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View Diary: Gov. Corbett tries to defend his failure to prosecute Jerry Sandusky (143 comments)

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  •  I agree PSU/Paterno are a part of this and (5+ / 0-)

    deserve to be condemed and punished.  However, that until today, there has been little to no focus on the truly important point; How did Sandusky exist and thrive in a community that was trained and educated to see signs of molestation and signs of a person being a pedophile?  And isn't that where it should have been?  

    We know of one accusation in '98 and one in 2001 that involved PSU and its facilities.  The '98 investigation was reported, investigated, and found not to be criminal in nature.  That is what PSU/Paterno were told.  The psychologist report even cleared him of any inappropriate actions.  That is what they knew.

    In 2001 McQueary sees something that apparently he, his physican asst. father, the family friend who is an MD, Paterno, and the the rest of the PSU guys do not think was criminal.  Only Paterno reported anything above himself.  That 7 men conspired to hide a pedophile, knowing that more children would be raped and knowing that if they were caught, they would all be destroyed, seems crazy.  We are being led to believe they chose not to report the 2001 event to protect football.  Protect it from what?  Some bad publicity for a few weeks/months?  We are to believe they decided to allow children to continue to be raped and the potential to throw away their entire lives, for that?  It seems much more plausible they (stupidly,wrongly) believed Sandusky was not a pedophile.  They had the '98 report and they had worked with a guy for 30 yrs who (they thought) had dedicated his life to helping children.  And Spainer is survivor of child abuse, but we are led to believe he still decided to let children be raped instead of some bad publicity.  Doesn't make sense.  And we need to recognize we are viewing all of this through the lens of what we know now.  They didn't hve that luxury.

    But now that the focus has shifted, hopefully the truth will emerge has to how this really happened and what fixes need quickly implemented.

    •  but there does seem to be some conspiracy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glacial Erratic, a2nite, elwior

      The depth of Paterno's involvement is not quite clear, since he didn't use email. But from the other emails there is a lot of vague language, which I think anyone has to admit seems suspicious.

      •  I agree that Paterno failed to protect children, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ConfusedSkyes, elwior, Mila18

        and deserves much of the anger directed at him.

        I don't think they (all of the PSU guys/Paterno) believed they were covering for a pedophile.  I think they questioned some of his actions, but never realized just what a monster he was.  This is where they failed.  That they thought they were smart enough to know who Sandusky was, without reporting and consulting experts.

        But to think these men knew Sandusky had raped and would continue to rape children doesn't seem probable to me. I have trouble believing these very successful men would risk everything they accomplished (one a child abuse survivor), to protect a football program.

        If they report 2001, there will probably be some negative publicity for a month or two.  That's it--they all continue on with their lives.  That they instead chose to risk future rapes and their professional and financial success, not to mention jail time, doesn't seem realistic.

        •  This is what I am hoping... (0+ / 0-)

          But it is what I also hoped for Paterno. Not because I cared about him, but because the alternative happened to be pretty terrible.

          I'm not entirely sold on being optimistic about their intentions right now.

        •  But they did. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, WakeUpNeo, SwedishJewfish

          They knew about 1998 when they heard about 2001, and did nothing.

        •  Let me fix that for you... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CherryTheTart
          I have trouble believing these very successful men would risk everything they accomplished (one a child abuse survivor), to protect a football program child.
          There's your answer.

          You must work-we must all work-to make a world that is worthy of its children -Pablo Casals Please support TREE Climbers for victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

          by SwedishJewfish on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 10:24:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I truly understand the emotions associated (0+ / 0-)

            with this entire case, but please don't think that one opinion based on the "facts" is any more correct than another.

            I think we both have the same ultimate goal; to fix the problems that allowed a pedophile to literally have the state, hand him children.

            My concern has been that so many will/do believe this is all about a football scandal and once the football team/culture/coach is destroyed, we can all go about our daily lives.  I think we all know that until the state child services, 2nd Mile and the Pa. government officials that were involved are investigated, nothing will change.  Because the focus has been so inbalanced towards all things PSU, this is being missed.  And I believe that is the plan by Pa. officials, the BOT and Freeh.  The media has willingly played along.

            I personally haven't seen the evidence that shows these guys made the decision to protect football vs a child.  It may well be there, but I need evidence.  An e-mail or a note or even a remembered conversation that says, "hey, we better not report what we know.  The program/Paterno comes first".  Not some opinion of what something may mean.  It bothered me greatly that Freeh (previous head of the FBI), who understands how evidence works, so often in his report said basically, "while it doesn't exactly say or show this, we have to believe this is what happened".  Those are dangerous words to accept, unless they describe the narrative we want to hear.

            Based on what I've seen (and more importantly) haven't seen, I believe the evidence shows a bunch a intelligent men drawing completely wrong conclusions, but based on what they thought they knew and not an uglier motive.  

            Hopefully, this investigation will reach a final conclusion, based on the facts and the truth, and strong corrective actions will be implemented throughout Pa.  I haven't seen how any of the sanctions against PSU have accomplished that goal.

