Minneapolis attorney says Penn State has to ‘step up’

KARE 11: MINNEAPOLIS — For decades, Minneapolis attorney Jeff Anderson has represented alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse.

This week, he says he’s seeing some of the same “institutional failures” at Penn State that he says have long plagued the Catholic Church.

“We have learned whether it’s the Boy Scouts, Penn State, the Roman Catholic Church, the most trusted institutions everybody seems to give deference to the offenders,” Anderson said on Thursday.

“The more powerful the institution, the more perilous it is to the children,” he added.

Anderson believes Penn State leaders have their work cut out for them in the wake of child sex-abuse allegations against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

“We know there’s a lot of work to be done.  This institution needs to step up, not just have the coach step down, not just fire the president but needs to step up,” Anderson said.

Specifically, Anderson said the university needs to acknowledge their “role and responsibility” in the allegations.  They then need to put new policies in place that would ensure the university’s staff knows how to properly respond to potential child abuse cases in the future.

“And lead child protection the way they led in the development of football teams,” he said.

Anderson added that he believes colleges and universities across the country will watch and learn from how Penn State handles this controversy.

“Public scandal and real pain and shame — out of that can come real growth and understanding and awareness,” Anderson said.

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