Then Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum thought enough of Jerry Sandusky nine years ago to sponsor the former Penn State defense coordinator for a “Congressional Angels in Adoption” award, citing his work with a non-profit group he founded to provide care for foster children.
“Its philosophy is simple: it is easier to develop a child than to rehabilitate an adult,” read the citation in the awards dinner program from Sept. 24, 2002.
Sandusky, of course, has been charged with sexual abuse of young boys and Penn State University is under fire for its handling of reports of the coach’s suspicious behavior. The burgeoning scandal reportedly is about to force legendary head coach Joe Paterno to retire.
Santorum, a 1980 PSU graduate, is one of the school’s most distinguished alumni – a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination who represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate from 1995 to 2007. A social conservative and champion of adoption, Santorum is staking his candidacy on an appeal to family values.