Science center director faces questions about video clips - FOX 13 News

Science center director faces questions about video clips

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ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -

The question clearly disturbed Pinellas Science Center executive director Joseph Cuento, but it had to be asked: "Are you a chauvinist?"

After a pause and a pained expression, Cuento replied "No. I'm not. Absolutely not."

Somebody went to a lot of trouble to leave that impression. An anonymously posted YouTube video was made from snippets of short videos on marital relations that Cuento made more than five years ago, when he worked for Family Services.

In one snippet, he is heard saying "Let's talk about the process of submitting to your husband."

Monday, Cuento told FOX 13 News there was another video on "submitting to your wife."

Other snippets include "Just how do we get our mother-in-law to shut the hell up...Well, duct tape works." Also, "The man is going to have to play the role of the ultimate decision maker."

Cuento said all of the pieces of sound were taken out of context, and reading from a prepared statement, he added "We're working with our attorneys to pursue our legal course of action and we intend to prosecute these individuals to the fullest extent of the law."

The bogus video misspells "Joseph" in at least two places, and leaves his name and science center title up on screen the entire length. The Science Center's logo also appears in an opening slate and throughout the video in the upper right hand corner. They do not appear on the original videos, some of which can still be found on YouTube.

"These videos were not done with the Science Center at all," Cuento said. "That was years ago."

The fake video also starts and ends with messages to Science Center donors and partners. The Science Center receives funding from a variety of public sources, including the Pinellas school system, the City of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, The Southwest Florida Water Management District and the Juvenile Welfare Board.

St. Petersburg City Council member Steve Kornell found some of the comments offensive but said "It clearly was spliced, so I think we should always be fair and check that. At this point, I would not advocate the city try to pull any funding or try to do anything like that."

School board chair Carol Cook also reserved judgment.

"I look at it and I just see a lot of pieces that are taken out of context and put together," she said. "Unfortunately, you can make a story out of bits and pieces that may not reflect the facts."

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