Juniata College passed on Sandusky after background check

The child molestation case against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky got worse last week when two more victims came forward with allegations that he sexually assaulted them during their time in The Second Mile, the children’s charity Sandusky founded.

Sandusky now faces criminal accusations from 10 young men and more than 50 charges stemming from what authorities say were assaults over 15 years on boys in his home, on Penn State property and elsewhere.

It was also reported that in May 2010, a year and a half after an initial investigation was launched into Sandusky’s conduct with young boys, he applied for a volunteer football coaching position at Juniata College in central Pennsylvania and was denied based on a background check. The background check showed a high school where Sandusky previously volunteered was investigating him, and though officials at Juniata didn’t know or ask for details, they decided to pass on Sandusky.

This brings to light the importance of not just conducting background checks but heeding the warning signs that pre-employment screening services dig up. Though Sandusky had no criminal record or any formal charges against him, Juniata College officials used their judgment based on all the facts they were given and made the best choice for their organization.

Given the scandal Penn State now has on its hands, Juniata College is an example of the immeasurable benefits of conducting a thorough background check on every potential employee or volunteer.

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