Out of Character

People don’t assign blame for behavior when it concerns a Steubenville High School athlete, instead they label it as “out of character“.  Recently, Geno Atkins appeared on Dr. Phil with his mother, the screaming Jill Watkins to state that his friend, Trent Mays couldn’t have possibly raped a girl because it is just too “out of character” for him — even though Geno Atkins was nowhere near the parties that night and had no knowledge what happened.  What Geno has done is to victim blame.  Why believe the drunk girl?  His friend wouldn’t possibly do something like rape a girl because it is out of character.  Right?  And his mother certainly wouldn’t scream in a fit of anger on the Dr. Phil show that the victim might have lied!  Right?  As they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Geno isn’t the only one who tosses around the out of character excuse.  Jane Hanlin testified on behalf of Branko Busick,  a convicted former Steubenville High School wrestler.  Busick was charged with multiple felonies in West Virginia, and Hanlin testified on his behalf as a character witness. She claimed that she was testifying on his behalf because the convicted  felon robber was a friend of her son, Charlie who is another Steubenville High School wrestler and football player. She testified she knew the convicted robber well and that his actions were simply “out of character.”  She also testified that he had never been in trouble in her jurisdiction nor had his name come across her husband, Jason Hanlin’s desk.  It should be noted that Mr. Hanlin is a Steubenville Police Department narcotics officer and Jane Hanlin is the Jefferson County Prosecutor.  Hanlin used her position to benefit a private citizen, as well as using the position of her detective husband to do so.

You’re all out of character and doing nothing to make people think any different of your town.

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