Neisworth Penn State Child Molestation Scandal — News stories world wide blared the arrest of one-time Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky along with the twisted details of the crimes for which he has been charged, but another tale of pederasty and administrative cover-up in Happy Valley is getting the comparative quiet treatment.
Like the Sandusky scandal it involves faculty with national reputations.
Paul McLaughlin, 45, of Arizona says he was molested in the late 1970s and early 1980s by three men including John T. Neisworth, a professor of special education at Penn State who literally wrote the book on autism.
McLaughlin says he was 11 through 15 years old when the abuse occurred. Neisworth has since retired and like Sandusky holds the title of emeritus.
McLaughlin called Neisworth in 2001 and confronted him with what he did. He taped the call without Neisworth’s knowledge and said that Neisworth on his own brought up specific instances of the molestation.
He sent the tapes to Penn State officials in 2001 and 2002 and was accused of an extortion attempt. He said he directly called University President Graham Spanier who also angrily rebuffed him. He said this call would have occurred about two weeks after the 2002 incident involving Sandusky had been reported to university officials.
McLaughlin said his goal was to get the special education professor away from children.
In 2003, McLaughlin sued Neisworth and Carl Goeke of California, who was McLaughlin’s neighbor in the 1970s, in New Jersey and settled for a six-figure cash settlement.
In 2005, charges were brought in Cecil County, Md. — the site of some of the alleged molestations — against Neisworth, Goeke and Donald Smith, a retiree living in Pittsburgh.
The criminal charges were eventually dismissed because the tape recordings were inadmissible under Maryland law.
McLaughlin says that despite the indictment the university still would not launch its own investigation.