Latest on Charges in Jerry Sandusky Case

Story posted November 11, 2011 in Sports, CommRadio by Breanna Jacobs

Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was indicted last Friday on over 40 criminal counts.

Sandusky has been charged with seven counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, eight counts of unlawful contact with a minor, eight counts of endangering the welfare of a child, eight counts of corruption of minors, seven counts of indecent assault, one count of aggravated indecent assault and one count of attempt to commit indecent assault.

The charges against Sandusky stem from incidents in which he allegedly sexually abused eight young boys over a more than ten year span. These boys were a part of The Second Mile Program, a non-profit organization for underprivileged youth that was founded by Sandusky in 1977.

On Saturday morning, Sandusky, who retired in 1999 after working on former head coach Joe Paterno’s football staff for 32 years, was released from custody on $100,000 unsecured bail. Sandusky’s hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 9, but has since been postponed until Dec. 7.

The investigation into the allegations against Sandusky began in 2009. A Grand Jury report released on Saturday lists all the charges, including detailed descriptions of Sandusky’s involvement with each of the eight known victims. The report also alleges that Sandusky was involved with some of these boys in facilities located on the Penn State campus.

The report states that in March 2002, a graduate assistant, who has since been identified as assistant Penn State football coach Mike McQueary, witnessed Sandusky performing sexual acts on a young boy in a locker room in the Lasch Football Building. McQueary, after conferring with his father, informed Paterno of what he had witnessed.

Paterno, as per the law, informed his direct supervisor, athletic director Tim Curley, of what McQueary told him. Gary Schultz, Penn State’s Vice President for Finance and Business, was also informed of the situation.

Curley and Schultz told McQueary that they had taken away Sandusky’s keys to the locker room, notified The Second Mile and told Sandusky he could no longer bring children into locker rooms on campus. Neither Curley, nor Schultz, notified the police, which is required by Pennsylvania state law.

During the Grand Jury investigation, Curley and Schultz both testified that they did not know the incident was sexual in nature. The Grand Jury found this to be false and determined that both men had lied under oath. Curley and Schultz have both been charged with one count of perjury and one count of failure to report in connection with Sandusky’s case.

Both men turned themselves in on Monday in Harrisburg and were later arraigned and released on $75,000 unsecured bail. If convicted, they could face up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine for perjury, and up to 90 days in prison and a $200 fine for failing to report in connection with the case.

In a statement released on Sunday, Paterno said, “If true, the nature and amount of charges made are shocking to me and all Penn Staters.”

Curley has temporarily resigned, asking to be placed on administrative leave. He has been replaced in the interim by Senior Associate Athletic Director Mark Sherburne. Schultz has returned to retirement.

Penn State will be paying for both men’s legal fees, and former university president Graham Spanier said that Curley and Schultz have his “unconditional support.”

“I have complete confidence in how they have handled the allegations about a former university employee,” Spanier said in a statement released on Sunday. “Tim Curley and Gary Schultz operate at the highest levels of honesty, integrity and compassion. I am confident the record will show that these charges are groundless and that they conducted themselves professionally and appropriately.”

Spanier, who was informed of the incident at Lasch Football Building, has not been charged. However, after holding a meeting Wednesday night, Penn State’s Board of Trustees announced in a press conference that Spanier is no longer employed by the university. Spanier will be replaced by Vice Provost Rodney Erickson.

Paterno, who was not charged in connection with this case, has also been fired.

John P. Surma, vice chairman of the Board of Trustees, said that the decision to fire Spanier and Paterno was unanimous and noted that they felt that it was “necessary for us to make a change in leadership and set a course for a new direction.”

Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, who has been part of Paterno’s staff since 1979, will step in as the interim head coach for the rest of the season.

Prior to Paterno’s firing, he released a statement that said he was planning to retire at the end of the current football season.
“I have come to work for the past 61 years with one clear goal in mind: to serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care,” Paterno said in his statement released Wednesday morning.

Paterno said, “This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”
Late Wednesday night, Paterno issued another statement in response to the decision of the Board of Trustees.

“I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees’ decision, but I have to accept it,” Paterno said. “A tragedy occurred and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed.”

“I have been incredibly blessed to spend my entire career working with people I love,” Paterno went on to say. “I am grateful beyond words to all of the coaches, players and staff who have been a part of this program. And to all of our fans and supporters; my family and I will be forever in your debt."

The 84-year-old Paterno spent 61 years at Penn State, and coached the football team for 46 of those years. He is the winningest coach in college football history.

In the statement released Sunday, Paterno urged students not to lose faith in the university they attend, regardless of the events that are rocking the Penn State community to its core.

Paterno said, “In the meantime, I would ask all Penn Staters to continue to trust in what that name represents, continue to pursue their lives every day with high ideals and not let these events shake their beliefs nor who they are.”

Breanna Jacobs is a sophomore majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact her, e-mail: byj5032@psu.edu.