, ,

By now we have all heard about the child sexual assault case against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

If not, click here to read a story that gives you the details.

I can hear you now, “Oh no, I hope Red doesn’t go into detail about child sexual predators.”

Well stop reading.

Joe Paterno, the legendary football coach in Happy Valley was fired last Wednesday night.

“Joe Pa” has been the head coach at Penn State for 46 years. Paterno’s a Brooklyn guy.

Believe me, I have battled with the decision to write about this topic since this tragic story became public. If I decline to write about it, I’d be like the people at Penn State who refused to do anything. I’d be sweeping it under the rug or turning my back. Awareness needs to be raised whether you agree or not.

In 2003 Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin Beacon worked alongside eacother and made a film, ‘Mystic River‘. The opening scene shows the 3 actors  as young boys playing in the street. Two men posing as cops pull up in a car and scare Robbins into the car. The men are pedophiles, and hold Robbins captive and sexually abuse him for four days, until he escapes.

He never was the same after that.

Sexual predators rarely get caught. One reason is because kids are afraid to come forward. Here’s an amazing fact about pedophiles, straight from Dr. Phil, “before they are caught the first time, they have assaulted many victims.”  (See Jerry Sandusky at Penn State)

Often times the pedophile is someone with a lot of power in the community; a coach, a teacher, or a priest.

In 89% of cases, the molester is either a relative or a person known to the victim.

An article published in the journal Psychology, Public Policy and the Law studied multiple retrospective surveys and found that 60% to 70% of adults who were survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse reported that they did not disclose the abuse during childhood. An astonishing 38% of those who reported Childhood Sexual Abuse on the survey said they had never told anyone until asked in the survey.

One study estimates that only 3% of child sexual abuse cases are ever reported to the police.

To me, that’s a crime in itself.

I attended Holy Name from 1970 until 1978. There was a teacher who everyone loved to be around. He was a great guy. He inspired me. He boosted my self-esteem.

This teacher hung out with us after school, coached a sport at the school and was very good in the classroom.

When I saw him with certain kids after school, I was jealous. I always wanted to be the one that hung out with him (thank God years later I was happy I wasn’t with him too much).

Talking with a childhood friend recently, he mentioned there were 3 boys from school that were always with this particular teacher.

Nothing was ever brought up about this teacher during his tenure at Holy Name so there were never any charges.  He departed H.N.S. to teach at a high school and later was accused of inappropriate behavior; they sent him out of State.

I would hope that if you ever know of some sort of child abuse that you would come forward and save a child’s life. Whether it’s in a classroom with a teacher, a coach, or someone in your own neighborhood.  Hopefully the predator’s professional reputation or personal friendship does not get in the way.

You may save someone’s life.

If someone at Penn State would have called the police years ago, Sandusky would have been behind bars and the children safe.

I came across an article from Sunday’s newspaper on the mess at Penn State. The writer, Joe Rexrode said, “When brand protection trumps child protection we have a serious problem.”

Will you protect your brand or a child?