Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno and Penn State’s willful sacrifice of underprivileged boys

I have had a difficult time putting together this post this morning, I first had to corral my rage then manage my disgust before I could write coherently on the subject of Jerry Sandusky and the atrocious old boys network that fed so many underprivileged young boys to a sexual predator’s hunger.

I am not a mental health professional but I feel comfortable saying that Sandusky is not within the normal range of behaviour and needs mental help and I want him to go to jail where he can get all the psychiatric treatment he needs for a very long time. I pity Sandusky and he does not  elicit my rage nearly as much as the men in positions of power who knew about the repeated rape and sexual molestation of young boys and did nothing to stop it. Those men are the criminals, there was no evident mental health issue forcing them not to report the crimes that Sandusky was committing and yet they willingly sacrificed vulnerable young boys, chose to protect a rapist and child molester instead of reporting him to the police. They sicken me.

On March 1 2002 a graduate assistant entered the lockers and saw Sandusky engaing in “inappropriate sexual behaviour” with a child he estimated to be about ten years old.

As the graduate assistant entered the locker room doors, he was surprised to find the lights and the showers on. He then heard rhythmic, slapping sounds. He believed the sounds to be those of sexual activity. As the graduate assistant put his sneakers in his locker, he looked in the shower. He saw a naked boy … whose age he estimated to be ten years old, with his hands up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky. The graduate assistant was shocked but noticed that both [the victim] and Sandusky saw him. The graduate assistant left immediately, distraught.

He reported the incident to his father, then to Joe Paterno, Penn State’s revered football coach and Sandusky’s boss. Paterno in turn reported the incident to Tim Curley, Penn State’s Athletic Director and a few weeks later—yes WEEKS— the graduate assistant was called to make his report to Curley and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz. The result, the graduate assistant was informed, weeks after his meeting, that Sandusky’s keys to the locker room had been confiscated and that he had been “prohibited from bringing youth on to the Penn State campus from that point on”

Is your skin crawling? Because mine is just about ready to walk off my body.

Tim Curley and Gary Schultz were called to testify in January about what they knew and when they knew it but were found to have lied to the Grand Jury investigating Sandusky, denying that they were informed of the incident involving Sandusky and the rape of a 10 year old boy in the locker room. Curley and Schultz have since been charged.

In 1998 while Sandusky was employed at Penn State another allegation surfaced and was reported to the Campus police, a lengthy report was made but nothing came of it in the end.

Schultz knew of the allegation but according to the Grand Jury report expressed surprise that a lengthy official report had come of it, after all he didn’t even ask the graduate assistant for further details or make a report to the police when Sandusky was seen naked in the showers sodomizing a child.

Former Penn State Coach, Joe Paterno

I heard on the news this morning that Penn State students are rioting in the streets. YAY! Go Penn State, champions of justice for abused children… wait what? You are rioting because Joe Paterno got fired, Joe Paterno, the man who knew about the abuse of little boys and did nothing?  I don’t even have words for how disgusted I am right now. No words.

Paused for a minute…

I have found the words.

How vile is it that privileged college students can take to the streets in righteous indignation not to protect vulnerable children but to protect the old rich men who take advantage of them, who rape them and molest them, rich old men who did nothing to stop the repeated abuse, who expressed surprise that such allegations would warrant lengthy police reports. Isn’t college supposed to teach us ethics and morals, aren’t we supposed to learn about compassion?  We tell our children to act swiftly if they see something wrong and that not acting is as bad as participating in the crime they have witnessed, but the actions of the Penn State rioters say different. Their behaviour says that this model is only applicable when the accused isn’t someone who holds a place of honour in any other arena—mainly sports– or when the victim isn’t someone we care about or think is “worthy”

What would it take for the Penn State students to be outraged on behalf of the victims? Would the victim have to be female? blonde? white? under the age of five? What exactly would make the students at Penn State do the right thing? I don’t know the answer and that makes me sad.