Pennsylvania may not be done with massive sex abuse cover-up scandals. According to recent reports by the Associated Press and other media outlets, a Pennsylvania state agency has refused to release a report of sexual abuse by a high-ranking state university administrator.
In spite of increasing pressure, the state’s higher education agency will not allow the public to see a report made ten years ago concerning sexual abuse allegations against former East Stroudsburg University Vice President Isaac Sanders. The report has found its way into headlines as a result of not only the recent enormous scandal over widespread sexual abuse in Catholic diocese throughout Pennsylvania by so-called “predator priests,” but also because Mr. Sanders recently filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the state for his hiring over the matter.
Opposing Sides Agree But State Says No to Release of Sexual Abuse Report
PA Secretary General Josh Shapiro, who is defending the state against Sanders’ suit, told reporters that the report is protected by a confidentiality agreement and cannot be released. Ironically, Sanders’ own lawyer says they are not worried about the report, and at the same time students and others involved in the accusations of sexual abuse against Sanders have been lobbying for the reports release for years now. However, state officials have not buckled - yet.
Former students at East Stroudsburg, a state-run university in the Pocono Mountains, have accused Sanders of abusing his power while in office to elicit sexual favors. According to the students, Sanders would offer students gifts, scholarships, and jobs on campus in exchange for their silence about sexual harassment and in some cases assault. According to the students’ attorney, Sanders typically targeted emotionally fragile young black men from broken homes.
Institutions Under Scrutiny as Sexual Abuse Scandals Rock Pennsylvania
The resurrection of interest in Mr. Sanders’ scandal comes on the heels of the largest sexual abuse scandal in Pennsylvania history. According to a grand jury report spanning decades and covering multiple Catholic dioceses throughout Pennsylvania, more than a thousand victims of sexual abuse by more than three hundred predator priests were named - and the authors or the report said there could be thousands more victims yet to come forward. The scandal has spurred investigations by state agencies in other states across the country and turned national attention on the issue.