Key Events Leading up to Sandusky Trial
June 10, 2012 9:58 PM
by Nate Mink
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It’s been seven months since Jerry Sandusky was accused of sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year period.

The total charge count has since risen to 52, and he will be tried on all of them starting Monday — unless a plea agreement is reached.

Below is a timeline of key events to get you up to speed on the Sandusky case.

Alleged Victim No. 4 Taken to Bowl Game (Jan. 1, 1998)

Alleged victim No. 4 is listed as a member of Sandusky's family party for the 1998 Outback Bowl.

He is expected to be the first witness to take the stand on Monday, according to his attorney. His testimony, according to the grand jury report, greatly mirrors the prosecution's case — that Sandusky identified his victims through The Second Mile, groomed them with gifts and affection and then sexually abused them.

Penn State Police Investigate Sandusky; No charges Filed (May 1998)

This investigation was launched following a complaint by the mother of alleged victim No. 6, who was concerned after her son came home one day with wet hair and told her he had showered with Sandusky.

In May of 1998, Detective Ronald Schreffler and Jerry Lauro, an investigator with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, hid in the home of the mother of alleged victim No. 6 and listened in on a conversation between her and Sandusky. He said he and the boy showered together and that his genitals might have touched her son.

He later told her, according to the grand jury report, "I understand. I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won't get it from you. I wish I were dead."

Then-Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar decides there will be no criminal charges, and the case is closed.

Paterno Tells Sandusky He Won't Be Next Head Coach (May 1999)

Sandusky learns he will not be the next head coach at Penn State. He retired following the 1999 season.

In one of his final interviews, Paterno told the Washington Post that the state was offering 30-year employees a handsome buyout, and he believed Sandusky should take it. Paterno was also frustrated by the amount of time Sandusky spent focusing on The Second Mile.

Paterno told the Post: "I said, you know, Jerry, you want to be head coach, you can't do as much as you're doing with the other operation. I said this job takes so much detail, and for you to think you can go off and get involved in fundraising and a lot of things like that. ... I said you can't do both, that's basically what I told him."

Alleged Victim No. 8 Episode (Fall 2000)

According to the grand jury report, Sandusky is spotted by a janitor named Jim Calhoun performing a sex act on a young boy.

The janitor tells his co-workers, but no report is ever made after discussion about concerns over their jobs, according to the report.

Calhoun is said to be unable to testify at the trial because he suffers from dementia.

Lasch Shower Incident (Feb. 9, 2001)

The case with the biggest implications in the Penn State scandal surrounds this night, when Mike McQueary happened upon Sandusky in the shower with a young boy, alleged victim No. 2.

McQueary testified in Harrisburg in December that he witnessed Sandusky directly behind a young boy against the wall in the Lasch Building showers. McQueary testified he did not see anal penetration, but he believed intercourse occurred because of the positioning of their naked bodies.

According to testimony, McQueary immediately called his father, John, who told him to alert football coach Joe Paterno. After meeting with Paterno, who informed his superior, AD Tim Curley, of the allegation, McQueary met with Curley and VP of finance and business, Gary Schultz, who tell him they will look into it.

Curley later informs McQueary that Sandusky's locker room keys are taken away and that the incident has been reported to The Second Mile.

Police are not called, McQueary is never questioned by university police and no entity conducts an investigation until he testifies to the grand jury in December 2010.

Grand Jury Investigation Launched (Early 2009)

The Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office launches an investigation into allegations of child sex abuse against Sandusky after a Clinton County boy, known as alleged victim No. 1, told authorities he was sexually abused over a four-year period.

Sandusky Charged with 40 Counts in Child Sex Abuse Case (Nov. 4, 2011)

The initial set of charges are accidentally posted to the state's judicial system website.

Sandusky Arrested as Grand Jury Report Sets Off Penn State Scandal (Nov. 5, 2011)

Sandusky is arraigned on 40 counts in a child sex abuse case and posts $100,000 bail. Meanwhile, the 23-page grand jury report goes public and alleges Sandusky abused 10 boys over a 15-year period.

Two top Penn State officials, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president for finance and business, Gary Schultz, are charged with perjury and failure to report. They turn themselves in the next day.

Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier are Fired (Nov. 9, 2011)

Armageddon comes to Happy Valley as Paterno, the longtime football coach, and Spanier, the school president are dismissed by the university's Board of Trustees for a failure of leadership.

That night, a small percentage of the student body took to the streets of downtown State College and rioted, flipping over a news truck and causing chaos.

Freeh Investigation Launched (Nov. 21, 2011)

A special Penn State committee retained former FBI Director Louis Freeh and his firm to lead an internal investigation at the university and take a thorough, impartial look into any governance and oversight missteps that kept an alleged sexual predator free to prey on children for years.

The report is scheduled to be released in the fall.

Sandusky Faces More Charges (Dec. 7, 2011)

Two more accusers come forward, resuluting in 12 more counts and upping the total to 52 in the child sex abuse case.

According to the grand jury report, one alleged victim said his cries for help from Sandusky's basement went unanswered even though he knew Sandusky's wife, Dottie, was upstairs.

Sandusky does another perp walk but makes $250,000 bail and is put on house arrest.

Sandusky Waives Preliminary Hearing (Dec. 13, 2011)

Sandusky waives his preliminary hearing, forefeiting the chance to face his accusers for the first time since charges were filed.

Legal experts called the move curious because it could lock down testimony, which, if different than what is said during trial, could be damaging to credibility, a hallmark of the defense's strategy.

Paterno Dies at 85 (Jan. 22, 2012)

Joe Paterno dies because of complications from lung cancer treaments a little more than two months since being fired Nov. 9, 2011.

His death created a hitch in the perjury cases against Timy Curley and Gary Schultz. His testimony cannot be used to corroborate Mike McQueary's account of the Lasch shower incident because Paterno was never subject to cross-examination.

Second Mile Closes (May 25, 2012)

The Second Mile, the charity Jerry Sandusky founded in 1977, announces its closing and transferring assets and programs to Arrow Child & Family Ministries, a Texas-based organization.

Jury Selection Wraps (June 6, 2012)

A two-day process to select 12 jurors and four alternate jurors is completed.

Eight of the 12 jurors have ties to Penn State or potential witnesses.

The jury will not be sequestered during the trial, which puts faith that it will not discuss the case with each other nor consume any media reports for the duration of the trial.

Sandusky Trial to Start (June 11, 2012)

Jerry Sandusky's trial is to start with opening statements and testimony from alleged victim No. 4.

Judge John Cleland has said the trial is expected to last about three weeks.

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