(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)
Having been in situations where child sexual predators were present — including my Boy Scout Troop — I know a little bit about what’s happened in the Jerry Sandusky case. The wall of silence that kids maintain against adults. The sly protections enacted at the kid level. (“Don’t ride with him. He’ll try to cop a feel.”) The downstream impacts (one of my scoutmaster’s victims later faced criminal charges for similar acts against school children). Although I was never a victim, I felt the effects.
At this point, of course, what is most important is that justice be served. And part of me is wondering whether Pennsylvania authorities are still asleep at the wheel. Specifically, I hope someone is keeping a close eye on Mr. Sandusky. Let’s look at the troubling evidence:
- When Sandusky was investigated in 1998 (Victim 6), and confronted by the victim’s mother, he was quoted as saying: “I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won’t get it from you. I wish I were dead.”
- At Sandusky’s arraignment, he was ordered to have no contact with children. A custody dispute between one of Sandusky’s sons and his wife subsequently spilled over into a temporary order barring Sandusky from being alone with his three grandchildren, who are also banned from overnight visits.
- After the arraignment, Sandusky’s attorney reported the following: “”He’s shaky, as you can expect,” Joe Amendola told WJAC-TV after Sandusky was arraigned. “Being 67 years old, never having faced criminal charges in his life and having the distinguished career that he’s had, these are very serious allegations.”
- More recent reports suggest that Sandusky is also “distraught” over Joe Paterno’s forced retirement and other developments at Penn State. “He feels absolutely awful,” Amendola said. “They’re taking down an entire athletic department.”
- If convicted of the charges filed against him, Sandusky could face life in prison.
Hello, Pennsylvania. Jerry Sandusky’s world is slowly but surely falling apart . As the world closes in on him, he may be at risk. To himself.
Given this background, it is worth noting what transpired when Jerry Sandusky was arraigned. The state Attorney General requested $500,000 bail and an electronic leg monitor. They were clearly worried about Mr. Sandusky. District Judge Leslie Dutchcot instead ordered Sandusky freed on $100,000 unstructured bail, which means he doesn’t have to post any money unless he fails to show up in court. Given the gravity of the charges, this is tantamount to another free pass, although Sandusky’s attorney successfully argued otherwise.
Maybe Mr. Amendola is right. Maybe Jerry Sandusky is no threat to anyone, including himself. I hope so. Because justice requires that Sandusky face the charges against him.
 I say slowly because it took almost three years for the Grand Jury to bring back an indictment.