Things just got worse for Jerry Sandusky. NBC News obtained a 1998 report written by the psychologist who treated Victim 6. In the report, Dr. Alycia A. Chambers states that Sandusky’s actions were that of a “likely pedophile’s pattern.” From her report:
“My consultants agree that the incidents meet all of our definitions, based on experience and education, of a likely pedophile’s pattern of building trust and gradual introduction of physical touch, within a context of a ‘loving,’ ‘special’ relationship,” Chambers wrote in her report.
“One colleague, who has contact with the Second Mile, confirms that Mr. Sandusky is reasonably intelligent and thus, could hardly have failed to understand the way his behavior would be interpreted, if known,” Chambers continued. “His position at the Second Mile and his interest in abused boys would suggest that he was likely to have had knowledge with regard to child abuse and might even recognize this behavior as a typical pedophile ‘overture.’”
Chambers gave her report to Penn State police Officer Ronald Schreffler on May 7, 1998, along with a cover letter that highlighted “the gravity of the incidents.” Chambers had also reported the incident to the Pennsylvania “suspected child abuse” hotline, where officials wrote up their own report identifying Sandusky as the “AP” or “Alleged Perpetrator.” Lauro, an investigator who specialized in abuse cases, was assigned to work the case with Schreffler.
Investigators brought in a second psychologist, John Seasock, who met with the victim for a hour and wrote in his report, “All the interactions reported by (the boy) can be typically defined as normal between a healthy adult and a young adolescent male.” He did not, however, rule out Sandusky as a potential pedophile.
Sandusky’s lawyer tried to spin the report to his client’s favor:
Joe Amendola, Sandusky’s lawyer, said he hasn’t seen Chambers’ report, but that her conclusions will be disputed by other psychologists who will be called by the defense. “I understand that there are some people who could look at this behavior and say it’s a pedophile problem. But there are others who will say, ‘This is somebody who loves kids and loves to be around them’ … It’s the old story, you get your expert and I’ll get my expert.” Sandusky has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Amendola and Seasock are correct that the behavior in and of itself does not make a person a pedophile, nor is it necessarily grooming. However, context matter. Why would you randomly hug a child in the shower, and why from behind? Why would you kiss a child you barely know? Why would you tell him you love him? Why would you allegedly do this:
After meeting with her client in her office and talking to his mother, Chambers described in her written report how Sandusky had coaxed the boy into the shower after a workout, telling him, “All the guys do.” He then moved closer to him, squeezing him tightly from behind while they were both naked. The boy also told Chambers how, during their workout, Sandusky had kissed him on the forehead and told him, ‘I love you.” He also invited the boy back to his house to “sit on his lap” and go “online” on his “cool computer,” the boy’s mother told Chambers, recounting her conversation with her son the previous night.
That sounds like grooming. Even if it may not warrant charges, in light of the other allegations it does show a pattern of clearly inappropriate behavior by Sandusky.
The obvious question: why did no one monitor Sandusky? One of the detectives in the case mentioned that he never saw the report. It is possible that many others involved with the case and Sandusky, particularly those who allowed him around boys, never knew of the report. Why was it not given to his superiors? Why was he not placed on Pennsylvania’s “child line” registry for potential abusers (not that I agree with that kind of “they might be guilty” list)?
Every chance that people had to protect boys from potential abuse was squandered. This is one of the clearest examples of not giving a damn. How could people do nothing when they have a man whose response to being told not to shower with boys is this:
In a telephone interview Friday, Amendola was asked why Sandusky still showered with young boys after 1998 when police had told him not to —and he told them he wouldn’t.
“He viewed that more as an admonition, not an order,” Amendola said. “He didn’t think there was anything wrong with it.” Amendola added that Sandusky “never thought that the situation in ‘98 was a big deal. He never looked at as that serious.”
This was someone who clearly needed to be watched even if never molested any children because he does not understand or care about keeping boundaries.