Sunday, November 13, 2011

#Paedopfile #Sandusky : #Police Covered Up Penn State Scandal In 1998 - Report

A mother of one Penn State alleged sex abuse victim from 1998, was told by authorities to keep silent about the investigation into her son's complaint against Jerry Sandusky.

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The first well-sourced and credible reports about Jerry Sandusky's alleged parade of child molestation victims appeared in local Harrisburg Patriot-News earlier this year because information from first hand sources was suppressed for years.

A scathing editorial in the paper appeared on Thursday taking readers through the timeline of the Pat-News' coverage and investigation.

Responding to local residents' queries about why nothing was reported prior to last weekend's public statements from Pennsylvania State's police commissioner and attorney general, the Pat-News set forth the trail of facts.

First and foremost is the sad fact that no victims were willing to come forward until the 1998 incident on the Penn State campus. At that time Jerry Sandusky allegedly took a shower with a young boy who claims that he was touched inappropriately.

The mother of the victim told the Pat-News that she was kept from speaking with media by the state police. No charges were filed and as we have come to learn, Sandusky abruptly retired from his longtime position as defensive coordinator at Penn State in 1999, maintaining an office on the premises and full access to the campus.

Another alleged Sandusky victim surfaced in 2002 after an eyewitness account of Sandusky with another young boy in the shower. Mike McQueary, a graduate assistant in the football program saw something unthinkable involving a former mentor and defensive coordinator. That was revealed care of the grand jury report.

The cover up, or silence to put it more mildly blanketed the situation and only this week it took down former head football coach Joe Paterno as well as the current university president.

Sandusky's alleged punishment for what Mike McQueary witnessed was a ban on him bringing his youth organization participants to campus, which the Pat-News says was ignored time and again by the now indicted Sandusky.

From there the trail went cold once again until a child and wrestling coach came forward in 2009. From that report came the almost three year investigation that ended in indictments against two Penn State officials on perjury charges as well as the 40 counts against Jerry Sandusky.

The news reporting was spotty in the early stages of the 2009 incident's aftermath because of the lack off good sourced journalism. As the Pat-News points out, it requires two and sometimes three independent sources for making allegations as serious as criminal child molestation and rape.

Once it began to get material it could stand behind in print, it included new victim information and details of what appeared to be a very serious police investigation that could not keep its findings from seeing the light of day. The first detailed reporting on the Sandusky investigation appeared in print in March 2011.

What was the reaction of the local community to that coverage? Here are a couple of samples of the scorn heaped on the newspaper.

“Shame on those who have tried to defile the legacy that Jerry Sandusky has worked so hard to build."

“It truly is troubling to me to see a ‘reputable’ newspaper such as The Patriot-News carrying this type of sensationalist story,”

The other side of the tirade was heaped on the Pat-News after the facts changed and got worse seemingly every hour of every day this week. The public couldn't seem to digest the stories so serious and damaging that came after years of silence.

No one in the Penn State community wanted to believe it had been part of something that allowed boys to be harmed repeatedly. It's how the news is reported in a clean and legitimate organization like the Harrisburg Patriot-News.