On Nov. 5, a Pennsylvania grand jury indicted former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky on 40 criminal counts for allegedly sexually abusing eight boys between the mid-1990s and the late 2000s. Tim Curley, Penn State's athletic director, and Gary Schultz, the school's former vice president for business and finance, have also been charged with perjury and failing to report abuse, based on their own testimony. Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier have both been fired. Information contained in this timeline has been culled primarily from several sources: The 23-page grand jury summary, a previously published Associated Press timeline about the case, and original reporting by Sara Ganim of the Patriot-News of Harrisburg. The timeline also includes additional developments since the grand jury's findings were made public. We will continue to update this as warranted. If you see anything of note we should add, let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1969: Jerry Sandusky becomes an assistant coach at Penn State. Unable to have kids of their own, Sandusky and his wife Dottie adopt the first of six children.
1977: Sandusky founds the group foster home The Second Mile, taking the name from Jesus's Sermon on the Mount: "And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two." The Second Mile will eventually become a charity for children in need.
Nov. 8, 1990: President George H.W. Bush recognizes The Second Mile as the country's 294th "Point of Light."
1994: Victim 7 meets Sandusky through The Second Mile. He is about 10 years old. According to the grand jury report, he will occasionally accompany Sandusky to coaches' meetings and attend Penn State games with him, staying overnight at Sandusky's home on the Friday before. Sandusky puts his hand on Victim 7's thigh while driving and on more than one occasion puts his hands down the waistband of the boy's pants, according to the report. The two shower together, and Victim 7 will later testify that he has a "blurry memory" of physical contact with Sandusky in the shower.
1994 or 1995: Victim 6 meets Sandusky at a Second Mile picnic. He is 7 or 8 years old. Sandusky invites him to tailgate with Sandusky's family and attend a football game with other boys.
1995: The biological mother of one of Sandusky's legally adopted sons writes "letters of concern" about Sandusky to child welfare officials and a judge—the first documented allegation against Sandusky of abuse. The son, named Matt, was not listed among Sandusky's victims. Matt attempted suicide four months after being placed with Sandusky. The night he attempted suicide, Matt wrote a letter to his probation officer asking to remain with the Sanduskys. He later testified before the grand jury, and while the nature of his testimony is not known, he brought his children to visit Sandusky on the day Sandusky was arrested, prompting the mother of those children to go to court to prevent him from doing so again.
1995 or 1996: Victim 5 meets Sandusky through The Second Mile when he is 7 or 8 years old. Sandusky invites him to tailgate with Sandusky's family and attend a football game with other boys. He will attend as many as 15 football games in all as Sandusky's guest, and he will travel with him to watch other games. According to the grand jury report, Sandusky often puts his hand on Victim 5's leg while driving.
1996 or 1997: Victim 4 meets Sandusky through the Second Mile program. He is 12 or 13 years old.
1996-98: Victim 5, now 8 to 10 years old, is taken to the locker rooms and showers at Penn State by Sandusky.
1997-98: Sandusky first makes "physical contact" with Victim 4 while swimming. Victim 4 travels to the 1998 Outback Bowl as a member of Sandusky's family party. He accompanies the team and other staff, even sharing the same accommodations. This boy also frequently stays with Sandusky in a hotel room near the Penn State campus on the night before Penn State home games. Sandusky's wife is "never present" for these sleepovers. Victim 4 also accompanies Sandusky on numerous charity golf outings.
May 1998: Sandusky picks up Victim 6 and drives him to Penn State's campus to work out. During the drive, Sandusky places his hand on Victim 6's left thigh several times. He asks him to shower, even though Victim 6 does not want to. The boy says Sandusky bear-hugged him, washed his back and picked him up and placed him under the shower head to rinse him off. Upon returning home, Victim 6's mother notices his hair is wet and calls university police. The mother has two conversations with Sandusky; A university police detective and a State College police detective listen in on both of them, with the mother's consent. Sandusky admits to the mother he has showered with other boys. She asks him not to do it again. Sandusky tells the mother, according to the grand jury summary, "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." Sandusky also admits what he did to a university police detective and an investigator with the state Department of Public Welfare. Wendell V. Courtney, an attorney representing both Penn State and The Second Mile at the time, is advised of the investigation. Ray Gricar, the Centre County district attorney, declines to press criminal charges against Sandusky. People/organizations aware of allegations concerning Sandusky, as of this date: Penn State University Police, State College Police Department, Centre County Office of the District Attorney, Second Mile attorney, Penn State attorney, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.
June 1999: Sandusky retires from Penn State, effective after the '99 season, after which he still holds emeritus status, which grants him access to an office and the university's football facility.
Dec. 28, 1999: Victim 4 is listed, along with Sandusky's wife, as a member of Sandusky's family party for the 1999 Alamo Bowl.
Summer 2000: Boy known as Victim 3 meets Sandusky through The Second Mile when he is between seventh and eighth grade.
