PSU story in Wash Post-- JoPa should be arrested too

Submitted by superstringer on November 6th, 2011 at 7:31 AM
This isnt from Bleacher Report. The Wash Post has a column of the coverup. Its not graphic about the details if the crimes, but there is a bit of that (not for squeemish).

But the clear conclusion is: JoPa himself knew and did nothing more than tell the AD.

The catcalls for JoPa's firing will start. They will need to totally clean house. This could set the whole program back if the try a tSIO defense and refuse to acknowledge it -- which it appears they are doing.…



November 6th, 2011 at 12:01 PM ^

I can't even begin to think of what I'd do if I found out something like this happened to a family member of mine, or the child of a close friend.  If I couldn't get my hands on the culprit because he was in jail, I'd start by burning his house down and go from there.  The Bible talks of forgiveness, but some things go beyond forgiveness.


November 6th, 2011 at 5:41 PM ^

While money damages never come close to compensating, I hope someone sues PSU for every dime they can get in light of the cover-up going on here.  After having read this story, I am saddened to think we need something on top of the obvious to remind administrators that the proper course of action should be anything other than immediate investigation prior to termination and criminal referral.

Feat of Clay

November 7th, 2011 at 2:05 PM ^

The bummer about that scenario is that it's PSU (and their insurance) writing the check.  The men who sat on their hands and did the bare minimum, allowing more victims to be abused thanks to their silence?  What's going to happen to them? 

They'll leave with their healthy retirement packages earned for doing such an examplary job upholding the standards of the institution.  Oh sure, maybe they'll be too embarrassed to show up at their country club for the next year.   And I doubt they can attend bowl games with the Penn State crew anymore.  OH SO TRAGIC.

Damages are something, but it's maddening not just because (as you note) they can't fully heal the person who was hurt.   They also don't really punish the people at fault.


November 6th, 2011 at 8:52 AM ^

That guy is one sick SOB.  Disturbing situation: repeat offender, consistent pattern of behavior, superiors kept minimizing the allegations and distorting the stories to hide the truth.  Anyone and everyone who knew about this guy (AD, President, JoePa, etc) needs to be fired with the serious consideration for jail time.  They all had opportunities to stop this behaviour in 1996 and 2002 and did nothing appropriate enough to stop it.  The sad thing is, these are the only 8 victims that we know of, or that would testify or that came forward for this report.  There are probably even more out there. 

I am the father of 4 young boys.  I cringed multiply times reading the details of this report.  Very, very disturbing.  This is going to be a dark cloud of PSU for many, many years.

Everyone Murders

November 6th, 2011 at 10:50 AM ^

Assuming you're an adult, force yourself to read the Grand Jury's report.  It holds a lot of important lessons for any of us with or around children.  It is a very damning document for many involved, but it also offers invaluable insight as to how (A) pedophiles operate and (B) how interested institutions gradually whitewash the situation.  I write that as someone who has been on both sides of the table (prosecution and defense), although that was a long while back.

I'm a firm believer in "innocent until proven guilty" and 6th amendment right to a solid defense.  And he should get a good legal defense.  But absent some bizarre twist in this story, Sandusky's going to spend the rest of his life in prison, with all of the abuse that goes with being an institutionalized serial pedophile.

Parents:  If you see a child developing a relationship with an adult that feels like it might be too close, trust your instincts and look very closely at the situation.  An overnight visit with a coach is a huge warning sign, along with the other age-inappropriate activity like dinners out, showering together, etc.  This will seem obvious to most of the parents on the board, but read the report and learn from it.

Everyone:  The report is also a fascinating study in how an institution takes repeated horrible events and sweeps them under the rug.  PSU checks the necessary boxes (except for the major one of reporting abuse to the authorities rather than just the administration), but as the information filters upward, the graphic descriptions become described as "horseplay".  It is almost like a game of "telephone" where the message gets distorted and minimized each step of the way.  With a bit of plausible deniability built in as the message gets higher up the PSU chain.

