Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Tickle Monster Goes Away

Then the hammer fell on Jerry Sandusky. He had previously been convicted of molesting ten boys over a fifteen year period. Today, Judge John Cleland saying, "The crime is not only about what you did to their bodies, but to their psyches and their souls and the assault to the well being of the larger community in which we all live," gave Sandusky 30 to 60 years. At age 68 that doesn't leave the former Penn State defensive coordinator much wiggle room at the end of the minimum he'll have to serve.

Defense attorney, Joe Amendola says he'll appeal within ten days. His main argument is that he didn't have enough time to prepare an adequate defense.

Sandusky himself continues to claim he is innocent. He told a Penn State radio station last night, "I didn't do these alleged disgusting acts." Today he repeated that assertion. It might be nice for someone to let him in on a secret. The disgusting acts ceased to be alleged as soon as he was convicted. He also rambled on about "I have hope in my heart of a better day not knowing when that day will come." Also that he hoped to be a "little candle" for others and how he prays that someone may not have been abused because of the publicity surrounding the case. The former coach also maintained that he was the victim of a wide spread conspiracy (aren't we all) that includes police, university administrators and the ever evil media.

Amendola sort of agreed. He claimed there was an "undercurrent in some parts of the state government to bring Penn State down." He hinted that jealousy and envy of the power of the university and its ability to secure funding might have played a part in the charges brought against his client and his conviction. Neither attorney or defendant mentioned the victims.

Prosecutor Joseph McGettigan called Sandusky's comments, "a masterpiece of banal self delusion, completely untethered from reality."

Of course we aren't done with all this yet. The state is still investigating, looking for other victims of the man who referred to himself in letters as "the tickle monster." University president, Graham Spanier was forced to resign. Tim Curley, the Penn State athletic director who is on administrative leave and retired senior vice president Gary Schultz face charges that they lied to a grand jury about what they knew. If Joe Paterno were alive today he might also be looking at a trip into the dock.

In the end Sandusky managed to not only molest children, but bring about the complete destruction of a legend, not to mention the reputation of an entire university. Penn State's football program has been fined $60 million and forced to forfeit every game it won since 1998. Paterno was fired and almost immediately died. His statue in front of the stadium, where he coached so many years, was unceremoniously taken down and dragged off to parts unknown. All because the people in charge thought they could take care of the problem in house. All because no one wanted the good name of the school and the football program sullied by this sick twist. Instead of taking a distasteful public hit and protecting more potential victims by turning this leering clown over to the cops, the powers that were managed to cause the very thing they were so desperate to avoid.

I suppose there is some justice in that. It isn't very satisfying though. The whole affair makes you want to wash your hands every time you read a news release concerning it.

Jerry Sandusky will be eligible for parole in the year 2042. His wife Dottie was at the sentencing. Odds are neither of them will make that first hearing 30 years from now. I suppose there is justice in that also.

sic vita est


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