Monday, November 14, 2011

I Read the Indictment

I wasn't going to read it.  I wasn't going to bring it into my home.  I could imagine the worst and that was enough... for a while.

I watched drunken college kids who couldn't see further than Saturday's Big Game overturn a truck and give student protests a bad name.  I wondered where the University's official reaction was hiding, and whether the Student Government was there, too.  Mark May was furious

I found myself agreeing with something about which I had no firsthand knowledge.  It's one thing to be told that the Grand Jury's report was disturbing, it's another to make that determination myself.  

So, I read the report.  Disturbing doesn't begin to describe it.  Sickening.  Horrifying.  They come closer.  Mostly, though, it's very very sad.

There are eight Victims' stories recounted, and they are appallingly similar.  The gifts were the same - golf clubs, clothes, tailgate parties with the Sandusky family (yes, he has a wife and 6 adopted children) before games, tickets and trips and sleepovers in the basement.

What went on atop the mattress in that bedroom had me sighing then crying by Victim 4.  Victim 5 was 7 or 8 when Sandusky attacked him in the shower.  Reading that "he was extremely uncomfortable and pulled his hand away and slid by Sandusky" had me moaning out loud.  


There's only one parent mentioned. Where were they? The Grand Jury reminds us that Coach recruited his victims from Second Mile, his "charity dedicated to helping children with absent or dysfunctional families." These were lost boys, with no one to speak for them.


The culture of God - I heard that several times today. It's another reason I read the report. Could the football program be that powerful? I didn't believe it.... Indiana fired Bobby Knight, Ohio State fired Woody Hayes ... and their offenses were against fully clothed college students in very public spaces. Sexual abuse of a 10 year old? No way Penn State let this by.


I couldn't understand why the graduate assistant didn't pursue the issue. His first call was to his father. He was 28 at the time. He didn't call the police. He called home. That felt just a little bit odd to me. Big Cuter is 28. He loves his Dad, trusts his Dad, admires his Dad, seeks advice from his Dad, but I have to think that his first call would have been to the police, no matter how good a defensive coach the rapist might have been. Could Joe Paterno's power be that powerful?


The issue required investigation. I needed answers, and I found them in the Grand Jury's report. Indicted-for-perjury University Senior Vice President Gary Schultz "never reported the 2002 incident to the University Police or other police agency, never sought or reviewed a police report on the 1998 incident and never attempted to learn the identity of the child in the shower in 2002. No one from the University did so. Schultz did not ask the graduate assistant for specifics. No one ever did. Schultz expressed surprise upon learning that the l998 investigation by University Police produced a police report. Schultz said there was never any discussion ... about turning the 2002 incident over to any police agency." (Bold is mine - I was groaning out loud at this point.)


Wondering whether to believe that the incident really happened? "The Grand Jury finds the graduate assistant's testimony to be extremely credible. That's good enough for me, especially when, several pages later, "(t)he Grand Jury finds that portions of the testimony of ...... Gary Schultz are not credible" Which parts were incredible? The parts where he denied hearing the graphic descriptions of what the graduate assistant saw.


They knew and they did nothing. They saw this man in the hallways, on the sidelines, in the shower .... what kind of place is State College, anyway? The last story in the indictment answers that question. Read it and weep.


"In the fall of 2000, a janitor named James "Jim" Calhoun observed Sandusky in the showers ... with a young boy'. What he saw upset him so that "Jim was shaking .... his fellow employees feared Jim might have a heart attack. All the employees working that night ... were relatively new employees. In discussions held later that shift, the employees expressed concern that if they reported what Jim had seen, they might lose their jobs." Their supervisor was told; he told Jim "to whom he should report the incident, if he chose to report it." 


Apparently, Jim needed his job. The report ends like this:  
No report was ever made by Jim Calhoun. Jim presently suffers from dementia, resides in a nursing home and is incompetent to testify.  
Victim 8's identity is unknown.
The details are uncomfortable but everyone should read them.  We should hug our children and tell them that all touching should feel just like this ... and when it doesn't you run like hell..... screaming as loudly as you can.... and don't shut up until somebody listens to you.

Would that the Second Mile kids had had parents like you and me.

5 comments:

  1. Basically the fact that these children didn't have families able to help them, that they were in that charitable organization that Sanduzky set up for helping such children with a second chance. That's exactly why they were his kind of victim.

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  2. I want to thank you for writing this emotional, rational, factional account of this tragedy because I can not write it myself. America is ready for what I'd have to say about that man, the football coach who I used to adore who looked the other way and the University (that my son ALMOST attended and I've loved) covered it up.

    You see, I could never write such a post because when it comes to RAPE, I am not rational. At the age of 12 I was raped by 3 grown men and now at the age of 50, though I've healed and got on with life it was only after 30 years of PTSD, Alcoholism/drug addiction, Depression and a suicide attempt.

    And even though I am for the most part happy. healthy and well these days I cannot detach enough to write such an informed yet emotional plea for justice.

    Thank You AB....Thom

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  3. You are a braver woman than I to force yourself to look. I think I must have reached my limit of this kind of horror three years ago and had to retire...not to denial, but to a permanent, sorrowing knowledge of human potential for depravity and of the befuddling nature of evil.

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  4. I am simply shocked that so many people over so many years could look the other way and say virtually nothing. They all knew. And they did nothing. Thank you for writing this.

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  5. I'm not a person that usually is at a loss for words, but the anger I feel and sadness for these children that trusted this man has left me almost speechless. This man used his position to lure these already at risk children and did horrific things to them. While I believe everyone is innocent until proven guilty, when it comes to something like this and there being a witness, I have to trust the witness (and the children). This man manipulated so many. And I agree with Judy that those who said nothing are just as guilty. We, as adults, are responsible for protecting children and no one protected those children from this predator.

    I want him and the others to pay dearly. I know that's not kind, but what they all did to those children is horrific.

    I need to go relax because I find myself wanting to cry. It's so upsetting. You are braver than I am. There is no way I could read the indictment. Just reading the bits and pieces I have has been unbearable.




    Megan xxx

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