How Could They Cover Up The Rape of Children?

Leaving the Field

Sexual assault is always an ugly act of violence, but the rape of children is something for which I believe we should employ the death penalty.  I don’t care what civil libertarians, humanitarians, and any other would-be do-gooder claims about how such would constitute cruel and unusual punishment.  It would at least begin to fit the crime.  Frankly, those who commit such wanton violence against children born of some perverse lust for power over the powerless should be dealt with no differently than we handle serial killers, except perhaps that we ought to be more severe.   I’m not a sports fan, but even I know of Joe Paterno, but I don’t care how great a coach he has been.  I don’t care how many victories he has amassed.  I don’t care what form of excuse some might wish to offer.  If this, or anything vaguely approximating a fraction of this goes on in your organization, and you know of it, you have a responsibility to take it to the police, the FBI, and whomever else may be available until justice is done.  More, if you see it going on, you must act to intervene.   No rational, respectable and decent person knows of such things and does what amounts to nothing.  For this, there can be no excuse, and to whatever degree the institution of Penn State is damaged, it should be.

Unsubstantiated rumors are now circulating in media that this may have been far worse than we had  imagined.  It may be that the charitable organization at the heart of these charges, the Second Mile  is nothing more than a front for a criminal enterprise to provide young children for the sexual appetites of a paying clientele.  Frankly, I hope that turns out to be wrong, because if it is true, it means that this scandal reaches much further into the society and culture of Penn State than most would ever have guessed, and it would mean that this institution needs a thorough clean-out.  Something is fundamentally broken there.

Let us now consider the students who rioted in support of Joe Paterno on Wednesday night.  I don’t understand what they could possibly be thinking.  How can anybody contend with a straight face that Paterno ought to be held blameless and harmless?   I realize that they are loyal to their school, its football team, and its coach, but this is a situation that completely obliterates such superficial concerns.  Ladies and gentlemen, football is a game, but the lives of the children who have been victimized are real.  I am astonished that students who are allegedly being taught to use their higher reasoning abilities could fail to recognize the distinction.

I’d also like to talk about Mike McQueary’s role.  He allegedly witnessed an incident involving Sandusky’s predations on a boy in a shower at the athletics complex on University grounds.  He turned around and went to report it?  Why didn’t he intervene?  That’s the action a responsible person must take, so in my view, he isn’t off the hook either.  Who among my readers is so confused about the criminal and moral implications of a sexual assault that when witnessing one in progress, would not intervene to stop it? I doubt any of my readers would be so thoroughly derelict.

I simply cannot imagine how excuses are being formulated for anybody involved in this case.  There is a story now circulating that the DA who failed to prosecute Sandusky back in 1998 has been missing since 2005, and is now listed officially as presumed dead.  The circumstances of his disappearance have never been resolved, and it’s leading to more probing questions about the Penn State scandal. There is rampant speculation that his disappearance might be linked in some way to this case.

What this case makes clear is what happens when people in positions of responsibility fail to act when given information about criminal conduct within their organizations.  This is simply sickening, and I am tired of all the excuse-making.  I don’t want to hear another word about how Mike McQreary is being threatened.  That he witnessed such an act and failed to intervene, and did not insist on the immediate involvement of the appropriate authorities is all I need to know that this is another case of misplaced sympathies.  In my view, he had a duty to act, and a moral obligation to see this acted upon in a timely manner.  Those who now wish to scapegoat the victims ought to turn their sympathy from Joe Paterno to the victims of these horrendous crimes. Late Thursday, both US Senators from Pennsylvania withdrew their support from Paterno’s nomination for the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

We need to get back to the notion of enacting justice, and justice can only begin by affixing blame where it is due.  This sickening display of rioting by students loyal to Joe Paterno is symptomatic of the narcissism rampant in our culture, whereby these rioters believe their needs and wants of the moment ought to supersede the pursuit of justice, and the assignment of responsibility.  That’s absurd.  These educated idiots ought to understand that there are consequences for every action, good or ill, in a just society, and demanding relief from consequences for one person ultimately leads only to relief for others, and no relief is due or proper in this case.  It’s sick.  It’s diseased thinking.  For every child who may have been abused since 2002, when McQueary witnessed what transpired in that shower,  he and everybody above him who reviewed or considered his report are guilty of aiding those subsequent abuses, by failing to pursue the original reports vigorously.  Remorse and shame simply are not enough.  Heads must roll.


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14 Responses to How Could They Cover Up The Rape of Children?

  1. bigmamas52 says:

    Thank you Mark….I have just been disgusted in the last 24 hrs with the coverage of this and the rioting. I'm just really starting to lose faith in Americans. Whether it's politically or a horrendous case such as this, people either are at best apathetic and at worst criminal in their behaviors. It seems as though the uniquely American values of faith, hard work, self reliance, honesty and truth have been eroded beyond repair. I really hope I'm wrong because I love this country. But as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse I can tell Joe Paterno and all the others at Penn State….I hope you sleep well tonight, because those kids will not be and may not for years to come, unless they are lucky enough to have excellent support and help over the years. This really breaks my heart.

