Yet evidence and testimony from the trial show there were plenty of people, not just those at the highest levels of Penn State university, who had ample opportunity to stop a man accused of violating 10 boys over 15 years:
— A janitor failed to tell authorities he allegedly caught Sandusky performing oral sex on a boy in a campus shower a dozen years ago.
— A district attorney with a reputation for prosecuting cases involving children and sexual abuse victims declined to charge Sandusky over a 1998 molestation allegation even though the detective who investigated thought it was a solid case. The DA, Ray Gricar, disappeared in 2005 and was declared legally dead last year.
— School district officials were skeptical of abuse claims brought by the young man known in court papers as Victim 1 because, the accuser testified, Sandusky was considered to have a “heart of gold.” Victim 1’s allegations eventually triggered the state investigation that produced charges.
— One accuser testified he screamed out for help at least once when Sandusky’s wife, Dottie, was in the house. He doesn’t know whether she heard his cries.
— And, famously, coaching assistant Mike McQueary saw Sandusky having what he believed to be anal sex with a young boy in 2001. But his report to Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz went nowhere. McQueary’s dad testified that during a conversation, Schultz said he was suspicious of Sandusky, and NBC reported this week that emails between former university President Graham Spanier and Schultz aiming to keep McQueary’s allegation from going further were turned over to the attorney general.
— Others also saw Sandusky engaging in behavior that was at least odd, if not criminal. Longtime assistant coach Tom Bradley walked into the shower when one boy was with Sandusky, the accuser testified, and a wrestling coach told jurors he saw Sandusky and a child rolling on the floor.
— Several accusers said their parents or caregivers failed to grasp what was happening to them. Victim 4 testified that one weekend he did not want to go with Sandusky and told his mother, “I’m pretty sure he’s gay,” but she dismissed the idea. “She said, oh, whatever, this is just one of your lies,” he told jurors. He also said at one point he told his grandmother to tell Sandusky he wasn’t home when he called.
The testimony of eight of the 10 alleged victims named in a grand jury report prompted disgust and revulsion from Penn State alumni and others who took to Twitter last week to express their dismay — and to call for the heads of anyone involved in concealing abuse. “Anyone who knew and didn’t report should burn!” tweeted one.
The sad part is that most children know their abuser. Parents are concerned with letting their children outside to play, fearful that someone will abduct them or worse. But really, they should be concerned with the people their child interacts with on a daily basis. These are the people that abuse children (for the most part). Our job is to guard against those who would prey on children.
The description — “sickening” of adults using young people to satisfy their sexual fantasies — isn’t harsh enough.
Take care and STAY SAFE!
Taking a bold effort to reach into communities across the country, Anny Jacoby is a Prevention Specialist and an authorized Facilitator for Stewards of Children through the Darkness to Light program, an organization whose mission is to train adults in every community to responsibly attack the issue of child sexual abuse.
Please contact Anny to schedule Children’s of Steward’s training or to arrange a Prevent Now! meeting for your community.
A grand jury is a type of jury that determines whether a criminal indictment will issue. A grand jury is so named because it has a greater number of jurors than a trial jury.
The Grand Jury Report below is extremely graphic and detailed accounts from victims and witnesses. The release of this documentation was due to a computer glinch according to the PA’s governor. However, legal documentation from investigations is vitally important for the public to clearly understand and gain knowledge of testimony leading to alledged crimes committed and arrests.
As individuals and communities, we are all impacted by the horrible allegations of child sexual abuse by a former assistant football coach at Penn Sate. These reports leave us wondering how such atrocities could happen when so many well-minded adults were around –– yet none took the necessary action steps to end the abuse and the offender’s access to children. Further, parents are left wondering how they can best protect their children.
Shock, disbelief and outrage are often the first reactions to such news. However, this incident can serve as a teachable moment to empower adults to recognize the signs, have the courage to react responsibly and, ultimately, prevent child sexual abuse before it happens in the first place.
The accused did not wear a trench coat and lure a child into a dark alley. Rather, he was a talented man who was revered by the public as a coach and trusted mentor. He allegedly used that trust to obtain access to children. Tragically, this scenario plays out all around us every day. Hundreds of thousands of children are sexually violated by adults every year, and shockingly, more than 90% of the time, the child is abused by someone the family knows and trusts.
At Darkness to Light, we have spent the last decade educating adults — those who are in a position to protect children — how to prevent abuse and recognize warning signs so communities can react responsibly and with confidence.
Penn State could have benefited from having its staff trained so that witnesses would come forward. Having policies and procedures in place, and staff empowered to hold others accountable to the policies, would have made all the difference in the lives of the children involved and the reputation of the institution.
