Jerry Sandusky trial: Former coach allegedly wrote intimate letters to victims, Child sex-abuse cases under-reported, often ignored

Jerry Sandusky trial: Former coach allegedly wrote intimate letters to
Tuesday, Jun 5, 2012 Associated Press and Sporting News staff Sporting

Former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky allegedly sent love letters and
gifts to his victims, ABC News reported on the first day of jury
selection in Sandusky's child molestation case.

Known only as Victim 4, one of Sandusky's eight accusers said he
received intimate letters from the former coach. The letters will be
read into testimony during the trial, which begins on Monday. Victim
4, who is expected to be the first person to testify, will also show
gifts Sandusky gave him during the course of their relationship.

The letters, said to be in Sandusky's handwriting, are expected to
corroborate the accusations of Victim 4, who met Sandusky through the
former coach's Second Mile charity. Victim 4, now 28 years old, is one
of seven alleged victims who will testify against Sandusky in the
three-week trial.

Ben Andreozzi, Victim 4's attorney, says the letters will play a key
part in the case against Sandusky. "They have evidence to support his
allegations, and there's other evidence that has not been released to
the public yet that I think will really resonate with the jury,"
Andreozzi told ABC News....

Sandusky, 68, faces 52 criminal counts and potential penalties that
could result in an effective life prison sentence for alleged abuse
involving 10 boys. He has denied the allegations.

Child sex-abuse cases under-reported, often ignored Saturday, June 2,
2012 Sat Jun 2, 2012 By Bill Heltzel and Halle Stockton

.....David Scott Zimmerman's case is a cautionary tale about what
happens when certain patterns of behavior are not recognized and
reported. Another boy described abusive sexual conduct by Zimmerman to
school officials — three years after the 1995 incident involving the
first boy. Vincentian officials immediately suspended Zimmerman,
notified police and the county prosecutor, and started their own
investigation. Ultimately, 13 boys told police of sexual behavior by
Zimmerman. This time, a public scandal engulfed the Catholic high
school. Court proceedings show that the school made a deal with
Zimmerman to keep quiet about his dismissal if he absolved the school
of liability. He also kept his teaching license.

A proposed Pennsylvania law would make confidential deals like the one
between Zimmerman and Vincentian impossible. Other states have already
acted. Oregon recently passed a law that could make it easier to
recognize sexual misconduct. The law, cited as a model, could stop
abuse in its early stages. Recent changes in Oregon law were made
because of the Sandusky case, officials said. As policymakers consider
a response, teachers, parents and students can be alert to recognize
classic "grooming" patterns that are precursors to the sexual abuse of
children. Another effective step, experts say, is to ban the practice
of "passing the trash," a phrase that describes when a suspected
school employee is allowed to resign quietly and without consequences.

"You can stop a lot of this behavior," said Charol Shakeshaft, an
education professor at Virginia Commonwealth University who studies
sexual abuse. One of every 10 students becomes a target of sexual
misconduct that includes such behavior as unwanted sexual comments,
inappropriate touching, and even rape, Shakeshaft said. Yet only about
6 percent of child sexual-abuse cases are reported to authorities, and

Coaches or teachers suspected of abuse tend to single out students for
special treatment, lavishing them with attention and rewards. They
become unusually close to children, finding ways to spend time with
them privately in school and on trips outside of school.

Recognizing these techniques and reporting them are the keys to
stopping predators from abusing children, experts say.