Thanks to serial child molester Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State football coach, the University of Arizona has implemented an interim policy that bans any adults from being alone with children at summer camps or other events held on or off campus.
Sandusky was convicted of several counts of child molestation for his alleged role in fondling students who attended football camp at Penn State. That incident left other colleges examining their policies and, in many cases, changing them to protect both children and adults.
At the University of Arizona, president Ann Weaver Hart has taken the unusual step of approving an interim policy effective immediately until the board can meet and pass a finalized version. This new policy requires adult chaperones to use separate restrooms from children at space camps or sports camps and suspends all private music lessons and other activities in which adults must be behind closed doors with students.
All private contact between children and adults taking part in university programs is now banned. The transition has not been completely smooth. Many adults are horrified by the fact that their work with children, some of which has taken place over decades, is now being questioned. However, in order to protect minors from unwanted contact, many feel these measures are necessary.
Sandusky is now serving a 30-year sentence for attacks that allegedly took place over a period of 15 years and involved 10 different boys. Graham Spanier, the president of the university, now faces criminal charges over his alleged role in covering up the incidents.
Current rules at both Penn State and University of Arizona now require at least two adults to be present at any interaction with minors.
Child Molestation: A Serious Charge That Can Change Lives
Adults who are accused of molesting a child face one of the most detrimental and difficult types of criminal charges possible. Adults so accused often face the “phantom accusation” syndrome in which the mere whisper of such a possibility is enough to cause conviction in the court of public opinion. A man or woman accused of such a crime often has to “prove” that he or she did not do it, even though in criminal court the burden of proof is on the prosecution.
Even those who are acquitted of child molestation may carry the stigma of being accused for years. If you are involved in any situation in which child molestation charges may be brought, it is critical for you to consult a criminal defense attorney like Alex Lane in Phoenix immediately.