Mary didn't jump, because just then the police arrived and broke up the party. In their official report the police said they had found "the entire residence, three floors, in shambles." A dozen teenagers were detained for questioning, but no one was charged.
Mary Ryan left Glen Ridge High soon after this experience, and her family moved away. But at the school the jocks who had been at the party never forgot it. In fact, they made a point of celebrating the party in their senior yearbook as one of the highlights of their high school years. It's noteworthy that the school never censured them for their misbehavior or suspended them from their sports teams.
As the guys in the jock clique advanced through adolescence, their treatment of young women at parties became more twisted. By junior year, jock parties followed a common pattern: The boys would all go into one room, pop a videocassette into the VCR and watch a porn Hick for an hour or so. It was a rule: Porn was for men only. In another room the girls would chat or dance with each other while waiting for the boys.
The ultimate team experience for the jocks was what they called "voyeuring." Here's how it worked: At a party one jock would persuade a girl to accompany him to the bedroom for a sexual encounter. But first he would tip off his friends, who would hide in a closet, under the bed or behind a door. Voyeurism was a way for them to create their own porn movie. Four or five guys would crawl along a narrow ledge under the roof of a girl's house to watch a couple having sex in a bedroom or see a girl urinating in her bathroom.
Voyeurism was often discussed the next Monday morning in Mary Romeo's healthed class. "I'd hear it every week," she said. "They would make asides to each other, but loud enough so everybody could hear: 'Were you in the closet?' 'Were you hiding under the bed?' You hear the asides, but, as a teacher, what do you do?"
Voyeurism was such a popular sport that some of the leading jocks, including Kyle, Kevin and Paul Archer, boasted about it in the 1989 yearbook, in an easily decipherable code. It did not make the girls' yearbook listings.
School officials could, and did, argue that what the jocks did out of school—other than drinking—should not affect their eligibility for sports. But what about what the guys did in school? For example, Kevin's athletic eligibility was threatened by poor grades—but no one threatened to disqualify him for his behavior, which was notorious among his classmates and his more perceptive teachers.
As Kevin built his reputation, he also built his body. Almost hallway through high school, he was about six feet tall, big across the chest, muscled up after all the hours at the gym. His brown hair, spiked at the top and combed back at the sides, would fall across his forehead in a way some girls thought was cute.
Kevin used his body to get attention. He started showing up in school wearing sweatpants. Sweatpants tied with a drawstring at the waist, making for easy access. Sweatpants made of cotton, perfect for showing off an erection.
In a sophomore science class Kevin sat near Charlie Terranova. As soon as the teacher turned her back to the class—boom! "Kevin would start right in," Charlie said. "The thrill of his whole day was when he would show himself and try to get the girls in the front row to turn around and look at him."