This isn’t over: Those who enabled Sandusky must be held accountable
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org June 22, 2012 11:00PM
In this booking photo released early Saturday morning June 23, 2012 by the Centre County Correctional Facility in Bellefonte, Pa., former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is shown. Sandusky was convicted on Friday, June 22, 2012, of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years Friday, accusations that had sent shock waves through the college campus known as Happy Valley and led to the firing of Penn State's beloved Hall of Fame coach, Joe Paterno.. (AP Photo/Centre County Correctional Facility)
Updated: July 24, 2012 9:54AM
There is no longer side-stepping legality with terms like “alleged’’ and “the accused,’’ when describing Jerry Sandusky.
No, the former Penn State defensive coordinator can now wear the label he so deserves: The monster of Happy Valley is caged. Finally.
Sandusky was convicted on Friday of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years, as a jury found the 68-year-old guilty of 45 of 48 counts.
It was fitting that Sandusky reportedly showed very little emotion when the verdict was read. Why pretend to be human now?
“What this tells me is this jury acted genuinely,’’ Sandusky’s attorney Joe Amendola told gathering reporters after the decision was reached. “They acted in good faith, acted on the evidence as it was presented, and I don’t dispute the decision. We had a good jury.’’
And a jury that only needed two days of deliberation to convict Sandusky. Reading some of the transcripts from the eight young men who testified in the central Pennsylvania courtroom since the trial began, the jury could have reached a decision in two hours.
The abuse this man handed out for years ranged from kissing and groping to oral sex and anal rape. At times, reading some of the accounts were tough to get through. For a parent, almost impossible to fathom. To read the obvious heartbreak coming from the mother of Victim 9 when she took the stand and detailed the fact that her son’s underwear were seldom found in the laundry because of the blood from the raping he took from Sandusky, there is almost no sentence fitting enough.
“Jerry indicated he was disappointed with the verdict, but ultimately he has to live with it,’’ Amendola said.
That’s too bad.
Not that Sandusky was disappointed, but the word “live’’ and “Sandusky’’ were even in the same sentence.
The judge revoked bail and ordered the retired coach to be taken to Centre County Jail to await sentencing in about three months. Sandusky will be held initially in solitary confinement, according to his attorney.
“Rot in hell,’’ was yelled from the crowd at one point in the wake of the jury’s final decision. Three words that summed up the feelings most of us have with this man.
“The sentence Jerry will receive is a life sentence,’’ Amendola insisted at one point.
That was met with cheers from the people who gathered outside the courthouse.
If the details of what Sandusky carried out in the dark corners of the Penn State University showers and locker rooms wasn’t sickening enough, hours after the case went to jurors, lawyers for one of Sandusky’s six adopted children, Matt, said he had told authorities that his father abused him.
According to prosecutors, Matt Sandusky had been prepared to testify on their behalf, but did not, with no details given.
I would like to say it’s over, but there is still a sense of unfinished business. There are still unanswered questions under the regime of former coach Joe Paterno.
Why were so many young children flocking around Sandusky and that football program for all those years under the disguise of the Second Mile youth charity? Why did former coaches witness Sandusky staying with boys in hotel rooms for “emotional support’’ and not raise a red flag? Why does it seem like so many heads were turned or simply buried in the sand?
If that means shutting down a season of Penn State football to try and get to the bottom of all these questions, so be it.
No, that won’t happen.
They hid a monster there for years, let him walk among them.
And make no mistake about it, Happy Valley will be alive on Saturday’s this fall, chanting “We are … Penn State! We are … Penn State!‘’
Call it false pride.