Read the Grand Jury report:


November 6th, 2011 at 11:23 AM ^

It is sad that this very well may be, and frankly should be the end of Joe Pa's coaching career. At the same token, you don't have to get very far into the report to know for certain that he, and everyone else who had been reported to, or had seen something, should have reported it to the police.

This is definitely a black mark on Penn State, and they certainly could have handled it in a very different manner when they should have, in which case there would have been a momentary sensation, but on longer term appreciation for intergrity.

Franz Schubert

November 6th, 2011 at 12:11 PM ^

He is a piece of shit to allow this to continue!! Those poor children are the only thing sad about this sickening story..Im literally nauseated reading of these events. It should be a felony to have knoweledge of a felony being commited against a minor without reporting it to the police. Arrest Paterno and anyone else who helped keep this monster out of prison and allowed him to continue.



November 6th, 2011 at 12:32 PM ^

(I sat on a Jury for a case of this type, it is not easy.)

and yes, as early as 1998 his behavior (hugging a boy in a shower) was reported to the campus police, and nothing was done.

In 2000 a part time janitor witnessed Sandusky having oral sex with a middle school age boy in a shower. The janitorial staff on duty did not report (because they feared employment retribution).

For anyone in this thread thinking this is explainable, in 2002 a GA saw Sandusky having anal sex with a middle school age boy in the Penn State locker room. He reported it to Joe Pa, who reported it to the AD. Somewhere along the line the Vice President for Business and Finance (?!?!) also became involved (notably not campus police, or local police).

When Joe Pa reported, he reported it as "fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy". (Obviously this would be very difficult for Joe Pa to do since he knew Sandusky from player to coach over 39+ years at that point, and must've been in denial.) The AD and the VP later (weeks later) interviewed the GA. The GA swears he told them "anal sex", they seem to recall a more benign description. Sandusky had retired as a DC in 1999, so there was no employer relationship. Their response was to take away Sandusky's keys to the facilities, and tell his charity that he was no longer welcome to bring young boys on campus.

We don't know whether Joe Pa followed up or not. Apparently the GA did not either. Suffice it to say both should feel guilt for not pressing the matter when they didn't see anything happen. Meanwhile, Sandusky has been able to continue for 9 years. Victim 1 and presumably others who have not come forward, would never have happened.




coastal blue

November 6th, 2011 at 4:25 PM ^

said that both Sandusky and the child noticed him, but he left immediately and then contacted Paterno the next day. 

The janitor went back to the rest of the janitorial staff with his story.

I don't think anyone did anything to try and stop either incident, which is also very strange.  

Feat of Clay

November 7th, 2011 at 2:10 PM ^

Yeah, I can't get how you don't go all spider monkey on that guy and pull him off the kid who by your own admission looks to be about 10 years old.  

We ought to be debating whether or not it was okay for him to gouge out only one of Sandusky's eyes instead of both, not how much follow up he should have done after he reported it the next day.

The FannMan

November 6th, 2011 at 12:07 PM ^

That was a well thought out post.   It is, of course, important to remember that these are allegations.  However, they are very, versy consistent stories.  Sandusky's legal team has one hell of a battle on its hands.

While I too recommend reading the document for the reasons you suggest, I could only make it through victim 5 before I thought I was actually going to throw up.  Still, it was enough to see the (alleged) pattern.

Michigan has a law that would require a report to child protective services if even the sanitized version set forth by PSU administration was reported.  Michigan law requires a report by all invovled.  While one report could satisfy the reporting requiring for everyone - there has to a be report or everyone's obligation is still not fulfilled.  I do wonder about PA law and Joe Pa's obligation to do more than just report it to administration.

Also, how does PSU explain taking the steps it did if they didn't know that something bad happened?  I totally agree that PSU tried to go half way to make it look like they "did something."  The organizational pressure to call that enough must have been huge.  However, there are some issues where half meassures just wont do.  Sexual abuse is clearly, and obviously, one of them.  

