Jerry Sandusky being led from the Belmont Courthouse following his conviction (Nabil K. Mark/Associated Press)
Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 of 48 counts in a Pennsylvania courtroom regarding the criminal sexual assault and endangerment of children.
I won’t go into the sordid details of the evil perpetrated by this evil man who masked his vile deeds under the guise of his popularity as a football coach and head of a charity supposedly devoted to helping young boys. In fact his charity, “The Second Mile” was the place that Sandusky poached his victims. It was evil cloaked in goodness.
The fact that the crimes were allowed to go on for years is a shame to the leadership of the University, the leadership and board of the charity and others who heard the allegations but did nothing to stop or report them.
The Grand Jury and the prosecutors are continuing to investigate others, especially the senior leadership of the University who knew. The fact is that these men and women that did nothing except to deny or cover up the crimes of Jerry Sandusky were complicit in his deeds. There is a duty to ensure that they are investigated and brought to trial as the evidence indicates.
Sandusky will go to jail for the rest of his life. He faces up to 450 years in prison. For the victims it is a measure of justice, but all will bear the scars of Sandusky’s actions in their lives. The University that he served and the charity that he founded will certainly be liable for his actions. Those liabilities will probably be enough to destroy the charity and significantly damage Penn State University. His deeds forever tarnished the reputation of Joe Paterno who now due to his death cannot answer for what he may or may not have known concerning Sandusky’s crimes.
Sandusky is a pedophile and a serial child rapist. Those that enabled him to harm children long after his deeds were reported by the first victim in 1997 are criminal accomplices and need to face justice. Sandusky used his prominence, power and veneer of goodness to victimize children. Those that knew about his crimes and did nothing to stop him had legal and an even greater moral responsibility to the victims and their community. This investigation also needs to encompass those in law enforcement who heard and discounted the allegations made children. This did not occur as the Attorney General noted occur “in the dark corners” of society. It happened in the open. It happened with the full knowledge of some in authority and the darkness surrounding the crimes was in large part the fault of all that knew about or suspected Jerry Sandusky’s crimes, and did nothing to stop him.
This is a start and hopefully the Grand Jury and prosecutors will continue to investigate the actions of others involved and if needed bring them to trial. Justice, not vengeance must be the goal, but justice will not be served if those that allowed these crimes to go on for years unabated are not tried and convicted.