The Jerry Sandusky trial


The Jerry Sandusky case has finally gone to trial. The testimony – descriptions of what Sandusky did to those poor kids – has been brutal. The defense, naturally, is trying to depict the victims as a cabal of greedy envious ungrateful liars, but I don’t think they’re having much success.



I was given pause on Wednesday morning, however, when I happened to overhear the following scrap of narration on “Good Morning America” (I paraphrase): “Present in court were both Jerry Sandusky and Mike McQueary, the two men who – more than anyone else – brought about the downfall of Joe Paterno.”



No. Sorry. Joe Paterno brought about the downfall of Joe Paterno.



Joe Paterno covered up a series of vicious violent crimes against children, because of his own vanity, and his overblown regard for his own reputation, and – maybe also a little – because of his (misplaced) loyalty to his friend Jerry Sandusky.



Paterno also tried (briefly) to portray himself as a victim. Remember those ugly Penn State campus riots protesting his firing? That’s another little nastiness that Joe Paterno brought about, and then did little to stop. I imagine him sitting home snickering about it.



Sometimes we have to separate people’s accomplishments from their failings. Everyone says Paterno was a great college football coach, and (because I know nothing, or next to nothing, about football) I can accept that. But Gandhi or Saint Francis he was not.



The more I think about this case, the emptier and more desolate I feel about it. Sandusky actually founded a children’s charity, which proved to be a rich source of little boys for him to prey upon. At least one victim was told that his accusations had to be groundless, since it was well know that “Sandusky had a heart of gold.”



I know that the trial isn’t over yet, and that I’m prejudging Sandusky.



Here’s the thing: I don’t think I’m wrong about this.



Here’s a sad fact about humanity, kids: when you assume the worst about people, you’re not often wrong.


About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

2 Responses to The Jerry Sandusky trial

  1. nancy says:

    why is that idiot not in jail?i think he should get the death sentence or electric chair!!!the lives of those poor little boys!thats awful and those kids gotta live with that the rest of their lives!thats not right that he should get away with that!that pig!

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