November 6, 2011
How deep did coverup go in Penn State child sex abuse case?
By Mike Dawson | Centre Daily Times
STATE COLLEGE, Penn. — Jerry Sandusky, the once famed defensive coordinator who dialed up blitzes at Linebacker U and helped Penn State win a national title in 1986, surrendered to authorities Saturday morning to face child sex abuse charges recommended by a grand jury investigation that found evidence he molested eight boys he met through The Second Mile, the charity he started.
The grand jury investigation also resulted in charges, announced Saturday, against Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, the university’s interim senior vice president for finance and business.
The grand jury found evidence that Curley and Schultz lied during grand jury testimony in Dauphin County in January about information they received about a report of sexual abuse by Sandusky.
Curley and Schultz are charged with perjury, a felony, and failing to report abuse, a summary, and are expected to surrender to authorities at 2 p.m. Monday in Harrisburg.
The charges against Sandusky, 67, came after a two-year investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office into a 2009 report of a sexual assault of a Clinton County boy who was a guest at Sandusky’s College Township home. The grand jury found that Sandusky indecently fondled the boy, performed oral sex on the boy and had the boy perform oral sex on him.
The charges are: seven felony counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, one felony count of aggravated indecent assault, eight counts of unlawful contact with a minor and felony, eight counts of endangering the welfare of a child, eight counts of corruption of minors, seven counts of indecent assault and one count of attempted indecent assault.
In making public its investigation Saturday, the Attorney General’s Office asks anyone with information about other possible victims to call investigators at 863- 1053 or state police at 470- 2238.
The grand jury took testimony from university officials including Curley, Schultz, as well as President Graham Spanier and head football coach Joe Paterno. A 23-page document made available Saturday on the attorney general’s website contains the only publicly available information about the case.
The document reveals the grand jury’s findings, detailing the abuse that Sandusky allegedly perpetrated against eight boys, which included showering with them, fondling and touching them, kissing them, and having oral and anal sex with them.
The incidents are alleged to have happened between 1994 and 2008 in the showers of Penn State football buildings, in Sandusky’s home, in a local hotel, even during trips to Penn State’s bowl games.
Sandusky retired as a defensive coordinator for Penn State in December 1999 after the Alamo Bowl — a fitting 24-0 shutout of Texas A&M. It was a game that one of his alleged victims attended as part of Sandusky’s travel contingent. The grand jury found Sandusky threatened to send the boy home after the boy said he rejected Sandusky’s advances.
Months before, Sandusky told this boy about a meeting he’d had with coach Joe Paterno in May 1999: Sandusky was informed he wouldn’t be the next head football coach, the documents state.
The most damning incident found by the grand jury, in which a graduate assistant testified he saw Sandusky having sex with a 10-year-old boy in a shower of the Lasch Building in March 2002, wasn’t reported to police or Centre County Children and Youth Services by university officials.
“This is a case about a sexual predator who used his position within the university and community to repeatedly prey on young boys,” Attorney General Linda Kelly said in a statement. “It is also a case about high-ranking university officials who allegedly failed to report the sexual assault of a young boy after the information was brought to their attention, and later made false statements to a grand jury that was investigating a series of assaults on young boys.”
Spanier offered his support to Curley and Schultz on Saturday, saying he was sure the charges against them would prove “groundless.”
He called the allegations against Sandusky “troubling,” saying “it is appropriate that they be investigated thoroughly. Protecting children requires the utmost vigilance.”
Penn State athletics officials referred all questions to university officials in Old Main.
Nils a Frederiksen, spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, said it’s unknown if Curley’s and Schultz’s alleged activities constitute a “cover-up.”
“Whether the lie was to cover their own behavior, their lack of action or something else, we’ll find that out,” he said.
A quiet Sandusky, dressed in a suit, was escorted from his arraignment Saturday at the office of District Judge Leslie Dutchcot in Ferguson Township by his attorney, Joe Amendola.
Amendola said he hadn’t had a chance to review the allegations and couldn’t comment on them, but he said Sandusky has known about the investigation for three years and maintains his innocence.
Amendola described Sandusky’s condition as “shaky” and said he is taking the allegations seriously.
“He came back to State College voluntarily last night from out state — he was visiting relatives — and when he was told that he needed to be here today as opposed to returning on Monday when he planned to return, he drove back last night to face these charges,” Amendola said. “So, we’re hopeful that after we review this, we’ll have some resolution in mind and we’ll go from there.”
Sandusky was arraigned Saturday and released on $100,000 unsecured bail. A condition of the bail is that Sandusky not have contact with anyone younger than 18.
Amendola said Sandusky is not considered a flight risk nor is he a danger to the community.
