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Integritude!

[ 85 ] November 6, 2011 |

To add to what Paul wrote below, what happened at Penn State:

But the report also alleges much earlier instances of abuse and details failed efforts to stop it by some who became aware of what was happening.

Another child, known only as a boy about 11 to 13, was seen by a janitor pinned against a wall while Sandusky performed oral sex on him in fall 2000, the grand jury said.

And in 2002, Kelly said, a graduate assistant saw Sandusky sexually assault a naked boy, estimated to be about 10 years old, in a team locker room shower. The grad student and his father reported what he saw to Paterno, who immediately told Curley, prosecutors said.

Curley and Schultz met with the graduate assistant about a week and a half later, Kelly said.

“Despite a powerful eyewitness statement about the sexual assault of a child, this incident was not reported to any law enforcement or child protective agency, as required by Pennsylvania law,” Kelly said.

There’s no indication that anyone at school attempted to find the boy or follow up with the witness, she said.

To help illustrate how people could have such immoral priorities, I give you this statement by President Graham Spanier [via]:

With regard to the other presentments, I wish to say that Tim Curley and Gary Schultz have my unconditional support. I have known and worked daily with Tim and Gary for more than 16 years. I have complete confidence in how they have handled the allegations about a former University employee.

Tim Curley and Gary Schultz operate at the highest levels of honesty, integrity and compassion. I am confident the record will show that these charges are groundless and that they conducted themselves professionally and appropriately.

The scenario in which powerful people with “honesty, integrity and compassion” could have failed to alert the authorities about credible allegations — and allegations, let’s remember, that they themselves found credible enough to impose informal sanctions — that children were being sexually assaulted by one of their employees is not specified. And let’s also be clear that Paterno may have had a legal responsibility to report these allegations to the proper state authorities and unquestionably had a moral obligation to report them. And, of course, Spanier himself apparently approved the policy that Sandusky was prevented from bringing children into the athletic building without making further inquiries, so one hand washes the other. Now that’s integrity!

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Comments (85)

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  1. Modulo Myself says:

    By professional and appropriate, he means that if Sandusky would have been witnessed throwing a body into a hole outside Beaver Stadium, the response would have been to change the lock on the tool shed and require a written request for any future shovel usage.

    Incidentally, the grad assistant appears to be Mike McQueary, who played QB and now coaches for PSU.

  2. c u n d gulag says:

    Moe, Larry, Curly, and Sgt. Schultz, drunk and high on acid couldn’t have done a worse job.

    Congressmen sexting kids.
    Now, football coaches abusing young boys.

    Next thing you’ll be telling me Priests are…
    What?
    NO!
    Really?

    All kidding aside, everyone who knew anything about this and allowed it to continue needs to get brought to trial, and if found guilty, lose their jobs and serve hard time.

    And believe me, I taught in a Maximum Security prison – you don’t want to end up there if you’re a child molester.

  3. wiley says:

    I would not have gone through channels. I would have glanced around to see if there were something at hand that could be used as a bludgeon, if not—I’d just attack the son of a bitch. I’d scream like a fucking banshee after getting the first blow and I’d keep screaming. Kick him. Hit him. Pull his hair. Sock him in the nuts. Claw at his eyes. Punch his kidneys. Push his nose into his brain. Tell the kid to run and call 9/11 then his parents.

    The man has been raping children! My god— that’s not an administrative problem. It’s not a personal matter. It’s an abomination, a crime, a shame, a sin. Go crazy. Get medieval on his ass, just make sure he STOPS what he is doing, that the police are notified, the child’s parents are notified, and recommended to the parents that they get a real good lawyer who loves to prosecute big-shots and to get a counselor for their child who just wants to help the child and who isn’t interested in the limelight.

    I’ve fought off a rape attempt myself. He was an army grunt, he was big, and he totally underestimated me. I do believe that seeing a child being violated like this man violated a child (in front of witnesses) might give me the strength of ten Wiley’s. Goddamn this son of a bitch, may he rot in prison.