There are more than 42 million adults in America who were sexually abused as children. Research shows that between eight to 20 percent of our children are abused every year. The immediate impact to a child is devastating and the long-term impact costs society more than $35 billion annually. Child sexual abuse is linked to personal dysfunction, mental health issues, teen pregnancy, violent crime, substance abuse, and sex trafficking – among other issues.
Now is the time to finally shine a spotlight on the much avoided subject of child sexual abuse. We must talk to our kids and our communities about prevention. Public dialogue about child sexual abuse helps shape better societal beliefs and responsible actions. The more we can talk openly about child sexual abuse signs or perpetrator patterns, the better we are able to recognize behavioral red flags and have the courage to take action.
We should expect our youth-serving organizations to have policies that govern how adults may interact with youth. Further, these organizations must offer regular trainings, so that no one is left wondering what their legal or moral obligation is when discovering that a child has been sexually abused. The youth-serving organizations should hold staff and volunteers accountable, while our communities, parents and students, in turn, should hold the organizations accountable.
We encourage the public to continue the dialogue that has been started and find hope in the fact that there are things we all can do to reduce the risks in our own homes and organizations. Get involved in your local school, church, youth service organization, youth camp or sports league to ensure that prevention is being addressed and comprehensive policies and training are in place to identify potential problems.
If you believe that your child has been victimized in any way please get immediate help through your local child advocacy center. In addition, Darkness to Light is here as a resource to any parent or organization who wants to get involved in making their community a safer place for children.
Anny is a Steward’s of Children Authorized Facilitator and Prevention Specialist who trains adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse through Darkness to Light’s certification programs.
Take care and stay safe.
Jerry Sandusky, 67, allegedly engaged in fondling, oral and anal sex with young boys over a period of more than 10 years, according to an investigative state grand jury’s summary of testimony. He maintains he is innocent.
Also named in the state grand jury report are Penn State Athletic Director Timothy Curley, 57, and Gary Schultz, 62, the university’s senior vice president for finance and business. They face one count of perjury each in connection to an alleged cover-up of the abuse.
“If true, the nature and amount of charges made are very shocking to me and all Penn Staters. While I did what I was supposed to with the one charge brought to my attention, like anyone else involved I can’t help but be deeply saddened these matters are alleged to have occurred,” Paterno said in a statement.
The legendary coach said an assistant coach told him in 2002 about an “incident in the shower of our locker room facility.”
“It was obvious that the witness was distraught over what he saw, but he at no time related to me the very specific actions contained in the Grand Jury report. Regardless, it was clear that the witness saw something inappropriate involving Mr. Sandusky. As Coach Sandusky was retired from our coaching staff at that time, I referred the matter to university administrators,” Paterno said.
Sandusky, who served 23 years as defensive coordinator for the Nittany Lions, faces seven counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, and numerous other charges, including aggravated indecent assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
In some cases, Sandusky promised boys gifts or invited them to football games and sleepovers, according to the grand jury.
“One of the most compelling and disturbing pieces of testimony in this investigation came from an eyewitness to a late-night sexual assault that allegedly occurred in March of 2002, in the locker room of the Lasch Football Building on the University Park Campus,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly said Saturday.
“Hearing what sounded like sexual activity in the showers of a building that was supposed to be empty, a graduate assistant reportedly observed Sandusky sexually assaulting a naked boy who appeared to be about 10 years old,” she said.
The assistant reported the incident to head football coach Paterno, who in turn alerted athletic director Curley, said Kelly.
Instead of reporting the incident to authorities, Curley and Schultz banned Sandusky from having children from Second Mile visit the football building, Kelly said.
Sandusky, who retired from coaching in 1999, was founder of the Second Mile, a charitable organization that began as a group foster home “dedicated to helping troubled boys,” the grand jury states. He was arrested and released Saturday on $100,000 unsecured bail.
“If this is true we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things, and we grieve for the victims and their families. They are in our prayers,” Paterno said in his statement.
He added: “I understand that people are upset and angry, but let’s be fair and let the legal process unfold. In the meantime I would ask all Penn Staters to continue to trust in what that name represents, continue to pursue their lives every day with high ideals and not let these events shake their beliefs nor who they are.”
These children were RAPED! And, the law in Pennsylvania stipulates MANDATORY REPORTING, which was NOT done!
Myth #1 – Boys and men can’t be victims.
