How disturbing that a public relations consultant to the governor and the state Gaming Commission joined state officials in failing to take seriously the allegations that Carl Stanley McGee sexually assaulted a 15-year-old boy in a Florida resort steam room in 2007 (“Gaming pick reaction misjudged, e-mails say,” Page A1, July 20).
Police and child abuse experts who interviewed the boy determined he was credible and recommended that criminal charges be filed. A subsequent investigation by Florida’s Crimes Against Children Unit recommended that McGee be prosecuted. The Florida county prosecutor declined to pursue the case.
Massachusetts officials then gave McGee an easy pass. In the spring, public relations consultant Karen Schwartzman confidently declared, “Stan already has been through the ringer for a charge he didn’t commit.” When McGee stepped down from the Gaming Commission to avoid further controversy, Governor Patrick said, “I hope he’ll come back” to serve in state government.
McGee’s leaving state government doesn’t end the story, certainly not for the boy, now a young adult, who remains steadfast in his accusations and who hears with every proclamation of McGee’s innocence, the charge that he, the alleged victim, is lying.
If state officials won’t ask, then citizens must: Why did the Florida prosecutor drop the case despite expert advice to the contrary? What role has influence, money, and politics, both in Florida and Massachusetts, had in protecting McGee? He may have been a darling of the administration as a casino gaming expert, but in the eyes of an innocent boy on vacation with his family, McGee remains that stranger who is getting away with a sexual assault.