Child Sex Abuse At Penn State: What Should Witnesses Have Done?

By: Stephanie Shoop/News Director
By: Stephanie Shoop/News Director

What would you do if you saw someone sexually abusing a child?

What is your responsibility if you see the actual act of someone sexually abusing a child?

The Penn State child sex abuse case is raising that question and more.

Here's a report from the Associated Press: "Then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary went to Paterno and reported seeing a naked Sandusky in the Penn State showers, sodomizing a boy of about 10."

Reports also indicate a janitor said he saw "a boy about 11 to 13 pinned against a wall while Sandusky performed oral sex on him."

McQueary is now Penn State's receivers coach and will be coaching at Saturday's game, according to information released today. Jerry Sandusky, who was once associated with the football team, is accused and has been charged with molesting eight boys in 15 years.

My question: If you witness the sexual abuse of a child, why do you not rush to physically stop it or immediately get help to make it stop? That would be my reaction. It apparently was not McQueary's or the janitor's.

Is that right or wrong? Could you even argue that someone who does not try to stop the abuse of a child be criminally charged? Or do you believe you have no responsibility to make it stop? Also, if you report a crime to a work or school supervisor and it appears the crime is not addressed, do you have a responsibility to go to the police?

We'd like to hear your thoughts.  

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by AKSE Location: Belhaven on Feb 6, 2012 at 11:16 AM
    If you actually walk in call the police. No child deserves to be molested. This guy needed to be caught. Come on 8 boys in 15 years. If I was in that postion I would not only get the person responsible to stop but call the police. Theres no doubt, because to me that is truly sick
  • by Teacher mom on Nov 27, 2011 at 08:06 PM
    Actually walked in on it-call the cops right then and there. Used the camera on the phone to take evidence photos. As for rushing in and trying to physically stop it-that would depend on if I thought I could actually save the child or if my intervention would make it worse for both of us. Suspected-report it to the right authorities and if it didn't appear to be investigated, call back. Do what I could to make it right.
  • by Eric Location: Chocowinity on Nov 13, 2011 at 04:34 PM
    Call me barbaric, but I would question the motives of somebody who said something to answer the question in the first line along the lines of "Find a good blunt object and beat them to death." There are a lot of crimes out there that are victimless and then there are crimes with victims, and that's bad, to wrong another person. Then, there are crimes so heinous they are not crimes against a victim but all of humanity, and we call them "Crimes against humanity" or "Crimes against nature". Child sexual abuse is one of them, and while murder may be legal, killing somebody who has done that beyond a shadow of a doubt (i.e. you witnessed it) is the Right Thing To Do. It is the responsibility of adults to protect children, as well as teach them. Children expect and deserve no less.
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