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Allegations of Sexual Abuse Leads to Widespread Fallout at Penn State

The fallout from allegations of sexually abusing children can be enormous, even tarnishing the reputation of a storied college football program and costing leaders of the football program and the school their jobs (even though they are not personally accused of sex crimes).

Jerry Sandusky, the former defensive coordinator of Penn State's football team, is accused of sexually abusing eight boys over the span of 15 years. Sandusky, who maintains that he is innocent, faces 40 criminal charges for sexual abuse.

In 1998, Penn State was made aware of concerns over Sandusky's behavior after a mother complained that Sandusky had taken a shower with her 11-year-old son at the Penn State football facilities. After an investigation, no charges were filed against Sandusky.

Then, in 2002, it is alleged that a then-graduate assistant, and current assistant coach, witnessed Sandusky engaging in sexual relations with a young-boy in the Penn State locker room showers. The graduate assistant claims that he stopped the abuse, although not physically. Further, the graduate assistant reported the incident to Penn State's head football coach the following day; the allegations were then passed along to the school's athletic director and a senior vice president of the university.

Claims of covering up the allegations of abuse - possibly starting with the 1998 allegations - have resulted in the head coach, athletic director, senior vice president and the president of Penn State all losing their jobs. The assistant coach who claims to have witnessed the 2002 is currently on administrative leave.

Sandusky admitted to an NBC News program that he showered and horsed around with boys following workouts. However, he claimed that he was innocent of the charges.

It is important to remember that, as of yet, Sandusky has not been committed of a crime, whether Sandusky is guilty or innocent will be determined by a court of law. However, the mere allegations of sexual abuse of young boys led to speculation about Sandusky and the Penn State football program, speculation that cost several people their jobs.

Due to the nature of the allegations, even people who are falsely accused of committing child molestation may be subject to the stigma that follows these and other sexual offenses. Along with prison time, a conviction for child molestation can have long-lasting effects such as registering as a sex offender and restrictions on where person can live and work.

Source: http://www.startribune.com/sports/133868233.html

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