By Jim Kouri
A 267-page report released Thursday by former Clinton Administration FBI Director Louis Freeh provides a clear picture regarding an environment in which sexual abuse was allowed to fester within Penn State’s athletics department, specifically its lucrative football program.
More than two weeks after the conviction of Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Pennsylvania State University, for 45 of 48 counts of child sex abuse, Americans, especially news and commentary talking heads, are still discussing the shocking scandal. The discussion includes law enforcement officers as well, said a former police detective from a sex crimes unit.
A jury on June 22 convicted Jerry Sandusky for 45 of 48 counts of child sex abuse, in a scandal that ended several careers and stained the reputation of an Ivy League university.
The 68-year-old Sandusky was convicted of sexually abusing 10 young boys over a 15-year period. The jury spent about 20 hours to deliberate and their decision will probably send Sandusky to prison for the remainder of his life.
Sandusky was indicted by a grand jury in November, 2011, and the trial started on June 11, during which eight of his 10 victims took the stand to testify against him. He is expected to be sentenced in the next few weeks.
The scandal shocked the university campus community and led to the school’s star football coach Joe Paterno being fired. It also led to the university president’s termination from employment.
In addition, it placed a bright spotlight on the subject of child sex abuse since the case attained the same national attention as the Catholic priest sex scandal, which also involved young boys.
Law enforcement officials are attempting to combat the sex crimes committed against the most vulnerable members of U.S. society — children — and at the same time, there are adults who believe having sexual relations with children should not be viewed as a crime but merely as an alternative lifestyle.
For example, Aug. 17, 2011, the pedophile advocacy group B4U-ACT hosted a conference in Baltimore, Maryland. B4U-ACT was established in 2003 as a 501(c)(3) organization to publicly promote services and resources for self-identified individuals (adults and adolescents) who are sexually attracted to children and seek such assistance, according to author and political consultant Nathan Tabor.
According to child advocates Matt Barber, Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action, and Dr. Judith Reisman, a visiting law professor at the Liberty University School of Law, about 50 people attended the conference including pedophiles and pederasts. The group even has a politically correct euphemism for these practitioners of deviant sex – Minor-Attracted Persons.
“Fortunately, these people are few and far between and have only a fringe group of people who agree with them,” said former police captain Daniel Fitzsimmons.
As happened during the Catholic Church sex scandal, the Penn State/Sandusky case has renewed debate on the issue of child sex abuse, especially men who prey on boys.
Sexual assault and rape are usually portrayed as a female issue; that women are the only ones who are and can be victimized; and that it’s up to women to end sexual assault. Unfortunately, men are victims and survivors of sexual assault and rape, too. Their victimization is just as important to take seriously and end as women´s victimization, according to law enforcement officials who routinely investigate sex crimes involving children, according to Justice Department studies.
“About 3 percent of American men –- a total of 2.78 million men –- have experienced a rape at some point in their lifetime” according to the Centers for Disease Control. (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2006).
The range of sexual abuse against children includes rape, incest, child sexual assault, ritual abuse, statutory rape, sexual exploitation, sexual contact, sexual harassment, exposure and voyeurism.
While predators of children often rationalize their actions and desires, sexual contact with a child is a crime. As with the rape of a woman, it is motivated by the need to control, humiliate, and harm. It is not motivated by sexual desire, according to experienced sex crimes investigators.
Former New York City Police Department Detective Ellen King, who served on the NYPD’s sex crimes squad — the precursor of what’s now called the Special Victims Unit (SVU) — often refers to rape and sexual assault as the anti-sex crime, since it has more to do with the attacker exerting power over the victim.
According to Det. King, “Rapists use sex as a weapon to dominate and hurt others.”