Only a few days ago Sandusky's wife, Dorothy (Dottie) testified that she heard nothing, saw no reason to believe that her mate had been having sex with children in her basement. She apparently knew not to go down to do the laundry.
She's the interesting patient, to me, as an example of dysfunctional loyalty. Families are so powerful. It can't be easy being Mrs. Sandusky, never was, that's for sure. This had to have been her worst nightmare.
It's amazing that some families stick together, though, even as it becomes apparent that a member has done something monstrous, appalling. Regarding Sandusky, even the word evil applies, according to Shana Stamm (27), a young woman who remembers hearing his motivational speeches at her elementary school as a child.
He was there to raise money for his charity, The Second Mile. Sandusky set up the children's charity, now we have to assume, to choose from any number of vulnerable, disadvantaged youngsters. A pedophile's dream. He adopted six of them.
He is guilty of 45 counts of sexual abuse. Eight victims testified against him, none of them his adopted sons. They told stories like Mr. Weaver's:
Travis Weaver . .(is) suing Jerry Sandusky, (and) told NBC's "Rock Center with Brian Williams" that Sandusky abused him more than 100 times over four years starting in 1992, when he was 10.Story, after story, after story, after story, after story. All while one of Sandusky's adopted sons, Matt, looked on at the trial as if he were his father's loyal supporter.
after a week of tearful, gruesome accounts by eight men that they had been abused as boys by Jerry Sandusky, the former football assistant coach at Penn State, Matt Sandusky . . . offered to testify that he himself had been abused by his father. . .Matt's biological mother, Debra Long, has come forward to say that she suspected, many years ago, that something was wrong in the Sandusky home, that Matt might be in trouble. Her reports to authorities fell on deaf ears. She regrets not pushing it, thinks she may have spared her son and subsequent victims so much pain.
Perhaps Jerry Sandusky could have been stopped, even put behind bars, back then.
To bring the story home:
A young woman recently tells me that she is getting a new job.
She has a school teaching transfer from a school in a good neighborhood, with a difficult administration, to a school in a bad neighborhood, with a friendlier administration. She's excited about the change, but worried that she will see many young victims of child abuse.
That goes with the territory, working with kids, but she's afraid to report (teachers are mandated reporters). She's afraid of the repercussions, revenge at the hands of angry, psychopathic (or almost psychopathic) parents who are likely to get that knock on the door from protective services.
Oh, I remember making those calls, I say, reminiscing, seeing leg bruises the size of baseball bats because they were inflicted by baseball bats. And that was in a nice, middle-class neighborhood.
I tell her that (a) the statistics on child abuse cross class lines, although there is likely to be more street violence where she's going;
(b) her calls to the Department of Child and Family Services could save lives;
and (c) as we've all come to find in the case of Jerry Sandusky, child sexual abuse and pedophilia are everywhere, neighborhood doesn't matter. You can take little boys out of their disadvantaged neighborhoods and make them victims of predators who work in America's very best schools.
She'll tell, I'm sure, when she has her suspicions. She'll make those calls or have her principal make them for her. And my guess is that the social worker from her state's protective services department will be listening, and wondering: Is the family covering for a terrible perpetrator? Is there more here than meets the eye? And maybe, just because of Sandusky, the team will do a very thorough investigation, complete with follow up.
Something positive has to come out of this.