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In 1983, the Pennsylvania Courts sent a young man to prison for driving a car while another man raped a girl. The case was Commonwealth v. Majorana, 503 P.a 602 (1983)
As a criminal defense attorney, I have represented defendants like the one in the Majorana case. Simply put, if you are involved with a rape, you may be criminally liable.
The football program, specifically a shower at the football facilities, is where the rape(s) is alleged to have occurred. While it's uncertain what Paterno specifically knew, he did know something wrong happened in the shower.
Then graduate assistant Mike McQueary heard "rhythmic slapping sounds" coming from the showers, according to the Grand Jury report (page 6). Those slapping sounds were from Paterno's former top assistant coach, Gerald A. Sandusky, raping a 10-year-old boy.
Paterno was, for certain, told that Sandusky had done something wrong of a "sexual nature" and did nothing of significance. So is he any different than the young man in the Majorana case?
Possibly. Paterno wasn't at the scene when the rape occurred. That fact may save him.
Depending on how aggressive the district attorney is, however, those involved could be charged with conspiracy to commit the illegal acts. So while we see these individuals falling from grace with respect to their employment and/or personal character, more trying times lie ahead. They have yet to see their day of reckoning.
A Civil Action Looms
There's no question that the university, Sandusky, Paterno, McQueary and athletic director Tim Curley and the others involved could be hauled into court in a civil action.
The first act of rape by Sandusky wouldn't have necessarily been sufficient to hold the university or the individuals involved civilly responsible. Sandusky's actions were so far outside of the scope of his employment that they would've been shielded.
Similar to the Roman Catholic Church and the multiple lawsuits brought by victims who suffered molestation at the hands of priests, those churches were not necessarily liable for the individual actions of the priests. Once the church knew of the priests' actions, they had a duty to act. That's when liability attaches.
The liability attaches for Penn State, et al. once they knew of Sandusky's actions and permitted him to continue raping boys on their facilities. At that point, the university had a duty to act and failed to do so.
Originally posted by stinavamp
This is an example of humanity at its worse. It shows just how low we can fall. All these men knew something wrong was happening yet they did nothing to stop it. How many boys had to suffer in silence? How many boys could have been spared this torture if someone just did the right thing. Is football really that important. They rioted after Paterno was fired. These sickos are worried more about their football program than protecting the victims. It makes me sick to my stomach. I hope each and everyone of them is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. All evil needs to survive is for good men to do nothing.