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Guest opinion: How alcohol ruined a student's dreams

Original post made on Aug 25, 2010

College students: As you prepare to start or return to college, there are a number of things on your mind. And while you should put your education first, it's a known fact that college students look forward to months of independence where they can party without consequences ... or at least that's what they think.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 25, 2010, 12:00 AM

Comments (44)

Posted by Debbie, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 25, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Thank you, Linda and Tom, for using what has been a family nightmare of almost 2 years to reach out to other teens and young adults.

We parents always worry about having our teens involved in horrific car accidents after they or their friends have been drinking, but excessive alcohol use can ruin lives in ways that we and our children do not even consider. In this case Greg and his friends were not driving, but this is still a tragic situation for him, his family and friends. And even if he wins on appeal and is released from prison, this experience will have forever altered his and his family's lives.

The sad reality is that the use of alcohol on college campuses is completely out of control. Some college administrations seem to have given up on trying to curb alcohol use and have openly discussed working to lower the drinking age as a way to "solve" the problem; many others are actively trying to reduce drinking on their campuses but are having very limited results.

I know this is not an easy problem to fix, but maybe each of us can make a small impact on those we know. A clipping of the Sako's article will be mailed to my college-aged children as well as to my brother's children, and I urge you to do the same. Hopefully they will in some way share Greg's experience with their friends on their respective campuses, either by retelling the story and/or altering their own behavior. The Sako's courage in publicly sharing Greg's story could make a meaningful difference in many people's lives.

And if you're looking for facts about the physical, emotional and second-hand effects of alcohol use that will help you when you talk to your children about drinking, please go to Lisa Frederiksen's excellent blog "Breaking the Cycles - Changing the Conversations" at Web Link.


Posted by Tim Heyne, a resident of another community
on Aug 26, 2010 at 11:30 am

This article should go out and into every newspaper, and every college newspaper, in America.


Posted by Amy, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Aug 26, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Thank you to the Sakos for sharing their heartbreaking story in hope that it will help others. Poor judgment isn't a crime, but it certainly can change your life in the blink of an eye. I wish the best possible outcome for Greg, peace for the Sako family and a safe year to all the kids heading off to college this season.


Posted by mom x 4, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 26, 2010 at 10:13 pm

My college-aged children read this letter, and we discussed it tonight. I have a son the same age as Greg Sako and I can appreciate how horrific his circumstances are, and how much grief the family has endured.

Nevertheless, the letter suggests that being drunk was something that
happened to him, the result of his undeveloped brain not comprehending the enormity of his actions. Rape is a serious crime, and Greg Sako was allegedly the perpetrator, not the hapless victim. I wonder at his family's inability to accept that fact and to ignore whatever evidence was presented to convict him. My kids were shocked at the denial of responsibility that characterizes the letter.

"...it's a known fact that college students look forward to months of
independence where they can party without consequences ... or at least
that's what they think."

That's not what I thought when I went off to college, and it's not what my kids think. And any kids who do have that mindset -- well, maybe they should wait a few years and grow up before their parents start writing the big checks for college. (I realize this is unlikely to happen; parents who have not set limits and who have always made excuses for their kids are not likely to want to begin that effort with a grown child.)

If this letter is widely distributed to college students and it spares
others the agony that the Sakos have endured, great. I just think college is way too late to try to instill appropriate values. I would rather see this letter shown to parents of newborn infants and to say to them: "In eighteen fast years, this baby will be an adult. One of your jobs is to make sure s/he gets to that point ready to handle the freedoms as well as the responsibilities that are given to young adults in our culture."

Tragedy can befall any of us at any moment, that is true. But some nightmares can and should be prevented. It's far more prudent to invest the time and energy in our children upfront than to have to lament the consequences later on of not doing so.


Posted by please read, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 26, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Web Link


Posted by mom x 2, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 27, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Mom x 4 - Nobody has perfect children, no matter how early and how often they teach them values....NOBODY!


