Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Showers of doubt and shame

In 1998, a boy came home from school one day with wet hair. His sharp-eyed mother noticed. A conversation was had.

And Jerry Sansdusky first fell into the sightlines of the law.


You can find this described in the state of Pennsylvania's grand jury presentment about the Sandusky criminal investigation. This is the story of Victim 6.


In 1998, Sandusky was still coaching for the Penn State Nittany Lions. In 1998, Sandusky was a highly respected, very successful man who devoted a great deal of free time to The Second Mile, a charity he founded to help "at-risk" youth. 

In the case of Victim 6, there was a lengthy investigation by University Police. But the case was closed "after then-Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar [who vanished without a trace in 2005] decided there would be no criminal charges."


However, the mother of Victim 6 decided to have a couple of conversations with Sandusky, conversations that local detectives had eavesdropped on. According to the grand jury presentment, the conversations were about the wrongness of showering naked with young boys:
"The mother of Victim 6 confronted Sandusky about showering with her son, the effect it had on her son, whether Sandusky had sexual feelings when he hugged her naked son in the shower and where Victim's 6's buttocks were when Sandusky hugged him.
 [Asking a man about the sexual feelings he has for her child while showering naked with him is not a question any mother expects to be asking a highly respected icon of the community! Just saying!]

The grand jury presentment continues....

"Sandusky said he showered with other boys and Victim 6's mother tried to make Sandusky promise never to shower with a boy again but he said he would not. She asked him if his 'private parts' touched Victim 6 when he bear-hugged him. Sandusky replied, "I don't think so... maybe.' At the conclusion of the second conversation, after Sandusky was told he could not see Victim 6 anymore, Sandusky said, 'I understand. I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won't get it from you. I wish I were dead....'"
More than a decade ago, Jerry Sandusky was confronted by a woman who wanted him to promise that he'd never again shower with young boys. He refused to make such a promise. And clearly, he continued to shower with little boys long after he ceased talking to the mother of Victim #6. Long after he acknowledged to the mother that he "was wrong."

Now in a highly publicized interview, Sandusky tells Bob Costas that yeah, the only wrong thing he did was that inappropriate activity known as showering with young boys.

In the Costas interview, Jerry certainly set the record straight. He's a man who showered repeatedly with young boys. And he did this despite the conversation he had had with the mother of Victim 6 back in 1998. He knew it was wrong. And, as Sandusky knew then, he's going to have a hard time finding forgiveness for this, and other things....



No comments: