Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rape Charge in College Application Admissions Essay?

This New York Times piece is probably the most disturbing story I've ever read about the abuse of the college application essay. It will no doubt get a lot more attention in the coming days. Without knowing anymore than is in this story, I would have to say that a college application essay is not the place to disclose to your mother that you were the victim of a crime. It is tragic if this young woman felt this was the only way she could convey this information to her mother - especially almost a decade after the events were said to occur. 

There may be no simple takeaway from this sad story. Let's call it a reminder to parents to find a way to look at their children's college application essays if possible, at the very least to make sure they are appropriate, and a reminder to students to use their essays to convey relevant information about who they are as students, college applicants, and young adults. 

"NEW YORK — A jury on Wednesday deliberated the fate of a New York man on trial for rape after his stepdaughter wrote in her college application essay about being sexually abused by him as a child.

"Albert Tarrats, 62, of Brooklyn faces a 25-year prison sentence if he is convicted by the jury in State Supreme Court in the borough, court officials said.

"Tarrats was arrested on rape charges in 2012, soon after his stepdaughter, now 18, wrote to college admission officers that Tarrats sexually abused her repeatedly over several months when she was 8 years old, according to prosecutors.

"Her mother read the essay and contacted a rape hot line, which put her in touch with police," Kings County District Attorney spokeswoman Helen Peterson said." READ MORE

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