Athletes in Court

Jerry Sandusky trial postponed three weeks–a report from 1998 confirms likely pedophile

Posted in Football, NCAA, Sex Crimes

Judge John Cleland postponed the trial date against former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky for three weeks citing logistical reasons.  Three factors support this decision:  1. this is the first trial date set, 2. Sandusky’s lawyer, Joe Amendola, filed pretrial motions, and 3. prosecutor, Frank Fina, does not object to the delay.  A three week delay is a minimal delay given the scope of the case.  It will still be an extremely quick trial date if the case begins in three weeks.

Probably the most significant of the pretrial motions is Sandusky’s objection to the wide time period alleged in the indictment.  It spans 15 years. Prosecutors responded that it is because of his own misconduct, hidden from view, that allowed the abuse to continue.  Therefore he bears the responsibility for the extraordinary length of time found in the indictment.

Outside of court there has been a revelation of sorts.  A report from State College psychologist Alycia Chambers has surfaced dating back to 1998 that supports the conclusion that Sandusky fits the profile of a likely pedophile.  NBC obtained a document that describes how Sandusky befriended a young boy, 11, created an environment of trust and then progressed to criminally sexually assault the child.   The report states that Sandusky showered with this boy at Penn State in the football locker room. All classic signs of a careful pedophile, someone who will cultivate a relationship of trust in order to gain greater access to his intended victim.

Troubling is why these documents have just found the light of day now and what harm could have been prevented had Penn State taken the allegations–now so obviously supported–more seriously over a decade ago.  Who failed to act in 1998?  And, to paraphrase Fred Thompson: “Who knew what? And, when did they know it?”  These questions need to be answered.

As to the trial, Sandusky, 68, faces 52 counts of sexual abuse spanning 15 years against 10 separate victims.  The proof offered by the victims will be bolstered by testimony of Mike McQueary, the former Penn State player and at the time graduate assistant coach who witnessed an act of child rape in progress by Sandusky.  Lacking physical evidence like DNA, corroboration from this eyewitness gives the case power and strength that a jury will find compelling.


Penn State scandal moves forward