Before just a few years ago, no one would ever dream that a Priest would sexually abuse a child. No one would ever dream that a man who established a foundation for underprivileged children would use it to carefully select and groom potential sexual partners. No one would ever dream that the legendary Joe Paterno, known for his high moral values, would ever allow a child molester in his midst. But that’s precisely where child molesters place themselves. They intentionally seek out situations which will not only place them in trusting relationships with children, but also provide a cover of morality and good character.
People specializing in hindsight, might be quick to place blame on the people or institutions who are victimized for the cover by the abusers, but such people should also carefully scrutinize the mastery of deception used by abusers. Sandusky had the best possible cover in Paterno and he stayed there, probably knowing that such conduct was not even conceivable to the super moral Paterno.
On the other hand, the recent Sandusky trial should prove again that our sensitivity to this problem cannot be too great. Thank goodness the jury in Pennsylvania had the character to stand up and believe the children. So many of these cases disappear because the victims are either too young to tell or unable to withstand brutal cross examination and the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. I was encouraged to hear one young juror say, “They planted some seeds of doubt, but not reasonable doubt. The damage done by the fact that no one stands up for the abused child greatly exacerbates the damage from the abuse.