Thursday, March 15, 2012

To the Jerry Sandusky Victims Who Have Not Come Forward:

As of this writing, former Penn State Assistant Football Coach Jerry Sandusky is charged with sexually abusing ten boys during the course of 15 years.

Everyone who knows anything about sexual predators know that this number represents just a tiny fraction of the actual number of boys  who were molested by Sandusky. There are likely hundreds of victims out there.

Some of them may have spoken up when they were children and been ignored, some of them may have been quietly hiding the truth forever.

Before I decided to speak up and say something to authorities, when, as an adult, everything began falling apart, I was very afraid of what would happen to me if I spoke up, and reported to authorities. I was afraid that I would be seen as culpable because I didn’t report when I was a child, I was afraid that I could be compelled to testify against my will, facing the gut wrenching embarrassment in court. Everything was falling apart, and I just wanted to hide.

I was following the news of the scumbag who molested me when I was a child. I had been looking for news for years, and when news finally broke, I posted comments on a message board. Ultimately I made contact with a person who was looking for victims to come forward to help the DA build their case. I finally did come forward. I used a throw-away cell phone to call the police, and asked about what would happen to me if I gave them my name. After talking to the officer, reassured that they wouldn’t want someone on the stand who didn’t want to be there,  I went in and filed a report.

I’m not going to mislead you: the path has not been easy. I didn’t get to testify; in general, things did not go well during the trial or aftermath. It’s still traumatic to this very moment, and probably always will be.  But I did sit in the courtroom during the trial and faced the devil himself. I sat in the front row, from time to time, and I looked into his eyes as he lied on the stand, he was staring right into my eyes while he was letting the bullshit flow from between his lips. Even though he won, I still beat that piece of shit, and I know that he knows it. That alone made my speaking up worth it, I wouldn't have been there if I hadn't ever spoken up. It was better, I think, than if I had not spoken up.

If you’re one of the victims of Sandusky, old or young, dying inside, wanting to speak up, but also afraid to, I’d urge you to contact authorities, a lawyer, anyone, talk to them anonymously, if you're more comfortable doing it that way. Ask them about what the next steps are. Most people investigating this kind of crime understand why you'd want more assurances before giving them your name. In my case, the officer was very understanding, and gave me facts with no pressure. I told him I'd think about it and call him back. Again, no pressure, he stated that he'd be ready to take my report if I wanted to do it. I hung up without giving him my name, and then called him back later, when I was ready.

The victims of Dr. Ayres and Jerry Sandusky cases have much in common. High profile predators in a position of power with unlimited access to children -- Sandusky through his charity, Ayres through his child psychiatry practice.  Both Sandusky and Ayres were protected and enabled by institutions, authorities, and colleagues, who either turned a blind eye to the abuse or were too cowardly to contact police. 

Sandusky victims: what you went through and continue to go through mirrors what so many of the victims of Ayres are experiencing now. To that end, we'd be happy to help put you in touch with authorities and/or legal representatives, or just to talk about what we went through, and perhaps what to expect.

Call and leave a message if you want: 650-762-9737. The number is a voice-mail number, and no one ever answers it directly, We'll return your call later.

1 comment:

  1. Ayres victims from Boston: please email us or call the number above as well. We would love to hear from you, too.