Guilty as sin
"I'm sick of hearing about this Sandusky thing," said a man at the supermarket.
Nobody can blame him. It's been plastered in the news since last year. But don't expect it to go away with a guilty verdict. This case has only just begun. There will be civil suits brought against Penn State, Dottie Sandusky and others.
More criminal charges likely will come, too. And books will be written.
The story is just beginning. And rightfully so. We need to learn more about what happened. We need to understand how an educational institution, a football program, and a charity facade provided fertile ground for a serial child predator.
Oh, and let's not forget the lax law enforcement in the 1990s. Nobody is without blame here.
Ironically, when the guilty verdict was read last Friday night, Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly boldly proclaimed: "We listen to kids here in Bellefonte, Pa." She failed to mention that Bellefonte turned a deaf ear for many years, allowing countless other kids to be molested.
That's the problem. It took everyone 14 years to actually listen. Bellefonte and Center County didn't listen to a kid at all.
Penn State campus police and local law enforcement knew about Sandusky's escapades in the football facility's showers in 1998. They never pursued it beyond giving Sandusky a slap on the wrist. No underprivileged, fatherless kid stood a chance against the emperor of Linebacker U, unassailable with a horde of college bureaucrats willing to protect him.
The commander of the university's campus police reportedly told his detective, Ronald Schreffler, to close the case. Even the state child welfare office knew about it. Investigator Gerald Lauro is today saying there wasn't enough proof.
Yet the local district attorney, Ray Gricar, was given information to begin prosecution. But that never happened. Oddly, Gricar mysteriously disappeared in 2005, never to be heard from again. He has since been declared dead.
The Sandusky scandal still has more questions than answers. The entire system failed. An unknown number of children had their innocence stolen and likely have been inflicted with lasting scars.
Penn State University probably will be required to provide psychological counseling to the victims for their lifetime. The university's reputation is badly soiled. Harsh critics on the Internet mockingly refer to the school as 'Ped State.'
The good news, though, is the purge within the ranks, tough as it is for many to accept. PSU is learning that, despite attempts to hide the truth, child abuse is much more significant than a fumbled football. The cover-up already has cost the school its president, a vice president, athletic director and head football coach. Are there more?
Someone yelled to the cameras at Friday's news conference that the governor figures into the mix: "Tom Corbett should be next," hollered the man, his clear voice picked up by national broadcast media.
Interestingly, two dozen board members of Sandusky's Second Mile organization reportedly donated to Corbett's 2010 election campaign. How strong are those ties?
This story is far from over.
Yes, we're sick of hearing about Jerry Sandusky.
Yet it's important we hear more. Much more.