An Open Letter to Jerry Sandusky

Mr. Sandusky:

I write this in the middle of the night, as I cannot sleep… as I'm sure you cannot, either. Tonight, you are alone in your jail cell with the word "guilty" ringing... echoing in your 68-year-old ears. That word was spoken 45 times today by Juror #4 - a grey-haired, middle aged man who was probably shocked, dismayed, and sickened at being in the same room as you. That word will hopefully live with you for the rest of your natural life.

It would be easy to take cheap shots at you for your actions... your sick, pathetic actions and acts of sexual misconduct so dutifully discussed in painstaking detail by your victims and the prosecution during this case. Those victims rose up in the face of adversity and faced their fear without becoming what they beheld in you - a monster, a bully, a misguided horror of a human being who deserves no decency, no quarter, and no mercy for what you put innocent children through. However, as I am not now nor will I ever be like you - not even in the remotest sense of comparison and with the most metaphoric hyperbole - I will continue to take The High Road and leave the insults and sarcastic, cutting blasts to the trolls of the Internet, as they now have no end of fodder for discussion when it comes to the likes of you.

But as I consider the entirety of what has transpired, I can't and won't blame you solely for what has happened. Not because you are sick (which you are). Not because you need help (which you are woefully late in considering). And not because you deserve forgiveness (which you don't). It is because you were assisted in your efforts.

The whole world now sees and condemns you for the monster you are, and it is well-deserved. But although you may have acted alone, you were not alone in your actions. You were surrounded by people who knew what you were doing… and they not only allowed it, they enabled it. Either due to them suckling at the power teat, worried for their jobs, in complete denial, or (at the worst) completely indifferent about your activities… by their inaction, they not only accepted what you did to those kids, they lowered their heads in cowardice and offered their silent, willing approval.

You see, Mr. Sandusky, you are a monster and a predator… but the cowards in your employ and in your immediate circle are worse than you. They bared witness to horrific acts that shattered the innocence of young children - fondling, oral sex, anal sex - and went home night after night without considering that they were not only selling their proverbial souls for a steady paycheck or a shot at a promotion… they also sold their very humanity.

As the father of two teenagers, I'm both thrilled and relieved that you are now away from others. But those cowards are still at-large… waiting for a second chance to look away from injustice so they can get paid for it - in true "Screw the next man" mentality that seems to run so rampant in today's "YOLO" world.

Mr. Sandusky, I consider you the Harbinger of Last Chances. You were a test offered by the Universe… a test of humanity's will to release selfish wants and err on the side of decency… of what is universally right… of justice. This is a test that was failed by so many around you, but I'm hopeful those remaining will see this for what it is: A wake up call that someone else will NOT take care of what is right… what is just. It is up to those who know to DO something… not wait for the next person or think someone else will take care of what needs to be done.

In closing, I need you to know something: You have not just ruined the lives of your victims; you have lowered the bar on what the term "man" means. You were in a position of power… of trust… and you and your silent cohorts betrayed everyone around you and everything that is decent about being a man. I am sickened and repulsed that I have to be put into the same gender category as you.

In condemnation,

Charles J. Orlando