PA- Victims blast new Paterno statue

For immediate release: Thursday, April 24, 2014

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003,

It breaks our hearts to see Penn State alums acting so irresponsibly by erecting a privately-funded new statue to Joe Paterno.

Penn State officials should denounce this callous move.

Paterno was not the most egregious wrongdoer in the Jerry Sandusky horror. But it's clear that, at best, he should have done more and at worst, he was a part of a school bureaucracy that turned a blind eye to suspicions about Sandusky's crimes.

This hurtful decision will deter victims, witnesses and whistleblowers in child sex cases from protecting kids by reporting abuse, by reinforcing their often-justified pessimism that adult wrongdoers matter more than wounded kids and their fear that even if they speak up, powerful and popular grownups will usually escape being exposed or punished for ignoring or concealing child sex crimes.

It will further victimize those already victimized - at Penn State and elsewhere - by child molesters, by showing them that many adults are willing to ignore or minimize their pain and honor a wrongdoer so they can feel good about a football team.

A doctor's first job is to "do no harm." In child sex cases, that's the job of every caring adult. These alums are, in fact, doing harm. They should know better.

Those who donated are putting the reputation of a deceased wrongdoer ahead of the healing of child rape victims. They are doing precisely what hundreds of Catholic officials and other complicit church staff have done for decades: putting more value on the reputation of an institution than on the safety of kids and the healing of victims.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 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 

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003, [email protected])

Showing 16 comments

  • Annette Kissell Nestler
    commented 2014-04-28 18:53:04 -0500
    People seeing the Vatican and other Religious, all male dominated institutions, for what they really are, will make, all the difference. There mindset leads to the “Culture of Silence” SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!!! Tim, SNAP was founded by Barbara Blaine, who was abused by a priest, but the scope of SNAP has grow immensely, through the years. These same issues, lie within all institutions and all roads, lead back to the Vatican.
  • Tim Berton
    commented 2014-04-28 18:10:34 -0500
    This seems way outside the scope of SNAP because neither Paterno and Sandusky was a “religious figure.”

    It also seem very unfair to condemn a dead man who was never charged with a crime and who testified against Sandusky, the convicted child abuser.