“In this case, the last allegation goes back to December of ’08. There hasn’t been any allegations of anything since, even assuming that the allegations were true,” Amendola said. “Jerry has been aware of these allegations for three years and ... he has never even talked or thought about leaving the area or going somewhere else.
“And these are only allegations at this point, and he’s certainly not a flight risk and he’s certainly not a risk to hurt anybody,” Amendola said.
Sandusky is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday in county court, but Amendola said it likely will be delayed by weeks because of the number of witnesses and the amount of preparation that will need to be done.
If convicted, Sandusky could face a lengthy prison sentence, Frederiksen said. The seven involuntary deviate sexual intercourse counts carry the harshest punishment, up to 20 years in state prison for each count.
The grand jury found that Sandusky met the boys he allegedly molested through The Second Mile, in contrast to the organization’s denial that it or its programs were part of the investigation.
Attempts to reach its CEO, Jack Raykovitz, on Saturday weren’t successful.
Sandusky founded the Second Mile in 1977. The charity was first a group foster home for troubled boys and later developed into one that helped children with absent or dysfunctional families. Sandusky retired from daily involvement in 2010.
Sandusky was named Penn State football defensive coordinator in 1977 and was thought to be the heir apparent to head coach Paterno.
He’s credited with turning the Nittany Lions into a defensive juggernaut that earned the nickname “Linebacker U,” grooming All- Americans like Shane Conlan, LaVar Arrington and Brandon Short.
In the 1987 Fiesta Bowl, No. 2 Penn State, behind Sandusky’s defense, intercepted Heisman Trophy-winner Vinny Testaverde five times to beat the No. 1 Miami Hurricanes, 14-10, for the 1986 national title.
But just as glorious as his accomplishments were on the field, the allegations in the grand jury’s investigation are heinous. The grand jury’s presentment details the sexual abuse victim by victim, including graphic references of the acts he’s alleged to have done.
In some cases, Sandusky is alleged to have fondled or showered with the boys, some when they were as young as 8 or 9 years old. In others, the court documents state he had sex with boys in the showers of locker rooms in Penn State football buildings.
“One of the most compelling and disturbing pieces of testimony in this investigation came from an eyewitness to a late-night sexual assault that allegedly occurred in March of 2002, in the locker room of the Lasch Football Building on the University Park campus,” said Kelly, the state’s attorney general. “Hearing what sounded like sexual activity in the showers of a building that was supposed to be empty, a graduate assistant reportedly observed Sandusky sexually assaulting a naked boy who appeared to be about 10 years old.”
Sandusky was retired at that time but had an office on campus and was a regular presence, with access to football facilities like that locker room.
The graduate assistant, who was not named, notified Paterno the next day, and Paterno reported the incident to Curley the day after that, according to the grand jury presentment. About a week and a half later, the graduate assistant met with Curley and Schultz, who told the graduate assistant they would look into the incident. Paterno wasn’t at the meeting.
The graduate assistant was told a few weeks later that Sandusky’s keys to the locker room were taken away and The Second Mile had been notified, according to the grand jury. In addition, Sandusky was told not to bring any Second Mile children into the Lasch Building.
The grand jury found the graduate assistant’s testimony was “extremely credible.”
But the grand jury concluded that Curley and Schultz lied during their testimony.
Curley called the reported activity “horsing around,” according to the documents, and denied that the graduate assistant reported it was of a sexual nature. Schultz testified the allegations weren’t serious and that he and Curley “had no indication that a crime had occurred,” the document states.
The grand jury found that neither Curley nor Schultz reported the incident to police and didn’t attempt to identify the child in the shower.
Schultz oversaw Penn State police as part of his duties as senior vice president for finance and business.
Spanier testified to the grand jury that the incident wasn’t reported as sexual and Curley and Schultz didn’t indicate they planned to report it to either police or a child protective services agency.
Penn State police had investigated Sandusky previously, in 1998. The mother of an 11-year-old boy reported that Sandusky had showered with her son in a locker room next to Holuba Hall. The investigation was closed after then-District Attorney Ray Gricar said he wouldn’t file criminal charges, the document states.
Gricar disappeared in 2005 and was declared legally dead this summer.
Schultz told the grand jury he knew Sandusky was investigated in 1998 for similar allegations. Spanier said he didn’t know about the 1998 investigation.
Another boy, who met Sandusky when he was 7 or 8, got invitations to football games, possibly as many as 15. The document states that Sandusky showered with this boy, but the boy resisted his advances, and the boy thought that was why he didn’t get invited to any football games after that.
One of the eight victims’ identities is unknown.
In another alleged incident, a janitor at Penn State saw Sandusky performing a sexual act on the boy one night during the fall of 2000, and the presentment indicates the janitor didn’t report it. The janitor, told his supervisor, and the supervisor testified before the grand jury. The janitor suffers from dementia and was unfit to testify before the grand jury.
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