Posted by MOM2Boys, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Aug 27, 2010 at 8:54 pm

MomX4-
He who lives in glass houses should not thrown stones. Never say Never- That is what my Mom always said when you have children. How dare you judge the Sakos and their son. You were not there, you do not know what happened. I pray that your four children do not do something bad in their lives. Stuff happens. Kids do drink and take drugs. Kids in Menlo Park make bad decisions. We should all pray for Greg and all our teenagers that they make good decisions..

Thank you to the Sakos for opening up our children's eyes to what happens when you drink too much. God Speed Greg...


Posted by mom x 4, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 27, 2010 at 10:23 pm

I did not say my children were perfect. They are, however, law-abiding and responsible, which is the most any parent can reasonably expect. After all, most of us do raise kids who don't commit a felony. And few of us drink so much that we have no recollection of our actions the following day. I've certainly never been anywhere near that intoxicated!

Nor did I "dare" to judge the family. My post was in reference to the letter the Sakos chose to wrote, my family's reaction, and my suggestion about a more viable course of action. The Sakos took it upon themselves to publish the letter in a newspaper, thereby inviting public comment. Is the only acceptable reaction slavish praise and commiseration? I think not, especially when the letter is so full of denial and self-pity. If the Sakos had instead said "we made mistakes; our son made a big mistake; these are the consequences" I might have had a different reaction. But the Sakos' stance seems to be that committing a violent crime is akin to getting cancer, and that "stuff happens." Uh, no.

Instead of attacking me for my inability to sugarcoat reality, how about reconsidering your own approach to parenting? If you are not teaching your child, from an early age, that actions have consequences and that s/he needs to take responsibility for those actions, you are doing your child and yourself a disservice. Best not to wait until college to start imparting these messages!


Posted by Debbie, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 28, 2010 at 1:54 am

Dear Mom x 4: I can tell your heart is in the right place and much of what you're saying makes total sense, but you may be surprised that what you present as good parenting practices describes the Sakos parenting approach! They were not the hands-off, "boys will be boys" type of parents. Their sons were always provided with supervision, guidance and clear moral values, and the parents modeled it in their own conduct.

Almost all parents try to instill a moral compass in their children, but for many reasons it's not always enough. Teens/young adults can easily find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, and sometimes act without thought to the consequences (it HAS been proven that the part of the brain that controls emotions, impulse control and judgment finishes developing last, as late as age 25, and these areas are most affected by too much alcohol - see www.breakingthecycles.com.). Add to that the pervasive drinking culture on college campuses and you can see that many, many of our young adults are lucky that their behavior has not landed them in serious trouble.

And the Sakos are not in denial. They admit that Greg made mistakes...but they do not believe that Greg committed rape, and they do not believe that the court evidence supported the allegations and conviction. And even if one believes that he did commit rape, how can a prison term of 8 years be considered just punishment for a first-time offending 20 year old? Oregon's Measure 11 law prescribes mandatory minimum prison terms that do not allow judges to exercise any discretion in sentencing - no matter what the circumstances of the crime, no matter that the defendant is a first-time offender with no criminal history, and no matter that the judge feels the conviction is unduly harsh in light of the presented evidence. In addition there is no possibility of time off for good behavior, no possibility for early release or parole for any reason, and a lifetime of having to register as a sex offender! People get less prison time in other states for crimes that result in death and THEY have to be convicted by a unanimous jury.

In Oregon only 10 of 12 jury members need to vote for conviction, even in many felony cases with long mandatory minimum sentences! Greg's jury was NOT unanimous in its decision to convict him. Hard to imagine having your son sentenced to 8 years in prison when the vote to convict was not unanimous. I think I'd be in "denial" too and working hard to get my child out! Oregon and Louisiana are the only states that allow this practice, and based on a Supreme Court decision in June (MCDONALD ET AL. v. CITY OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, ET AL.), this practice may not be allowed much longer. You can find an interesting blog about the effect this case may have on Oregon's sentencing laws at Web Link.

Yes, an open dialogue is important, and I think it's safe to say that's why the Sakos published their letter, that and trying to warn other young adults about the consequences of drinking. Why else would they open themselves up to personal criticism from some members of the community? A dialogue is only valuable when differing opinions are expressed, but please don't judge harshly from afar. As another post said, "Never say never."