    What were they thinking?

  4. DrDick says:

    Silly rabbit! Everybody knows that the laws are only for the little people.

  5. TT says:

    Joe Paterno is now officially the Bernard Cardinal Law of this terrible episode, as these reports have him sweeping it under the rug, hoping it goes away, and relying on his position as a pillar of an entire community to weather him through. One can only hope this brings down him and the entire power structure of that university. (Ah, but he ran a “clean” program…)

    • efgoldman says:

      And the network apologists yesterday, kept repeating that JoePa had no culpability because he did what he was supposed to do: he reported it (to his “superior”) right away.

      Joe Paterno is now officially the Bernard Cardinal Law of this terrible episode…

      Excellent, excellent comparison, thank you.

      I wonder of JoePa is going to get a little chapel in Vatican City? Does Penn State have an alumni club in Rome?

  6. Rob says:

    Why do I see a PSA with Joe Paterno walking into a confessional and confessing his sins and when asked how did he learn to cover this up he yells “From you Father! I’ve learned it from watching you!”

    • rm says:

      Is it wrong that I found that bitterly hilarious?

      • witless chum says:

        No, it’s wrong that the Catholic Church covered up pedophilia and other misdeeds by priests rather than going to authorities and that Joe Paterno may have done something similar.

      • paleotectonics says:

        No.

        This has been another episode of…

        • paleotectonics says:

          That didn’t read as I’d hoped. I was born and raised very orthodox Catholic. When I started to learn to think as a young adult, it started failing as a philosophy, as as I continued thinking, I became first angry at the church, then embittered for the years of amazing guilt they encourage, and now have progressed to undying hatred for Rome.

          Yes, that comment is hilarious, but it is not funny.

  7. [...] fact we know someone else knew- Joe Paterno knew, and after reporting it, simply did [...]

  8. It is shocking and inexcusable when adults do not protect children. Is there a higher duty? And it seems that whenever one of these child sex abuse matters comes to light, we find that there were adults who knew, or reasonable should have known, what was going on, but who turned a blind eye or, worse, helped to cover it up.

    I feel like there are not enough prosecutions of people who failed to report. Or maybe such prosecutions are not widely publicized. They ought to be. And without mercy.

    • DrDick says:

      Of course there is a higher duty! The team and the university (in that order) come before all else.

    • LeeEsq says:

      I agree. This is when well-publicized criminal trials can be a useful tool of social education. Prosecute everybody who was involved in covering up this sort of crime and make examples out of them. Hopefully people will learn that you don’t cover up crimes against children.

  9. wengler says:

    It’s beginning to sound like as long as this coach wasn’t buggering a kid on the 50-yard line in the middle of a game, no one saw nothing.

    He’s everyone’s friend and a good guy, just look how involved he is in that home for troubled boys.

  10. [...] commenter gets it: I would not have gone through channels. I would have glanced around to see if there were [...]

  11. (the other) Davis says:

    Did anyone else notice the caption to the photo in the Times Union article that read “Sandusky is charged with sexually abusing eight young men“?

  12. Tybalt says:

    I blame Yahoo Sports and their incessant campaign of terror against college football coaches.

  13. Bruce Webb says:

    A week and a half? It took them that long to even decide to START their subsequently hushed up investigation?

    Did I get this right?
    One Grad student witnesses clearly illegal activity and out of loyalty to PU or whatever notifies Papa Joe rather than cops. Okay not a profile in courage but reasonably justifiable,
    Two Paterno “immediately” reports it to his bosses. Okay he is old and busy and maybe not directly responsible for discipline. Again not heroic but understandable.
    Three the relevant authorities just sit on this for a week and a half taking neither internal or external action (I.e. ‘call the cops’). Christ at least they could have started up the coverup right away and pretended they were doing something, this seems more like co-conspiracy in child rape. How did they justify inaction? Before even interviewing that grad student? At least they had a positive obligation to know the scope of what they were going to cover up.

