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Attorney General Linda Kelly Calls for End to 'Veil of Secrecy' After Sandusky Verdict

by on June 24, 2012 8:00 AM

BELLEFONTE – Attorney General Linda Kelly called Jerry Sandusky's crimes the kind that "thrive in darkness" after he was convicted on 45 criminal charges in a child sexual abuse case.

She also called for an end to the "veil of secrecy" that for years surrounded the crimes he perpetrated and allowed a predator to roam free.

Kelly, who arrived at the Centre County Courthouse Friday night in time to hear Juror No. 4 pronounce Sandusky guilty on 45 of 48 charges, commended her team of prosecutors and thanked those who had the courage to come forward and share their stories.

In speaking about the men who testified after surviving abuse wrought by Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach, Kelly recognized how difficult it was for them to force themselves to recall memories they suppressed for years.

"This is not something they sought," Kelly said. "Most of us cannot possibly fully comprehend what they endured when testifying in that packed courtroom.

"This is a crime that thrives in darkness. It's fed by fear and threats shame and secrecy while predators carefully seek the most vulnerable prey while often they themselves are cloaked in respectability that sometimes is almost beyond reproach."

Kelly said the goal was always to bring about a fair and just verdict in the Sandusky case and believes that was accomplished with the verdict announced Friday night.

She stressed the importance of parents teaching their children how to report abuse, too. She said she hopes Sandusky's conviction will help his victims start to heal, as well as allow other victims of sexual abuse to come forward.

But, Kelly said, the lingering question was, "Who would believe a kid?"

"And the answer to that question is: We here in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania would believe a kid," she said. "These kids need our support, they need our help. And we must not turn our backs on child sexual abuse cases."

Kelly has since told a TV station that Dottie Sandusky is not the target of any investigations.

View the full video of Kelly's comments here.

Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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