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Sandusky to get accusers’ names

by on February 1, 2012

ESPN reported today that Jerry Sandusky will learn the names of all 10 men he is said to have sexually abused after the attorney general will deliver the names to his Lawyer by Friday. We all know everyone involved in the trial must disclose all their evidence and witnesses to each other; that’s not what’s troubling. Where the ethics come into play is in the possibility that these names could leak to the media, who might then publish them in print.

Below is an excerpt from

Attorney Slade McLaughlin, who represents the person identified as Victim 1 in the Grand Jury report, said Amendola told him…he needs the names…and does not intend to publicize them.

“I would think that most media personnel would keep the information private even if it were made public by Amendola, but there are always a few bad eggs in every barrel, so who knows,” McLaughlin said.

My question is, what if McLaughlin is wrong? What would you do if the names did leak and you found out who they were? Ethically, could you publish them? Given the magnitude of this trial, there’s no way to tell how it might affect a person’s life if they were identified as one of his victims. However, don’t we also have the obligation to tell our readers as much as we know about a subject? Wouldn’t it add to the case to know how some of his victims turned out as adults after being abused like that by him on a regular basis? Also keep in mind that while these men were just boys when the events happened, they are no longer minors.


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One Comment
  1. I would not reveal the names. I hope that after years in working as a journalist I do not become too jaded in the future but at this point in my life I can not imagine publicly and eternally humiliating people who committed no crime, but were victims. I understand that victims of such crimes could go on later in life to commit similar crimes. However, such speculation could prevent the alleged victims from obtaining jobs, getting married, etc. There are plenty of people who have been sexually assaulted who did not harm anyone as a result. I think that if any of the victims were to sexually, or otherwise, abuse anyone, we as a society would have to depend on the current methods of finding evidence and prosecuting them after the fact. We should not get in the habit of speculatively (spelling?) punishing people, especially when the speculation as to the possibility of their crimes is a result of them being victims. While some people may still worry about those who have been victims of sexual abuse and want to punish them further, I say that the further punishment needs to be on sexual abusers who still get off far too easily. This responsibility lies on that of parents, community leaders, the police, and sadly the victims themselves who need to be the first to report something.

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