' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Sandusky is not alone in abusing adopted children

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sandusky is not alone in abusing adopted children

"Adoption, that's an opportunity to enrich your own life and hopefully enrich the life of another. It's been a very positive experience for us. A kid is a kid. Sometimes it's easier to deal with kids who don't have your own genes."--Jerry Sandusky (NO RELATION!) in a 2001 story in the Philadelphia Daily News. The occasion was the publication of Sandusky's book, Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story, and sport columnist Stan Hochman was writing a "positive piece about a guy helping disadvantaged kids." The story continues:

"Jerry  and Dottie Sandusky adopted six kids of their own, [emphasis added] while helping thousands of others through The Second Mile, a charitable foundation he organized." As we know today, Sandusky is the Penn State assistant football coach accused of multiple counts of sexually abusing young boys over a 15 year period, and that university officials covered up the scandal for years.

The latest rumor: that Sandusky was pimping young boys to rich donors to the athletic program at Penn State. 

What has outraged me the most about this sickening story is that Mike McQueary, the assistant coach who saw Sandusky allegedly raping an 10-year-old boy in the shower, did nothing about it at the time. He was 28 at the time. He was not a kid. He was a big strong guy, a former football player. He could have pulled Sandusky off the boy. He could have made a lot of noise to indicate he was there. He could have called the police at that moment. He could have stopped the abuse--news reports indicate there is at least one more boy abused after this incident--but he basically let down the boy, and the others who almost assuredly came after him. I say "alleged" but McQueary has sworn that he saw Sandusky performing anal sex on a boy. No one at the university alerted the police, or pursued the matter to determine the well-being of the child involved. In fact, the identity of that child remains unknown. Penn State was so intent on protecting it's reputation and its football program, that a nameless 10-year-old was sacrificed. A throw-away kid.

Instead of doing something that took some guts, McQueary told his father that evening about the rape. The next day he told Joe Paterno, the revered head coach at Penn State. Instead of calling the police, JoePa, as he was affectionately known at Penn State, directed McQueary to the school's athletic director and the finance director, who was quite directly in charge of the school's athletic program. Neither called the police. Instead, Sandusky was barred from bringing children on the university campus. Are you kidding me? Someone sees a child rape in progress and does nothing except pass the responsibility up the ladder, and then everyone does more of nothing? Years passed.

Was this the first time a red flag was raised about Sandusky? No. In 1998 local law enforcement authorities investigated charges that he had engaged in inappropriate acts and perhaps sexual activity with a boy in the football facility's showers. Though a janitor said that he had seen Sandusky in the shower with a boy, even after Sandusky “made admissions about inappropriate contact in the shower room” in to the Penn State campus police, nothing happened. In the end, no prosecution; child welfare agencies did nothing; Penn State did nothing. Neither did the people in charge at the charity for troubled youth that Sandusky founded and was intimately involved in.

According to prosecutors, Sandusky preyed on young boys he met through the charity he founded years earlier, Second Mile, which was designed to help disadvantaged boys. The charity released a statement Monday that said the organization’s chief executive was told of McQueary's charge, but an internal investigation found no wrongdoing. “At no time was the Second Mile made aware of the very serious allegations contained in the grand jury report,” the statement said. Now wait a moment--the chief executive hears that a grad student (McQueary) has sworn that he has seen Sandusky raping a boy in the shower; and an internal investigation finds no wrong doing? One can only assume that the "investigation" consisted of asking Sandusky if he had raped anyone--surely they used gentler language--and he denied it, and the boy? What boy? How many of these kids were adopted or in foster care? I'd put money on quite a few.

Not all the kids involved were adopted. The mother of one of the boys who had a lot of sleep-overs at the Sanduskys gave an interview at Good Morning America and she appears to be the boy's first and only mother. But given that the Sanduskys adopted six, that he started a charity for at-risk boys, a lot of the boys were surely adopted or foster kids. Just the other day we wrote about the adopted children who died at the hands of evangelicals following the tenet to not spare the rod. Adopted kids and foster care kids are at high risk for sexual abuse, a fact that is conveniently overlooked by social workers who facilitate adoptions, and the whole adoption industry. Yet news reports are full of cases of the sexual abuse of adopted children, usually by their adopters. Numerous studies have documented the high rate of sexual abuse of foster children, up to four times higher than the rate of children in the general population.*

Then there's this: "Family values" presidential candidate Rick Santorum nominated Sandusky for a “Congressional Angels in Adoption Award” the same year that a Penn State graduate assistant spotted Sandusky allegedly performing a sex act with a young boy in a shower at the university’s athletic complex. “Its philosophy is simple: It is easier to develop a child than to rehabilitate an adult,” read the citation from Santorum in an awards dinner program dated Sept. 24, 2002. Santorum was a senator from Pennsylvania at the time.(The award has since been rescinded. Like that makes a difference.)