    At least the Catholic Church kept secret files.

    • Pinko Punko says:

      Check Paterno’s statement just out claiming he was never told “the details”- didn’t he ask? Was there no follow up? He sounds worse and worse.

    • Mike says:

      One Grad student witnesses clearly illegal activity and out of loyalty to PU or whatever notifies Papa Joe rather than cops. Okay not a profile in courage but reasonably justifiable,

      I’m getting hung up here, because I still haven’t seen anything approaching a justification for this. The guy was a 6’2″, 200 lb. former college football player. He was 28 years old. He saw a 58 year old man raping a 10 year old child. I don’t see any moral justification for not approaching the guy, screaming at him to stop, and physically forcing him to do so if he doesn’t comply. Sandusky wasn’t a physical threat to Mcqueary. Yes, there was the potential that he could lose his job, but he saw a man raping a child. Balanced against that, a job is nothing. It is less than nothing. Even if you think there’s a moral justification for not doing that, what justification is there for not immediately calling the police? You’ve witnessed a crime. Not a minor crime, not an 18 year old with a beer or a kid smoking some weed; you’ve witnessed a man raping a child. If you witnessed a murder, you would call the cops, no question. He witnessed something just slightly less serious and his reaction was to go to his boss and then what? To let the matter sit? Years passed, nothing happen…at what point, under even the most tenuous moral justification, does he start to bear responsibility for doing nothing? It’s not Internet Tough Guy-ism to say that the GA (now WR coach) bears moral culpability.

      And if he reported to Joe Paterno that Paterno’s former defensive coordinator was raping a ten year old boy, and Paterno’s reaction was similarly not “CALL THE COPS,” then he is equally culpable. JoePa is somewhat of a figurehead now, but he’s not a drooling vegetable. Especially with the knowledge that he’ll be testifying in court, it’s evident that he retains sufficient mental capacity to tell right from wrong and to know that a man raping a child is wrong. Given that, he is absolutely morally culpable for not reporting the crime immediately.

      I hope there’s a hell so all of these men can burn in it forever, and I hope that the boys, now men, who were raped can eventually see justice done and find some kind of peace. And however the legal ramifications break for Paterno, he and everyone who had any knowledge of this should be fired. If Penn State refuses, the NCAA should give the program the death penalty.

      • rm says:

        I just got into a helacious argument with a pair of people for stating what you did. I wish I had had your response handy. Thank you.

        • rm says:

          To be clear, the rm above is not the same rm who usually uses the name rm, which is me. Not that I find anything wrong with what s/he said, just to be obsessively concerned with clarity.

      • West of the Cascades says:

        Penn State’s football program should be given the death penalty for this whether or not the university fires Paterno and McQueary or whether they resign (which both should, tomorrow, along with the AD, the VP for security, and Penn State’s general counsel, who apparently also is general counsel of the non-profit Sandusky founded to recruit his victims — also as an aside the general counsel should be disbarred for what seem to be multiple violations of the rules of professional conduct).

        This school had a pattern of allowing an emeritus football coach (Sandusky) to use its facilities to rape young children, had school employees that were aware of this on at least three occasions, and deliberately covered it up. Everyone who was associated with the cover-up needs to be prosecuted, including the “legendary” Paterno. It is inconceivable that SMU could get the death penalty for payments to players but Penn State’s football program doesn’t when adults with unlimited access to its football facilities fuck children with impunity there.

        • Mike says:

          I’m hesitant to say that, because that ends up punishing a lot of people (fans, students, current players) who had nothing at all to do with what happened.

          • witless chum says:

            I’m not hesitant to say. That’s an insane response to the crime.

            Anyone at PSU who knew about this needs to be fired and maybe jailed, but cast it terms of NCAA violations is bizarre and underrates the seriousness by a country mile.

