Wednesday night’s episode of South Park took every possible opportunity to take jabs at Penn State. I know that the Jerry Sandusky scandal is somewhat fresh and entirely tragic, in all aspects, but I don’t think South Park was mean-spirited or insensitive about it, for the most part. Their focus was on Penn State and the role they played in the entire situation…and, as a whole, should really be taken as commentary on the absurdity of the enormity of the situation.
Since Sandusky’s interview with Bob Costas Monday night, victims who have not previously disclosed the abuse they suffered have stepped forward — although not entirely into the limelight. They’ve been speaking privately with attorneys Andy Shubin and Justine Andronici about what they experienced…and a few things stand in the way of their pressing charges. For starters, some reportedly were abused in the 70s, so the statute of limitations has expired. Others — and this speaks volumes about the true environment in Happy Valley — “are afraid of retribution from Penn State-crazed fans, or being blamed — like one victim — for the downfall of Joe Paterno.”
Shubin said that some did come forward previously and they were encouraged to stay quiet. “In some cases they have disclosed something in careful ways to people in positions of authority and they were not believed,” Andronici said. “They were, in some cases, scolded and silenced.”
Victim 1 is being bullied at his high school, according to one report. Victim 1 is the child whose statements kicked off the investigation. The New York Times reported earlier this week that 10 new victims had come forward, a claim that has been disputed by State College police.
- Recent reports indicate that when the grand jury subpoeaned The Second Mile’s files pertaining to Jerry Sandusky, some were missing. Files from 2000-2003. That’s weird. Now, if I were going to make files disappear (which I have never done and never would — although, since I also wouldn’t cover up the crimes of a pedophile, I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t come up, but alas…) from say, 2002, when there was a big hullabaloo about, say a child rape…I wouldn’t just make the 2002 files disappear. I’d make it look a little less conspicuous and make a couple years’ worth go poof. I’m just saying. Of course, this could be a coincidence, but…who knows. Some of the files later reappeared but it not all of them did. The files pertained to Sandusky’s expense accounts and travel.
- Chad Rexrode, a former participant in The Second Mile program, has come forward to say that Jerry Sandusky never did anything inappropriate with him. Rexrode said he was involved with The Second Mile between the ages of 10 and 14, and met Sandusky after he wrote to him as part of a homework assignment. (Hold off on the wisecracks, trust me, I am.) Apparently, Rexrode spent a lot of time with Sandusky, as they were “inseparable.” He spent a lot of time — including sleepovers — at the Sandusky residence. I’m not sure that this negates the accusations, however. Just because there’s a kid who claims he was never molested doesn’t mean Sandusky molested no one.
- Mike McQueary came to the attention of investigators when they discovered a brief mention in an athletic forum about Penn State athletics about some unseemly incident. Investigators traced this incident — and the person involved seemed to be Mike McQueary. They met with him secretly and that’s when, about a year ago, McQueary “unburdened himself.”
- When Victim 1 reported being sexually assaulted, the district attorney in the county where the assault occurred had to hand it over to the Attorney General. Why? The D.A.’s wife’s brother was one of Sandusky’s adopted children. That puts a whole new spin on “close knit community.”
- Deadspin has published another hard-hitting piece on the Sandusky scandal, this time analyzing Penn State’s in-house inquiry into who knew what and all that disgusting stuff. So, long story short: Kenneth Frazier (chairman/CEO of Merck) is heading the inquiry. The former chairman of Merck currently sits on the board of trustees at Penn State. That former chairman is married to a woman who is on the board of directors of The Second Mile. The couple has donated significant sums of money to both Penn State and The Second Mile — personally and through the Merck corporation. I’m not sure which phrase comes to mind first: “conflict of interest” or “close knit community.” (Editor’s Note: I know it’s difficult to find one person who isn’t connected to Penn State or The Second Mile but Penn state should try a little harder, for the sake of transparency and rebuilding trust.)
Dr. Boyce Watkins, a Syracuse University professor, poses some difficult questions, most notably, whether any of Sandusky’s alleged victims were black. That’s not to say that this case is about race but Watkins definitely raises valid issues.
The New York Times published an in-depth piece about the investigation which, coincidentally, mentions that Sandusky’s victims were white boys…which would answer one of Watkins’ questions.
In another New York Times article, an attorney representing one of the alleged victims asserts that Sandusky’s interview has only solidified the young man’s resolve to testify against Sandusky.