Posted by notgettingachargeouttathis, a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2010 at 10:13 am

I was sent this article from a friend, who read it in their local papar. I don't live in Menlo Park.

My understanding, after reading and from the fact that the Sako's wrote this article, is that they are trying their best to make what has been an unbearable situation for them, bearable for others. They can't change what has happened to their family, but they can open eyes to other families. I commend them, for putting into writing, such a painful reality. Hopefully, this will help others.

To 'Mom x whatever" ...The article will undoubtedly not help you. You sound like you have a PERFECT FAMILY! You have interjected a lot into this article that isn't even in the article. What comes from your spew, is a form of self righteousness that most of us learn is not in any way beneficial to anyone. To judge someone, that is in such pain, in that way you have, is just petty.


Posted by notgettingachargeouttathis, a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2010 at 10:14 am

I was sent this article from a friend who read it in their local papar. I don't live in Menlo Park.

My understanding, from the fact that the Sako's wrote this article, is that they are trying their best to make what has been an unbearable situation for them, bearable for others. They can't change what has happened to their family, but they can open eyes to other families. I commend them, for putting into writing, such a painful reality. Hopefully, this will help others.

To 'Mom x whatever" ...The article will undoubtedly not help you. You sound like you have a PERFECT FAMILY! You have interjected a lot into this article that isn't even in the article. What comes from your spew, is a form of self righteousness that most of us learn is not in any way beneficial to anyone. To judge someone, that is in such pain, in that way you have, is just petty.


Posted by Lee, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 2, 2010 at 10:30 am

I've known Greg all his life. He was a responsible, mature for his age, leader among his peers, young man when he went off to college. He made a huge mistake of drinking too much. As did his victim. Neither of them have come out of this happy with what happened. Neither of them thought anything other than I'll have a few drinks and have a good time. There are many lessons in the letter and the comments. Take heed. And thank you Linda, Tom & Greg for sharing the story.


Posted by Maria, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 2, 2010 at 3:53 pm

The Sakos are trying to help college age kids avoid tragedy by helping them shed the sense of invulnerability that is common at that age. If college kids can truly grasp their vulnerability, they are more likely to take protective measures. What better way to highlight the vulnerability than to share a true story about someone a local teen might know.

If parents self-righteously believe that their superior parenting skills protect their children, they are weakening their children's ability to see their vulnerability and protect themselves. (My parents raised me right so what happened to Greg could never happen to me.) Ironically, that is NOT good parenting.

Thank you, Linda and Tom, for taking the time to try to help our community avoid the heartbreaking tragedy you have experienced.


Posted by Sue, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 2, 2010 at 5:23 pm

"He made a huge mistake of drinking too much. As did his victim."
Lee....she was not his victim. He was hers. And from what I've overheard, she's now leading quite the happy life.


Posted by Cicero, a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 2, 2010 at 6:07 pm

When I saw this article the first time, I could not get past the title and the first few words:

"How alcohol ruined a student's dreams" ... I was familiar with the case, and I was simply disgusted that anyone would blame a rape conviction on alcohol.

I've paid to put three children through college... None of them are saints, certainly I have not received much appreciation from them for what I have done. I helped them through college because they were willing to do the work and wanted to better themselves. If I thought that they viewed college as a big party, I would have told them that they were on their own.

The best thing that I ever did for my oldest stepson was make him work to buy his first car. He was angry because none of his friends around here had to get a job to buy a car, but later on he acknowledged that working for that car was one the best things that ever happened to him. In fact, he made money when he sold that car, and the next one.

If the rape conviction was incorrect, then it should have been appealed. Don't make excuses or blame the victim.

I am troubled by the crap that passes as morality and virtue around here.



Posted by Sue, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 2, 2010 at 6:56 pm

"If the rape conviction was incorrect, then it should have been appealed."
Read again...it IS being appealed.


Posted by what?, a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Cicero: Good for you for having had some successes with your kids.

The Sako's are warning kids that abusing alcohol can lead to tragedy that could ruin their dreams. Do you disagree with that? Is sending out a danger signal to someone "crap"?

