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July 12, 2012   |     |   Print

The Similarities Between the Penn State Sex Abuse Scandal and the Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Scandal - Freeh Report on Penn Sate Attached

Tremont & Sheldon published this comparison in November 2011 after the Penn State Abuse scandal came to national attention. We thought it was timely to publish this again on our website and also have a link to the new Freeh Report on Penns State (available by clicking here or a pdf is attached to this article).

In his press release Mr. Freeh stated the following in regards to his findings and report:

"Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State. The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized. Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky’s victims until after Sandusky’s arrest."

Our original article now follows....

After seeing this quote in an Op Ed piece written by Maureen Dowd in The New York Times “Like the Roman Catholic Church, Penn State is an arrogant institution hiding behind its mystique. And sports, as my former fellow sports columnist at The Washington Star, David Israel, says, is “an insular world that protects its own, and operates outside of societal norms as long as victories and cash continue to flow bountifully.” Penn State rakes in $70 million a year from its football program.”

Tremont & Sheldon starting looking at he Penn State sex abuse scandal and the clergy sex abuse scandal and found that they have an alarming amount of similarities. In both instances:

1. Horrific acts of sexual abuse were overlooked “for the good of institution”;

2. Money flowing into the coffers of the institutions and power triumphed over all else; and

3. Covering up the abuse and intentional failure to report the abuse to authoritie(even when required by law to do so) was the policy used.

One difference is that a Grand Jury performed an investigation backed by the state’s attorney and was able to prepare a full investigation unobstructed by the institution and with abacking of criminal prosecution for perjury (which occurred). (Grand jury report available at bottom of this article.)

With respect to the Diocese cases, there was never a criminal investigation as the Diocese never reported the abuse as required by law. Further complaints were ignored, documents hidden in secret archives then destroyed. Fortunately, through the strength of our clients in coming forward and our years of active litigation and discovery; we were able to show proof that the Diocese knew of the sexualabuse of minors and let it continue.

We continue to represent victims of clergy sexual abuse and have over one dozen matters pending. In addition, we represent many other victims of sexual abuse that occurred in schools and other settings.

A former client upon hearing about the Penn State abuse recently summed it up: “When you sacrifice people for money, it is as dirty as it gets”.

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