Actor Opens Up About Alleged Sexual Assault by Former ESU Vice President

Screen Grab via @hoseachanchez on Instagram Chanchez claims the Sanders forcibly performed oral sex on him when he was about 14.

Ayanna Totten 

Staff Writer 

Actor Hosea Chanchez claimed that Isaac Sanders, ESU’s former vice president for institutional advancement, sexually assaulted him in the 1990s, according to multiple news reports, including the Associated Press.

Chanchez is best known for his role as quarterback football player Malik Wright on the BET’s “The Game.”

The Sept. 6 report by AP follows Chanchez’s open letter that was posted on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook three days earlier.

On Instagram, a homecoming picture of young Chanchez sporting a cherry-red bowtie and suspenders precedes his six-part truth.

“Before these words got here now, they had been written and erased many many many times,” the post began.

Chanchez continued to explain that he didn’t remember his alleged sexual assault until a year ago. He intentionally forgot the incident.

“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,” he stated.

Chanchez said he was driven home by Sanders, his friend’s father, on a summer day in Montgomery, Ala.

Chanchez, who was 14 years old at the time, described Sanders as being insistent on taking him home. Despite his intuition’s protests, he accepted the ride, he wrote.

Chanchez stated that Sanders diverted to a dirt road and pulled over to ask him about school and his plans for the future. Sanders mentioned that he worked at a university and was “only looking out” for Chanchez.

Sanders then allegedly said “he wanted to see what the girls are going crazy over,” unzipped Chanchez’s pants and forcibly performed oral sex on him. Sanders emphasized his power and threatened to ruin Chanchez’s life if he told anyone he was molested, according to the Instagram account.

Chanchez claimed that a week prior to the sexual assault, Sanders inquired about his sexual history when his son wasn’t present.

Drawing parents’ attention to the events leading up to molestation, Chanchez stressed, “That’s how predators start, by finding your child’s weak, innocent, shy spots and exploiting them through the lens of secrets, sex, masculinity, girls and trust.”

Chanchez’s father wasn’t in his life, and he said Sanders would also tell him he was like another son, which Chanchez attributes to Sanders’ predatory agenda to establish trust.

Chanchez stated he hopes his story will stop someone else from being sexually assaulted and taken advantage of as a kid.

Chanchez’s social media post.

“I’m choosing to come forward with it now in hopes that my truth helps to free someone else from guilt and shame at the hands of a predator, rapist, pedophile,” he said.

In October 2014, Sanders was found not guilty of sexually assaulting or harassing three former ESU students.

Following Sanders’ 2008 termination, a total of six students filed a lawsuit in the Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County in February 2009. The lawsuit alleged Sanders and other top university officials violated Title IX of the Education Amendments Act.

Three plaintiffs were dismissed due to the statute of limitations, which is two years for Pennsylvania students.

In July 2018, Sanders then sued the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) for an excess of $50 million.

As stated in the 44-page lawsuit document, Sanders claimed he suffered “a travesty of administrative and public lynching” because he was “victimized by unfounded allegations of sexual harassment” and “rumors and innuendo.”

However, Sanders’ case was thrown out by U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo in April of this year. According to the memorandum filed in August, his federal claims were dismissed due to the two-year statute of limitations.

The Stroud Courier’s attempts to reach Sanders’ lawyer, Harry Coleman were unsuccessful.

Chanchez told the Associated Press he wasn’t aware of Sanders’ Pennsylvania case, but he assumed he wasn’t the only one.

“I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if he [Sanders] left this Earth and I didn’t hold him accountable for what he did to me, or any other kid,” said Chanchez before identifying Sanders by name in his Instagram post.

Nonetheless, Chanchez had to overcome his fear to uncover his courage.

“As a man, a black man, I always thought acknowledging this would make me less of a man,” he stated. “I was afraid to be judged, talked about, laughed at or even worse … not believed at all.”

Allegations aside, Chanchez has continued his life’s work. He recently wrote and performed his one-man show, “Good Mourning,” which was presented at the Hudson Theatre in California.

Chanchez is also the founder of Watch Me Win, an organization designed to empower and encourage urban youth.

“I asked God to help me become the best me I can be and, in the process, allow my life to inspire, uplift and heal someone else’s pain and trauma,” concluded Chanchez in his social media post.

The news report about the allegations had at press time appeared in multiple national and regional news sites.

Chanchez nor his representative responded to a request for comment at the time of this article.

Email Ayanna at: 

atotten@live.esu.edu

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.