Morals and virtue comes into question when people have no compassion and are so tied up in their own frustrations and disappointments and so smug about their own situation that they can't even understand what people are saying anymore.

Maybe you should read the letter again.


Posted by Cicero, a resident of Atherton: other
on Sep 2, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Crap is the assertion that parents should accept as a "known fact... that college students look forward to months of independence where they can party without consequences ... or at least that's what they think".

There's no way that I would let my guys believe that there would be no consequence. The first consequence would be dealing with me.

This article is a warning alright, but it's not just directed at the kids. I am not the one who is lost here.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 2, 2010 at 8:19 pm

As noted in the earlier BeMo thread the responsibility for underaged drinking lies solely with the individuals involved if their parents have not instilled the necessary character and discipline for their children to have learned to say NO then they cannot blame others. And when parents have failed to do this or their children have failed to behave responsibly it is tragic and unfortunate but it is still not someone else responsibility.


Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 2, 2010 at 8:25 pm

See also this Forum thread for examples of parents blaming others for underage drinking:

Web Link


Posted by mom x 4, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 2, 2010 at 11:21 pm

"What comes from your spew, is a form of self righteousness that most of us learn is not in any way beneficial to anyone. To judge someone...is just petty."

Um, okay. It's petty to judge someone. Uh, wait! Aren't you judging me? For what? Raising my kids to be moral, responsible adults? Guilty as charged!

"If parents self-righteously believe that their superior parenting skills protect their children, they are weakening their children's ability to see their vulnerability and protect themselves. (My parents raised me right so what happened to Greg could never happen to me.) Ironically, that is NOT good parenting."

First, teaching a child to accept responsibility for his/her actions has absolutely nothing to do with helping a child understand that s/he is vulnerable. A bizarre twist of logic to be sure. Second, I'll accept that I am not a good parent, given that some of you seem to measure quality by a parent's ability to make copious excuses for a child's shortcomings. That's something I have not and will never do.

I would not necessarily hold a parent responsible for a child's failings. Even with the most astute and caring parents, kids can behave in counterproductive ways or even grow up to be criminals. As I said a few times already, my problem with the letter is that it focuses on making excuses and evoking pity. The alleged purpose -- to alert college students to the dangers of alcohol (because no one has ever told them that excessive amounts of liquor can be problematic)-- seems disingenuous and unlikely to achieve its stated objective.

"Morals and virtue comes <sic> into question when people have no compassion and are so tied up in their own frustrations and disappointments and so smug about their own situation that they can't even understand what people are saying anymore."

The most amazing aspect of this thread is that some of you don't even seem to understand what you yourselves are saying! But abdicating responsibility in the guise of compassion does no one any favors, least of all the children you profess to want to help.


Posted by Sue, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Sep 3, 2010 at 8:02 am

Momx4 – I know the Sakos, and if their painting a picture of what Greg's life is now like because of the mistakes he made helps to prevent another person's life from being ruined, they will have achieved their goal. Tom and Linda are not professional writers and you are reading far too deep into their message. Please, leave it alone and let this family heal.


Posted by notgettingachargeoutofthis, a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2010 at 9:07 am

To: Mom x whatever.
This is an article, not your own personal family guide book. I understand that you think your family is perfect - in fact anyone reading your comments understand that your think your family is perfect. So I guess you don't need to worry ever. I hope that continues, because if anything objectionable or unfortunate should ever happen to one of yours, no matter the reason, I hope you get judged in the same manner you judge now. I hope you sit yourself down and cry, and are in unbearable pain for the mistake YOU MADE that lead to the incident. Then you may know how your forked tongue affects others. Were you brought up to put others down further than they already are? That goal you have achieved.


