Letter to the Editor: Kenyon Trial Coverage

Kenyon Trial Coverage

After reading the coverage of the Kenyon Trial in the Potter Leader in September of 2010, I wrote and offered my opinion which the Potter Leader did not publish. After Mr. Kenyon entered his plea of No Contest I wrote and offered my opinion once again which was published in the June 1 edition. This was only done as a result of complaining to those ultimately responsible for the operation of the Potter Leader. The letter that they printed was reduced by half with my reluctant consent.

Ms. Hoak has subsequently written an eloquent response printed in the June 8 edition entitled “What I Did” in which she responds to my assertion that she was a friend of the Kenyons and makes a couple of petty accusations. I notice she did not offer an explanation for neglecting to mention ONE WORD of Kevin Kenyon’s testimony. She is a court reporter who covers criminal trials, and the most critical, pivotal moment that can occur in a criminal trial, when the defendant takes the stand himself to explain his actions, is ignored by this seasoned professional. One must ask why.

Thus I offer these uncontested facts and admissions again, along with the second portion of my original letter to the Potter Leader , which Coudy News has so graciously agreed to publish. Please note, NONE of the following facts was thought worthy to be reported by Ms. Hoak.

Mr. Kenyon admitted to laying in bed with the girls every night while putting them to sleep without Mrs. Kenyon ever being present.

He admitted to kissing them on their necks, chests, and stomachs.

He admitted to regularly bathing them without Mrs. Kenyon being present.

When Mr. Kenyon was asked by his attorney if he were ever aroused in the presence of his daughters, he answered “Not that I can recall.”

He admitted to nibbling on the ear of his 15yr old daughter on a motorcycle ride.

Mrs. Kenyon stated to a State Trooper “I knew something was going on but not to this extent.”

When Mrs. Kenyon was asked what she would do if the charges against her husband were true, she responded “I would make him sleep on the couch.”

When Mrs. Kenyon was asked by her Brother if the charges were true, she responded “I don’t know.”

Mrs. Kenyon’s Brother, an attorney, was so bothered by the bedtime routine he witnessed that he confronted his sister on it.

I understand that there is a code of ethics in Journalism which includes elements such as truthfulness, impartiality, and fairness. Another element, equally important, is “the limitation of harm”. We have all read news stories from many distinguished publications and noticed that the victims of sex crimes most often are not named out of concern for their privacy. The Society of Professional Journalists website states that journalists should “Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes”, “Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage”, recognize that “only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy” and appropriately, “Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.”

As all the other elements were glaringly absent from her article as well I suppose I should not have been shocked but I was. The abuse of the girls began when they were ten and eleven years old and yet Ms. Hoak felt free to name them on the front page of the paper, though she was careful to protect the identity of three supposed jurors whom she quotes, one at great length.

What harm would have occurred if the victims names were left out of the article? None. This is precisely why I believe she included them. It is my opinion that Ms. Hoak had an agenda to not only attempt to prove that the charges against Kevin Kenyon were false but to portray the girls as liars. She could not let the facts interfere.

In regard to anonymous sources, Al Neuharth, Founder of USA Today writes: “The anonymous source, if in fact one exists, generally is a coward who tells more than he or she knows. The reporter permitted to use such sources often writes more than he or she hears. The only sure way to separate fact from fiction is to ban all anonymous sources. If your newspaper uses them, be very, very skeptical.”

One would be hard pressed to find an ethical journalist, much less a news organization, which would allow an anonymous juror to be quoted in the manner that was done in this article. Obviously those working for an organization are a reflection of that organization. As to Ms. Hoaks irresponsible and shameful writing, the Potter Leader is the lesser for it, as is the community you purport to serve. Both contributed to victimizing yet again the most vulnerable among us.

Kevin Maher


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15 Comments

  1. frank says:

    Hoak is a joke and who believes the Potter Liar anyway?

