Newsweek published an open letter from the filmmaker, which he wrote to the former 11-year-old Second Mile child who suffered for years at the hands of the Penn State football defensive coordinator.
"I don’t know your name, but I know your face. I don’t know your journey, but I know where you are. I am your brother! I must tell you, what you have done is so courageous. The strength that it must have taken for your 11-year-old voice to speak out about such a horrible act is something that I didn’t have the strength or courage to do at that age."
He describes his own awful experience at the hands of a pedophile and reminds the victim, who is a grown man now, that his "11-year-old self was no match for wicked, evil tactics" of a predator like Sandusky.
The creator of the Madea franchise also addresses all the adults in this poor boy's life and consoles that he is braver than the grown ups who ignored the wicked truth, continuing:
"Do you know that at the young age of 11 you had more courage than all the adults who let you down? All of the ones who didn’t go to the proper authorities, all of the ones who were worried about their careers, reputations, or livelihoods. All of the ones who didn’t want to get involved. Or even the ones who tried to convince your mother not to fight. You are stronger than them all!"
With Sandusky declaring his innocence, Perry realizes that a legal trial is imminent. Although it may be difficult for this victim and others to take the stand to testify against the monster who molested them, he wants them to know he'll be standing with them in spirit, explaining:
"No matter what happens next, just know that the hardest part is over. I wish the coward and very sick individual who hurt you would have the courage to admit his wrong and not put you through a trial. But he will most likely profess his innocence until the bitter end. And probably, all the while, yelling at the top of his lungs about all he has done to help troubled young boys. You may have to go through with that trial, and you may feel all alone when you’re on that witness stand, but just know that there are millions of young boys and grown men who are standing with you—including me."
We're so happy that Mr. Perry was able to face his troubling past and is inspiring others to do so as well. After all, the only way for the guilty to be punished is for the innocent to step forward.
"If every man who has ever been molested would speak up," he adds, "you would see that we’re all around you."
[Image via WENN.]