That may be the only true thing in the laudatory words in the citation directed at Sandusky.

While heads have rolled--finally--at Penn State, it is a case of too little too late. People lost jobs: Paterno; the university president, Graham Spanier; the athletic director, Tim Curley, and former finance official Gary Schultz. The last two were charged with failing to report an incident. As I write, McQueary had received death threats and will not be at the game this weekend.

As a personal note, as testimony of one, my daughter who was adopted was sexually abused by her adoptive grandmother's live-in companion. For years she told no one, not even the therapist her adoptive parents sent her to because Ed told her not to. He told her that her parents would not believe her, and  that her grandmother would not love her, which was hardly an issue, according to my daughter. She finally told everyone years later when she was a senior in high school, but it was too late to inform the police, and there was no corroborating evidence. Her adoptive parents had a hard time believing her, yet she exhibited many of the problems associated with someone who has been abused as a child. The trouble with this scenario is that making up sexual lies often is associated with children who have been sexually abused, putting all of us in a double bind.

Do I believe it happened? Yes, a thousand times yes.--lorraine
Read the Philly.com story quote Sandusky:  Judge this book by its cover

See also:  Adopted children killed by their parents as they "train" them

*"Children sexually Abused in foster/adoptive/homes" documenting some of the many cases of sexual abuse of adopted children reported in the media.
"Foster Care vs Family Preservation: The Track Record on Safety and Well-Being," National Coalition for  Child Protection Reform, summarizing numerous studies finding that the rate of sexual and physical abuse is substantially higher for children in foster care than children left in their own homes.


  1. This breaking story sickens me. I say breaking as we are still finding out who knew and chose to remain silent. These kids are first and foremost in my thoughts. They deserved so much more and better treatment.

    My question is still what about all the males this Sandusky adopted? My hunch is they too were sexually abused. Will we ever know the truth? Reminds me of the Catholic church sexual abuse cover ups, lying, to protect themselves.

  2. When I was 12, not quite 13, years old. I was placed in my first "permanent" foster home. The couple were young, only 11 years older than I was. They had just had their first (and only) child.

    I was not in the home two nights when I was woken by a quiet sound and a touch on my panties.....

    I was not there two months and the man had raped me numerous times.

    My father would have killed himself before he touched one of his daughters or his sons in that way.

    This foster "father" did not even have the grace to be ashamed when I confronted him in July of 2007.

    Abuse at the hands of strangers that are providing care for a child, without the benefit of cameras and particularly in situations where the child's veracity is questionable or questioned.... happens daily.

  3. So much for extensive background checks and "a better life" for those kids. I feel such impotent rage when I think about these kids and how their lives might have been if they had been left where nature put them, with their real families. Just proves what it's really about, money. Money makes you a fit parent these days apparently. Angel in Adoption my ass... the only angels in this warped and evil industry are the Search Angels who reunite us with our true families. He should be drawn and quartered.


  4. So tragic in any instance. Ugh.

  5. This whole story is extremely sickening. And triggering.

    I too was sexually abused when I was supposed to be living a "better life". And this abuser later when on to rape his adopted daughter as well.

    What I think should be done to child rapists isn't fit for printing.

  6. Thank you Lorraine for this blog, and sorry that your own daughter was also abused.

    The rampant abuse in adoption must be addressed. Society is lied to continually that it is "forever safe" and all the rest of the nonsense from the baby brokers as well as adopters.

    If anything as there is so much abuse in adoption society needs to be all the more aware for adopted kids and fostered kids too.

    This case is horrific but no surprise. Also there is no question that as this vile, disgusting piece of crap pedophile was an adopter it enabled him all the more. People saint adopters and they need to stop as that alone provides them with a guise.

