Monday, November 14, 2011

'Legal issues' in McQueary's fate at Penn State

Good morning. This is the O-Pinion blog for Monday. I'm associate editor Fannie Flono, hosting the blog today, and providing some commentary from near and far that's getting some buzz.

The horrific sex abuse scandal at Penn State is still lighting up the boards. A judge who ordered former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, accused of raping and other sexual abuse of young boys who were associated with a charity he ran, to be freed on $100,000 unsecured bail worked as a volunteer for Sandusky' charity, The Second Mile, Deadspin reported Sunday. Prosecutors had asked for $500,000 bail and that Sandusky be required to wear a leg monitor, but District Judge Leslie Dutchcot ruled he be freed without having to post any money unless he failed to show up for court, according to various news reports. Geez. The reports also said Sandusky continues to receive a hefty pension from Penn State.

President Obama weighed in on the Penn State scandal after being asked a question by ABC's Jake Tepper in Hawaii, where he is attending a Asia Pacific conference. He talked about the obligation of people to step up when sexual abuse of children happens: "When you think about how vulnerable kids are, for the alleged facts of that case to have taken place and for folks not to immediately say, nothing else matters except making sure those kids are protected, that's a problem." That larger issue - the obligation of anyone who knew of sex abuse in this case or any other case to report it to law enforcement - should become much more a part of this discussion.

In that regard, it's good to hear that we're glad to hear that Penn State has at least put Penn State receivers coach Mike McQueary on administrative leave. McQueary was a graduate assistant when he allegedly witnessed sex abuse at the school in 2002, and took it no further than reporting it to athletic officials. In an editorial Saturday, our editorial board asked why McQueary was still employed and said: "We don’t understand how McQueary could bear seeing Sandusky in the hallways of Penn State’s football building in the weeks, months and years after the alleged incident with the 10-year-old boy. The alleged victims deserve an answer why he never chose to go to police, and why the trustees feel he is less culpable than those fired or suspended from their duties for similar silences." New Penn State president Rodney Erickson said on this morning's Early Show that McQueary wasn't fired last week because "legal issues" are in play. He didn't elaborate.

Internationally, it's Italy that's claiming the spotlight after its long-time president Silvio Berlusconi resigned Saturday under pressure as economic woes dogged Italy, bringing it to the brink of financial ruin and affected the rest of Europe's economy as well. Italians were singing in the streets in celebration. But Italian pundits had this one right in noting that Italians left it to Europe and American pressure to do what they should have done years ago. Berlusconi has been a disgrace for years, involved in numerous sex scandals including being charged with having sex with an under-age prostitute, and a wave of salacious revelations from police wiretaps about alleged orgies at his luxurious Milan villa. He also faces two ongoing fraud court cases, the latest in more than 30 prosecutions by magistrates he accuses of being communists bent on perverting democracy, notes Reuters. "The perma-tanned media tycoon, once a cruise ship crooner, was always unrepentant about a notoriously off-color sense of humour and a series of diplomatic gaffes which led many foreign leaders to try to avoid being photographed near him," the Post said. Italians should have given him the boot years ago.


Julian Cuthbertson said...

This is an awful and unfortunate turn of events but I feel that far too many people choose to chime in on this case riding the moral high horse and saying "I would have done this", "I would have done that".

Ghoul said...

Judge Leslie Dutchcot was also a frequent donor to local, state, and Congressional Democrats.

Veronica said...

While I certainly support protective whistleblower laws for individuals who act in good faith to report corruption or wrongdoing I sincerely hope (and believe) it does not apply in McQueary's case.

Were McQueary to be terminated it would not be for reporting Sandusky to his supervisor (which he allegedly did). McQueary would be fired for walking away from an ongoing rape after neither stopping it nor making any attempt to aid the victim (as per his own grand jury testimony).

Bill Smith said...

I hope the punishment if he is found guilty is swift and severe. I'm just glad this didn't happen in Mecklenburg County where they name buildings after child molesters.

Nipsey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nipsey said...

Uh, OK, Ghoul. If you want to make this about politics, Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno are both registered Republicans. But don't let their devotion to the GOP detract from whatever idiotic point you were trying to make about the judge.

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