There is a special kind of hell for people like Jerry Sandusky, and now, Richard Koca, a man who also positioned himself as a major advocate of "at-risk" youth, is being accused of similar crimes. Koca, the founder of StandUp for Kids -- a national homeless youth advocacy group -- is charged with repeatedly sexually assaulting a child over a three-year period. Am I the only one saying enough is f!@$)&! ENOUGH?
Both Koca (if he is guilty) and Sandusky used their positions in similar ways. But they aren't alone. Recent child molestation scandals have hit the church, the Boy Scouts, and now, two organizations for children who were vulnerable. These are all places where children should be able to go for help. The latter two organizations -- both The Second Mile (Sandusky's youth organization) and StandUp for Kids -- were specifically designed to serve at-risk kids.
Vulnerable kids with little adult supervision make great victims. Somehow this makes it even sicker.
People like Sandusky (and possibly Koca) purposely seek out children who have no one to tell. They manipulate them and use their position to hurt them.
Whether Koca is guilty or not, he won't be the last person ever accused of something like this. Child molesters are smart. They know how to find victims. They become involved in organizations -- like the Boy Scouts, like the Catholic Church, like Penn State -- that will cover their actions.
As parents, it puts us in a very difficult position. How do we protect our children when predators know how to hide in plain sight? Is every person who wants to work with kids a potential molester? There are days I think like that.
If a person like Sandusky or Koca (if he is guilty) can build an entire life around exploiting a population that needs help, care, and love, then what is to stop anyone from being like that? We want to believe the monsters our kids fear aren't real. The bogeyman isn't under their bed. There is no killer in the closet.
Then you hear stories like this and you wonder. If Koca is guilty, I hope the child he abused gets help and I hope he is never back out in the general population. Kicking people, especially children, when they are already down is a crime beyond comprehension. People like Sandusky are sick and deserve zero compassion.
Do you worry about your kids around everyone?
Image via State Records NSW/Flickr