    He should burn in hell for all of it too. He also fostered children, and on average these sick pedophile agents of hell can molest and rape up to 100-200 children and more in many cases. I suggest a cheap bullet to solve the problem!

  7. Most of society still thinks that any child given up for adoption will get a secure and loving home. That anyone who has such a heart that s/he would take a child not biologically related into their home must be a candidate for sainthood. Stories like this will tragically most likely be written off as anomalies. And adoption will still be pushed as a win-win-win.

    My heart breaks in a million pieces when I think of these children who already have endured the excruciating pain of being given away and then find themselves living in hell.


  8. The Sandusky story is horrific. The incidents of abuse of children by adoptive parents reported here are also horrific...but keep in mind that children living in institutions and group homes vs adoptive family are also at extremely high risk for abuse of every sort. My adopted daughter was physically and sexually abused in her orphanage. One of her tormentors was an older child -- for the first two years in the US, she was terrified we might run into him because he'd also been adopted and come to the US. There are many cases of orphanages in foreign countries "pimping out" children to other adults, much like the outrageous abuses at Penn State.

  9. What I see as the real horror here is that Sandusky set up and was using his "Second Mile" charity to select his child victims. Raping little boys under the guise of "helping" foster and troubled kids. It does not get lower or more premeditated than that. As Lori mentioned, foster care is rife with abuse and it is chilling that Sandusky was an adoptive and foster father. I hope his family will be honestly investigated.

    Yes, this is much akin to the Catholic pedophile coverup, as Jon Stewart so aptly pointed out in his piece on "the religion of football" and the similarities of coverup and hierarchy.

    On a very ironic note, Angels in Adoption has rescinded Sandusky's Angel award, in an attempt at damage control for their questionable organization. I wonder, do they now send him a cheesy little Devil lapel pin and demand back their Angel?

    I concur with previous posters that no punishment is too bad for pedophiles. Hang 'em high, at least.

  10. This blog is too sad and horrible One poster mentioned it was 'triggering'. I was not in foster care or abused by anyone in my family, but I was just one time sexually abused by a doctor when I was 9(similar to these poor young boys) and I know how profoundly my life was changed. When my mother brought me home I wouldn't sit down or eat anything that day, developed anorexia to the point they thought I would die , so my mother took me on a train ride to Florida and slowly I recovered,first just eating butter pecan ice cream and cottage cheese, then other things. My Dad took me to a psychiatrist and when I wouldn't talk and just wanted to play checkers every visit he told my Dad he was wasting his money and I probably was just afraid of getting chubby.How clueless was he. Anyway, I went from being a happy normal kid to a very strange one. So last night I couldn't sleep either waking up thinking about this. I really feel this had something to do with my surrendering my son for adoption years later.

  11. Long (years) after Paterno and others KNEW about Sandusky's proclivities and the source of his victims, they continued to provide legitimacy. In fact right up until the man was arrested, all was wonderful in JoePa land. From that background I draw the inference that Sandusky was protected because he had "things" on people and he provided sex. Everyone who was anyone was involved in Sandusky's charity. Paterno is still on the board.

    I hope there isn't any more coverup. There were mounds of evidence in 1998 and the case went away. That's why it isn't being handled in Centre County, but rather at the state level. I don't have a lot of love for Gov. Corbett; however, I think he is right with this do far.

  12. Anonymous @November 12, 2011 1:57 PM

    Cluelessness and child abuse go hand in hand, particularly when the abuser is a professional or wealthy/influential. A doctor in my community was tried and convicted of abusing boys (through scouting and providing services to poor delinquents). The judge over turned the verdict. After all ... how could this important man be guilty of something attested to by "no one" boys? How can those boys ever believe in justice?

  13. I have this in my family. My mom found out my sister was being molested by her husband. She was so upset but after all the upsetness disappeared she stayed with him. My sister went to live with me and my husband she was uprooted at 17 yes old while molester stayed in family. I feel my mom could have took a stand against this sick secret.
    Years later when my husband was found to be a molester of my own daughter. I kicked him out, divorced him, my daughter was out of house and married. I still have no pity for molesters no matter who they are or how important.
    If society would look at these predators with the same scrutiny we were judged by maybe there would not be so many victims.


  14. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
    Martin Luther King, Jr.


