CNN's Don Lemon expressed some sympathy for convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky on Sunday.
Sandusky, a former coach at Penn State, was found guilty Friday of molesting several young boys. Lemon hosted Dr. James Cantor — a psychologist who recently penned an op-ed distinguishing between pedophilia and child molestation — in the wake of the verdict. Cantor had asked, "Do pedophiles deserve sympathy?"
Lemon said that there was "no doubt" that the revelations made during Sandusky's trial were "horrifying," but that his guest raised a "thought-provoking question." The CNN host, who has revealed that he himself was a victim of a pedophile, reflected on Sandusky's fate.
"I know people are going to send me a lot of hate mail for this,” Lemon said. “I’ve never been one to take glee in anyone’s demise, and when I saw Jerry Sandusky walk out in handcuffs, I did kind of feel a bit sorry for him, even though I know the jury found him to do some horrific things, I was like 'His life is over.' All of these young boys, it was terrible for them as well. There are no winners."
Later, Cantor said that people are born as pedophiles, but that there was no excuse for child molestation. He said, "the people who actually engage in those behaviors, they need to be dealt with on the basis of what it is they did. There’s nothing in any research that some are not responsible for their behavior."