Jerry Sandusky Arrested For Sexual Abuse

November 5, 2011

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A year after Ohio State’s tattoos-for-trophies scandal, another Big 10 school finds itself in trouble.  This time it is Penn State.  On a day in which they didn’t play a game, they still made the news – in the worst way possible.

Former Nittany Lion defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky – once thought to be the successor to legendary coach Joe Paterno – was arrested Saturday on 40 criminal charges related to alleged sexual abuse of eight boys between 1994 and 2007.  Sandusky met the boys through a non-profit organization called The Second Mile, an organization with this stated mission: “The Second Mile challenges young people to achieve their potential as individuals and community members by providing opportunities for them to develop positive life skills and self-esteem as well as by providing education and support for parents and professionals addressing the needs of youth.

In addition, two officials with Penn State – including athletic director Tim Curley – also face charges for failing to report allegations to proper authorities.  After a graduate assistant witness one sexual assault, he contacted Joe Paterno, who reported the incident to Curley.  Curley and VP for finance and business Gary Shultz were charged with failure to report and perjury after a grand jury deemed that they had lied while in front of the grand jury.

While Paterno is not accused of any wrongdoing, I do feel that he and the graduate assistant could have taken things a step further by reporting the allegations to the police, as well as to university officials.  This wasn’t an issue of an NCAA violation, but allegations of a serious crime.  For the moment, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they reflexively reported it up the chain, just as they report anything else.

This is a good time to reflect that any of US, if we found ourselves in a similar situation, should also report the allegations to the police.  Don’t simply report it to a superior and assume that it was taken care of.  In this case, Sandusky was finally arrested nine years after the graduate assistant first notified Paterno – and the assaults continued for five years after the 2002 incident.

If the allegations against Sandusky are true, then he deserves to spend a long time in jail.

If Athletic Director Curley is guilty of lying to a grand jury, then the best course of action for Penn State would be to fire him.  You don’t want to have people with such poor judgment in positions of power at your university.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Evan
    Nov 05, 2011 @ 17:08:20

    This has been in the news around here for a few years, as everyone waited for the day the arrest would come, but I don’t know if anybody suspected the extent of the charges against Sandusky. As far as Paterno goes, I’m a bit torn. My first reaction was- “well, how is he any different than the AD who didn’t report it to the police? If the AD is in trouble for not taking it further, shouldn’t Paterno be in trouble too?” I guess the argument could be made, though, that since the other guy who was arrested (the VP of something or other) was in charge of University police, he did in a way report it, but that might be a stretch. I’m assuming that the Attorney General decided the buck stopped with Curley, as the person below him (Paterno) and above him (Spanier, University president) weren’t charged with failure to report.

    The tin-foil hat crowd here is having a field day with this. The District Attorney in Centre County who investigated one of the charges several years ago (and filed no charges) mysteriously disappeared a few years ago, was never found, and was finally declared dead, I think so his wife could collect on his life insurance.


  2. kosmo
    Nov 06, 2011 @ 10:59:37

    I’d have to look at the mandatory reporting laws of Pennsylvania to be sure, but I agree that Paterno’s actions could definitely be questioned.

    Since he testified in front of the grand jury and wasn’t charged with perjury, it seems that the grand jury found his testimony believable and perhaps decided to give him the benefit of the doubt on the mandatory reporting, considering it to be an honest mistake rather that a premeditated response.

    Is there the possibility that he was granted immunity in exchange for his testimony?


  3. Evan
    Nov 06, 2011 @ 11:55:37

    Good question. I guess it is possible, although none of the articles around here mentioned that. Of course, Paterno for the wall of secrecy around the entire program, so something like that could happen and never leak out.


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