009


Well, there was at least one kid who had it coming, the first kid (and the girls who were with him) that he texted in the bedroom and who was responsible for spreading the gay rumors. This is not criminal behavior but it should be. The effects upon a vulnerable high school kid can be beyond devastating. It can literally ruin someone's life, lead to suicide, it is beyond bad. I don't advocate revenge, but if I were sitting on a jury and those kids in that bedroom were the only victims there is no way I would let Tony get convicted of anything. Jury nullification.
posted by caddis at 2:03 AM on July 19, 2009


"If" can change a lot of things...
posted by the other side at 10:41 AM on July 19, 2009


Well, there was at least one kid who had it coming, the first kid (and the girls who were with him) that he texted in the bedroom and who was responsible for spreading the gay rumors.

You mean the guy whom Tony Stancl chased down the hallway and harassed for being gay? Tony Stancl hit on him and he told his friends, therefore he is just as bad as a rapist?
posted by kathrineg at 10:47 AM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


TypographicalError : New Berlin, where everyone, everywhere, is a giant idiot douchebag.

Dude, I'm like six feet tall. I'd hardly consider that "giant". Get some perspective.
posted by quin at 8:41 PM on July 19, 2009


Having met him at more than one meetup, I can confirm that quin is indeed not a giant, and not a .... erm, well he's not a giant, let's just leave it at that.
posted by desjardins at 12:51 PM on July 20, 2009


I doubt anyone will read this. The thread was started the day I left for vacation/holiday.

When I was 12, a group of kids conspired to tell a false accusation to the school principle. When I refused punishment for this false deed, I landed in court and juvie. All because of some bullshit. If these "popular" kids didn't like Tony, they are perfectly capable of creating an elaborate fiction to land Tony in trouble. These are high school age youths. The group that got me were between 12 and 15 years old, and they weren't the popular kids, they were the trouble makers (it revolved around an after-school detention).
posted by Goofyy at 12:47 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


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