            •  I agree with you to an extent (0+ / 0-)

              This is about more than football. The Freeh report is just the tip of the iceburg. There needs to be some serious scrutiny to the ties between Corbett (and other PA state officials), The Second Mile, and Penn State-and how those connections made for a powerful incentive to keep this a secret. I think that is the key to all of this.

              As for the sanctions-they were a penalty for an egregious wrong, which was absolutely necessary. Accountability is important. But even beyond that, the $60 million will go to charities and organizations that serve abused and at risk children, and they will requre that Penn State follow the recommendations in the Freeh report to prevent this from happening in the future. I personally think they should have been much more stringent, but it's a step in the right direction.

              You must work-we must all work-to make a world that is worthy of its children -Pablo Casals Please support TREE Climbers for victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

              by SwedishJewfish on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 05:16:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, I agree with you, then. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SwedishJewfish

                Hopefully, the full force of the media and law enforcement will publicize these investigations with all the emotional excitement they did while covering PSU.  

                PSU screwed up big time.  But, if people in law enforcement and Child Protective Services would have done their fucking jobs, this monster would have been stopped so much earlier.  That's what is so upsetting to me.

                I am not suprised the men at PSU failed.  I'm disappointed, but not suprised.  I've seen so many who don't have training, or have personal relationships with monsters, fail.  They simply refuse to accept that they have surrounded themselves or befriended a monster.  It was not their fault they hired him, befriended him, or worked with him for 30 + years.  People are so fearful of guilt by association.  But, their weakness to see past themselves, was their huge failure and something they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.  Children's lives were destroyed because their weakness.

                God, I just pray that the facts are found as to why/how Sandusky was allowed to operate, and that strong corrective measures are quickly put in place to protect Pa. children from the next monster (and I know that is your wish as well).

    •  Back to '95 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, SwedishJewfish, CherryTheTart

      Actually, we know of accusations made by Debra Long regarding Sandusky's conduct with Matthew in '95.  

      I have few doubts that Sandusky bamboozled the people around him with excuses, rationalizations, and appeals to change. But we know from bitter experience across multiple organizations, letting an offender slide on promises is the wrong thing to do.

    •  There is no mystery here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CherryTheTart, tobendaro

      it happens all the time, and it's more about human psychology than it is any kind of conspiracy. Judith Herman M.D. describes this best:

      Those who bear witness are caught in the conflict between victim and perpetrator. It is morally impossible to remain neutral in this conflict. The bystander is forced to take sides. It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that thebystander do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear, and speak no evil. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement, and remembering.

      [...]

      In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. Secrecy and silence are the perpetrator’s first line of defense. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure that no one listens. To this end, he marshals an impressive array of arguments, from the most blatant denial to the most sophisticated and elegant rationalization. After every atrocity one can expect to hear the same predictable apologies: it never happened; the victim lies; the victim exaggerates; thevictim brought it upon herself; and in any case it is time to forget the past and move on. The more powerful the perpetrator, the greater is his prerogative to name and definereality, and the more completely his arguments prevail.

      The perpetrator’s arguments prove irresistible when the bystander faces them inisolation. Without a supportive social environment, the bystander usually succumbs to the temptation to look the other way. This is true even when the victim is an idealized and valued member of society. Soldiers in every war, even those who have been regarded as heroes, complain bitterly that no one wants to know the real truth about war. When the victim is already devalued (a woman, a child), she may find that the most traumatic events of her life take place outside the realm of socially validated reality. Her experience becomes unspeakable.

      What was done to those boys was outside of the sphere of socially validated reality in Happy Valley. How many times have we heard things like this don't happen here.

      Add to that the power and position of Sandusky, and the devalued social status of the victims (not only children, but children from broken homes and troubled backgrounds) Add to that the close ties between PSU and Second Mile, and many other factors that just made it easier to look the other way.

      Trust me-they knew.

      You must work-we must all work-to make a world that is worthy of its children -Pablo Casals Please support TREE Climbers for victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

      by SwedishJewfish on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 10:10:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely they knew. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SwedishJewfish

        And they did what incest families/groups do: they hid and they lied and they pretended it never happened.

        I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

        by CherryTheTart on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 12:24:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Based on your article, every single person reacted (0+ / 0-)

        exactly the same, and exactly as you described.  That doesn't seem possible to me.

        Where is there any evidence any of these men, devalued anyone, or thought anyone was lying, or dismissed what the victim said?  No victim ever spoke to any of the PSU people.  In fact, the '98 victims claims were reported, believed, investigated by both the police and childrens services, and deemed to be "unfounded".  And, please remember, even the Freeh report stated PSU did not influence this investigation or the decision to drop.  Also, no one to this day even knows who the child was in 2001.  So I don't see evidence they choose to not believe any victims.

        Everyone seems to ignore or dismiss that Sandusky was investigated in '98 and found to not be the man we know he is now.  If only police or children's services would have done a better job, Sandusky would have been stopped in '98.  Should PSU have ignored the results of the investigation and decided they were smarter than the "experts".  I don't think that would have been received well by anyone in '98.

