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Penn State Scandal Reminds us that Teachers, Coaches and Churches Must Report Abuse

November 14, 2011  ·  By HM&M


Last week, Penn State reached settlement agreements with seven men who were sexually abused by the school’s former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky was convicted last June on 45 counts of child sex abuse and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison. Penn State has reportedly set aside $60 million to settle claims related to Sandusky’s abuse.

I am pleased to see that Sandusky’s victims are receiving compensation from Penn State, but no amount of money can fully make up for years of incompetence and malfeasance at Penn State. Penn State provided Sandusky with a platform, authority, power and, most importantly, access to young children that enabled him to groom and then sexually abuse numerous young boys. Worse yet, leaders at Penn State failed to act when confronted with overwhelming evidence that Sandusky was a predatory pedophile. This failure to act led to the abuse of countless innocent young boys.

The Penn State sexual abuse scandal reveals a pattern of conduct that the trial lawyers at Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. are well acquainted with—a man in a position of power at a loved and respected institution uses his position to abuse children, and the officers of the institution not only refuse to stop the evil conduct, but actively work to protect the abuser. In our experience, that same pattern has consistently played out when we investigate allegations of sexual abuse by priests and brothers affiliated with the Catholic Church and troop leaders in the Boy Scouts.

November 14, 2011

Penn State Abuse Scandal Reveals Same Pattern as Catholic Church Sexual Abuse

The Penn State sexual abuse scandal reminds us as trial lawyers that large institutions that deal with children do a terrible job of policing themselves when it comes to child sexual abuse. Institutions like the Catholic Church, and its Archdioceses in Chicago, Milwaukee and Boston, for example, have failed to respond to the problem of... Read More

November 14, 2011

Catholic Bishop Hid Evidence of Priest's Child Pornography from Parishoners

From roughly the 1950's to the 1980's, child sexual abuse by clergy occurred across the country virtually unchecked. Churches, including but not limited to the Catholic Church, hid allegations of sexual abuse. The Church clearly put its reputation ahead of innocent victims for many years by hiding abuse committed by its employees. As reported in... Read More

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