Fall 2000: A janitor, James Calhoun, witnesses Sandusky giving a boy—identified as Victim 8—oral sex in a shower at the Lasch Football Building. He immediately tells other members of the janitorial staff. Another Office of Physical Plant employee, Ronald Petrosky, looks and sees two pairs of feet—but nothing more—and later cleans the shower, though he eventually does see Sandusky leave the locker room with a boy he estimates to be 11 to 13 years of age. Members of the janitorial staff fret that they might lose their jobs if they said anything to anyone. Calhoun eventually tells Jay Witherite, his immediate supervisor, who advises Calhoun "to whom he should report the incident, if he chose to report it." Calhoun, a temporary employee, never makes a report. He now lives in a nursing home and has dementia. Victim 8's identity remains unknown. People/organizations aware of allegations concerning Sandusky, as of this date: Penn State University Police, State College Police Department, Centre County Office of the District Attorney, Second Mile attorney, Penn State attorney, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Penn State's janitorial staff and supervisor.
March 1, 2002: A witness, since identified as then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary, enters the locker room at the Lasch Football Building around 9:30 p.m. He testifies to hearing "rhythmic, slapping sounds" in the showers and takes a look. He sees a naked Sandusky anally raping a boy, estimated to be 10 years old and identified as Victim 2. Shocked, McQueary—estimated to be 27 or 28 years old—rushes home to tell his father.
March 2, 2002: McQueary calls Joe Paterno and goes to Paterno's home to tell him what he had seen.
March 3, 2002: Paterno calls Tim Curley, Penn State's athletic director, and invites him to his home, where he reports a version of what McQueary had said.
March 2002: McQueary is called to a meeting with Curley and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz. McQueary tells them what he saw. Curley and Schultz say they will look into it. People/organizations aware of allegations concerning Sandusky, as of this date: Penn State University Police, State College Police Department, Centre County Office of the District Attorney, Second Mile attorney, Penn State attorney, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Penn State's janitorial staff and supervisor, graduate assistant Mike McQueary, head coach Joe Paterno, Penn State athletic director, Penn State senior vice president for finance and business.
Late March 2002: McQueary hears from Curley. He is told Sandusky's locker room keys are taken away and that the incident has been reported to The Second Mile. McQueary is never questioned by university police and no other entity conducts an investigation until McQueary testifies before the grand jury in December 2010. Curley, Penn State's athletic director, testifies that he told Jack Raykovitz, The Second Mile's executive director, that Sandusky was prohibited from bringing children onto Penn State's campus again. Curley and Schultz also meet with Graham Spanier, Penn State's president, "to report an incident with Jerry Sandusky that made a member of Curley's staff ‘uncomfortable,'" according to the grand jury summary. People/organizations aware of allegations concerning Sandusky, as of this date: Penn State University Police, State College Police Department, Centre County Office of the District Attorney, Second Mile attorney, Penn State attorney, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Penn State's janitorial staff and supervisor, graduate assistant Mike McQueary, head coach Joe Paterno, Penn State athletic director, Penn State senior vice president for finance and business, Second Mile executive director, Penn State president.
April 15, 2005: Gricar, the Centre County District Attorney who chose not to press charges against Sandusky in 1998, goes missing and is never heard from again. His car is found the next day in nearby Lewisburg, Pa.
July 2005: Gricar's county-issued laptop is discovered in a river. Its hard drive is missing.
October 2005: The hard drive to Gricar's computer is found on a riverbank, but no data can be recovered. Four years later, it is discovered that internet searches run on the computer before Gricar disappeared include "how to wreck a hard drive," "how to fry a hard drive," and "water damage to a notebook computer."
2005-2006: Boy known as Victim 1 says that he meets Sandusky through The Second Mile at age 11 or 12.
2006 or 2007: John Miller, a wrestling coach for the elementary school program for which Victim 1 used to wrestle, returns to the local high school one evening to retrieve something. He notices a light is on in a weight room. He goes in to turn it off and finds Sandusky and Victim 1 "lying on their sides, in physical contact, face to face on a mat." Both Sandusky and Victim 1 appear surprised when Miller walks in. Sandusky jumps up and says, "Hey, Coach, we were just working on some wrestling moves." The grand jury report notes that Sandusky was not a wrestling coach. People/organizations aware of allegations concerning Sandusky, as of this date: Penn State University Police, State College Police Department, Centre County Office of the District Attorney, Second Mile attorney, Penn State attorney, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Penn State's janitorial staff and supervisor, graduate assistant Mike McQueary, head coach Joe Paterno, Penn State athletic director, Penn State senior vice president for finance and business, Second Mile executive director, Penn State president, wrestling coach.
Spring 2007: Sandusky begins spending time with Victim 1 weekly, having him stay overnight at his residence in College Township, Pa. Victim 1 also testifies that he Sandusky had brought him to preseason practices at Penn State. Sandusky makes a habit of climbing into the bed with Victim 1, initially to crack the boy's back. The boy testifies that this physical contact eventually escalates to Sandusky performing oral sex on him approximately 20 times.
