Friday, July 13, 2012

Sandusky, Sexual Abuse, and Security in Your Church: Learn From Joe Paterno's Tragic Mistake

Penn State University released the findings of an internal investigation led by former FBI director Louis Freeh. The investigation was to determine who knew what, when they knew, and what they did with the knowledge that former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was sexually abusing children both on and off the campus. Sandusky was convicted of 45 criminal counts last month and is awaiting sentencing, and the coach who, according to the report, knew about it passed away earlier this year.

Some of the key findings of the Freeh's report (per
• Paterno and others showed "callous and shocking disregard for child victims."
• Evidence shows Paterno, Spanier, Schultz and Curley did know of 1998 investigation and Paterno "failed to take any action."
• Penn State "concealed critical facts ... in order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity."
• Penn State changed its plan and did not alert authorities of Sandusky's alleged actions after consulting with Paterno.
• Penn State failed to adhere to federal law requiring collecting and reporting crimes such as Sandusky committed.
I wrote about the incident asking, "How Should We Remember Joe Paterno." I received tweets, comments, and even a couple of postal letters of complaint that I was rushing to judgement. But, I think that this is a big issue-- and institutions, colleges, and churches need to do more. Paterno did not and you should not make that tragic mistake. Children matter.
In that article, published yesterday's report came out, I wrote:
Coach Paterno reported the abuse to his supervisors-- but he did not do enough. Coach Paterno understood and said, "It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."...

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