  15. Anyone else note the irony of Sandusky's book being titled, "Touched"?


    Anon 1:57 said, "I really feel this had something to do with my surrendering my son for adoption years later."

    Yes, yes it did. I know there aren't (m)any scientific studies backing up my intuitive hunch, but I believe abuse sets a young woman up to be victimized again by the adoption industry. She is first victimized by her abuser and already feels like a pile of crap about herself and her life. Once she discovers she is pregnant, she is victimized a second time by the adoption industry with their forked tongue purveyors. She falls right into their trap, so carefully laid by well-funded agencies and is stripped of her child and her motherhood because she feels unworthy and undeserving, feelings that have their genesis in the abuse. The adoption industry plays (or is that preys?) upon these fears in expectant mothers.

  16. We each have our stories and things in our lives that led to surrendering a child, and for some, childhood abuse might play a part. For those that it did, that is a double burden.

    But having known a great many mothers who surrendered, especially those who surrendered when such large numbers of us did, I have not seen one commonality that pertains to all, abuse or any other factor, in our lives before surrender. What I have seen is women who came from every sort of family, rich, poor, middle class, loving, average, abusive. Our one commonality is that we all ended up surrendering a child. Beyond that our lives before were as different as any random group of women of the same age.

    The adoption industry certainly used what was there and weak in many of us to obtain surrenders, but it was not abuse for me or many others, who had normal, even over-protected childhoods.

    There were many paths to surrender, but basically, we were girls and women who had sex and "got caught", as many of our peers who did the same thing did not, and we did not have an offer of marriage or suitable mate to make for the "shotgun wedding" many others were saved by. So we rode along the conveyor belt to the next stop, surrender and adoption.

    There was a great deal of Freudian crap written around the 50s as to
    "why" we got pregnant, and it all had to do with blaming the mother as somehow damaged and different from others who did not get pregnant. She needed "fixing". So they fixed us, and got our kids.

  17. @GG, one question. Was the husband biologically related to the daughter? It doesn't sound like she is.... which also supports that strangers are more likely to abuse a child - strangers being used broadly to define non-biological relatives. Or, in the least people that are not closely related to a child....

  18. At a conference once I was asked by an earnest and young social worker if I had seen any commonality among women who surrendered their children. Florence and I almost laughed in her face.

    I said Yes, we all had sex.

  19. Lori,

    Both we molested by Step dads. Long term
    husbands. One was allowed to stay in family.
    Mine was not allowed to stay he was gone
    as soon as I found out. Mine was married to
    me when my sis told us. She came to live with
    us. Guess he thought I would accept him doing


  20. Jenn: I just tried to post at Lost Daughters but got the error message. Your story made me feel so sad. Hang in there, maybe your mother will come around.

  21. Lorraine wrote:" we all had sex."

    Right!! That is the only commonality among women who got pregnant and surrendered. Flush all those bogus theories about what was wrong with us in particular, or our families or our lives, and you are left with we all had sex and we got caught. We were not all flawed in some similar way that made this happen, although like all humans we have our own individual flaws. The system we fell into is where the common flaw lies.

    Additionally I think it naive to expect some kind of mystic sisterhood or understanding of each others motives and feelings years later just because we all surrendered a child. Yes, we had this one experience in common, but we came to it from such different places and with such different temperaments and lives that it is unlikely that we have a great deal in common beside being mothers who surrendered.

    So we have mothers who care and love deeply, always have, search for their kids, mothers who blocked it out and then woke up, mothers who live in fear of contact,for good reason and for selfish reasons, and some who just never gave a shit. I do not think we can all be expected to understand each other or feel some sort of motherly magic sisterhood for all surrendering mothers.

  22. Sandusky claims he was just
    being a jock and "horsing around" with kids in the shower, no harm meant. What a lying, sleazy, disgusting pedophile pervert! It is all over the news, google it.

    Sorry, no jocks I know take showers with little boys.

    Too bad they do not still draw and quarter offenders, that would be about right for Sandusky. Or just let the mothers of the kids he raped at him.

    Also, why hasn't his wife shot him yet? It is what I'd do. And what about those adopted kids in his home? Is anyone looking into that?

  23. Maryanne wrote:"And what about those adopted kids in his home? Is anyone looking into that?"

    None of the news stories I have heard have mentioned anything about how he was able to become an adoptive parent. I'd say a few social workers and the others involved have some serious explaining to do.

