MUSC, Darkness to Light to screen film about Penn State sex abuse scandal

MUSC and Darkness to Light will screen at film about the Penn State sex abuse scandal on Thursday. Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky (center) is taken from the Centre County Courthouse. Sandusky was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison, effectively a life sentence, in the child sexual abuse scandal that brought shame to Penn State and led to coach Joe Paterno’s downfall.

The son of the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno will speak on a panel about the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal on Thursday at the Medical University of South Carolina.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be co-hosted by Darkness to Light, a Charleston nonprofit group that trains adults to prevent child sexual abuse.

Jay Paterno and other experts, including former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin, will discuss the case and its impact on the Penn State community following the screening of “Happy Valley,” a documentary about the sex abuse scandal.

In 2012, former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was found guilty on dozens of counts of child sexual abuse. His arrest and trial forced the university to oust several top school officials, including longtime head football coach Joe Paterno, for their alleged attempts to cover up the threat Sandusky posed to children.

“Incidents such as these demonstrate the need for child sexual abuse prevention to be included in national strategy,” said Lyndon Haviland, interim CEO of Darkness to Light. “MUSC is an unequivocal leader in children’s health, and we are thrilled to partner with them to bring this discussion to the Charleston community.”

The event will begin at 6 p.m. in the Drug Discovery Auditorium at MUSC.

Reach Lauren Sausser at 937-5598.