Former Penn State Defensive Coordinator Jerry Sandusky was arrested Saturday on charges that he preyed on boys he met through The Second Mile, a charity he founded for at-risk youths.
In addition, two high-ranking Penn State administrators were arraigned Monday on charges they lied to a grand jury investigating Sandusky and failed to properly report suspected child abuse by the ex-football coach.
University President Graham Spanier announced that Athletic Director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, the school’s senior vice president for business and finance, would be leaving their posts.
Both men have maintained they are innocent of any wrongdoing in connection with the investigation into Sandusky and allegations that he sexually abused eight boys – preteens and young teenagers – over a 15-year period.
The case has sent shock waves throughout State College, where legendary coach Joe Paterno, while not considered a suspect at the moment, released a statement saying that, while he became aware of a situation with Sandusky, referred the matter to university administrators rather than go directly to the police.
“The fact that someone we thought we knew might have harmed young people to this extent is deeply troubling,” he said. “If this is true we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things, and we grieve for the victims and their families. They are in our prayers.”
Investigators are encouraging anyone who has been sexually assaulted by Sandusky to step forward and talk to police.
Sandusky, who is married and has six adopted children with his wife, Dottie, spent three decades at the school running the defense. While he retired in 1999 but continued to use the school’s facilities, the charges against him are from 1994 to 2009.
The allegations against Sandusky range from sexual advances to touching to oral and anal sex.
Sandusky’s attorney, Joe Amendola, said his client has been aware of the accusations for about three years and has maintained his innocence.
“He’s shaky, as you can expect,” Amendola told WJAC-TV. “Being 67 years old, never having faced criminal charges in his life and having the distinguished career that he’s had, these are very serious allegations.”
Sandusky has been charged with multiple counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of a child, indecent assault and unlawful contact with a minor, as well as single counts of aggravated indecent assault and attempted indecent assault.
According to reports, one accuser, now 27, testified that Sandusky initiated multiple instances of involuntary sexual intercourse and indecent assault with him and when the boy resisted his advances, Sandusky threatened to send him home from the 1999 Alamo Bowl. In addition, Sandusky gave him gifts including clothes, a snowboard, golf clubs, and promised the young boy a walk on position with the football team.
The first case to come to light was a boy who met Sandusky when he was 11 or 12, and physical contact began during his overnight stays at Sandusky’s house, the grand jury said. Eventually, the boy’s mother reported the sexual assault allegations to his high school, and Sandusky was banned from the child’s school district in Clinton County. That triggered the state investigation that culminated in charges Saturday.
But the report also alleges much earlier instances of abuse and details failed efforts to stop it by some who became aware of what was happening.
Another child, known only as a boy about 11 to 13, was seen by a janitor pinned against a wall while Sandusky performed oral sex on him in fall 2000, the grand jury said.
The report continues that in 2002, a graduate assistant saw Sandusky sexually assault a naked boy, estimated to be 10 years old, in a team locker room shower. The grad student and his father reported the incident to Paterno, who in turn reported it to school administrators.
“Despite a powerful eyewitness statement about the sexual assault of a child, this incident was not reported to any law enforcement or child protective agency, as required by Pennsylvania law,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly said.
There’s no indication that anyone at school attempted to find the boy or follow up with the witness, she said.