It’s hard to flip through the channels or catch a radio news break without hearing about the Jerry Sandusky trial. Accusations of
child sexual molestation have been either supported by the prosecution’s victim testimonies or challenged by the defense’s
I understand that Mr. Sandusky is presumed innocent until proven guilty and I support the laws that protect the legal process. However, I do have some strong impressions about this and find some elements of the defense’s approach disturbing.
The defense lawyer argued that it didn’t make sense that Mr. Sandusky would suddenly become a pedophile in his middle-age
years. The truth is not all pedophiles act on their impulses. It’s possible to be a pedophile (ongoing chronic sexual interest in
children) without sexually touching a child. This very helpful web page goes into more detail about the differences between
pedophiles and child molesters.
To my knowledge, Mr Sandusky has not been officially diagnosed as a pedophile. However, his admitted actions and testimonies from the victims and witnesses make a believable case for it. He doesn’t deny that he showered with boys, touching them, and had “soap
fights” (he also called this “horseplay”).
The trial isn’t directly about proving that Mr. Sandusky is a pedophile. However, if he is proven guilty on these charges, the victims’ testimonies would establish credible patterns of abuse. It’s difficult to hear the stories from those kids and think they are all exaggerating or lying.
I get that being a trial lawyer means you do the best you can to hold up your client while casting doubt on the other side of the case. But all it takes is a little research on sexual molestation to understand how it is covered with secrecy and manipulation.
Unfortunately, most people who molest children have many encounters before they are caught. Most incidents of molestation go unreported to anyone. It’s even less likely that a report leads to legal charges and a trial.
Mr. Sandusky’s lawyer has certainly cast doubt on the idea that his client suddenly became a pedophile. However, it’s only made me
more concerned. I have more to say about this ongoing case – come back soon for my next post to hear the rest of my thoughts on child sexual molestation.
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From Psych Central's Erika Krull, MS:
Child Sexual Molestation On Trial - Jerry Sandusky, Part 2 | Family Mental Health (June 24, 2012)
Last reviewed: 23 Jun 2012