Opinion: Larry Nassar Is a Familiar Monster

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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