Penn State Sex Abuse Scandal: The Ugliness and Truth Students Need To Know

John BartramCorrespondent IINovember 11, 2011

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 10: Police try to control students and those in the community as they fill the streets and react after football head coach Joe Paterno was fired during the Penn State Board of Trustees Press Conference, in downtown Penn State, in the early morning hours on November 10, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Paterno and Spanier have lost their positions amid allegations that former former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

When I was 11 years old, I was sexually assaulted by our family doctor.  Multiple times.  My mother sat 20 feet away in the waiting room while it was happening.  I never told her. 

When I was 14, I was raped by the neighborhood pastor.  He sat in my living room and had dinner with my mother and I, a number of times.

I came from a single parent family in a place and a time when it was unusual.  I was a troubled teenager.  I was the perfect prey for a predator.  I was the type of person Jerry Sandusky, if the allegations are true, sought out.

I'm 52 years old now.  I spent 30 years following these incidents in a life of alcohol, drugs, depression, two failed marriages, too many failed relationships to count and am now alone, but at peace.  The "silver lining" is the two wonderful children I have from one of those marriages.

The first time I ever spoke of these incidents was to tell my brother.  I was 50 years old.

There are no words in the English language to describe how I would feel if I found out an adult had witnessed one of these sick acts and did little to nothing.

I would feel the exact same way if I then discovered that three other grown, adult men of stature and authority knew about it and did nothing.

If these men, and I use that term with disgust, had intervened, done what was moral and just, my entire life may have been different.

I may have gotten the help I needed at that time, when I needed it.

I would have been as filled with as much rage at these men as I was with the sick bastards that did those heinous things to me a child.

Part of that rage would come from the fact that their inactions allowed these rapists to continue to prey on other children and ruin their lives as mine was ruined.

Over the last five to seven years, I have become an expert on the Catholic Priest Rape scandal.  I abhor the term "abuse."  It's called rape.  I've read dozens of books, researched and done extensive writing on the subject.

I've learned how devastating silence can be. 

Silence leads to more victims spreading out like the roots of a tree.

So, while you mourn the loss of your football coach, think a little deeper.  Think of those children and that they will likely have lives like I did.

If the charges are true, Jerry Sandusky is the true criminal.  I do not argue that for a second.

McQueary, Curley, Schultz and yes, your can-do-no-wrong Paterno are also guilty.

I have every right to say that as fact.  You have no right to tell me I'm wrong.