    The much larger problem is that PA police, prosecutors, and child protection agencies (CYS and DPW) failed horribly in the Sandusky case, and are probably failing for many other children at this very moment. Denigrating a dead Paterno does nothing to protect those children from abuse.
  • Annette Kissell Nestler
    commented 2014-04-26 09:15:52 -0500
    The whole issue about “going to the police”, is a joke! My abuser was a NJ State Psychologist, who was trained in criminology, affliated with 8 counties of superior court, in NJ and doing the NJ police psychologicals. Yes, you read correctly, DOING THE PSYCHOLOGICALS FOR THE NJ POLICE DEPTS. What does that tell you??? Back to my earlier statement that it is a “Culture of sexual silence” that begins at the Vatican. Francis just made it clear that one DOES NOT have to report. All roads lead back to these sick men, that live their lives saying one thing and doing another!!!
  • Ralph Hall
    commented 2014-04-26 01:09:01 -0500
    I am a survivor and i am trying to row the same boat.Speaking for myself i just commented on my abuser and the connection.My Agenda is healing and change and to stop further abuse also
    WE Are All in this learning and growing.The immense scope of this is mindblowing it may be just about all of us.Congrats on the effort with helping the children thats whats important here.
  • Terry Gamble
    commented 2014-04-26 00:08:25 -0500
    It saddens me that people are so blinded by hatred towards “Penn State” and “Joe Paterno” that they fail to see the “BIGGER Picture”. I’m even more disturbed that a group which published Mission Statement is to protect children from abuse, advocates “The Light of Truth”, and seeks “Justice”, yet publicly condemns Penn State Alumni for having a similar mission:
    Some Penn State Alum seek:
    1. To bring to the forefront the failures of the numerous State Agencies of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, specifically charged with the welfare of children.
    2. To bring attention to the convenient, Disney-like ending to the Sandusky Horror, by placing sole blame on a devout Catholic (a very public one, at that) who lived his entire life according to his Faith. Ms. Dorris says “But it’s clear that, at best, he should have done more and at worst, he was a part of a school bureaucracy that turned a blind eye to suspicions about Sandusky’s crimes.”
    What should Joe Paterno have done in 1998, when the PA State Attorney General exonerated Sandusky? Should Paterno, while coaching his football team, have conducted his own investigation? With all due respect, I believe he, as any of us would have, relied upon the expertise of Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Agencies.
    3. I agree with Ms. Dorris’ admonition that “A doctor’s first job is to ‘do no harm.’” Why isn’t SNAP and Ms. Dorris questioning the Doctor to whom Mike McQueary first reported his suspicion? As a mandatory First Reporter, Dr. Dranov was charged with calling the Police. Instead, he advised McQueary to talk to Joe Paterno the next day… THE NEXT DAY… Now, as a hearsay witness, Joe Paterno reported what McQueary admitted was a “watered down” version, to both the Athletic Director and the Head of Campus Police. (Their trials are upcoming…We shall see.)
    This has been a very carefully orchestrated Public Witch Hunt to fault a man who exemplified “Success With Honor” all of his life, and distracts from the “True Enablers of Child Pedophilia.” I am deeply saddened that SNAP, instead of researching the TRUTH, for the sake of the children they purport to protect, conveniently bought into the FICTION of the News Media.
    As she is neither God nor Jesus, I find it extremely offensive that Ms. Dorris has the audacity to act as Judge, Jury, and Executioner of Joe Paterno, as evidenced by her declaration of him as a “deceased wrongdoer”! (Perhaps she has not sinned, but she certainly cast that first stone!)
    Ms. Dorris further condemns all Penn State Alumni who show respect for the legacy of a philanthropist. She seemingly equates this respect to a blatant disregard for child rape victims. I’d like to assure Ms. Dorris that NOTHING could be further from her carefully scripted “Truth”. (Quite frankly, Penn Stater’s possess the ability to “Multi-Task”!)
    WE ARE…Challenging the Pennsylvania State Agencies specifically charged with the Welfare of Children, as to why they failed ALL of Sandusky’s victims!
    WE ARE…Asking why then Attorney General, now Governor, Tom Corbett, did NOT prosecute Sandusky in 1998, yet accepted hundreds of thousands for his Gubernatorial Bid from Sandusky’s Charity, The Second Mile?
    WE ARE…Questioning why PA State Agencies allowed Sandusky to continue to adopt children?
    WE ARE…Challenging the Penn State Board of Trustees, and asking for full disclosure of what THEY knew, when THEY knew it, and WHY, despite Paterno’s dismissal of him in 1999, Sandusky was still allowed access to Penn State facilities?
    WE ARE…Wondering why the WORLD believes the man who ALWAYS took the High Road in both Football and Life, who fired Sandusky in 1999, and who objected to the Penn State Board of Trustees unprecedented “Emeritus” status bestowed upon Sandusky, is…according to 58% of the WORLD, “The Pedophile.” (Yes…The World, despite the facts, believes Joe Paterno IS the pedophile!)
    WE ARE…The largest Student Run Philanthropic on Earth! (FTK..”For The Kids” with Pediatric Cancer.)
    WE ARE…The largest Alumni Association on Planet Earth!
    WE ARE…Success with Honor!
  • Ralph Hall
    commented 2014-04-25 22:42:38 -0500
    His own words and action are proof of need of change.He knows better than anyone what the issue is he was there.Its not my call in the end if i can prove that god is or an afterlife is there but i think we all know.Now god has Joe and i pray for him and his Family.My prayers are with you and yours Chris.
  • Christopher Miller
    commented 2014-04-25 22:06:15 -0500
    I agree, if Joe participated in the cover up I would not defend him in any way. No mater how good a man he was the prior 40-50 years. My issue is there is no proof that he participated in the cover up and you can’t prosecute a man without proof. This is what the media and SNAP are doing. Prosecuting without proof.
  • Ralph Hall
    commented 2014-04-25 18:54:11 -0500
    Hi Chris
    If he seen smoke comming out of his own house he would do alot i would assume and for the 40 years i knew of this i am sure he could have shed more light on what really happens but that money and other issues come into play here it was put to bed.You cant cross the big boys line and get anywhere or so they assume.
  • Christopher Miller
    commented 2014-04-25 17:39:31 -0500
    Hi Ralph, Paterno immediately reported it to his boss and police. So I ask you, how is that nothing? What more would you have done having not witnessed it yourself and only going on the word of someone else?
  • Ralph Hall
    commented 2014-04-25 16:19:13 -0500
    He Knew and did nothing.
  • Christopher Miller
    commented 2014-04-25 14:52:24 -0500
    Paterno went to the police. If he was trying to cover it up, why did he do that? If you read the real facts in this case, Joe did nothing wrong. He never admitted to doing anything wrong. Even the grand jury said he did nothing wrong. Everyone involved in a bad situation could now look back and wish they did more which is what Joe said. You want to blame someone, blame the university for not taking Sandusky’s access to the facilities away. Blame the 2nd mile for not limiting access to children to a man who has been accused of abuse. Blame the district attorney for not convicting him in the first accusation. Why blame a man who did what he was supposed too once he heard of it? You can’t look at the Freech report bc it’s based on speculation and opinion if you read the whole thing. Not facts. This is why people are defending Joe. Not bc they are fans or alumni. Because there is no facts to support he did anything wrong.
  • Annette Kissell Nestler
    commented 2014-04-25 14:35:52 -0500
    Christopher, I disagree, with your statement. It starts with the Vatican and priests, there is a cultural outgrowth from there, that is very sick. Victims/Survivors and their families hear the screams, in the night.
  • Christopher Miller
    commented 2014-04-25 14:14:28 -0500
    This has nothing to do with Priests so stay out of it. Especially when you obviously don’t have the facts and are just listening to the media.
  • Ralph Hall
    commented 2014-04-24 23:36:09 -0500
    My Abuser called Penn st. over 40 years ago to get me in there.They know what the truth is.
  • Barbara Dorris
    followed this page 2014-04-24 23:33:21 -0500
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