Posted by just a mom, a resident of another community
on Sep 3, 2010 at 10:06 am

First of all I want to address everyone that had commented on MomX- I know this type of mom -I have seen "her" in my community. She is the one that tells everyone how great her kids are ,how she has these great family discussions and her kids don't ever make bad choices because they are strict parents and they give consequences! Well from my experience these are the kids that are hiding their drinking, going to parties, and doing things that most teenagers do... but sometimes are considered even bigger nighmares because when they are away from their parents they tend to be the most wild kids at the parties. Nevertheless if you try to tell these types of moms of their kids behavior they will ALWAYS have an excuse i.e. "oh she was at the party but she didn't drink..... or the alcohol that was in his car was a friends not his. etc.. etc.. you will never convince these types of moms that things happen good and bad it is part of being a teenager. The Sakos are heros in my mind for putting their story out there for uS all to learn from. I read the article and printed it out immediately so I could show it to my sons. What a better way to teach a lesson. We all need help raising our kids and for this family to share their story is remarkable. Thank you and I hope the appeal goes well.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 3, 2010 at 10:30 am

When I was a teenager, I drank alcohol occasionally and found myself in rowdy situations on a Friday or Saturday night but never got in serious trouble despite being raised in a significantly dysfunctional family.

This was in the 50s and early 60s, when there was still something resembling a social fabric. Juvenile delinquency was held up as an undesirable path through life and most kids seemed to buy it. Even if I did not get the moral guidance I needed at home, it was in the air. We had more innocence.

I don't know if I am making sense, but I do not envy kids growing up in the fragmented information-superhighway society we have now. Parenting seems to be much, much more important if a child is to succeed in life.

A responsible introduction to alcohol as a teen at home might be a good idea. The prohibition-type world that they live in cannot be good.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 3, 2010 at 10:46 am

A lot of the people posting on this thread are truly talking past each other - pretty common in these types of blogs and it is almost always punctuated with personal attacks.

Those who are attacking Mom x 4 are more in agreement with her than disagreement. Mom x 4 never said how great her kids were or that her family was perfect as some have suggested. She did say that rape is a serious crime, being drunk is no excuse and that the Sako family was going through a "horrific" experience. No one can disagree with any of those things.

But Mom x 4 also correctly noted the stark denial of responsibility from the family. (I don't think it is a coincidence that the details of the crime were omitted from the family's letter.) That too isn't an uncommon response when bad things happen to good families. And I would assume the family of the rape victim has an entirely different view of this incident than the family of the convicted perpetrator.

I think most parents generally do the best they can to instill a sense of honesty and integrity in their children, but once those kids leave the nest, they are really on their own. They often make mistakes - serious ones. When adults do adult things, they have to pay the price. Yes, that can mean long periods of time in with mean people, dressing in jumpsuits and not being able to use an iPhone.

Of course, I have sympathy for this family, but I have more sympathy for the rape victim.


Posted by OSU Bro, a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Greg was and is a great guy who doesn't deserve the life he has been forced to lead. She, on the other hand, lied repeatedly, has a shady reputation and continues to party hard wearing skimpy, suggestive clothes. She's been back to Corvallis since the trial and I fail to understand why she'd come back if something really happened. She's someone you never want to get mixed up with because you don't know what she'll do to you. I have zero sympathy for her and every bit for Greg and his family.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 7, 2010 at 5:47 pm

OSU Bro:

what century are you living in? Blame the "victim?" haven't you heard? We don't do that anymore. A women wearing "skimpy clothes" is not an excuse for rape.


Posted by reader, a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2010 at 6:50 pm

From a news report after the conviction:

The rape occurred on Oct. 31, 2008, at Oregon State at an off-campus Halloween fraternity party at which Sako was dressed as a beer bottle, Stringer said, and the victim, a 21-year-old college student from Portland, was dressed as Tinkerbell.

Both the victim and Sako admitted to drinking at the party, Stringer said.

The victim, whose identity is being protected, reported the incident to the Corvallis Police Department after visiting the hospital with a friend, Stringer said. Police arrested and jailed Sako on Nov. 1 and he was released on $250,000 bail on Nov. 5. He had been out of jail since then, Stringer said.

State's evidence included the victim's blood-soaked costume, photographs of blood-stained underwear from both the victim and Sako, medical testimony as to vaginal tearing, and a transcript of an interview Sako had with detectives in which he denied having sex and said he could not remember parts of the evening, Stringer said.

