From Robert Stacey Stacy McCain:
Prosecutor: Teachers Would Not Help Investigate Predator Who Molested Boy
Posted on | January 27, 2014 | 36 Comments
Matthew LoMaglio, 37, pleaded guilty to molesting an 8-year-old boy who was a student at the elementary school in Rochester, N.Y., where LoMaglio taught gym classes. On Jan. 14, LoMaglio was sentenced to four years in prison, but the prosecutor said many of the criminal’s colleagues did not cooperate with the investigation:
More at Mr McCain’s original. It seems, however, that Mr LoMaglio’s fellow teachers were rather reticent to cooperate with law enforcement’s investigation of his rape of an 8-year-old boy, and some 22 of them, after he was convicted, continued to support him:
(Assistant District Attorney Kyle) Rossi said he was also troubled by the 22 letters the court received from various teachers, expressing support for LoMaglio. He said he is not authorized to turn over the letters to the public or divulge the names of the teachers who wrote them.
Some of the letters were written on school district letterhead.
Your Editor believes that those 22 letters should be released, and if they cannot be legally released, that some enterprising shoe-leather reporter needs to find someone in the system who will leak those names and letters. In addition, the police records naming those teachers and colleagues who resisted cooperation should be released. All of those teachers and school employees should be fired, and all who hold teaching certificates should have them revoked!
Of course, these teachers were his friends, his colleagues, people who liked him and couldn’t believe anything like that about him. And we see it over and over and over again, from Catholic officials who moved around pedophile priests to the officials at Pennsylvania State University who just couldn’t comprehend that a great guy like Jerry Sandusky, pillar of the community, was sodomizing little boys. In some ways, it’s similar to the will not to believe.
Child abusers all look like creeps, can all be spotted out in the open by anyone; they aren’t the good guys we work with every day, the friends we had over for a back yard barbecue. And that’s the problem: many people wind up defending their friends, people that they know and like, even when it becomes obvious that they should not. Teachers and other school officials are still human.
But teachers and school officials have mandatory reporting duties when it comes to reporting reasonably suspected abuse cases, mandatory as in: it’s the law!
This is the case against Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, the Penn State officials who had at least some idea that something was wrong with Mr Sandusky’s behavior around children, and then decided not to report it to law enforcement, but handle it in house. Exactly what they knew is part of the question — they claim that they did not understand Mr Sandusky’s behavior to constitute child abuse — but this seems, to your Editor, to be a case of willful ignorance, of the will not to believe.
Well, at some point, the will not to believe, the deliberate choosing to remain ignorant in cases like these, is going to have to give way to self-interest . . . and that principle of self-interest can only be established when it becomes just too dangerous to remain willfully ignorant. Messrs Spanier, Schultz and Curley may well go from Penn State to the state pen, because their willful ignorance allowed Mr Sandusky to remain free and molest other boys after the point at which they should have known he was a clear menace.
And that needs to happen to the teachers who tied to stymie the investigation into Mr LoMaglio, and who wrote letters of support attempting to get his sentence reduced. They need to be publicly exposed, they need to lose their jobs and their teaching certificates, and, if they committed actual crimes,1 they need to go to jail, not only to punish their actions, but to send yet another message to other people who may find themselves in similar positions that they cannot avoid their responsibilities and cannot turn a blind eye to child abuse and not risk serious personal consequences.
- Writing letters of support would not be a crime, but from the reports, obstruction of justice and failure to report suspected child abuse may have occurred, and those are crimes. ↩