As the jury deliberated I thought back to when the news first broke of what Jerry Sandusky did to the children whose care he was entrusted. I only had two emotions: compassion and rage.
I felt rage because I believe it’s cowardly for a grown person to rob a young person of their innocence. There were eight young boys (nine if the allegations by his adopted son are true) who grew up a lot faster than they needed to. A sick, demented individual preyed upon them and they are truly victims in all of this. Kids are supposed to be worried about GI Joes, Barbies, playing sports and freeze tag. They shouldn’t have to worry about when the next time a man is going to come and touch them in their “special places.”
I have personal reasons for feeling compassion for these young boys or any other victim of sexual molestation. I’m going to share something with y’all that maybe only four other people in this world know. My parents don’t know and many of my closest friends don’t know this about me. As a child I was molested. I won’t go into specific details but it wasn’t by a man and it was someone I knew that was older. I didn’t tell anyone because as I child I somehow felt that this was something that I caused and I would be shunned if I went to my parents. It took me a long time to come to grips with what happened to me growing up but I used various methods to do so.
This is what bothers me about Sandusky’s defense team. They claim that the boys only came forward because they want money. They collaborated these stories with their lawyers in some sort of elaborate plot. Otherwise why did they wait so long to come forward? These boys (now men) probably felt the same exact way that I felt. They probably felt worse because their molester was male. I understand the role of Sandusky’s lawyers is to try to maintain the freedom of their client but I don’t think I could ever take such a case, especially if I had children. I’m not on that jury and I don’t think I would ever get picked for a jury involving molestation cases because I’m biased; but if I were I too would have found him guilty on all charges.
It will be interesting how much time he actually serves in prison. If he is handed a sentence that will allow him to see the light of day again (he’s 68 years old) I wonder how he will be treated by society. I believe that most felons/convicts deserve second chances at being a part of mainstream society, but for me, that excludes people who sexually abuse children. I think they should have to wear a scarlet letter so everyone knows who they are and what they did.
There are some measures already being introduced into legislation that are similar. Recently Louisiana introduced a new law that requires sexual offenders and child predators to list their status on social media. At first I had mixed feelings about this but then I realized that a lot of child predators meet their victims online. I’m actually behind this law. Hopefully more states follow suit.
What are your views on Jerry Sandusky? Can sexual offenders be rehabilitated? Do you believe that sexual offenders who have served their time and paid their debt to society should still be branded as such?