“Based on my experience at the four universities, administrative decisions on a range of matters are often based on the “best interest of the university,” not necessarily the individuals involved. That seems to make sense, considering that everyone employed by any university is replaceable–even a football coach with the most wins in NCAA history. But in some cases, placing the best interest of the university above what is morally and ethically correct can lead to bad administrative decisions, which ultimately hurt the university. Apparently, in these examples, calling the police when a violent sexual crime has occurred was not considered in the best interest of the institutions.
“But all three of these cases, calling the police to investigate these violent crimes would have been in the best interest of Penn State, the Citadel, and the University of Iowa–and the rape victims. When cover ups are revealed in any sort of public institutions, the resulting negative publicity is horrendous, casting doubt on their integrity. Moreover, the institution inevitably appears to not care about the victims, which is likely not true. Consider the difference, for example, in the Penn State situation, if Paterno had called the police immediately after hearing of it from his graduate coaching assist–and then followed up to ensure action was taken. Paterno surely would have gotten action on the Penn State campus.”
The Penn State Child Rape Scandal was Inevitable, The Smith Report, November 14, 2011
Just go to the police station and file a report if you witness or discover something you even suspect is illegal. Yes, it’s the right thing to do, but it also mostly avoids all that pesky accessory after the fact stuff.