Reserving Judgment…Until The Trial Begins

This will be the only time, until the trial begins, that I’ll write some thoughts about the indictment of Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach who has been formally charged for sexual exploitation and abuse towards 8 alleged victims.  

  • Nothing surprises me anymore and this doesn’t shock me as much as it has for most of you.  If it can happen to the Roman Catholic Church, trust me, it’s happening everywhere.  The one major difference is that the attitudes of people have changed, thanks to this interactive world we are in.  Back in the old days, if a child was molested or abused, no one said a word.  Back in 1992, no one said a word then either.  We didn’t have internet and social media to talk about it.  
  • For some in the national media, they have (yet again) “convicted” someone and no one has gone to trial yet.  The Pennsylvania Attorney General has to prove, beyond all reasonable doubt that

a). Sandusky did commit these acts

b). Did Curley et al. falsified information by concealing it; and 

c).  Should Penn State should have done more to severely limit, or better yet, permanently ban Sandusky from having access on campus?  And why was he still running his organization, if these allegations were around?  How did the legal authorities (the AG and State Police) didn’t shut down his organization themselves? 

Remember the first one.  That’s the most important question that has to be determined.  Is Sandusky guilty of what he has been indicted for?  If the Attorney General can’t prove it, then it looks bad on her.  

Just because an indictment has been filed, that doesn’t mean that anyone is guilty…yet.  Yes, the clichéd “let the judge and jury handle this” still reigns.  The fate of the parties involved will be determined by what a jury decides at the end of the trial. 

  • “Why didn’t Paterno call the police?”  Did Kirk Ferentz call the police right away when he learned that former players Abe Satterfield and Cedric Everson were accused of sexually assaulting a female student on campus?  Did Pete Carroll feel “morally obligated” to call authorities to find out why Reggie Bush’s family was getting extra money and benefits, all the while knowing that it could get his program into hot water? 

I don’t know and you don’t know why it wasn’t done.  We’re only speculating for a reason. 

The AD is the boss and runs the department.  Standard protocol stipulates that you report it to the AD first and foremost.  After that, the majority of coaches leave it alone.  Paterno isn’t alone in doing that, if that is what is being alleged in the grand jury report. On a count of hands, how many coaches you know have picked up a phone and call the Police Department for anything?   Zilch. 

That’s why I need more than the grand jury’s report to understand the full scope this sordid case.  That’s why this case has to be tried.  A trial is important to determine if a crime has been committed and who committed the crime.  Who else knew about what was Sandusky was doing?  How many people did Sandusky concealed his behavior from and duped?  Will the victim from the shower room incident come forward and testify?  What if he doesn’t? 

Those questions have to be answered. 

My formal position on this story, until further notice, is that I’m reserving judgment until the testimony and the trial begins.  The last time I didn’t reserve judgment until a trial was the Duke Lacrosse fiasco.  I know better than to do that again. 

And we sure as hell saw what happened with Casey Anthony.  Have we learned anything from rushing to judgment?  Nah, we’re humans.  We never learn, which is normal.  And dangerous. 

Until then, I’ll wait for the trial.  That’s all I got to say. 

We think we know someone, but we really don’t know them or ourselves.  And we will never know what we’re hiding from others and from ourselves. 

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