        But at least, with PSU handled to many's satisfaction (I know--not everyone's), the focus will shift to the Pa. officials and those that were charged with protecting children, had how the completely failed.  FINALLY!!!!

        I would love to "trust you", but trust isn't proof.  Trust doesn't convict.  And trust only works if it is reciprocated .  I don't think you will accept , "trust me...they never thought he was raping children".  And nor should you.  Nor will I.  

        •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

          The 1998 investigation included a report by a psychologist which said that Sandusky was a likely pedophile

          “There was very little doubt in my mind (Sandusky) … was a male predator, someone that was in the process of grooming a young man for abuse ,” said Chambers, speaking publicly for the first time, with the permission of her client’s family, in an interview with NBC News. “I thought…my report was strong enough to suggest that this was somebody who should be watched.”
          According to the Department of Public Welfare (now Children and Youth Services) official who oversaw that case, he was never provided with a copy of that report. He was provided with a second psychologists report, which determined that no sexual contact had occurred.

          As to this...

          Where is there any evidence any of these men, devalued anyone, or thought anyone was lying, or dismissed what the victim said?  No victim ever spoke to any of the PSU people.  In fact, the '98 victims claims were reported, believed, investigated by both the police and childrens services, and deemed to be "unfounded".  And, please remember, even the Freeh report stated PSU did not influence this investigation or the decision to drop.  Also, no one to this day even knows who the child was in 2001.  So I don't see evidence they choose to not believe any victims.
          To this day no one knows who that child was because there was never any attempt to locate him! A child was found being raped in the Penn State locker room by a grown man, and nothing was done to try to locate that child and make sure he was OK, let alone get his side of the story. If that is not evidence that they devalued the victims, I don't know what is.

          As for "trusting" me... I think the evidence here speaks for itself and I'm frankly perplexed that you could look at it and draw any other conclusion. But consider that my insight is based on my experiences both as a victim of child sexual abuse myself (abuse that at least one other adult was aware of, but never reported) and as a victims advocate who has talked to hundreds of other survivors, so I know that it's far from uncommon. With that insight, and after spending 2 weeks in Bellefonte attending the trial, and talking to those with intimate knowledge of what happened-including Matt Sandusky's biological mother, and the mother of victim #6 (who was at the center of the 1998 incident), I can tell you with as much certainty as I'm living and breathing that those men knew.

          You must work-we must all work-to make a world that is worthy of its children -Pablo Casals Please support TREE Climbers for victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

          by SwedishJewfish on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 04:57:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am aware of all of the information you have (0+ / 0-)

            metioned.  But, I simply don't accept some of your conclusions.

            First, CYS screwed up royally.  That there were two psychologist commissioned to do an evaluation in '98, and only one report was shared, is a disgrace, especially being because they only shared the "Sandusky is ok" report.  Exactly who is involved in the cover up?  Not PSU at this time.  How can CYS claim to be competent?  And they broke or ignored the law by not reporting that Sandusky was under investigation to 2nd Mile.  Completely incompetent, and lacking of the necessary skills required to do their job.  But how can that be held against PSU?  Again, according to Freeh they stayed completely out of the investigation.  

            I agree with you that PSU officials failed in their duty to attempt to located the child in 2001.  To me, this was their largest mistake, and makes them deserving of all the outrage.  But, I do not think they believed the child was being raped in 2001.  Based on the fact that every person who heard McQueary's account, didn't call the police, (including McQueary), makes it quite plausible he never reported what he later described to the DA.  The family friend who was a Dr. (forget his name) testified he asked McQueary 3x if he saw a rape and McQueary answered no each time.  I'm not making accuses for these guys.  They failed.  But there is no evidence that they thought a rape occurred.  In fact, all evidence points to them not believing a rape occurred.  They all reacted exactly the same.

            As to the abuse you suffered, I am truly sorry.  I applaud your dedication to this horrible scandal.  However, I have to say that simply because of your experience, that you believe you have a greater ability to discern "facts", is unfair.  Saying this means you have no want or need to hear any other opinion.  That I must accept what you say as fact.  You do not have any idea of my past or my experience.  I will not throw that out there to lend credence to my arguments.  I have been trying to simply review that facts in an unbiased manner, and base my conclusions strictly on that.  Not what I want or expect the conclusions to be.

            Would it be fair for Mr. Spainer to say, "you have to believe my version, regardless of the facts, because I too an a survivor of  child abuse"?  I think we would all rightly say "no" to that.

            They may well have known.  However, the facts at this time do not make that clear.

            What is clear is that CYS knew something was wrong and did nothing.  What is clear is that the DA allowed Sandusky 3 yrs of unsupervised access to children while they investigated he may well be a serial pedophile.  What is known is the state placed 20+ forster children in Sandusky's home.  And finally, what is known is that 2nd Mile ignored verbal warnings and signs that Sandusky was a serial pedophile.

            Nothing to date has been done to investigate how this guy existed in the world of child care experts and law enforcement officials, and no one tried to stop him.  The PSU punishments, while possibly deserved (I'm still not in complete agreement and really isn't revelant) have done nothing to protect 1 child in Pa.

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