Advocates Fighting Child Abuse Say Sandusky Verdict Brings Issue To Light

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Jerry Sandusky’s guilty verdict in his child sex abuse trial is shining a light on child molestation across the country, including here in Maryland.

Monique Griego has local reaction from advocates of abuse victims.

While the details of this case were horrific, local advocates say it’s bringing much needed attention to the issue.

While dozens of guilty verdicts most likely signals the end for Jerry Sandusky, his victims may have a longer road in front of them.

“A guilty verdict doesn’t fix the problem for the victims, it doesn’t fix the problem for society either. It just puts one pedophile away,” Adam Rosenberg, the executive director of the Baltimore Child Abuse Center, said.

Rosenberg knows the devastating effects sexual abuse.

“It’s good to see that justice can be served even decades later for some of these victims of child abuse,” Adam Rosenberg, the executive director of the Baltimore Child Abuse Center, said. “It’s also satisfying that people believe children. It’s very hard to prove these cases.”

Rosenberg says the Baltimore Child Abuse Center this year is seeing a 36 percent increase in the number of cases. They’re already on track to see more than 1,100 children.

“It’s not because abuse is up nationally but it’s because attention is up. Cases like Sandusky bring this cause to light,” he said.

The case also showed how hard hero-like figures can fall.

“I think it was most shocking just because it was someone who was a figurehead. Whether it’s a politician or assistant coach,” Penn State alumnus Scott Fata said.

Fata watched Sandusky leave court, he no longer saw a representative of the college, and hopes others can also separate the two.

“Whether it’s someone I’m watching on TV in South Baltimore or an assistant coach at Penn State, it’s meaningless,” he said. “You’re glad to see that justice was done and the system worked.”

Rosenberg says 90 percent of sexual abuse victims are abused by people they know.

Sandusky is expected to be sentenced in the next 90 days.

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