DNA found in Sako's underwear was given one chance in 10 billion of not belonging to the victim, Stringer said.

The jury returned a guilty verdict after a four-day trial in which the prosecution presented 17 witnesses, including experts on medical examination, sex-abuse trauma and alcoholic blackout, Stringer said.

The defense, he said, presented two experts on medical examination and sex-abuse trauma, several members of Sako's fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, and a witness from California who testified as to Sako's non-violent and lawful character.


Posted by reader, a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2010 at 7:09 pm

The original letter states its basic premise as, "This is how he might be living each and every day until he is 28 years old, because of a night of heavy drinking."

That is simply untrue. He was convicted of the crime of rape. He was not convicted of heavy drinking.

Drinking may have played a part in his committing the crime. That is true of many crimes.

The facts of the crime as stated in the original letter are truncated in favor of the person charged with the crime.

Heavy drinking is bad for you, too true. But the original letter sends multiple messages, most of which deal with how heavy drinking can cause you to be convicted of a crime you didn't commit. The original letter largely ignores what should be the real implication, that heavy drinking can cause stupid behavior which will result in serving a long prison sentence for the damage you cause.


Posted by Menlo Park Resident, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 13, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I'm not sure how one can criticize the Sako's for writing the op-ed that will hopefully have impressed a few teens heading off to college!
As parents who hardly consume any alcohol and always talked openly about our society's problems with alcohol use I think we've done as good a job as anyone. Kids in our western society are bombarded with alcohol ads. Just watch a football game with endless ads that make you think you can't enjoy watching a game without beer and you certainly can't pick up a beautiful woman without holding a beer in your hand, etc. They constantly see their parents and their friends holding a glass of wine, etc. at pretty much any event. Then the kids go off to college to enjoy their "freedom" from the constant nagging of parents to be careful and stay out of trouble. I don't think colleges do nearly enough to try to get alcohol use under control. It seems everybody pretty much has a laissez-faire approach to alcohol use.

Unfortunately, if one doesn't know when to stop drinking all judgement goes out the window no matter how reasonable a person is when sober. That's what's so dangerous about being drunk. And considering a teenager's underdeveloped brain, trying to be cool and wanting to be part of the scene, it can be a receipe for disaster. That is all the Sako's are trying to point out. As parents all we can hope for is that all our kids use their good judgement before they decide to get drunk. We all would like to think our kids have that judgement. But there are no guarantees hence the epidemic.

Regarding to the Greg's case, I'm familiar with more details than the general public. The Sako's are not excusing Gregory's drinking. But there are not enough FACTS that a rape took place no matter what the prosecution said. And as we all know prosecutions are not always correct. (Can't go into further details) His biggest problem was that he could not remember parts of the night due to the heavy alcohol consumption. And as above people stated Oregon's measure 11 is very problematic along with the fact that Greg's jury was NOT unanimous.

I wish the Sako's well with their appeal. In the meantime I think of Greg often.


Posted by OSU Bro, a resident of another community
on Sep 22, 2010 at 12:29 pm

I recently learned that during the course of the alleged victim's court testimony, she replied to questions concerning the details of the evening in question, with "I don't remember", "I don't know", or "I don't think so" 26 TIMES!!! I and others know she had more to drink than was testified. So, tell me, why was it okay for her not to remember and not okay for Greg not to remember? Those jurors should be ashamed of themselves and take the time to re-read the definition of doubt!


Posted by Concerned Parent, a resident of another community
on Sep 22, 2010 at 4:05 pm

How about this scary (other) 'game' going on with our younger versions of our older children.

Web Link


Posted by Kristin, a resident of another community
on May 15, 2011 at 10:33 am

Regardless of how anyone feels about the case, this was not written to discuss it. Linda was simply trying to help prevent similar situations. I think it takes a lot of courage on her part to talk about the incident and this is not something she had to do. She and her family have been through a lot and the last thing she needs is to be criticized for reaching out and trying to help. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but negative criticism isn't needed here, so please keep it to yourself. I never met Greg, but someone in my family was close with him and i know of the devastation everyone is feeling about him being away. My heart goes out to Greg, his family, and friends.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on May 15, 2011 at 10:44 am

With all due respect, Kristin, I think your heart should go out the victim of the crime, not to the person who was convicted for doing it.