This myth, instilled through masculine gender socialization and sometimes referred to as the “macho image,” declares that males, even young boys, are not supposed to be victims or even vulnerable. We learn very early that males should be able to protect themselves. In truth, boys are children – weaker and more vulnerable than their perpetrators – who cannot really fight back. Why? The perpetrator has greater size, strength, and knowledge. This power is exercised from a position of authority, using resources such as money or other bribes, or outright threats – whatever advantage can be taken to use a child for sexual purposes.
Myth #2 – Most sexual abuse of boys is perpetrated by homosexual males.
Pedophiles who molest boys are not expressing a homosexual orientation any more than pedophiles who molest girls are practicing heterosexual behaviors. While many child molesters have gender and/or age preferences, of those who seek out boys, the vast majority are not homosexual. They are pedophiles.
Myth #3 – If a boy experiences sexual arousal or orgasm from abuse, this means he was a willing participant or enjoyed it.
In reality, males can respond physically to stimulation (get an erection) even in traumatic or painful sexual situations. Therapists who work with sexual offenders know that one way a perpetrator can maintain secrecy is to label the child’s sexual response as an indication of his willingness to participate. “You liked it, you wanted it,” they’ll say. Many survivors feel guilt and shame because they experienced physical arousal while being abused. Physical (and visual or auditory) stimulation is likely to happen in a sexual situation. It does not mean that the child wanted the experience or understood what it meant at the time.
Myth #4 – Boys are less traumatized by the abuse experience than girls.
While some studies have found males to be less negatively affected, more studies show that long term effects are quite damaging for either sex. Males may be more damaged by society’s refusal or reluctance to accept their victimization, and by their resultant belief that they must “tough it out” in silence.
Myth #5 – Boys abused by males are or will become homosexual.
While there are different theories about how the sexual orientation develops, experts in the human sexuality field do not believe that premature sexual experiences play a significant role in late adolescent or adult sexual orientation. It is unlikely that someone can make another person a homosexual or heterosexual. Sexual orientation is a complex issue and there is no single answer or theory that explains why someone identifies himself as homosexual, heterosexual or bi-sexual. Whether perpetrated by older males or females, boys’ or girls’ premature sexual experiences are damaging in many ways, including confusion about one’s sexual identity and orientation.
Many boys who have been abused by males erroneously believe that something about them sexually attracts males, and that this may mean they are homosexual or effeminate. Again, not true. Pedophiles who are attracted to boys will admit that the lack of body hair and adult sexual features turns them on. The pedophile’s inability to develop and maintain a healthy adult sexual relationship is the problem – not the physical features of a sexually immature boy.
Myth #6 – The “Vampire Syndrome”?that is, boys who are sexually abused, like the victims of Count Dracula, go on to “bite” or sexually abuse others.
This myth is especially dangerous because it can create a terrible stigma for the child, that he is destined to become an offender. Boys might be treated as potential perpetrators rather than victims who need help. While it is true that most perpetrators have histories of sexual abuse, it is NOT true that most victims go on to become perpetrators. Research by Jane Gilgun, Judith Becker and John Hunter found a primary difference between perpetrators who were sexually abused and sexually abused males who never perpetrated: non-perpetrators told about the abuse, and were believed and supported by significant people in their lives. Again, the majority of victims do not go on to become adolescent or adult perpetrators; and those who do perpetrate in adolescence usually don’t perpetrate as adults if they get help when they are young.
Myth #7 – If the perpetrator is female, the boy or adolescent should consider himself fortunate to have been initiated into heterosexual activity.
In reality, premature or coerced sex, whether by a mother, aunt, older sister, baby-sitter or other female in a position of power over a boy, causes confusion at best, and rage, depression or other problems in more negative circumstances. To be used as a sexual object by a more powerful person, male or female, is always abusive and often damaging.
Believing these myths is dangerous and damaging.
- So long as society believes these myths, and teaches them to children from their earliest years, sexually abused males will be unlikely to get the recognition and help they need.
- So long as society believes these myths, sexually abused males will be more likely join the minority of survivors who perpetuate this suffering by abusing others.
- So long as boys or men who have been sexually abused believe these myths, they will feel ashamed and angry.
- And so long as sexually abused males believe these myths they reinforce the power of another devastating myth that all abused children struggle with: that it was their fault. It is never the fault of the child in a sexual situation – though perpetrators can be quite skilled at getting their victims to believe these myths and take on responsibility that is always and only their own.
For any male who has been sexually abused, becoming free of these myths is an essential part of the recovery process.
Adapted from a presentation at the 5th International Conference on Incest and Related Problems, Biel, Switzerland, August 14, 1991.
Via MENWEB and in cooperation with M.A.L.E.
Take care and STAY SAFE!