            • Mike says:

              We’ve already discussed the crime. I was not discussing the crime, here; I was specifically discussing the football program and where it goes from here. To discuss what steps the NCAA should take, as the organization governing said football program, is a logical progression. Please read comment threads in their entirety before you respond to them.

              • witless chum says:

                Unless there was a deletion party, I’m pretty sure I did read the whole thread.

                I’m saying the idea that the NCAA should prohibit Penn State from playing football for this is insane. If Joe Pa was revealed to have gone on a cross-country murder spree, I’d say the same thing. Maybe I’m the one who’s nuts, but these seem like crimes that are entirely unrelated to football, so why would the NCAA get involved, like it was boosters slipping twenties to the QB or coaches sending too many text messages?

                Like you say, that would be punishing anyone not involved with the coverup for something that, while horrible, I don’t see how this gave PSU a competitive advantage, as the NCAA seems to define that term. I guess you could argue that they’d have been hurt in recruiting players if they’d called the cops like they should of.

                The whole Baylor basketball scandal, the NCAA didn’t go after Baylor because one of their players murdered another. It went after them for a variety of other reasons, which arguably came out because of the murder, such as recruiting violations and coaches paying players.

        • John says:

          Do you A) think Paterno should be prosecuted symbolically, even if prosecutors judge that there’s little chance of a conviction; or B) think that you can judge better than prosecutors as to whether or not a conviction would be likely?

          From what I can gather, there’s just not really any evidence that Paterno committed a crime. Is he morally culpable? Sure, and he should almost certainly lose his job. But a criminal prosecution should only be conducted when there’s real evidence of criminality. Moral cowardice is not, in and of itself, a crime.

    • ema says:

      Okay not a profile in courage but reasonably justifiable,

      Why do you think it’s reasonably justifiable? To my mind the only reasonable course of action when you see an adult sexually abusing a kid is to try and put a stop to it, right then and there, by whatever means necessary. And then you call 911.

      • cer says:

        I’m inclined to agree with this, the persistent lack of urgency from all involved seems really astonishing. On the other hand, it is an entirely typical response. Most cases of sexual assault are within families and in many cases other people know about it but we’re taught that child molesters are monsters and not ordinary people who engage in monstrous acts. This was a guy that all of them knew (just as in most cases the rapist is a friend, family member, parent, spouse) and probably knew as a relatively good guy. It is easy in the abstract to understand the horror of the situation, when the perpetrator is someone that you know and care about it is much harder. That’s not to excuse anyone in this situation–a lot of people behaved awfully and ought to be punished–but it is fairly consistent with what happens in many cases of child sexual abuse.

  14. virag says:

    i didn’t realize penn state was a catholic school…

  15. Aaron says:

    I absolutely agree that circumstances in this case demonstrate that abuse of power was taking place. However, I do think that it’s worth being skeptical of child sexual abuse claims before reporting them to authorities because even being investigated for child sexual abuse can lead to huge negative impacts on the life of the accused – destroying work relationships and jobs, upsetting families, etc. It can turn people into social lepers even without charges ever being filed or verdicts ever being returned. We either need to find some way to ensure that the subjects of these investigations are treated as innocent until proven guilty or we need to have a moderately high bar for when we report our to the relevant authorities.

    Scott is correct to point out, though, that if the information was credible enough to justify imposing informal sanctions it’s certainly credible enough to bring to the police. I just want to bring this issue up.

    • West of the Cascades says:

      In the abstract, you are right. But let’s be clear what happened in this case:

      a member of the Penn State football coaching staff walked in on a 58 year-old former coach fucking a 10 year-old boy in the shower of the football program’s locker room. The eyewitness told the head coach. Both of them told higher-ups. Neither of them called the police or did anything else after they reported it up the chain of command. Both coaches are still coaching, and for the last nine years they have watched their players walk into those same showers, and watched the same former coach continue to use his office in the same facility.

