Monday, June 11, 2012

Economic woes of rural Pa. may have figured in Sandusky's alleged crimes, and may in his defense

Sandusky arrives for trial today.
(Inquirer photo by David Swanson)
As testimony begins today in the sex-abuse trial of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky, "The economic disparities that made his purported victims vulnerable . . . are also likely to prove central to Sandusky's defense," write Jeremy Roebuck and Jeff Gammage of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

They cite a comment made last year by Sandusky attorney Joseph Amendola: "I can think of nine million reasons boys like these would claim to be a sex-abuse victim," he said. "What better motivation than money - the financial gain that could come from saying, 'I'm a victim'?"

Centre County (Wikipedia map)
"State College is a cultural island," Matt McClenehen, a Centre County defense attorney, told the newspaper. "You have some of the most intelligent, educated people in the world around Penn State. But once you leave the confines of State College, you're practically in Appalachia." Officially speaking, the county is in Appalachia, as defined by Congress and the Appalachian Regional Commission.

"In Clinton County, where Victim 1 lives, 15.5 percent of the population falls below the poverty line, compared with 12.4 percent statewide," the reporters note. "The percentage of single-parent households is nearly twice that of neighboring Centre County," just to the south. (Read more)

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