Child Sexual Molestation on Trial

By now you probably know that Jerry Sandusky has been convicted of 45 of the 48 counts he was charged with. I wrote the following post before we knew the verdict, but I think the points still hold true. More than anything, it highlights the need for awareness about how people talk about sexual abuse. Are people honest or do they make excuses to avoid responsibility?

If you saw my last post, you know that I’m sharing my thoughts about the Jerry Sandusky trial. My main reactions are to the approach taken by Mr Sandusky’s defense lawyer. While I realize intellectually that a lawyer is hired to defend a person in court with everything they have, I’m emotionally unsettled by many of the things Mr. Sandusky’s lawyer has reportedly said during the trial.

In one instance, his lawyer questions how much sense it makes that Mr. Sandusky would suddenly become a pedophile in his middle age years. While this statement alone does bring up doubt, I also brought up an ugly truth about molestation – secrecy and manipulation.

Again, I understand that Mr. Sandusky’s lawyer’s job is to defend his client, but some of his reported comments and questions bother me.  Mr. Sandusky has admitted to doing many things with young boys that just aren’t right. And yet his lawyer continues to spin the illusion that it’s all a misunderstanding.  The way he tries to glaze over the obvious glaring victim testimonies and Mr. Sandusky’s own admissions makes me unsettled. Why? Because that’s just the way an abuser or molester thinks and speaks.

The obvious horrible reality is twisted, minimized and excused to make it sound almost normal. The abuser makes makes it sound like the victim is the weird one for concluding that something is wrong. The victim is caught up in a big misunderstanding. Perhaps this approach is considered to be impressive lawyer-ing, but it just makes my stomach turn.

Once again, I do understand the legal process and the roles lawyers have to play. But as an advocate for children, I cannot help but feel
the hair raise on my neck when I read about the defense lawyer’s comments. Don’t look now, but there’s a big elephant in the living room.

Creative Commons License photo credit: much0



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    Last reviewed: 24 Jun 2012

APA Reference
Krull, E. (2012). Child Sexual Abuse On Trial – Jerry Sandusky, Part 2. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from



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