Posted by Kristin, a resident of another community
on Oct 18, 2011 at 12:56 am

My heart will never go out to someone like her. I suggest you become more familiar with the case before opening your mouth next time.


Posted by 7 Feathers, a resident of another community
on Apr 1, 2012 at 12:22 am

Gregory Sako's appeal was rejected by the Oregon Court of Appeals last month. It apparently was not even a close call as the three judge panel did not even write an opinion.


Posted by Anon, a resident of another community
on Jun 5, 2012 at 11:01 pm

It is nice that the parents are taking the poor choices their son made and trying to warn others to avoid those consequences. You have to wonder how they would feel and act if the victim here was their child as opposed to the perpetrator. He was indicted by a grand jury then convicted at trial. Her blood, in addition to being all over her dress, was in his underwear and there was physical evidence to corroborate her account. Just go to the Gazette Times articles. He had the opportunity to plead to something less than Rape I, and he rejected it and chose trial. That is his right. And a jury found him guilty and he well-knew what he was facing. All of this is as a result of his actions and choices; it is his fault.


Posted by Sunny, a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Anon....innocent people do not take plea deals. Stay tuned for some very interesting news on this case in the next few months. The girl has opened a huge can of worms.


Posted by Sunny, a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm

7 Feathers: Yes, Sako's DIRECT appeal was lost and had nothing to do with guilt or innocence and everything to do with how the letter of the law was followed. The next phase of the appellate process is a completely different story, however, with a high chance of success. He will win in the end.


Posted by Collegestudent, a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jun 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm

For all of you that say the Sako's are in denial, you we're there. The girl he "raped" was laughing and joking with her friends 10 minutes after the supposed "rape" happened. The whole reason he got convicted (in my opinion) was because Oregon has a law that says if the girl is AT ALL intoxicated then she can't give consent and they have a mandatory sentencing of 100 months so it didn't matter that he slept with someone willingly, she was drunk, because if she had any alcohol he raped her, that's what Oregon law says and its stupid. Her friends did NOT help, because they essentially told her she got raped and in my opinion she went along with them. She gives ACTUAL rape victims a bad name (and I've known a few).


Posted by Collegestudent, a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jun 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm

I wanted to add that the blood on her dress was because she was a virgin (at least that's what we were told by her friends), and it wasn't "all over" it was a reasonable amount of blood for someone who lost their virginity.


Posted by Shining, a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2012 at 7:49 am

Collegestudent....there was no proof that the blood on her dress was even hers (never tested for DNA), nor was there an explanation as to how it got there, when 5 witnesses denied seeing it when she and Greg exited his room, and at the door when she left the party. You are right on with her conspiracy to fabricate a story and through her frivolous lawsuit against the fraternity, which was thrown out by the judge this week, nearly 2 years since filing it, a pile of lies, contradictions, inconsistencies, and questionable behaviors on her part were uncovered. Tinkerbell is a very sick young woman in pursuit of power and retaliation at any person's expense. Greg's new appellate phase is now heading in a good direction. Justice will prevail in the end.....it's all matter of time.


Posted by college, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 17, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Unbelievable how nasty these comments have gotten, some of you should be ashamed. If indeed you are the parents you claim to be, how do you rationalize acting like a child, saying things online you wouldn't have the courage to say to the sako's faces? I'm sure the sako family knows far more about the trial than most of you, so how dare you blame them for sticking by their son's side? I'm not sure what world you people live in, but a conviction implies guilt, it doesn't prove guilt. Anyone who disagrees can look up a guy named OJ. You may disagree with Voltaire, but what if one of your perfect children was wrongfully convicted? None of you have the right to place blame if the courts can't do it effectively. I have seen enough in the comments to feel that this trial was not as clear cut as some of you may think. A man can be a victim of manipulation while intoxicated just as easily as a women can, and yes women do manipulate people.


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