The mother of one of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky's alleged abuse victims has spoken out on Good Morning America about her slow realization that her son was being molested — and her reaction to Joe Paterno's firing.
The mom, whose name has not been released, told George Stephanopoulos that Sandusky pulled her son out of class without her knowledge, and that the boy frequently spent the night at Sandusky's house. She began to realize something was wrong when her son started acting out — and later, he asked her how he could look up "sex weirdos" on the internet. When pressed, he revealed he wanted to look up Sandusky because "he's a weirdo." Her son didn't reveal the abuse to her then, but soon after, he told a guidance counselor. When she asked why he hadn't come forward earlier, he said, "I didn't know what to do … you just can't tell Jerry no."
Of course, the interview also included the obligatory discussion of Joe Paterno and Penn State football. In the clip above, the victim's mom explains that she's glad Paterno is out, but that she and her son don't have an opinion on the Penn State students who rioted in response to his firing. She also says that "he's all cheering for the team." Her son may well be a longtime Penn State fan, but it's still strange that his mom has to emphasize his loyalty in an interview about the coach who allegedly assaulted him. It would be quite understandable if the alleged victim held resentment toward the team as a whole, or toward the students who rioted in support of someone who looked the other way for years. The fact that he says he doesn't may say a lot about the power the team holds in people's minds — which in turn may explain why an alleged abuser was able to go unreported for so long.