Recently, Aaron Fisher, the young man who started the chain of events that ultimately sent Jerry Sandusky to prison decided to go public with his story. In his first interview since revealing his identity, Aaron revealed that Sandusky molested him for almost seven years--from the time he was 12 until late in the first semester of his freshman year of high school in 2008. Almost as chilling, though, is how officials at his high school, Central Mountain High School in Mill Hall (halfway between Williamsport and State College), responded. It's shocking enough to demand that their bosses at the Keystone Central School District mount a full investigation. Tell the school district to find out what happened.
After spending most of the year hiding from Sandusky, Aaron finally broke down and told the principal, Karen Probst, what was really happening. However, Probst's reaction was absolutely staggering.
"They said that Jerry has a heart of gold and that he wouldn't do those type of things," Daniels said "They tell me to go home and think about it."Mike Gillum, a psychologist with Clinton County Children and Youth Services who worked with Aaron from day one, later said that he was shocked school officials had blown Aaron off so casually. It was obvious to Gillum almost immediately that something had happened.
Daniels did not follow their advice. Instead she says she told Probst that she would be notifying Clinton County Children and Youth Services of the allegations directly.
Daniels and Fisher later learned that Central Mountain High School officials did call CYS, but they say the call only came after the mother and son left the principal's office. School officials are legally mandated to report all allegations of child sex abuse and have said that the allegations were reported immediately.
For Fisher, the initial suggestion that those meant to protect him did not believe his story was crushing.
As bad as that is, what Daniels told HuffPo last November makes it look even worse. Daniels, identified at the time as "Mother One," said that the school's vice principal and football coach, Steve Turchetta, allowed Sandusky to take Aaron out of class on several occasions. They even went off campus several times. No one at Central Mountain told Daniels even once about this, let alone sought her permission. The first she heard of it was when Aaron told her about it, and mentioned in passing that he was wondering about Sandusky being a "sex weirdo." Daniels was worried enough to call the school the next day--and it was then that Aaron revealed what Sandusky was doing to him.
Last night on 20/20, Daniels revealed that Turchetta had gotten suspicious about Sandusky, but made no further inquiries and continued to allow him to take kids out of class. And you can pretty much take it to the bank that Probst knew as well.
On that basis alone, Probst and Turchetta probably need to have lawyers on speed dial. But believe it or not, it gets worse.
Three years later, after the scandal broke, Aaron was being threatened by several other students who were apparently upset he'd led to Joe Paterno getting fired. When he told his mom about it, she called Probst. Back to HuffPo:
"I heard that some kids were going to do some gang beating on my son," she said she told Probst. "I want to make sure you are aware of that and that Mike Gillum was going to talk to the county to see if we could get some police up there, to take whatever measure's to keep him safe."I'm the son of a retired teacher. When a parent comes forward saying his or her child is being threatened, you don't hold a meeting. You take action, pronto. To add insult to injury, when Probst called back, she appeared to be more concerned about finding an old BB gun in Aaron's car a month earlier. Daniels immediately pulled Aaron out of school.
Mother One said the principal responded by saying: "Okay, we're going to have a meeting and we'll get back to you."
Based on what we already know, you really have to wonder how Probst and Turchetta haven't been held to account for what can charitably be described as dereliction of duty. And who knows how many other kids at Central Mountain were molested besides Aaron? It should make any fair-minded person sick.
This needs to be investigated, now. I started a petition calling for the Keystone Central School District to launch an immediate investigation. Sign here.