Spring 2008: Victim 1 terminates contact with Sandusky when he is a freshman at
Central Mountain (Pa.) High School, refusing to take his phone calls. Before their contact is severed, Sandusky continues to visit Victim 1 at school, where unaware administrators allow Sandusky to have unsupervised meetings with Victim 1 in a conference room. Sandusky is an assistant varsity football coach who has "unfettered access to the school," according to the grand jury summary.
Fall 2008: Stephen Turchetta, the head football coach at Central Mountain High, notices Sandusky, by now a volunteer assistant football coach at the school, is being "very controlling" with the students Sandusky is mentoring from The Second Mile. Sandusky would sometimes want more of a time commitment than students could give and even engaged in "shouting matches" with some of them. Turchetta later testifies that Sandusky was "clingy" and "needy" when a student would sever his mentoring relationship with Sandusky, which Turchetta describes as "suspicious."
Late 2008: Investigation into Sandusky launched at county level.
March 2009: Then-Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira transfers the case to then-Attorney General Tom Corbett's office, citing a conflict of interest. A grand jury is eventually impaneled sometime between now and September 2009 to investigate only Victim 1's allegations.
Summer 2009: Sandusky is still listed as serving as director for overnight football camps at Penn State satellite campuses.
September 2010: Sandusky retires from day-to-day involvement with The Second Mile, saying he wants to spend more time with family and to handle personal matters.
Fall 2010: The attorney general's office is now supervising the case, a year and a half after it was transferred from the DA in Centre County. Corbett, the attorney general, is running for governor, and the general election is in November. Almost immediately, the 1998 police report about Sandusky is discovered, and the scope of the investigation into Sandusky widens.
Nov. 2, 2010: Corbett, a Republican and the Pennsylvania Attorney General, is elected governor.
2011: Victim 7 receives phone calls from Sandusky, Sandusky's wife, and "another Sandusky friend" in the weeks before his grand jury appearance, according to the grand jury summary. The callers leave messages saying the matter was very important. Victim 7 does not return the calls. It is his first contact with Sandusky in nearly two years.
March 31, 2011: Sara Ganim of the Patriot-News reveals the existence of the grand jury investigation. Her story addresses only the allegations of Victim 1. "It's been a hush-hush situation," the former interim superintendent of Keystone Central School District tells Ganim.
Nov. 5, 2011: Sandusky is arrested and released on $100,000 unsecured bail. Leslie Dutchcot, the district judge who grants his release, is a volunteer at The Second Mile.
Nov. 7, 2011: Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly says that Joe Paterno is not a target of the investigation. She refuses to say the same about PSU President Graham Spanier. Curley, who has been placed on administrative leave, and Schultz, who has resigned, turn themselves in. Both men are charged with perjury and failure to report child abuse, the latter of which is a misdemeanor under Pennsylvania law.
Nov. 8, 2011: A possible ninth Sandusky victim comes forward. Penn State first issues an advisory to reporters telling them that Paterno's weekly press conference will be limited to questions about football. Less than an hour before that press conference is to start, the school cancels it altogether. That evening, a group of students marches to Paterno's house, where he weeps in the window before coming outside to lead the students in a Penn State cheer.
Nov. 9, 2011: The 84-year-old Paterno issues a statement announcing he'll retire at the end of the season. He also acknowledges he could have "done more" in hindsight to stop Sandusky. Later that night, the Penn State Board of Trustees meets and decides unanimously to fire Paterno and Spanier. Longtime assistant coach Tom Bradley is named Paterno's interim replacement. Penn State students riot.
Nov. 11, 2011: Penn State students hold a candlelight vigil for victims of child abuse.
Nov. 12, 2011: Penn State plays Nebraska at Beaver Stadium in the school's first football game without Joe Paterno as a member of its coaching staff since 1949. The Nittany Lions lose, 17-14.
Nov. 14, 2011: Jack Raykovitz resigns as the CEO of The Second Mile. According to Curley's testimony, Raykovitz was told in 2002 that Sandusky was prohibited from bringing children onto the Penn State campus. Sandusky and his attorney, Joe Amendola, are interviewed by Bob Costas on Rock Center. Costas asks Sandusky if he is sexually attracted to young boys; it takes Sandusky more than 16 seconds to say the word "No." Amendola also suggests Victim 2—the as-yet-unidentified subject of McQueary's testimony—could wind up being a defense witness.
Nov. 15, 2011: The New York Times reports that nearly 10 more victims have come forward with allegations that investigators are working to confirm. The Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call obtains an email from Nov. 8 in which McQueary, the then-graduate assistant who testified that in 2002 he witnessed Sandusky anally raping Victim 2, says he "made sure it was stopped when I left that locker room" and that he had "discussions with police," seemingly contradicting his grand jury testimony.
Dec. 7, 2011: Sandusky is arrested and led from his home in handcuffs after the grand jury indicted him on 12 additional counts of abuse against two more children.
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