Jerry Sandusky arrives at the courthouse for sentencing on Oct. 9, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- Each of Jerry Sandusky's victims will heal differently. But local activist and child sex abuse survivor Mark Serrano says confronting your perpetrator can help.
Six years ago, Serrano, his father, and other victims confronted the Father James Hanley "You raped my son when he was 9 years old," Serrano's father told Hanley while New York tv news cameras rolled. "You're a rapist and you're a sodomist and a rapist of children. And the people in this neighborhood should know, because you're a predator."
"I did not abuse all of them," insisted Hanley, as though assaulting a few children was somehow ok.
Serrano says Hanley raped him orally and forced him to masturbate for years until it finally stopped in his early teens. He says confronting his former priest helped him heal. "I've taken back power and begun the process of healing. And any victim can do that."
"I was not shocked by Jerry Sandusky's transfer of blame and guilt to everyone but him," Serrano says of the former Penn State coach's continued claims that he's an innocent victim, "because that's what perpetrators do."
Serrano says the victims who confronted Sandusky in court turned the tables of power against him.
But he's even angrier at the institutions that cover up child sex abuse. He says the Catholic hierarchy covered for his abuser, transferred him to other parishes, until he had abused 25 boys.
And he says Penn State did the same for Sandusky.
"We saw today in the sentencing what a creep Jerry Sandusky is. What a dark heart he has. How cold and calculating he is. And Penn State had that insight. They had first hand accounts of his abuse. And they took no action, they covered up."
A perpetrator alone is menace to society, but he says an institution that protects him is even worse.
Written and Reported by Bruce Leshan
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