Jerry Sandusky, 67, the Penn State defensive coordinator during two of the team’s national championship years before retiring in 1999, was arrested Saturday on charges of sexually abusing eight boys across a 15-year period.This is the result of an investigation that has been going on for a long time. Furthermore, the investigators were not making outrageous statements (unlike what we saw in the Duke Lacrosse Case and the Tonya Craft Case, where in both situations, police and prosecutors lied and made up things as they went along), at least while the investigations were occurring.
Two top university officials — Gary Schultz, the senior vice president for finance and business, and Tim Curley, the athletic director — were charged with perjury and failure to report to authorities what they knew of the allegations, as required by state law.
Unfortunately, after the arrests, Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly declared that Sandusky was: "a sexual predator who used his position within the university and community to repeatedly prey on young boys." She also declared about the two PSU officials:
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.From what I can tell, the first statement violates the Rules of Conduct of the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court, Rule 3.8(e), while the second, with the word "allegedly," does not. The rule states:
...except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor's action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused and exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees or other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making under Rule 3.6 or this Rule.In other words, Jerry Sandusky is CHARGED with the crimes; he has not been convicted, and the AG cannot call him a "predator" outright. (Not that this matters, since as a matter of course, prosecutors rarely are punished for breaking Rules of Conduct from their various states, as they have seized control of the judicial system.)
Furthermore, as this Wall Street Journal article points out, neither Curly nor Schultz are what the law calls "first responders" to allegations of child molestation. In other words, claiming that they legally were responsible for reporting Sandusky is something that AG Kelly should NOT be saying, given that she actually is supposed to know Pennsylvania state law on these matters. (However, while you and I are legally supposed to know EVERY LAW in EVERY STATE and the federal government, as well as every single regulation, the courts have exempted judges, prosecutors, and the police from that requirement. I'm not kidding. In other words, we already have legalized tyranny.)
That is why Kelly had the men charged with perjury, as she knew she did not have a legal case against them, but she is going to claim they lied to the grand jury. Using those standards, she could have also charged PSU coach Joe Paterno with crimes, but in so doing would have put herself out on a limb, given Paterno's status not only as the winningest college football coach but also as someone known for following the rules.
As I said last April, the status of Penn State football and the status of the coaches at PSU has served as a braking mechanism for investigators, who usually are more likely to be charging ahead, making outrageous statements, and trying to coerce witnesses. They knew they could not do that in this situation and get away with it, which means they probably did a much more effective job than they normally might have done.
The case against Sandusky, as I noted in the title, seems pretty strong. These paragraphs alone tells me that there are more than just rumors:
At approximately 9:30 p.m. on March 1, 2002, a Penn State graduate assistant entered what should have been an empty football locker room. He was surprised to hear the showers running and noises he thought sounded like sexual activity, according to a Pennsylvania grand jury “finding of fact” released Saturday.This isn't Joal Henke testifying to something he "just remembered this morning" about something that clearly was a lie; this is a graduate assistant who probably had dreams of being a college coach allegedly witnessing something that not only was stunningly awful, but also would have been a potential roadblock to his being able to get a job in coaching ranks, given the expressed prohibitions of "ratting out" other coaches. As the article states, he told Paterno, who then says he told PSU athletic director Curly.
When he looked in the shower he saw what he estimated to be a 10-year-old boy, hands pressed up against the wall, “being subjected to anal intercourse,” by Jerry Sandusky, then 58 and Penn State’s former defensive coordinator. The grad assistant said both the boy and the coach saw him before he fled to his office where, distraught and stunned, the grad assistant telephoned his father, who instructed his son to flee the building.
Was this the proper course of action? All of the articles (and they are legion), including ones here, here, and here, say that Paterno and Curly should have gone to the police immediately.
As noted earlier, the law is unclear. However, I would like to go a step further and say that given what we have seen in the past regarding how police and prosecutors deal with allegations of child molestation, I also would be hesitant to go to the police unless I knew for certain. There are too many instances in this country in which people who have talked to the police either find themselves in legal trouble or are framed by cops and prosecutors.
In Tonya Craft's situation, it is absolutely clear that Sandra Lamb and Dewayne Wilson worked hand-in-glove with Tim Deal and Chris Arnt to out-and-out frame Craft, and when those entrusted with enforcing the law are most likely to lie, then one cannot trust ANYONE in law enforcement to do the right thing. Let me repeat my point: Police and prosecutors in this country already have proven beyond a doubt that they are untrustworthy and are willing to frame innocent people, so going to the police about anything is a very risky thing.
For all of the chest beating about what Joe Paterno SHOULD have done, I would say that not one of the journalists or other pundits was in his shoes, and to say that he was "covering up" something this awful is not warranted. I have no idea what happened, and neither do they.
That being said, however, I do believe that the police and prosecutors have a strong case. When I first heard the rumors, I thought it might be a situation of parents and children wanting to extort money from Sandusky and his organization, The Second Mile. The account of the grad student, however, changes my opinion.
How this will turn out, I don't know. Journalists always rush to judgment and they always will. However, if the police and prosecutors have the case against Sandusky they claim, then this will have an inevitable conclusion of finding Sandusky guilty. As for Curly and Schultz, I don't know.
I will add this, however. Given that prosecutors -- and this includes Kelly -- often use witnesses they KNOW are lying (and never charged with perjury), it seems like overkill to me to charge these PSU officials with perjury. Prosecutors are willing to use perjury as a tool to help gain wrongful convictions -- that we know for a fact -- and for them to turn around and use it in this way simply is wrong.