Jerry Sandusky Should Be Presumed Innocent Until Proven Guilty in a Court of Law

Seattle sports radio hosts and listeners are mortified by former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's assertion that he's innocent of the child molestation crimes he's been accused of committing. But presumption of innocence is central to the American legal process, and people need to respect that.

Yes, Sandusky sounds creepy and evasive in the interview he granted NBC's Bob Costas. When Costas asks him point blank whether he's sexually attracted to young boys, Sandusky's inability to succinctly answer "no" (although he got there eventually, sort of) is rather chilling--and damning.

But being sexually attracted to young boys isn't what Sandusky stands accused of, nor is it technically a crime if such impulses are never consummated. It's acting on that attraction which Sandusky stands accused of, and he, just like child rapists who've been accused of similarly horrifying crimes in the past, deserves the right to tell his side of the story, be it in court or on the air. In the court of public opinion, at least, Sandusky's already been convicted with unprecedented speed and furor. And, frankly, that's not fair to Sandusky. People have, despite equally garish details, been acquitted of similar charges in the past.

Things don't look good for Sandusky, and people have a right to be terrified by what he may have done to a slew of young boys whose trust he betrayed in the most sickening manner imaginable. But do not lose sight of the words "may have." The American legal system is among the greatest in the world precisely because of the value it places on that very phrase.

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