So instead of looking for ideological vindication in these stories, it’s better to draw a general lesson. Show me what a culture values, prizes, puts on a pedestal, and I’ll tell you who is likely to get away with rape.
In Catholic Boston or Catholic Ireland, that meant men robed in the vestments of the church.
In Joe Paterno’s pigskin-mad Happy Valley, it meant a beloved football coach.
In status-conscious, education-obsessed Manhattan, it meant charismatic teachers at an elite private school.
In Hollywood and the wider culture industry — still the great undiscovered country of sexual exploitation, I suspect — it has often meant the famous and talented, from Roman Polanski to the BBC’s Jimmy Savile, robed in the authority of their celebrity and art.
And in Rotherham, it meant men whose ethnic and religious background made them seem politically untouchable, and whose victims belonged to a class that both liberal and conservative elements in British society regard with condescension or contempt.