In a case with echoes of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, Penn State University and indeed the State of Pennsylvania face horrific charges of ignoring the sexual abuse of eight children at the hands of former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
• Penn State sex abuse scandal shakes youth sports foundations, icons
• Governmental immunity stands between victims and civil redress
• Institutional reform needed to protect vulnerable kids
The fallout spiked overnight with the firing of Penn State's iconic football head coach Joe Paterno and President Graham Spanier. Word of Paterno's firing sparked chaos on campus, with students rampaging in protest and clashing with police.
Despicable Crimes by Youth Mentor
Sandusky, 67, was arrested last Saturday on charges of sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year period. He retired from coaching in 1999, but continued to have access to the Nittnany Lions' athletic facilities after that, in part for his charitable program, Second Mile Foundation. He's alleged to have molested boys there both during his coaching career and after his retirement. Rumors have now surfaced that Sandusky also "pimped out" boys to wealthy donors.
The victims have testified that Sandusky befriended them through Second Mile. According to reports, he mentored the boys and gave them gifts and access to sporting events and the Penn State football facilities. Having gained their trust, he then sexually assaulted them. The mother of one of the boys Sandusky allegedly molested says that Sandusky confessed his crime to her.
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