PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — What did Joe Paterno know and when did he know it?
When a graduate assistant saw former coach Jerry Sandusky raping a boy in the locker room showers in March 2002, it was Paterno to whom the witness first turned. Paterno quickly called athletic director Tim Curley.
“We believe that under the statute he had an obligation to report it to the school administrators and he did that,” said PA Attorney General Linda Kelly.
But Duquesne law professor Nick Cafardi, an expert on child abuse law, says ethically more was expected.
“The larger question is what happens when you do report to your superior — and it’s their job to report to the authorities and you find out that they don’t. At that point, you’ve met your legal obligation but there is another obligation, a deeper moral ethical obligation.”
- Read The Entire Grand Jury Presentment (WARNING: Contains Graphic Material)
- Watch The Attorney General’s Full Press Conference
Paterno, apparently, made no effort to follow up. Cafardi says, sadly, that’s human nature.
“You put those institutional and personal interests above the interests of the children.”
Paterno disputes that he was told the details of what the grand jury reports, saying of the witness, “he at no time related to me the very specific actions contained in the grand jury report.”
“It could well be that he didn’t get the full story. That’s not unusual. People have a hard time being very explicit when they’re detailing sexual acts between adults and children.”
But did Paterno know of Sandusky’s hugging a boy in the shower back in 1998, when he was still on Paterno’s staff? Questions yet to be answered.
Even if Joe Paterno did everything right legally, these unanswered questions, many fear, are likely to blemish his otherwise remarkable career.
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