Archive for June, 2012
By Attorney David Engler
“I would be totally shocked by an acquittal”, said Joseph Amendola, the lawyer for the alleged serial pedophile Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky.
Those are not the words you want to see come out of your defense attorney’s mouth as a jury deliberates whether you should go to jail for the rest of your sorry life for being this nation’s most infamous pedophile. Right after the defense lawyer was done speaking, the Judge summoned the lawyers back into chambers probably to remind them all there was a gag order. A gag order can be adopted by a court particularly when it is a case heard by a jury. By the way, the victim’s testimony on the stand would have caused any person to gag. And as the jury was starting to select the foreperson, Jerry Sandusky’s 33 year old ADOPTED son said he was molested as well. Oh yeah, another young man who didn’t testify and was not seeking civil damages said he was molested over 100 times by the man who lured boys into his sick clutches by bestowing gifts and running a charity for troubled children, most without a father figure.
Perhaps the lawyer was stating the obvious or maybe he was setting his client up for an ineffective assistance of counsel claim since he also sat by Sandusky on national television as he stumbled over the question of do young boys sexually attract him.
But what is most striking about the case is that it is hard to spot a pervert. This was a football coach working for Joe Paterno. He was the dean of Linebacker U. He ran a charity to help kids, he fostered children and even adopted them.
In a recent case, I represent a mother trying to annul an adoption by a stepparent because she learned the husband/father was not who she thought him to be. And her concerns about sexual abuse where met with the same type of responses so many women get who raise the issue. They are perceived as playing the “abuse card”. The timing of their complaints is called into question. The shocking truth is that most of the complaints are true but difficult to prove. Guardian ad litem appointed to see to the welfare of the children, become themselves manipulated by the abuser. The GALs are poorly trained to understand the complexities of abuse allegations and unfamiliar with the body of scholarly research that suggests most of these complaints should be taken seriously.
In Trumbull County, Ohio the case worker displayed the amazing lack of understanding that an assessment done before a stepparent adoption should not be taken any less lightly than any other non-relative adoption. The case worker actually said the mother should have known these things about the man she married. The caseworker was unfamiliar with the notion that a pedophile will groom the mother and the victim. And this is the case worker who does the assessments before an adoption takes place in Trumbull County. If the public knew how little the assessor understood the importance of her job, they would be outraged and frightened for the children.
If the Jerry Sandusky case has brought any good it might be an increased awareness that pedophiles adopt, pedophiles want to be foster parents and pedophiles work on keeping themselves cloaked and their victims silenced. Please understand that there is nothing these victims could receive that could replace what was stolen from them. Jerry Sandusky in jail forever would simply be a small part of justice.