      This is not a situation where one had to be considerate of possible ramifications of a false or erroneous accusation. Someone on Penn State’s football coaching staff watched someone commit a felony. He told the head coach. Neither of them wanted to jeopardize the precious reputation of Penn State Football to protect that 10 year-old boy, or others like him who this monster has had 9 more years to prey on.

      A lot of people benefited over the past 9 years from the cover up by these coaches, the AD, the VP responsible for security, and the university general counsel. It’s hardly unfair that those people (fans, people who didn’t happen to see the young boy sodomized in the shower) now suffer to wipe away the stink of what Paterno and McQueary did by letting Sandusky go about his business after the 2002 incident.

      • Aaron says:

        I don’t disagree in the least. Both the head coach and the higher-ups acted unconscionably in this particularly case and should be exposed to all available legal and civil remedies for their role here.

      • witless chum says:

        Paterno’s defense is apparently that he wasn’t told by McQueery, I guess, what the specific allegations were. How that works, I don’t know.

    • wiley says:

      Yes, well people should be hesitant to report sexual abuse and rape out of respect for the perpetrator/accused; because being investigated for child sexual abuse or rape can lead to huge negative impacts on the life of the accused – destroying work relationships and jobs, upsetting families, etc. It can turn people into social lepers even without charges ever being filed or verdicts ever being returned.

      It’s also important not to report sexual abuse or rape, because the victim will in all likelihood be put through the wringer, have their integrity and entire sexual history brought to light—-

      Is this where you want to go with this? Let’s be real careful with making charges of sexual abuse because it would be a hardship on the accused? Do you feel this way about all crime, or is there something special about sexual crimes, in your mind?

      • cer says:

        In addition, this happened AFTER Sandusky “resigned” from his position under a cloud of suspicion for this very thing. So this was not a completely out of the blue accusation from a witness with questionable credibility. And this captures precisely the logic that often prevails in these cases–hate to ruin someone’s life over this kind of thing! Fucking depressing.

        • Scott Lemieux says:

          Exactly. We’re dealing here with unambiguous eyewitness evidence against somebody who retired prematurely because of similar allegations. McQueery probably didn’t know the history but all of his superiors did.

    • Hogan says:

      even being investigated for child sexual abuse can lead to huge negative impacts on the life of the accused – destroying work relationships and jobs, upsetting families, etc.

      Unless you’re the defensive coordinator of a major college football program. Then it’s all “Go thou and get caught sinning no more.”

  16. Dogs says:

    This puts the Paterno Professor of Literature, Science, and Other Endeavors in kind of an awkward position, hm?

  17. aimai says:

    I’m late to the fair here and I don’t post here much but I’m just agog at the excuses made for McQueary’s behavior. I’m a 5 foot nothing middle aged woman and I wouldn’t have walked out of that shower without the ten year old boy in one hand and the old geezer’s testicles clutched in the other. There’s no way that I would have allowed the old guy out of there before I’d called the child’s parents and the police, both, as well as a god damned EMT and an ambulance.

    I don’t even understand the language or the thought processes behind the “reporting” to supervisors. There’s nothing to report to them. The police would do any notifying that was necessary. There are no appropriate channels for a child rape that is in process anymore than it would be considered sufficient to note that a child was lying in the showers bleeding from an amputated limb. YOu don’t walk away and report it–you staunch the blood and call an ambulance.

    aimai

  18. [...] not only were his past actions indefensible, his conduct after the indictments were announced was abominable: he decided to vouch for the integrity and character of men who willfully (and illegally) let a [...]

  19. [...] were repeatedly raped over a period of fifteen years, some inside the Penn State football complex (Paterno knew). Kutcher has backpedaled and apologized, writing that he was not aware of the news and [...]

  20. [...] (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}Penn State hires Lanny Davis. Maybe Davis wrote the Spanier statement about what great men of Honor and Integritude the people who he knew committed felonies to harbor [...]

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