First, I want to bring up a comment from Neil below, that really gets at one of the issues at the heart of the topic du jour:
The difficulty in cases like this, I think, comes from two conflicting impressions. The first would note that everyone should have some degree of a right to a private life. And, furthermore, the possibility of repentance does mean that past sins need not leave permanent stains, nor even be permanently newsworthy.
But the second impression would point out that one's private life can decisively if secretly affect one's public life - as Michael Uhlmann wrote in Crisis about President Clinton, "The virtues and vices he displays in private must play themselves out, indeed are already playing themselves out, upon the stage of our national life." And the taint left by a very serious sin, such as the terrible abuse of power implicated in the sexual harassment of an intoxicated undergraduate by a professor, might require an extraordinarily dramatic repentance to render the sin unworthy of journalistic attention.
The discrepancy between these two impressions has not been resolved in our public discourse. Thus, anyone observing the parade of disgraced public figures passing before the public eye will be struck by the inconsistency of either forgiveness or denunciation. Was the Los Angeles Times' story, published on the eve of the recall, detailing various women's accusations against Schwarzenegger, courageously necessary for the public to make an informed decision or grossly partisan? Were the Republicans who sought to impeach Clinton while allowing the past adulterer Henry Hyde to chair the appropriate committee making a proper distinction or being completely hypocritical?
My answer is, I don't know. And I suspect that most of us don't really know as well. This makes charges against public figures very hard to interpret and at least potentially vulnerable to all sorts of manipulation.
Before figuring out what to do about Deal Hudson, we really need to have an honest discussion about fundamental matters. Where do we draw the line between private and public? How can we, as citizens, judge the authenticity of repentance?