When I was raped as a child, held down and forcibly penetrated from the rear, I wanted to be rescued. For years I had difficult relationships with my parents because they didn't save me. Of course they didn't know.
So when I read the reports of the allegations of child rape and other offenses against former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky one image tormented and haunted me: This image of the little boy, 10, whose rape was interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Mike McQueary a six-foot-four 213 pound graduate assistant who could have overpowered that old man but did not even try. He did nothing. He left that brutalized child to be further brutalized.
I can hear his rapist saying, I told you no one cares about you. I can do anything I want to you. See? He's letting me do this. Even if you tell, no one will believe you.
I don't know what if anything Sandusky said to that child but I can hear those words non-the-less. And McQeary spoke to that child with his actions as well: You're not worth saving. No one will help you. You deserve this.
Ronnie Polaneczky poignantly gave voice to my horror and fury on behalf of that child in her editorial, touching specifically on his opportunity for rescue that walked out of the door. Now we know that McQueary did not even call the police. He called his father, and at 28 years of age allowed his father to talk him into waiting until the next morning to tell his boss, Penn State's legendary coach, Joe Paterno - leaving that child to endure no one knows how many more assaults that night and successive nights. Apparently that fulfilled his legal obligation, but certainly not his moral one.
JoPa, as his fans call him, reported a milder version of events to his bosses - he didn't say rape, or intercourse or sexual penetration. And that was enough to fulfill his legal obligation - although questions are being asked about that as well they should, but he certainly did not fulfill his moral obligation. His bosses have been fired and charged with failure to report and perjury among other things. He planned on retiring at the end of the season and was instead summarily fired.
And Mike McQueary, he is still employed by Penn State and scheduled to coach this Saturday.
Football has been long lionized in our culture for building the character of young men and teaching them leadership and other skills our society values. Penn State has upheld those values by firing the University President, Coach Paterno, and the other officials. Jerry Sandusky was allowed to retire long before these allegations became public, and some are wondering about that...
The failure to intervene is unimaginable. Yet comprehensible for McQueary and his defenders. The failure to report is widespread, particularly among some churches and clergy, sadly that is more imaginable.
We do a pretty good job in our society demonizing child predators. It is way past time to deal with those who permit and enable their crimes. Like the mother of the seventeen year old boy who raped me when I was six or seven. She was in that apartment...