Monday, June 25, 2012

Jerry Sandusky Convicted on 45 Counts

Jerry Sandusky is on suicide watch after being convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse. It only took the jury 20 hours to deliberate, less than 30 minutes per charge. They didn't seem to have any doubt that Sandusky was guilty.

And neither did any of us. From eye-witness testimony, to his adopted son accusing him of sexual abuse, to an endless stream of victims who came forward to tell the world what Sandusky did to them. The evidence was overwhelming.

Justice finally caught up with Jerry Sandusky, a monster who feasted on innocence. He preyed and fed on young boys for years, and at last the predator has been caged. It's a satisfying ending to an horrific story.

There is no way for those boys to recover what he stole from them. There can be no retribution or revenge. This ending is satisfactory, but a story such as this can never have a truly happy ending. The effects of Sandusky's crimes will go on for years after he dies in a prison cell, or perhaps more appropriately, a prison shower.

It could have ended sooner, though. Had Joe Paterno used his unparalleled clout to find out what his friend and assistant was truly doing, the story could have stopped there. JoePa didn't pursue the matter. It was presented to him and he dismissed it out of hand. It was potentially damaging to Penn State Football, and that was where Paterno's priorities laid.

Some might remember Paterno as a great coach. I'll remember him as the man who delayed Justice for the sake of a football team. He allowed boys to be raped because it wasn't in the best interest of the Nittany Lions.

There were many officials at Penn State who knew more than Paterno and did even less. They too delayed Justice, for the sake of their school's reputation.

Jerry Sandusky is a monster. But Joe Paterno and Penn State allowed the monster to hunt unimpeded. There's no defending that. There's no excusing that. And there's no forgetting that.

Jerry Sandusky feels no shame or guilt. But there are people involved in this story who should feel ashamed of themselves. There's the guidance counselor that dismissed one of the victim's allegations, citing Jerry Sandusky's "heart of gold." There's also Sandusky's ephebophile of an attorney: Joe Amendola, who once impregnated a 17 year old client. And there's attorney Karl Rominger, who was part of Amendola's team. Rominger proudly tweeted this after the verdict was announced:

After all that became public in this trial, some people still feel that Joe Paterno's legacy is more important than the safety and innocence of young boys. This media whore of an attorney also feels as though he won, even though his client will die in prison, and he was defending a serial rapist.

Thankfully, not all of us have our priorities so sadly out of order.

Thankfully Justice caught up with Jerry Sandusky, despite what Joe Paterno, Penn State officials, and his lawyers did to protect him.

Photo Credits:
AP Photo/Centre County Correctional Facility
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

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