PA--Penn State trustees won't revisit Freeh report
For immediate release: Tuesday, Oct. 28
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
We applaud Penn State’s trustees for refusing to revisit the Freeh report. This is a step toward healing and away from unhealthy defensiveness.
Maybe more investigation into the Jerry Sandusky scandal is needed. But that can happen without trashing investigations that have already happened.
Joe Paterno is deceased. His defenders should move on. They should accept the widespread consensus that their hero could and should have done more to protect kids from Sandusky. And they should know that defending Paterno rubs salt into the wounds of child sex abuse victims who are adults and helps to silence child sex abuse victims who are still young.
No one is saying that the Freeh report is perfect or that those who commissioned it were purely unselfish. But any imperfections – in the report or in people’s motivations – pale beneath the harm that would come from re-opening a public debate by vociferous football fans over just which Penn state officials were complicit for how long and to what degree in the crimes and cover ups surrounding the Sandusky matter.
We hope the board’s minority will now shift their focus away from trying to restore the reputation of a powerful, popular deceased coach and onto trying to heal the wounds of suffering victims and protecting the safety of vulnerable children.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.