Am I missing something here, or did Mike McQueary admit that he deliberately did not tell Joe Paterno, or the police, that he believed he witnessed his friend, Jerry Sandusky, sodomizing a 10 year-old boy, because he wanted to 'protect' him?
The Sporting News quotes McQueary as testifying that he did not give Paterno explicit details of what he believed he'd seen, "out of respect for the longtime coach." Is that not protecting him? Of course it is.
Forget, for a moment, all the moral and ethical violations McQueary's obviously guilty of, and forget asking yourself how this guy can even sleep at night knowing, for all intents and purposes, he not only looked the other way when it fell to him to report what he saw, he did nothing to stop the abuse while it was happening. Put all that aside, and it still makes no sense how someone, especially in the educational system, can take the stand and admit to choosing a coach's reputation over a child's well-being and not instantly be charged with a crime. And what's all this about, he 'didn't physically stop him' but, he 'made sure it was not going to continue.' How? With his Vulcan mind-meld? Did he send him a text in the shower?
Furthermore, McQueary's testimony is not only confusing, but contradictory. On one hand, he says he didn't report "intercourse" to Paterno out of respect for Sandusky (would it have made a difference to Paterno if he found out Sandusky was just touching the boy?) On the other, he says he didn't go to the police because he felt the university's vice president was like "talking to the head of the police." Since when is a university employee the same as a state police detective? So, which was it? Was he trying to protect Sandusky or was he trying to report this heinuos crime? Seems to me, he clearly attempted to straddle the fence, which is just as troubling as not reporting at all.
If you or I witnessed this horrible act taking place, I'd like to think we'd go straight to the real police -- no school chancellors, no campus security guards, no locker room attendants -- we'd walk right into the station and say, "Gather round, boys, and get your steno pads out."
The fact that he's wishy-washy about his reporting, or lack of reporting, of what he actually saw is just another admission that he didn't do all that he should've done. Unfortunately, that's where we run into the bigger problem; even if he is convicted of not reporting an incident of child abuse, in the state of Pennsylvania, that''s akin to a traffic ticket.
What's wrong with this country? On second thought, don't answer that.
Sell a few ounces of marijuana, get 5 to 10 years in jail. Become an accessory to child molestation by watching an innocent boy being raped in a shower at a prestigious university, then remain virtually silent about it, so that your silence allows the abuse to continue for the better part of the next decade, thereby making you an accessory, and what's the penalty? About a three hundred dollar ticket. I've paid more than that in Manhattan when my car was towed.
According to a chart by USA Today, less than 10 states currently make it a crime to not report an incident of child abuse, and the ones that do barely have any penalty at all.
Most of us know the difference between right and wrong, and in this situation it's a no-brainer. There is no grey area here. There's no lobbying group of wealthy, middle-American child molesters campaigning to prevent these laws from being passed. So, why aren't they already there? Congress has emergency sessions to give themselves pay raises, why aren't they in session now making it a federal crime punishable by a year in jail if you are convicted of failing to report an incident of child abuse? Why even leave it up to the state? Let's go folks.
What's even scarier is now that others have come forward accusing Syracuse coach, Bernie Fine, of similar crimes, it makes you wonder how many more schools and athletic programs have covered up this kind of thing? Thus, if they want to be on the safe side, I would advise all major colleges and universities to fire their entire athletic staff, effective immediately.
Follow David Fagin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/nikchapman