The irony here is that what they morally should have done (call the cops) was also the best (and only) way to truly protect themselves and the institution.  It also might have protected other childern from this guy.

This is just tragic on so many levels.


November 6th, 2011 at 12:16 PM ^

The employee is required to report the incident to the "person in charge" or his "designated agent", who then bears full responsibility for the report to law enforcement. There's no collective responsiblity for the report--once you've gotten the information into the hands of the appropriate person at your institution you've satisfied your legal duties, whatever he does with it in his turn.

The FannMan

November 6th, 2011 at 12:50 PM ^

Thanks for the clarification.  I was going to ask Carcajous about this in his/her post later down the thread.  IMHO, that is a real weakness in the PA law.

I also agree with the legal/moral distinction in Carcajous's reply.  I would also add a PR perspective as well.  Beyond doing the morally right thing, all involved would have been better off calling the cops in the long term from a PR perspective as well.  If they could say that they called the cops and they were the ones who stopped Sandusky (or the police investigated this and found the allegations to be mertiless), everyone's respect for PSU and Joe Pa would only be increased.  Instead, the opposite is true.  (This is not to discount the moral impertative of protecting kids.  It just adds one other factor into the mix.)


November 6th, 2011 at 12:50 PM ^

 If they could say that they called the cops and they were the ones who stopped Sandusky (or the police investigated this and found the allegations to be mertiless), everyone's respect for PSU and Joe Pa would only be increased. 


I submit to you that if JoePa and PSU called the police, and these investigations happened and the truth were that the allegations were completely meritless, JoePa's and PSU's reputations would be absolutely trashed, and deservedly so.  Look at the public reaction to a crime like this; it's disgusted and vitriolic.  It's the worst crime you can commit, except for maybe being a white supremacist murderer.  Other murderers get more public sympathy.  Subject a respected old man who's done a metric ton of charity work to that kind of scrutiny and let it turn out to false and you've done him terribly, terribly wrong - nobody would just let that blow over, with a "haha, whoops, sorry about that."  I mean, you're talking enormous, nasty slander lawsuits at a minimum.  If you're going to bring an allegation like that to the police you'd better be 110%, concrete-sure.  I am not convinced JoePa was.


November 6th, 2011 at 2:16 PM ^

You aren't committing slander by reporting something to the police.  You are way, way off base about that and seem to have no understanding of the concept of slander.

And you are way off base claiming you need to be 110% sure before reporting anything.  Good god.  Fortunately most people don't take the same approach.

The FannMan

November 6th, 2011 at 2:31 PM ^

I agree that it is a horrible crime.  That is why you go to the cops.  Once the GA comes forward the allegation has been made.  PSU and Joe Pa have a binary choice - either inform the authorities or don't.  You no longer have the luxury of living in a world where your DC is spotlessly clean and you can't go back.

How would Joe Pa's reputation be trashed compared to now?  Now he is part of the cover-up rather than part of the soluation.  I still submit that he made the wrong choice.

Also, you do not commit slander when you call the police and say, "A GA has reported a possible crime.  I would like you to look into it."  You understand that slander has to be untrue, right?   There is nothing untrue about calling the police and saying what I just said.  Now, if the GA lied to the cops he would have his own problems.  They would not be Joe Pa's or PSU's.  

Just so I get you right - Are you really saying that Joe Pa and PSU should not have called the cops when a GA tells them he witnessed Sandusky having anal sex with a 10 year in the PSU shower?  (If you haven't, take a look at grand jury report.)  That's not enough for you to at least call the cops or CPS and see if they want to talk to the GA?  I mean it's OK to just ignore that? 


November 6th, 2011 at 3:24 PM ^

Perhaps "slander" is a careless word.

And no, you don't have me right - because what I'm saying is, you don't know what the GA said to JoePa.  You know what JoePa says he was told and you know what the GA says he said.  I didn't say, "JoePa was told that Sandusky was raping children and should not have told anyone," those are the words you put in my mouth.