  2. na says:

    dont i`ts true 4 a minute everyone who knows kevin know`s what i mean. like 2 let kevin know god will make this right hang in there

  3. My Name says:

    I say bull****. I know those girls and they are liars. You make it sound like they are perfect little angels Kevin and everyone knows they are not. Sounds like they have you manipulated though. Good luck. Maybe youll be the one on trial next.

  4. Allen says:

    haha Maher maybe you should ask them what or who they’ve been doing lately since their so innocent.

  5. kevin Maher says:

    @my name- Very courageous of you. What is your name?
    I think I know them better than you. Go back under your rock.

  6. al gore says:

    Allen-wishful thinking maybe? And its “they’re” not “their” idiot. Only an idiot is gonna come against abused kids.

    My name- Just because you may have been brought up this way don’t make it normal. Get help while there is still time.

  7. Gloria says:

    The perpertrator was on trial not the victims. Abusers always blame the victims and I see many of the commentators are doing the same . The reporter should be fired or sued for naming the girls since the abuse started long ago. Some of you should educate yourselves about child abuse. Search the internet.

  8. steve says:

    yeah well…. i have a civil hearing now because of a kenyon girl who deliberately tried to rip off my store by trying to return and exchange an item because SHE LOST some of the accessories to it. tried to return it saying she didnt like it.. then found out she lost some of the stuff and tried to pull a fast one… then went and broke the item and tried to return it a 1/2 month later saying that she bought it with big dents int it…. well that particular item was BRAND NEW so i know dam well she is a manipulative little liar. And these facts WILL be brought out in court. And i believe i will be pressing for charges to be filed against her for perjury and whatever else i can. I have worked hard to have my business and i’m not gonna have it ruined by a manipulative liar and also by the people who think they can write bad checks. I’m a small business and this kind of nonsense will put a small business out of business. And i refuse to lose everything ive worked hard for because of a con artist…

  9. al gore says:

    Steve, what the hell does a dispute over the sale of a phone have to do with the Trial or article?

    You ever get a speeding ticket? Does that mean you can then be known as a law breaker? geez

  10. steve says:

    no but it just shows that she is a manipulative liar and she should get her butt in trouble for going around starting crap and trying to screw up ppls lives or businesses with the nonsense thats not true. has actually nothing to do with a phone … just the fact that she doe lie a conives. who said anything about a phone?? just want to show ppl she is plenty guilty of lying and being manipulative… thats the point of the article i was trying to relate to but yeah maybe i said xtra to vent my frustrations with ppl like that.

  11. steve says:

    And no…. i have not ever had a speeding ticket… =) haha

  12. al gore says:

    Steve-Its all perspective. She probably thinks you ripped her off. You think she’s lying. Thus, with your logic, she lies about everything. And if we believe her, you’re a cheat.And you cheat on everything. Has nothing to do with the above letter. The sicko admitted doing sicko things. Thus, he’s a sicko.

    You’ll have your day in court. Let us know how it turns out. And you can’t sue for a perjury even if you win. No charge for the legal advice.

  13. June says:

    I was at this trial for a couple of hours. I watched and listened very intently while the father Kenyon was on the stand. As I listened I kept thinking… for anyone not to see this man is guilty then they must be deaf, dumb and blind! Furthermore…where there is smoke, there is fire. There was lots of smoke coming out of the Kenyon home and if there wasn’t enough evidence the State of PA would not have wasted their time and money with this trial. Also, didn’t the father Kenyon take a plea to avoid another trial? Perhaps… he didn’t think he would be so lucky next time?

  14. Bada Bing says:

    June-You’ve restored my faith in humanity.

  15. Charity says:

    God Bless the family that took these abused girls in. They sacrificed themselves by taking on the responsibility of being parents to them and giving them a normal life. This Hoak is a professional court reporter? Not in my book! Her reporting is prejudicial and biased. Just look at what that sicko admitted to and she wouldn’t report it? She obviously did someone a favor by not printing what came out of that guy’s mouth. Who would sacrifice their credibility in such a manner? Well, I guess you have to have some to begin with. She has lived up to her rep as being a talentless writer with no ethics.

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