According to the Associated Press, Sue Paterno said she and husband Joe Paterno were ignorant about sexual predators and how they operate. They never realized Sandusky was using his charity to abuse boys.
"We have been unaware of how a predator behaves," Sue Paterno said at a program celebrating Child Abuse Awareness Month in Pennsylvania. "In many cases, we unknowingly helped him 'groom' his victims while we thought we were helping a child achieve self-esteem and find a better life."
Since finding out what happened, Sue Paterno painted a picture of a pained existence as the family come to grips with what happened and worried about the victims.
"The last 17 months have been filled with disbelief, horror, the pain of loss, sleepless nights, praying for the victims and for peace of mind for those who unwittingly were too naive to recognize the signs of abuse," she said at a program by the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance as part of Child Abuse Awareness Month, according to AP.
Joe's son Jay Paterno also spoke. An interesting part of the AP story was that Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance executive director Angela Liddle said some members questioned the choice of the Paterno family as speakers at the event. That seems odd.
The Paterno family experience with the Sandusky scandal, and how the overall focus of the story unfairly moved away from Sandusky's horrible actions and became more about what Joe Paterno knew or didn't know and what he did and if he did enough, gives them a unique and valuable perspective. Hopefully, their willingness to talk about that experience helps someone else down the road.
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