I am saying that the consequence of being wrong with an accusation like that are severe.  It's not just "a horrible crime," it's worse.  It's the kind of crime where even having been accused of it - true or not - tarnishes your reputation.  Permanently.  You would be furious if someone, for whatever reason, told your boss you had done that, and because of that you were subjected to an extremely public investigation.  Your reputation would be shot.  And you'd be in a suing mood, whether for slander or whatever you want to make the official legal term out to be.

So if there's ambiguity in what you heard, you have to weigh the consequences of being wrong against the consequences of letting it slide.  Both are terrible.  That's why I'm saying I'm not ready to jump on JoePa.  Sure, the GA is saying now that he told JoePa exactly everything - but I don't see why I should automatically take that at face value, given the trouble he'd find himself in if he didn't tell JoePa the whole story.


November 6th, 2011 at 5:18 PM ^

Yeah, because once you're in whatever the fuck a "suing mood" is you can just make up a legal claim and have a significant chance of succeeding-- and you do need there to be a significant chance of success because your argument requires that the risk of the lawsuit is sufficient to deter Joe Pa from reporting the charges if he is not certain.  


So long as Joe Pa reports whatever it is that the GA told him, he is ok.  He's not slandering, he's not doing anything for which there is special terminology.  He is doing what those who are not sociopaths call "the right thing."   Reporting is not the same thing as accusing.  The GA is doing the accusing, but it's Joe Pa's duty both as his supervisor and as a human being to tell the police, "hey, one of my employee's claims he saw another employee rape a child.  Can you look into this?"  Joe Pa doesn't need fucking certainty to inform police that an employee has reported witnessing a rape. 


If there is ambiguity in what you heard, ask the GA to clear up the ambiguity.   It's not that hard. 


The FannMan

November 6th, 2011 at 9:48 PM ^

Here is the problem with your point - there was no ambiguity in what the GA told Joe Pa.  (At least according to the testimony that the Grand Jury found to be extremely credible.)   The testimony was that he point blank told PSU and Paterno that he saw Sandusky screwing a little kid inthe ass.  You're statement about "if there's ambiguity" ignores the fact that there was no ambiguity.   You also ignore that fact that there were other compaints in 1998.  Have you still not read the document that we are discussing?


November 6th, 2011 at 11:42 AM ^

Here is the problem I have after reading the grand jury report and everything else...

No one, not the AD, not JoePa, not the assistant who saw the rape, not the janitor... no one put the lives of the kids who were abused above their job. Everyone did just enough required by their job (and legally), but no more. To me, that is what is so disappointing about this whole story.

I would hope that I am moral enough of a person that if I ever faced a situation like this I would do everything in my power to make sure that a monster like this would never harm another child - my job be damned. There is no job important enough to sacrifice your morality or lives of innocent children to keep it.

I just find what JoePa did very very disappointing. No person of any moral value would just report the problem and look the other way. He had an obligation to make sure something like this would never happen again, anywhere. Not just make sure it won't happen again in the team showeroom.

Very very sad to find out that JoePa's morality was reserved for the football team only.


November 6th, 2011 at 8:01 AM ^

A couple of major difference between this sordid event and anything related to the NCAA and tsiO is that the State of PA has subpoena power and the ability to make arrests and impose perjury sanctions should someone lie.

After reading the Grand Jury's report, Paterno, by knowing and not doing anything other than passing the information down the chain, has a major problem.


Roger Mexico

November 6th, 2011 at 9:55 AM ^

It may be more complicated than that.  I am guessing there is a reason they haven't arrested him yet.

A decently researched write-up here:

Conclusion is essentially that he acted within his legal obligations.  Obviously you can make your own judgements about the moral side of it.


November 6th, 2011 at 10:56 AM ^

The key is that Joe Pa, like every other employee in education in PA is a mandated reporter. The law basically states that if you have ANY knowledge of physical or sexual abuse of a student, you must report or you can be fired.

