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Sports and the sexual abuse of children; Plus: Rick Santorum makes things worse

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By Michelle Malkin  •  November 8, 2011 02:29 PM

Last month, an appalling sports sex abuse scandal hit a little close to home when a national gymnastics coach tied to decades of molestation charges involving young girls was banned from the sport — and a Colorado Springs gym operator who was also a convicted sex offender was forced to resign after employing the banned coach.

The story in my local paper is here; the Orange County Register series that blew the whistle on the widespread abuse and cover-up in gymnastics is here.

Last year, it was the swimming world that was rocked after revelations that at least 36 swimming coaches have been banned for life by the USA Swimming organization over the last 10 years because of sexual misconduct including molestations, fondling, and rape.

And now, it’s college football. The failures to act, the cover up, the rationalizations all echo each other — and also mirror the institutionalized failures, cover ups, and rationalizations of Catholic Church officials who enabled pedophiles to prey on innocent young victims entrusted to their care and oversight across the country.

The systemic enabling of child sexual predators is an unspeakable evil. So is willful ignorance about the sordid details of the case.

The latest developments? It looks like Joe Paterno will get off and get out easy.

Discussions about how to manage his departure have begun, according to the two people.

Paterno was to have held a news conference Tuesday but the university canceled it less than an hour before it was scheduled to start.

…On Monday law enforcement officials said that Paterno had met his legal obligation in alerting his superiors at the university when he learned of the 2002 allegation against Sandusky. But they suggested he might well have failed a moral test for what to do when confronted with such a disturbing allegation involving a child not even in his teens. No one at the university alerted the police or pursued the matter to determine the well-being of the child involved. The identity of that child remains unknown, according to the Attorney General.

Paterno has not been charged in the matter, but his failure to report to authorities what he knew about the 2002 incident, in which Sandusky allegedly sexually assaulted a young boy at Penn State’s football complex, has become a flashpoint, stirring anger among the board members and an outpouring of public criticism about his handling of the matter.

That’s still too easy. More backlash here.

From the Pennsylvania attorney general’s press release this weekend:

Attorney General Linda Kelly and Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan today announced that criminal charges have been filed against three Centre County men as the result of an extensive and wide-reaching grand jury investigation into reports of the sexual abuse of children.

The defendants include:

Gerald Arthur “Jerry” Sandusky, age 67, of 130 Grandview Road, State College, former Defensive Coordinator for the Penn State University football team and founder of The Second Mile, a charitable organization that operates programs for young people.
Timothy Mark Curley, age 57, of 201 Meadowlark Lane, Boalsburg, the Director of Athletics for Penn State University.
Gary Charles Schultz, age 62, of 636 Rosslyn Road, Boalsburg, Senior Vice President for Finance and Business at Penn State University, a position that includes oversight of the Penn State University Police Department.

“This is a case about a sexual predator who used his position within the university and community to repeatedly prey on young boys,” Kelly said. “It is also a case about high-ranking university officials who allegedly failed to report the sexual assault of a young boy after the information was brought to their attention, and later made false statements to a grand jury that was investigating a series of assaults on young boys.

“I hope people will understand that any suspicion of sexual abuse should be reported to the police,” Commissioner Noonan said. “Sexual abuse is a serious issue and children are often scared to tell anyone about the abuse – many cases are hidden for years – but by informing the police they can stop it.”

Kelly and Noonan said that evidence was presented to an investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges that were filed today. Testimony was heard from numerous victims and others who observed or reported suspicious activities, along with the submission of local and state records from the University Police, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare and Children and Youth Services offices.

…Sandusky is charged with the following offenses:

Seven counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, all first-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
One count of aggravated indecent assault, a second-degree felony punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Four counts of unlawful contact with a minor, all first-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Four counts of unlawful contact with a minor, all third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, all third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, all first-degree misdemeanors which are each punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Eight counts of corruption of minors, all first-degree misdemeanors which are each punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
One count of indecent assault, a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Four counts of indecent assault, all second-degree misdemeanors which are each punishable by up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Two counts of indecent assault, all first-degree misdemeanors which are each punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
One count of attempt to commit indecent assault, a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Be sure to click the link and go through to the full PDF of the grand jury report.

From that grand jury report, the failures of renowned Penn State coach Joe Paterno are fully illuminated:

On March 1, 2002, a Penn State graduate assistant (“graduate assistant:) who was then 28 years old, entered the locker room at the Lasch Football Building on the University Park Campus on a Friday night near the beginning of Spring Break.

The graduate assistant, who was familiar with Sandusky, was going to put some newly purchased sneakers in his locker and get some recruiting tapes to watch. It was about 9:30 p.m. As the graduate assistant entered the locker room doors, he was surprised to find the lights and showers on. He then heard slapping sounds.He believed the sounds to be those of sexual activity. As the graduate assistant put the sneakers in his locker, he looked into the shower. He saw a naked boy, Victim 2, whose age he estimated to be 10 years old, with his hands up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky. The graduate assistant was shocked but noticed that both Victim 2 and Sandusky saw him. The graduate assistant left immediately, distraught.

The graduate assistant went to his office and called his father, reporting to him what he had seen. His father told the graduate assistant to leave the building and come to his home. The graduate assistant and his father decided that the graduate assistant had to report what he had seen to Coach Joe Paterno (“Paterno”), head football coach of Penn State. The next morning, a Saturday, the graduate assistant telephoned Paterno and went to Paterno’s home, where he reported what he had seen.

Joseph V. Paterno testified to receiving the graduate assistant’s report at his home on a Saturday morning. Paterno testified that the graduate assistant was very upset. Paterno called Tim Curley (“Curley”), Penn State Athletic Director and Paterno’s immediate superior, to his home the very next day, a Sunday, and reported to him that the graduate assistant had seen Jerry Sandusky in the Lasch Building showers fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy.

Approximately one and a half weeks later, the graduate assistant was called to a meeting with Penn State Athletic Director Curley and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz (“Schultz”). The graduate assistant reported to Curley and Schultz that he had witnessed what he believed to be Sandusky having anal sex with a boy in the Lasch Building showers. Curley and Schultz assured the graduate assistant that they would look into it and determine what further action they would take. Paterno was not present for this meeting.

The graduate assistant heard back from Curley a couple of weeks later. He was told that Sandusky’s keys to the locker room were taken away and that the incident had been reported to The Second Mile. The graduate assistant was never questioned by University Police and no other entity conducted an investigation until he testified in Grand Jury in December, 2010. The Grand Jury finds the graduate assistant’s testimony to be extremely credible.

Mothers of Sandusky’s young targets speak out.

Penn State alum Rick Santorum weighs in on the matter by refusing to weigh in, and is too “sick to his stomach” to read the indictment.

That’s exactly the hands-off attitude that destroyed so many countless young boys lives in the first place.

When will people learn?

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