  24. About Sandusky's lawyer:



  25. Heavens To Betsy, Yikes!!!

    Do follow those links, folks, and you will see how pervs stick together. Sandusky's lawyer is a dirty old man who got a 17 year old pregnant when he was 49. No wonder he thinks what his buddy did was just "being a jock". I wonder if he was the lawyer for the adoptions?

    The one link, Child Law, is an excellent resource for all sorts of abuses of children in adoption. James Marsh was the lawyer for Masha, the Russian girl adopted by a single pedophile and used for porn. Even he is speechless with this latest revelation.

  26. Courtesy of James Marsh's Childlaw blog, an interview with Dr. Eli Newberger in which he really gets to the heart of the matter:

  27. Years ago when the RC Church pedophile scandal broke, I made the observation that whilst everyone was condemning the priests, that a far larger scandal was just waiting to break - youth sports.

    Our American middle-class society is infatuated with youth sports - soccer, swimming, basketball, football, you name it. I spent years as a youth couch in baseball, swimming, etc both before and while I had kids. Not ONCE was I ever background checked that I know of! Parents are far too trusting that organizations are properly vetting the adults they entrust their children to.

    Pedophiles are not stupid - they know how to present a profile that elicits respect from peers and admiration from children. They are attracted to careers and volunteer activities that bring them into close, trusting, authoritarian relationships with potential victims. Teaching, Scouting, coaching, ministry, all are fertile opportunities for predators to hunt for the vulnerable children out there. Parents, be suspicious of all who you entrust your kids to and demand thorough background vetting. And don't allow your children to be alone in situations with people as trusted as even a Penn State coach and charity president.

  28. The state put my four children into Foster Care, and while we had experienced an 'unstable' life (I was divorced twice and coping with finding a stable living situation with my children) they never experienced being utterly cut off from me. I did everything they said and it was of no use. Thing was, I had a blond hair, blue eyed 19 month old, cute, cuddley and adoptable. Within a month of her foster care I suspect she suffered abuse where she suddenly had impetigo and cold sores which included sores that bled in her diaper area. It is absolutely known that when her Amom took her into her home, it was a day she witnessed abuse where she was, and the Foster Home was reported and closed down. Then this Amom and consequently my daughter, were told lies that my partner abused her, he was a pedophile and I just wouldn't leave him. Somehow it doesn't matter now to this woman that the County has since then settled a Suit with him for denial of First Amend. rights. I had my first 'reunion' in august and it was a day of racking me over the coals over the social services lies which I can do nothing about. These are lies which never even showed up in court documents and the woman refuses to look at those. So, believing she was abused, not important enough and adopted, my daughter is currently in a Residential Center for depression and suicide. I am ignored now to even civil emails regarding contact with her siblings who are older and are all back home with me. My older daughter was sent to live with her father who by the time she was 16 had repeatedly raped and beat her until she was in Foster Care once again. My youngest, emotionally fragile son was put in residential centers until he was assualted so bad the police had to be called and ordered the angency to approve him going home with me. He is still disabled to this day. My oldest son is surviving ok, but experiencing great issues in girlfriend relationships even though he was raised by friends of mine who just at the time were the 'safest' but still there was great emotional/psychological harm because people don't know how to raise children with unconditional love and real respect. Our County has done reports and seemed to sort of wonder at the number of children returning home to their birth families once they reach 18. I know MANY MAMY of us that survived and many are awaiting the day their lost babies turn 18 so they might know that they survived where the state put them. Foster Care is abusing our nations children and seperating families. Even with her Amom, my baby was abused by a step father who is out of the picture and ALL her problems are laid out as to her adoption and me when there's plenty other reasons for this girls problems. I can just sit and await the day she can freely associate with our whole family.

  29. There was one child that did report it. Like always, no one really does anything about it. I know someone who reported and her children reported her husband to the police for domestic violence. Nothing was done. CPS is now involved. Nothing is being done to get that father to shape up or get him out of their lives. That mother has had to move to another state to get a reprieve from the whole mess with CPS's blessings. My situation is the same... Everyone tells me that it is legal issue and not an abuse issue and refuse to help me. So when my kids or anyone else's kids end up dead because of some abuser, do any of these law enforcement types step up? Nope... They just cover their tracts



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