Jerry Sandusky Abuse Case Makes Us Wonder About His Own Kids


Jerry SanduskyOf all the questions surrounding the sex abuse case at Penn State, there's one that I keep coming back to. Why didn't child protective services spot the pedophile allegedly lurking inside former coach Jerry Sandusky years ago? Isn't that their job?

After all, while Sandusky was allegedly abusing young football players, he and wife Dottie Sandusky were adopting and fostering kids left and right. The system was trusting a man who seems to be a very bad dude. And why not? He wasn't just a coach at The Second Mile; he'd founded the charity to help at-risk kids by introducing them to football. On the surface it screamed "this guy is good for kids."

But when people are allowed to take the fragile kids of the foster system into their homes, what's on the surface isn't enough. These kids have already suffered the indignity of being removed from their homes, and the person entrusted with their care has to be above reproach. In a country riddled with CPS cases that make the people at these protective agencies look overworked at best, like complete buffoons at worst, the allegations that Sandusky was abusing young boys may rank up there as one of their classic failures.

How did a guy like Jerry Sandusky adopt six kids? How did he become a foster father to many more?

More on Penn State Scandal: Only a Coward Sees a Child Being Raped and Does Nothing

I can't help wondering if the system saw his work with The Second Mile and made assumptions about his character. Yes, Sandusky made it a point to work with children. But what do we know about the classic molester? That's what he (or she) does. They buy the house next to the playground. They become the Scout master. They ingratiate themselves into the world of children.

If the allegations against him prove true, Sandusky was a hypocrite. He pretended to help kids in order to get close to them. He helped them to hurt them.

That isn't to say, of course, that everyone who works with kids is suspect. There are millions of adults who are involved in the lives of kids every day, everywhere who are doing it for the right reasons. But when one of those people is adopting and fostering kids out of the system, their particular motivation should certainly be investigated thoroughly. A child's life is at stake, and no stone should be left unturned.

More on Penn State Scandal: How Could Jerry Sandusky's Wife Not Have Known?

Even if he didn't hurt his own kids (and trust me, I'm hoping for their sakes that he did not!), the fact is those children were sent into the home of a man who obviously was not properly vetted by the system.

Have you had any experience with the foster care/adoption vetting process?



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nonmember avatar CM_writer

I had this exact same thought. They had no biological children, only adopted children. Did CPS come in to check on them after the 1998 report? And who has talked to them now? It is not far fetched to believe that he kept that basement room in his home for the purpose of raping children.

rocke... rocketracer

A creeper knows how to go after his prey.

Cold_... Cold_Feets

This story makes me scary that there's so many trusted people who'll hurt your children...

nonmember avatar CJ

Keep in mind that his children are much older now and that none of them were living in the home during any of the allegations. He is 67 years old and adopted his children nearly 40 years ago. If you could read, you'd notice that these incidents started in the 90's... "checking on" his kids would be visiting their own established homes in other states. Read the facts. I do believe that this is a serious case of manipulation and deceit. His family shouldn't be held liable for 1 man's horrific actions.

nonmember avatar jennw

The thing is, there is no way to "vet" a potential child molester who has no record of being accused, arrested or convicted of doing so. This man had no record, and it (it appears) plenty of people willing to cover up his behavior even when he WAS discovered abusing children. The reality is that most people who abuse children KNOW those children. They will abuse them if given the chance, so the only real way to stop or prevent that from happening is to 1) empower children about their rights and their bodies. 2) BELIEVE them when they cry out. 3) TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS if you suspect something is going on between an adult and a child. Many kids continue to suffer while adults worry about the potential fallout of digging a little deeper into those misgivings.

Karen Schuldt

It doesn't mean anything that they weren't living in the home at the time of the allegations. I would venture to guess that his pedophilic ways began way before the first allegations! Unlikely that he started when he was in his 50s.

doll0302 doll0302

If someone has not been accussed or convicted of being a child molester, then how would you know? His kids are way older, and the only thing you can do now is just question if it happened to them. I do have issue with this man being with so many children unsupervised. As a mom, i would find that suspicious. I would not let my child stay at a coach's home, and take road trips with them where they share a room without my being there. I feel like some of the parent's instincts were off in that sense. But that is IMO. 

nonmember avatar c m b

Your article is so misinformed. If you knew anything about the foster care system, one thing that you should understand that they are seriously understaffed and underfunded. If you have a couple asking to help children that are from undesirable backgrounds, you will be investigated. Sandusky is used to being in the spotlight and knows how to act in public. He can turn on the charm when it suits him. If you think the wife should have known-you are seriously misguided there, too. I was a victim of sexual abuse for five years of my childhood and my own mother never knew. I was told that if I said anything that my family would be killed. So...if you also want to post that victims should come right forward with their stories, and not wait-they may have been told the same-it's common. How would you expect a naive 8-year old to react to somebody saying "I'll kill your mom if you tell!" Get your facts straight

nonmember avatar Edward

Blame can be put on the system however, we can't exclude the fact that it is The Coach that committed the alleged crime. Whether it was to his foster kids or not, you can rest assured that it was a practice behavior that gave him the confidence to even imagine he could get away with it. The Coach has done this before.

nonmember avatar Bridget

Anybody know the ages of Jerry Sandusky's adopted kids?

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