Today marks two years since retired Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested on suspicion of child molesting, and it’s been a mostly ugly two years since then. In the days following, Coach Joe Paterno was fired, then students on campus responded with a riot. Paterno died months later; and after the Freeh Report came out, many of his wins were erased from the record book, and a campus memorial to him taken down. NCAA sanctions were imposed, but have since been eased. A lot of hurt feelings remain behind.
AP reports: “The anniversary Tuesday comes with three former Penn State administrators who fielded complaints about him still awaiting a criminal trial. There’s also litigation involving the NCAA and longtime football coach Joe Paterno, among others. And universities and legislatures across the country have adopted or considered policy changes.”
The case has reverberations beyond the campus. In Delaware, The Review reports this week: “Christopher Wheeler, 53, the former headmaster of Wilmington’s Tower Hill School, turned himself in after being charged with 25 counts of dealing in child pornography, as a result of an investigation alleging he sexually abused three young boys. … The search warrant affidavit revealed that in a July letter written to one of the brothers he had sexually abused 30 years prior, Wheeler confessed to his actions. Wheeler had sporadically lived with this family over a span of many years. The boy, now in his 40s, was compelled by the coverage of the 2011 Jerry Sandusky Penn State scandal to inform his family of the abuse. According to the affidavit, he told police that his brother claimed Wheeler had abused him as well.”
So at least there’s that: Penn State’s pain and shame is the crucible that has allowed other victims to get their justice.