The New York Times
January 27, 2018
By Frank Bruni
When Judge Rosemarie Aquilina handed down her sentence on Larry Nassar last week, she spoke to and of him as a kind of monster we rarely see. She was wrong.
I know this because I remember Penn State, where an assistant football coach named Jerry Sandusky worked his way through boy after boy across year after year.
I know this because I haven’t forgotten what happened in the Boy Scouts of America decades ago.
And I know this from the extensive time that I once spent studying and even interviewing men who, like Nassar, were serial child molesters, except that none of them had the lofty title — “Dr.” — that he did.
No, they had loftier ones.
The honorific “Rev.” came before their written names. People addressed them as “Father.” They were Roman Catholic priests.
In researching and publishing a book about them, I learned a great deal about child sexual abuse — enough to recognize that as horrifying as Nassar’s violation of young female athletes was, he and his crime spree weren’t anomalous. They snugly fit a pattern. And taking full and proper note of that is the best way — the only way — to protect children from the other Nassars out there.
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