I graduated from Penn State on August 8, 1999 (yes - I'm old). I had always been proud of this fact. I have bled blue and white and cheered on my Nittany Lions with vigor.
I am no longer proud. I am sad. And I am angry.
Unless you haven't turned on any news in the past few days you have no doubt heard of the horror story coming out of State College. The story of the former defensive coordinator being arrested for sexually abusing at least 8 boys over a 15 year span from 1994 through 2009.
I was a student on campus for four of those years.
But the story gets worse. Much worse. People knew of this. Important people. People who did nothing.
I read the 23 page grand jury report. When I got to the end I felt physically ill.
In 2002 a 28 year old graduate assistant (Mike McQueary) witnessed this 58 year old pervert (Jerry Sandusky) raping a 10 year old boy (noted as Victim 2 in the report) in the shower in the locker room. He ran home and called his dad. The next day he told the head football coach (Joe Paterno). The day after that Paterno told the athletic director. A week and a half later the AD talked to McQueary. At no time were the cops called. At no time did anyone try to find out who the victim was.
Now nine years later Sandusky has been arrested and the AD and a Vice President at the school have been charged with perjury for lying to the grand jury.
Legally, Joe Paterno is probably in the clear because he did what was required of him by reporting it to his supervisor. The same with Mike McQueary.
But I don't get it. How can Mike McQueary live with himself? How can he get up every day and look in the mirror, knowing that he, for all intents and purposes, did nothing? He witnessed, with his own eyes, this poor excuse for a human being assaulting a young boy and stealing his innocence. Yet all he did was run home and call his dad? Where was the call to the police? How can that happen?
And Paterno. He says he didn't have all the details of what went on, just that he had been told that something inappropriate had happened in the shower with Sandusky and this 10 year old boy. What else do you need? Do you really need all the graphic details in order to know that this was very very wrong? There is nothing right about a 58 year old man being in a shower with a 10 year old boy all alone. His inaction dumbfounds me. To me there is no good explanation as to why the police were not called.
That they let this predator remain free to work with children and assault who knows how many more is stomach turning.
My anger is compounded by the fact that last Monday a man (Skip Reville) was arrested here for sexually abusing young boys over a 10 year span. This disgusting human being had taken every job that he could that would put him in contact with young boys. He was a tennis coach at a high school, a bible study leader, a basketball coach at a middle school, a youth camp counselor, and most stomach turning of all - a foster parent. Every day there is another article in the paper with more details. It makes me sick. And scared.
I have a son. A son that I will do anything to protect. I know when he gets a little older he will probably be scared of monsters hiding under his bed. I am more concerned with the monsters like Sandusky and Reville that are hiding in plain sight.