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Attorney General Kelly: Sandusky a Sexual Predator, Preyed Repeatedly on Young Boys

on November 06, 2011 11:18 AM

UPDATED @ 12:34 p.m. Nov. 7: University administrators Schultz and Curley have stepped aside, Penn State announced. An updated report is posted here. Earlier coverage is below.

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UPDATED @ 6:10 p.m. Nov. 6: Coach Joe Paterno has issued a statement. An updated report is posted on this page. Earlier coverage is posted below.

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UPDATED @ 11:17 a.m. Nov. 6: Penn State has reported it's barring Jerry Sandusky from campus, according to an Associated Press article. The university also confirmed it's covering legal expenses for Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, the article notes.

The report is posted via PittsburghLive.com.

Earlier coverage is posted below.

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UPDATED @ 9:36 a.m. Nov. 6: News media across Pennsylvania -- and the country -- are reporting and commenting on the emerging claims against Jerry Sandusky, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz.

The Harrisburg Patriot-News, which has been at the forefront of the news, has thorough coverage in Sunday's editions.

On Saturday evening, "NBC Nightly News" led its broadcast with a report about the claims.

The story is among the top news Sunday in The New York Times.

On The Washington Post website, columnist Mike Wise argues that, if the allegations are true, Joe Paterno deserves some of the blame. In The Philadelphia Inquirer, Frank Fitzpatrick writes that Paterno's legacy will be permanently tarnished.

Earlier StateCollege.com coverage is posted below.

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Earlier coverage, posted @ 4:06 p.m. Nov. 5:

Former Penn State football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky is a sexual predator "who used his position within the university and community to repeatedly prey on young boys," Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly said Saturday.

In a prepared statement, Kelly minced no words in assailing Sandusky, 67. The former coach, also the founder of the nonprofit Second Mile, was criminally charged late this week with 40 counts, including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault and unlawful contact with a minor.

The alleged crimes date as far back as the 1990s and involve eight young men, all of whom met Sandusky through The Second Mile, official documents show. Sandusky allegedly used his position as a volunteer high school coach in Clinton County to pursue contact with one victim, according to the attorney general's office.

In another incident, a graduate assistant in 2002 reportedly witnessed Sandusky sexually assault a naked boy in the Lasch football complex, on the University Park campus, Kelly said in a news release. (The full news release, including extensive detail, is posted on this page.)

Sandusky was arraigned Saturday in Ferguson Township before District Judge Leslie Dutchcot and released on $100,000 unsecured bail. He will next face a preliminary hearing, scheduled for Wednesday. His attorney, Joseph Amendola, did not immediately respond to a message Saturday, though Amendola has said before that Sandusky maintains he's innocent. (UPDATE @ 4:18 p.m. Nov. 5: Amendola spoke to reporters outside Dutchcot's office. The Patriot-News has video; it's posted here.)

If convicted, Sandusky could face well more than 100 years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, sentencing guidelines show.

Meanwhile, Kelly's office also announced charges against Penn State athletics director Tim Curley and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz. Each of them is charged with one count of perjury, a felony, and one count of failure to report, a summary offense. The felony charge, if proven in court, carries a seven-year maximum prison sentence and a $15,000 maximum fine.

Curley and Schultz are expected to turn themselves in Monday in Harrisburg. Their attorneys have said Curley and Schultz are innocent, however.

Specifically, Kelly said Curley and Schultz failed to tell authorities about the 2002 eyewitness report of sexual assault of a child. The report had been relayed to Curley specifically by head football Coach Joe Paterno, who received it from the graduate assistant, according to information from the AG's office.

"Additionally, there is no indication that anyone from the university ever attempted to learn the identity of the child who was sexually assaulted on their campus or made any follow-up effort to obtain more information from the person who witnessed the attack first-hand," Kelly said in the news release.

While they didn't tell law-enforcement officials about the matter, Curley and Schultz agreed that Sandusky would be banned from bringing any Second Mile children into the Lasch building, Kelly said. The Second Mile is a youth-service-oriented organization known for helping underprivileged young people.

"Despite this so-called 'ban,' which was reviewed and approved by university President Graham Spanier without any further inquiry on his part, there was no effective change in Sandusky's status with the school and no limits on his access to the campus," Kelly said. "Sandusky's 'emeritus' position, (allegedly) negotiated as part of his 1999 retirement, provided him with an office in the Lasch Football Building; unlimited access to all football facilities, including the locker room; access to all recreational facilities; a parking pass; a university Internet account; listing in the faculty directory and numerous other privileges. He remained a regular presence on campus."

The charges against Sandusky, Curley and Schultz stem from a lengthy grand-jury investigation. In testimony before the grand jury, the AG's office noted, Schultz acknowledged he was aware of a 1998 investigation -- by university police -- into "allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior involving Sandusky and young boys in the football showers."

But Schultz "did not pursue the matter further and did not seek additional review in light of the new report in 2002," the news release reads. The grand jury determined that Curley and Schultz provided false testimony about the 2002 report, according to the AG's office.

Schultz, as vice president, has oversight of the university police department. He retired in 2009, but was named this summer to the vice presidency again -- on an interim basis -- after his successor, Al Horvath, announced plans to take another job.

"The grand jury also noted that the 1998 report involving Sandusky and boys in the showers was reviewed by University Police and Child Protective Services, with the blessing of Wendell Courtney," the AG's news release reads.

Courtney was university counsel at the time -- and is counsel to The Second Mile. No criminal charges were pursued at the time.

"The failure of top university officials to act on reports of Sandusky's alleged sexual misconduct, even after it was reported to them in graphic detail by an eyewitness, allowed a predator to walk free for years -- continuing to target new victims," Kelly said in the release. "Equally disturbing is the lack of action and apparent lack of concern among those same officials, and others who received information about this case, who either avoided asking difficult questions or chose to look the other way."

An investigation remains open, and investigators have asked anyone with information to call the Office of the Attorney General at (814) 863-1053 or Pennsylvania State Police at (814) 470-2238.

Meanwhile, Spanier has articulated publicly his confidence in Curley and Schultz. The 23-page grand-jury presentment detailing allegations against Sandusky is available in a PDF file that's housed here. (A warning to readers: It's highly graphic.)

Links to earlier coverage are posted below.

Earlier coverage

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