During this era of #MeToo, men are becoming more open about their own traumatic experiences as targets of sexual misconduct or victims of abuse. Like women, many male survivors often suffer in silence without ever telling anyone about what they’ve endured. Earlier this week, actor Hosea Chanchez decided to go public with a story about what happened to him as a child.
Chanchez says a friend’s father molested him as a youth
Chanchez, who formerly starred in BET’s The Game,
relayed his heartbreaking story in an Instagram post. He shared that he felt it
was time to speak up and that he didn’t want this person to leave the earth
He stated that he was a shy kid who grew up with a single mom, and his abuser exploited that. Chanchez told The Associated Press that the assault occurred in Montgomery, Alabama—where he’s from—and was perpetrated by a family friend who worked at a university named Isaac Sanders.
Chanchez wrote that he was offered a ride home by Sanders one day, and though his instincts told him something was off, he went anyway. Sanders then pulled over on the side of aroad and proceeded to perform a sex act on him without his consent:
“He worked at a university so
he said he’s only looking out for me and my future. Then out of nowhere he said
he wanted to see what the girls are going crazy over, then he reached over
unzipped my pants and told me to trust him.
He told me he’s a very
powerful man and if I’d ever told anyone he would ruin my life and no one would
believe me anyways.”
As a scared kid, Chanchez never reported the incident but believes Sanders may have victimized other children over the years. In his post, he added, “Isaac Sanders is a disgusting pervert, a punk, a coward, a sexual predator, a rapist and worst of all he’s a pedophile!”
The actor hopes that his actions help someone else
Pointing out the feelings of shame and humiliation that
often haunt victims of sexual assault/abuse, Chanchez, now 37, wrote,
“About a year or so ago I remembered something I’d tried my whole life to forget. Actually, I didn’t try, I intentionally forgot I remembered the conversation I had with myself when I was around 14. I convinced myself that no one needed to hear about this, people will judge me, people won’t care either way and the truth could only hurt me, my family and everyone else’s families. So I locked it away, Until now.”
He added that
he wanted to show parents and children how to watch out for signs of predators
and some of the steps they take to prey on and manipulate children. In the detailed
post, he outlines how Sanders was slyly testing his boundaries by discussing the
topic of girls and sex with him when no one else was present.
He ended it
by writing, “I pray to GOD this TRUTH helps someone, I pray to GOD it helps me.
The END. The BEGINNING.”
Sanders has faced multiple accusations at a university in the past
No longer employed as a college official, Sanders previously worked at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania in the 2000s. Per Lehigh Valley Live, Sanders was terminated from the school after a series of accusations and a lawsuit alleging that he sexually assaulted and/or harassed a number of students.
Many of them were men with backstories similar to Chanchez, and according to their attorney, believed they were targeted by Sanders because he thought they were unlikely to report anything. The state university system of Pennsylvania conducted its own investigation into the claims and removed him from his job.
But a federal jury that heard the students’ civil case found
do wrongdoing on the part of Sanders. He has never faced any criminal charges.
The AP also uncovered details that Sanders was accused of misconduct while working at an Alabama college decades ago. Chanchez was unaware of these legal cases but told the outlet that he figured there were other victims.
According to statistics from RAINN, two-thirds
of child sexual abuse victims are between the ages of 12 and 17. While 82% of
those victims are girls under 18, 1 in 53 boys experience sexual abuse before
age 18. Help is available for those who have been sexually assaulted through
the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656—HOPE (4673).