In 2002, an assistant coach in Penn State’s football team told his boss, the legendary coach Joe Paterno, that he caught Jerry Sandusky, Paterno’s former defensive coach, anally raping a 10-year-old boy in the team’s locker room. Coach Paterno reported the assault to the athletic director, and to the vice president of Penn State University. The President was told a little later.
No one called the police. No one conducted any form of investigation.
Meanwhile, Sandusky continued his work with The Second Mile, a charity for troubled youth that Sandusky had started in 1977. The organization continued to deliver to Sandusky a stream of troubled young boys, and reports of Sandusky’s molestation and raping of these children have grown steadily in the days since the scandal broke.
University officials have been indicted for perjury and concealment, and Sandusky has been charged with the rape of children. Paterno, lionized as a moral leader as well as perhaps the greatest football coach of the last half-century, now sees his reputation in ruin.
This dreadful pattern of denial and concealment of sexual abuse seems never to end. Our law firm, Kafoury & McDougal, has represented more than a dozen women abused by the American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance attendant Lannie Haszard between 2005 and 2007. One case went to trial, with the resulting judgment totaling nearly $4 million. Many other cases have settled. We also presently represent women sexually abused by AMR ambulance attendants in Missouri and California, and now represent three women who were sexually abused during surgery by Dr. Frederick Field, an anesthesiologist in The Dalles, Oregon, between 2008 and 2011.
From the Catholic Church to ambulance companies, hospitals, and Penn State University, protecting the institution at the expense of those it is entrusted to protect constitutes a great moral failure of our institutions.
UPDATE: Our firm has handled numerous sex abuse cases, for more information, click here.