Full steam ahead for D2L following Sandusky trial

Director of Programs, Cindy McElhinney says policy is key in stopping child sexual abuse.

By: Chris

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - "Is it guilty," yelled someone in the crowd outside the Centre County, Pa. courthouse Friday. "Yes, yes it is," answered another as an immediate celebration began.

After a trail that lasted several weeks, and a jury deliberation period of more than 20 hours, Jerry Sandusky was found guilty on 45 of the 48 charges against him. Of those charges, 39{} were felony counts.

"Getting a guilty verdict is a victory," said Darkness 2 Light Director of Programming, Cindy McElhinney. "A victory for all of his victims, and certainly a victory for all victims."

McElhinney watched Sandusky, like most people Friday night, as he was escorted out of the courthouse in handcuffs.

"We (D2L) would like to see him spend the rest of his life behind bars so he can't harm any more children," she said.

The sentencing hearing for the former Penn State University assistant football coach won't happen for a few months, time Darkness 2 Light will use to continue the push for awareness.

"People will now be ready to talk about it, and more importantly talk about how we can prevent it. It's so important that we recognize these inappropriate behaviors so we can stop them in their tracks," McElhinney said.

The organization says the Sandusky and Skip Reville trials helped spread a message they've been working to promote for years - that policies at large institutions are key.

"Adults that work with youth need to understand what the rules are and they need to be on the look out for people breaking the rules and know what to do when someone breaks the rules."

An important part of developing a good policy, according to D2L, is limiting the length of one-on-one time between adults and children.

As the summer season begins, D2L reminds parents to be safe when choosing summer camps. They say make sure the camps have policies in place, and staff trained in prevention techniques.