It was reported yesterday, that Jerry Sandusky a former Penn State assistant football coach was criminally charged with numerous counts involving child sexual abuse. Additionally, the Penn State athletic director and a vice president of the university were also charged with perjury for allegedly lying to the grand jury that was investigating the alleged abuse. Joe Paterno was apparently the first school official who was informed of the activities of Sandusky and he reported it to Timothy Curley, the athletic director.
While some might think that an acceptable first step by Paterno, it surely was not enough. He had an obligation to report the matter to law enforcement, especially once he saw that his superiors had not done the right thing. Universities are certainly not held to a lower standard than churches,clergy ,Boy Scouts, school systems,nursing homes and other institutions. The principle is very simple: When you have reason to suspect child abuse, you report it.
The Grand Jury report paints quite a sordid picture:
Unfortunately, instead of being remembered as a fine coach and role model, as well as a generous benefactor, the first thing people will recall is that he apparently helped cover up the sexual abuse of children in order to protect the football program. Truly Shameful. We’ll know if has any moral compass if he resigns effective immediately. If he or the University merely state that he’ll be retiring at the end of this year, it will show that they still do not accept responsibility for the horrible wrongs they committed
Seth Langson, Attorney at Law
Specializing in Sexual Abuse on Children