As the trial of Jerry Sandusky commences, Professor Richard Frankel commented on the 15 year lapse between the allegations of abuse and the commencement of the trial in an article on the Christian Science Monitor.
Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach, has been accused of sexually abusing 10 boys. According to the Christian Science Monitor, eight of the alleged victims, who are now all adults, will testify. Frankel commented that, while a lengthly time period between the alleged abuse and prosecution of the alleged violator is not uncommon, it may give the defense a greater opporunity to challenge the credibility of the victims. The real risk, Frankel said, is whether the witnesses can accurately recall what may have happened or whether their memories have faded over time.
Frankel studies the intersection of civil rights, civil procedure and federal courts. He is the founder of the law school's Appellate Litigation Clinic.