  2. Carol Cumbie says:

    Those people have no problem sleeping at night. They justify it in there sick minds.To many of our colleges are places where terrorist ,perverts work Where they know they can get away with this behaviour once they are tenure. They go after young girls who think it is great that someone like that is paying attention to them. Our colleges are breeding grounds for this kind of behaviour.

  3. Be careful before you succumb to the left's tactics of convicting people in the media. You don't know the whole truth yet. Both of my children have gone to Penn State. They're outraged and sick over the crimes but also supportive of Paterno. My eldest daughter found this commentary…

    • MarkAmerica says:

      Keith, that's an interesting perspective, and you're right about convicting people in the media. The problem is that he reported this to Curley, rather than to the police directly. People have mentioned the "chain of command." This isn't the Army, and even in the Army, when reporting a serious crime, it's the one time going around the chain of command can be permissible. As I said, this is my problem in all of this. In fact, if one of my subordinates witnesses something like this, and reports it to me, I'm driving him to the cops to make sure he makes the report directly.

      This is one of the problems with the notion of a "chain of command" in a non-military context: It has no bearing on an instance like this. Timely reporting is more important in such a case than any formalities in the organization, and that's where Joe failed IMO.

      • Doc Brodsky says:

        Excuse me but Paterno reported it to his "superiors"?
        Can anybody argue with a straight face that the athletic director was Paterno's "superior"?
        Could the A D have fired Paterno at his own will? Could Paterno have had the AD fired? Not even a close call, he could.
        If Paterno told the A D to jump the response would be how high?
        I didn't realize until the Pedophile State University students riot just how powerful Paterno had become there.
        Even at the bitter end he was telling the Board of Trustees how
        and when he would depart;; nobody expected the BoT to act, hence the riot.
        He was a god a PSU.
        And where was the child rapist's wife.
        She's mentioned in the Grand Jury report as being present when the little boys were around on numerous occasions.
        She knew he was having the kids stay over in a basement bedroom.
        She never noticed the rapist slithering out of bed on his nocturnal missions to his own private " Bangkok in the basement"?
        I guess she's a heavy sleeper.

    • Tracy says:

      How in the world can anyone be supportive of Paterno. Anyone who didn't go to the authorities when finding out about this is just as guilty as the perpetrator.

  4. Don Purser says:

    Very well stated Mark and I'm in 100% agreement. Any and every head culpable in this sordid mess should roll.

  5. dnr says:

    Makes me sick, too, to think these students may be our future leaders. Perhaps not, though. Perhaps they will stay under the rock they crawled out from and allow Godly men, men of character and strength, to lead this land. There are still parents who rear their children that way. Too bad it seems to be the exception, not the rule in this country any more.

    I was sickened by everyone invovlved, Sandusky for his vile, predatory behavior, McQueary (the former linebacker) who was too timid and conflicted to intervene on behalf of a CHILD BEING RAPED, his father, whose advice was to "leave the building", the parents who also failed to call the police or FBI, and all the administrators, including most of all "JoePa", the 'man of honor', who failed to act when he was needed the most. Hiding behind his "administrative responsibility" just doesn't cut it. As a decent human being he and McQueary let down those innocent children and allowed them and others to be victimized. Taking away JoePa's position NOW is the minimum that should happen – he should be prosecuted for failing to report a crime.

    • MarkAmerica says:

      DNR, Joe did report it up the chain, although there are varying arguments about whether he did enough.

      • dnr says:

        yes, I meant that he failed to take meaningful action. As you have mentioned, the chain of command simply doesn't take precedence over doing the right thing. He should have known that – my young children know that.

  6. William Peck says:

    Key timeline – 1998 was the initial investigation, where (I believe) the missing DA was involved. Then in 1999, Sandusky retires at 55. Who retires at 55 when they are part of something so big and he was a well-respected coach who wanted to replace Paterno.

    Chilling bit if irony / Freudian slip – Sandusky's book (published in 2000 after most of the incidents occurred) is titled "Touched" – ugh.

  7. mimsborne says:

    This article:… says that district attorney, Ray Gricar, went missing the same year (2005) that he began investigating Sandusky. Perhaps some of those others who didn't speak up (like Paterno) were afraid of what might happen to them.

  8. Personally Mark, I advocate public castration for Sandusky and anyone else involved. Sandusky's wife is complicit with all this going on…she reportedly phoned one of the victims telling them to be quiet.

    There is no way Paterno did not know what was going on in his own facility. The charges on 1998 should have been a wake up call.

    But the fact Sandusky was running a charitable organization to recruit boys/victims? My God, this man is no man, he is a MONSTER!!!

    The fact that Sandusky breathes at this moment is a crime.

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