Joe Pa may be covered because he felt by reporting it to his boss, the AD, he had fulfilled his legally required obligations. He probably should have followed up to insure the proper paperwork was filed with the state and the police, but I'm not sure how the PA law is written, so he may be OK. The AD on the other hand, by taking of over the 'investigation' from Joe Pa has no excuse for not reporting to the police and then he also lied about it under oath.

We have a similar law in IL and I had to make a report about something I heard from one of my students when I was teaching. But I didn't actually, officially report what I had heard to the police, either. I tried, but the school's on-site police officer just laughed, so I went to the school psychologist. She ended up filing the required paperwork after talking to the student and his mother. The reason the on-site cop laughed was that I had overheard that one of my students, who was 15, had gone to Las Vegas with his estranged father and his father had hired him a prostitute. The kid's mother did not laugh and I think moved away with her son to keep him away from the influence of his idiot father.

Gulo Blue

November 6th, 2011 at 11:11 AM ^

It seems to me that JoePa and the grad student are in exactly the same boat.  They both reported to their superiors and not the police, which is apparently legally sufficient...and messed up.  Maybe, the law can allow for people to report through their institutions, but that shouldn't be sufficient.  


November 6th, 2011 at 2:21 PM ^

The issue here is protecting people against vendettas from their co-workers and making up fraudulent stories.  So you report it to your superior, who makes a thorough investigation and calls in the necessary authorities.  In this case, the GA reports to Paterno, who reports to the AD, who either goes to the President or himself has authority.   Paterno had no personal knowledge of the incident besides what the GA told him.  So he can't go to the police, because he only has hearsay.  The GA could go directly to the police, but that's not the established procedure for these kinds of cases (in PA, obviously).

Paterno's major fault here seems to be in believing that the PSU AD that he had worked with for I think 7 years at that point and presumably considering what an institution he is at that school, had a hand in hiring, wouldn't cover up for a sexual predator targeting children.  That's not a good thing to assume.  What we don't know, and needs to be asked of Paterno when the press gets a chance to talk to him, is what he did to follow up with the AD after the meeting between the two officials charged with perjury, himself, and the GA.  I think that's the moral question.  If Paterno was also lied to by his AD, I'm not sure he has moral responsibility here either.  From all accounts, he does plan on testifying for the prosecution in all three trials, if they make it that far.


November 6th, 2011 at 2:13 PM ^

That Penn State site reminds me of OSU sites after Tressell was found dirty.  They are trying to rationalize JoePa's actions (or inaction) with a bunch of legal B.S.  This will not not end well for him, and it will take some time for the PSU fans to come to grips with their "fallen hero."


November 6th, 2011 at 8:28 AM ^

The author is correct. If events as the Grand Jury report states are true, Paterno should also be arrested. Not telling law enforcement is a violation of the law in Pennsylvania.


November 6th, 2011 at 10:59 AM ^

Exactly.  Some people seem to be confusing this with a NCAA violation.  Telling your AD is not enough.  In fact, it's a bunch of crap.  JoePa should have called the police or at least made sure they were notified.  Penn State and Paterno hid this crime.  Banishing Sandusky from the athletic building, while knowing he runs a kids organization?   JoePa needs to go down on this one.  I've lost a ton of respect for him.


November 6th, 2011 at 8:37 AM ^

This is shocking stuff... and even more shocking is the small population claiming "innoncence before proven guilty."  Regardless of whether Sandusky is a perv and a criminal, Joe Pa and admin had a CLEAR RESPONSIBILITY to report what happened to criminal law enforcement authorities.


Penn State is on its way out.  Why would any kid want to go there right now?  It is going to be in a flux.  It has to be.  No more sweeping this under the rug like they did 10 years ago.

Michigan and others can start dominating the mid-Atlantic again and Midwest again (for recruiting).

More importanly, I hope justice is served.