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Published: Tuesday, 6/26/2012

Just verdict

GUEST EDITORIAL

A jury in Pennsylvania late last week reached the same conclusion that much of the rest of America did after hearing NBC sports analyst Bob Costas' interview with former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky last November.

The 68-year-old man, who had just been charged with sexually abusing 10 young boys, went on national television to acknowledge he "horsed around" with children, showered with them, hugged them, and touched their legs. It's no stretch to decide that he meets the classic definition of a pedophile.

The jury listened as a sad parade of young men, all singled out for victimization by Sandusky, gave heartbreaking testimony about how they were wooed and then abused by an authority figure who was supposed to be helping them. The panel took its time, going through the specifics of each charge and asking to have some evidence repeated, before finding the former coach and social-agency founder guilty on 45 of the 48 counts he faced.

The judge who presided over the efficiently managed trial properly denied Sandusky's request to stay out on bond while inevitable appeals are filed. Doing otherwise would have been a disservice to justice, and could have resulted in him never serving a day in prison.

But locking Sandusky away, first pending sentencing and then for what should be a long prison term, is not the end of the child sex abuse scandal that roiled Penn State and toppled its legendary football coach, the late Joe Paterno, and former university president Graham Spanier.

New, horrible revelations keep coming out. As jury deliberations began, one of Sandusky's sons, 33-year-old Matt Sandusky, released a statement in which he said that he too had been abused by his adoptive father.

And last week, another young man appeared on NBC's Rock Center program to say he had been abused more than 100 times at Penn State, in the Sandusky home, and on trips with the family.

Earlier this month, there were reports that high-ranking Penn State officials did not notify police about a 2001 incident involving Sandusky and a boy in a university shower because they wanted to be "humane" to the former coach.

A just verdict was delivered against Sandusky. But justice has not yet been fully served in this horrendous scandal.



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