Amid the continued fallout at Penn State University over the sexual abuse of minors scandal that has recently come to light, football coach Joe Paterno has been dismissed, according to the Washington Post and many other media outlets. The decision was made last night by the school’s board of trustees and the move was made public at a news conference and a Happy Valley area hotel.
The Board of Trustees also decided to dismiss the university president as well. So far four school administrators have been fired due to the scandal which started when Jerry Sandusky was recently arrested on allegations of sexually abusing at least eight boys between 1994 and 2009. Sandusky was Penn State footfall’s defensive coordinator for many years under Joe Paterno, until he unexpectedly retired in 1999 at age 55.
After the announcement was made, large groups of students took to the streets of campus, tearing down lampposts and knocking over a news van. Another more subdued crowd gathered in front of the coach’s house just off of campus.
Paterno had been head coach at Penn State since 1966 and has won an NCAA record 409 games, including two national titles.
While the horrific events that went on at the University involving sexual abuse are still unclear and many of the reports differ, Chicago sex abuse attorneys at our firm hope the story shines a spotlight on the issue and the tragic consequences for the victims.
According to the American Academy of Children & Adolescent Psychiatry, sex abuse of a child has been reported up to 80,000 times per year, however the number of unreported abuse cases is far greater. This is often due to a child being afraid to report what has occurred.
After being abused, a minor can develop many different problems and negative behaviors. Victims often develop low self-esteem, become withdrawn and mistrustful of adults, and can also become suicidal. Later in life abused children are much more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, and experience many different issues regarding their sexuality.
The Penn State scandal also highlights the need to come forward and report suspected child sex abuse to the proper authorities. If you see something, say something. Often, the person reporting the abuse will be taking a great step forward in preventing other children from suffering the same consequences. Most often an abuser will not have one victim, but will have many victims over many years.
Illinois priest abuse lawyers at our firm often hear from victims that they feel like their childhoods were taken away from them. Our office is currently working on several sex abuse cases, most of them against the Chicago Archdiocese.
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