The former defense coordinator for Pennsylvania State University's football team is charged with sexually abusing eight boys through a charity he ran — and university officials are charged with covering it up.
Jerry Sandusky was key to Penn State's long success under head coach Joe Paterno, now the winningest coach of all time. He was also a well-respected community man, reports say, and he founded the charity Second Mile in 1977, to assist impoverished local youths.
Instead, prosecutors now allege, Sandusky victimized them, subjecting them to sexual harassment and abuse over a period of years. The attacks allegedly happened at his home, and in the university's football complex, where he maintained an office even after his retirement in 1999.
Two university officials are accused of lying to a grand jury about what they knew about Sandusky's attacks, and of failing to report obviously criminal allegations to police, the Associated Press reported. In one incident in 2002, the indictment says a graduate student witnessed Sandusky assaulting a boy in a shower at the football facility. He reported it the next day to Paterno, who immediately informed the athletic director, Tim Curley. But Curley never informed police, and told a grand jury that he had only heard a report that Sandusky had been "horsing around."
The allegations are far more serious.
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.
And in 2002, Kelly said, a graduate assistant saw Sandusky sexually assault a naked boy, estimated to be about 10 years old, in a team locker room shower. The grad student and his father reported what he saw to Paterno, who immediately told Curley, prosecutors said.
Curley and Schultz met with the graduate assistant about a week and a half later, Kelly said.
"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," Kelly said.
There's no indication that anyone at school attempted to find the boy or follow up with the witness, she said.
In addition to Sandusky, Curley and Gary Schultz, the university's vice president for finance and business, were charged with perjury for their testimony to the grand jury during the investigation.
Updated with a question that becomes more pressing: What about Paterno? The legendary coach did the right thing by telling school officials about the abuse report. But why didn't he call the police? Why didn't anyone follow up to even learn the name of the victim? And shouldn't the program — every one involved — have worked to block Sandusky's access to children?
The calls for Paterno to resign have already begun.
UPDATE: Late on Sunday night, after an emergency meeting with the Board of Trustees, both Curley and Schultz will leave their jobs. Curley is on "administrative leave" and Schultz will retire. A spokesman says the resignations of Paterno and Penn State president Graham Spanier were not discussed.
UPDATE: via The Washington Post:
Two Penn State University officials appeared Monday in a Harrisburg, Pa., district court to be charged with lying to a grand jury investigating allegations that former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abused children and failing to report suspected sexual abuse of a child. Bail for Tim Curley, the school’s athletic director, and Gary Schulta, senior vice president for business and finance, was set at $75,000. They were not required to enter pleas and surrendered their passports. Curley, 57, has taken a leave of absence from the school and Schultz, 62, has returned to retirement.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.