And thank the Lord two Penn State officials have been indicted by a grand jury for lying to the grand jury about one of the cases of abuse, and for failing to report the abuse to authorities.
While many Baptists get away with not reporting possible molestations of their clergy, at least in this case those who did not report are going to be held accountable.
Says Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly:
"There is no indication that anyone from the university ever attempted to learn the identity of the child who was sexually assaulted on their campus or made any follow-up effort to obtain more information from the person who witnessed the attack first-hand."
The only question remains: how does Joe Paterno, the head coach still have a job? As recorded on pages 6 and 7 in the grand jury findings of fact (WARNING...the contents of the 23-page grand jury report are graphic and disturbing), a graduate assistant that observed Sandusky sexually assaulting a 10-year old in the Penn State locker room in 2002 reported the incident directly to Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno.
What did Paterno do? Well, he called his Athletic Director, Tim Curley. Curley was Paterno's immediate supervisor. Curley and another Penn State big-wig, Gary Schultz had a meeting with the graduate assistant and assured him it was being taken care of.
But Curley and Schultz both failed to report the incident to any authorities. In the grand jury report there was at least one young boy victimized by Sandusky AFTER the 2002 sexual assault - that would have been prevented had Curley and Schultz - or Paterno - done the right thing and gone immediately to the police.
Curley and Schultz are being charged with perjury as well, since the grand jury believes they may have lied to them, claiming the graduate assistant did not indicate that a crime had been committed or that the incident was of a sexual nature when he first reported the assault to Paterno. Read the grand jury report, and you'll see why the grand jury didn't believe their story.
Why am I writing about a football sexual molestation scandal on the Watchdog blog? I can't help but compare and contrast this report to similar cases of molestation involving "men of God" and how they are handled.
A few observations:
- Is it not amazing that all of these men that knew of the 2002 molestation never reported it to any authorities? Why not? The reason is obvious: they feared the negative consequences of a public scandal involving their beloved institution. Very smart men - a graduate assistant, the most beloved football coach in NCAA history, two administrators, even the graduate assistant's father - all made the wrong choice, and their inaction resulted in at least one more boy being needlessly victimized. We see the same in religious institutions - fear of negative publicity causing men to not report and letting the molester move on.
- the two men indicted for failing to report are now claiming they didn't know how terrible the actions were of Sandusky. Sound familiar? I think of the Trinity Baptist scandal with Bob Gray - what was the congregation told about the allegations? That whatever Gray was accused of was not of a "sexual nature". The fact is Bob Gray was a pedophile. He french-kissed boys and girls in his office, even molested a little girl during her baptism. Yet those in authority in the church who had the power to stop him failed to do it, and they conveniently mischaracterized his actions. He could have been stopped had one person made a phone call to the sheriff's office, but no one did.
- if you read the grand jury report you will see that Sandusky used his fame, his money, gifts and notoriety as a Penn State legend to befriend his victims. His legendary status gave him open access to young boys at Penn State, and at public schools. He took them to Penn State football games, had them stay at his house, took them on trips. Molesters are molesters - whether they are football coaches or pastors - and they will use their power and position to gain access to their victims.
Church leaders, pastors, ministers everywhere: take notice of this case. Nine years after these men at Penn State failed to report a sexual assault on a minor, and after their arrogance caused them to allegedly lie about it to the grand jury, they are going to be held accountable.
But it should come as no surprise: the Penn State University institution is standing behind Curley and Schultz, and they will pay for their legal defense.