Justice was served Friday evening when the jury came back in the case against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, convicting the long-time defensive coordinator of 45 of 48 charges of sexual abuse of children, many of whom were in his care through his Second Mile Foundation. Ostensibly, the foundation was to provide opportunities for at-risk boys to overcome life’s obstacles. Instead, Sandusky used it for his own depraved purposes. Not even the Master of Horror himself, Sir Alfred Hitchcock, could’ve scripted a scarier plot!
The man practically admitted to his crimes in an exceedingly creepy interview with NBC’s Bob Costas.
According to the Associated Press:
Eight young men testified in a central Pennsylvania courtroom about a range of abuse, from kissing and massages to groping, oral sex and anal rape. For two other alleged victims, prosecutors relied on testimony from a university janitor and then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary, whose account of a sexual encounter between Sandusky and a boy of about 10 ultimately led to the Paterno’s dismissal and the university president’s ouster.
The trial judge, considering the severity of the conviction, revoked Sandusky’s bail and ordered him to the county jail to await sentencing. The crowd outside the courthouse cheered as the former coach was led in handcuffs to await his fate.
It should be about a three-month wait until Sandusky learns his time to be served. However, of the 45 convictions, 17 were felonies that carry a 20-year sentence each. It’s not too hard to imagine that the 68-year-old will spend his last years behind bars.
That’s not to say it’s all over now. There’s a civil trial certain to come down the pike. And let’s not forget the cover-up of Sandusky’s actions that led from the football program to the athletics department, to the Penn State administration and to university police. Nothing this heinous happens as long as it did without a coordinated effort to hide it.
Per The New York Times, “The verdict against Sandusky will not bring an end to Penn State’s problems or reckonings. Lawsuits loom. At least two formal investigations, including one by a former director of the F.B.I. at the behest of the university’s board of trustees, are still under way.”
The conviction of this Creepy Clown isn’t the end. No, it’s not over for the boys affected — boys who are now men, who will have to deal with the effect of the abuse for the rest of their lives. And it’s not over for the people who considered the aura of Penn State more important than keeping children safe. But, you have to start somewhere.
And this is a good first step.
by J.L. Mann Cromer, Jr., who served as the only true independent member of the South Carolina General Assembly from 1990-1998. Currently, he is a general practice attorney in Columbia, S.C., concentrating in probate and estate planning, criminal defense and personal injury law.