Unfortunately, part of Joe V. Paterno’s legacy will be that he washed his hands and turned a blind eye to child sexual abuse by his assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and went along with the cover-up. In a November 9, 2011 interview by Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post Paterno said, “Most important, that he wished he'd done more when assistant Mike McQueary came to his house on a Saturday morning in 2002.” Some people want to only talk about all of the good Paterno did that had nothing to do with football like building a library with his donations and forget about the child abuse he was aware of. In the end it was all about the money and the reputation of Penn State and Paterno and not the children. Everyone who knew of these sordid events involving child rape and did nothing about it should be held accountable. And for the people who are defending Joe Paterno and claim Paterno did what was required of him let me point out the Pennsylvania law on child abuse reporting and Joe Paterno’s Grand Jury Testimony listed below. Joe Paterno would be considered a Staff Member of Penn State and he was informed by Intern Mike McQueary of suspected child sexual abuse. The law requires that person shall immediately notify the person in charge of the institution and an oral report shall be made immediately by telephone to ChildLine (800) 932-0313. According to Joe Paterno’s Grand Jury testimony after being informed by McQueary that he witnessed a youngster being sexually molested by Jerry Sandusky he did not immediately tell anyone. Paterno said, I ordinarily would have called people right away, but it was a Saturday morning and I didn’t want to interfere with their weekends. So I don’t know whether I did it Saturday or did it early the next week. I’m not sure when, but I did it within the week. Paterno’s action showed a disregard for the welfare of this child. A decent person’s first instinct should and would be to protect the innocent, protect the child, and Paterno did not do that. And let me repeat,everyone who knew of these sordid events involving child sexual abuse and did nothing about it are culpable and should be held accountable.
Pennsylvania: Subchapter G. MINIMUM STANDARDS OF PRACTICE—CHILD ABUSE REPORTING(b) Staff members of public or private agencies, institutions and facilities. …shall immediately notify the person in charge of the institution, school, facility or agency or the designated agent of the person in charge when they have reasonable cause to suspect on the basis of their professional or other training or experience, that a child coming before them in their professional or official capacity is a victim of child abuse.
(c) Reporting procedure. Reports of suspected child abuse shall be made by telephone and by written report.
(1) Oral reports. Oral reports of suspected child abuse shall be made immediately by telephone to ChildLine (800) 932-0313.
Joe Paterno’s Grand Jury testimony,
Well, I don’t know what you would call it. Obviously, he was doing something with the youngster.
It was a sexual nature. I’m not sure exactly what it was.
I didn’t push Mike to describe exactly what it was because he was very upset. Obviously, I was in a little bit of a dilemma since Mr. Sandusky was not working for me anymore.
So I told — I didn’t go any further than that except I knew Mike was upset and I knew some kind of inappropriate action was being taken by Jerry Sandusky with a youngster….
I don’t know whether I was specific or not. I did tell Mike, Mike, you did what was right; you told me.
Even though Jerry does not work for the football staff any longer, I would refer his concerns to the right people.
You recall this taking place on a Saturday morning, the conversation with Mike?
When did you — did you do something with that information?
Well, I can’t be precise.
I ordinarily would have called people right away, but it was a Saturday morning and I didn’t want to interfere with their weekends.
So I don’t know whether I did it Saturday or did it early the next week.
I’m not sure when, but I did it within the week.