A Guide To The Child Sexual Abuse Charges Against Jerry Sandusky, And To Penn State's Alleged Willful Ignorance

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The Pennsylvania Attorney General's office has made public the entire 23-page grand jury report that is the basis for former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky's indictment. The report is a graphic, disturbing account of the litany of sex crimes that Sandusky is accused of committing against eight boys from the mid-1990s until the late-2000s. It also details the sequence of events that led to charges of perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse (the latter is a summary offense in Pennsylvania) against two Penn State administrators, including athletic director Tim Curley.

The allegations against Sandusky were handed down Friday, and he was arrested Saturday. Curley is expected to turn himself in Monday, according to the Associated Press.


Sandusky, 67, coached at Penn State for more than 30 years. He spent the final 23 of those years—the last of which was 1999—as the Nittany Lions' defensive coordinator. From 1977 until his retirement last year, Sandusky had also run a foster home in State College, Pa., for troubled children called The Second Mile. (The photo above is from a Sports Illustrated story published in 1999 and depicts children from The Second Mile program. We've blacked out the faces, since the grand jury report identifies one of them as a victim of Sandusky.) The Second Mile, according to the report, "gave [Sandusky] access to hundreds of boys, many of whom were vulnerable due to their social situations." After his retirement from coaching, Sandusky also still had full access to Penn State's football facilities.

What follows is a summary of the grand jury's report.

• Sandusky's victims all reported a wide array of sexual abuse allegations. Sandusky, who is married, met many of them through The Second Mile. Many spent the night at his home. He brought them to Philadelphia Eagles games, plus Penn State practices, tailgate parties, and home games. One of the victims traveled to the 1998 Outback Bowl and the 1999 Alamo Bowl as a member of Sandusky's family's party. That same victim often stayed with Sandusky at a State College-area hotel on the night before home games. He also frequently dined with the coaching staff and accompanied Sandusky to numerous charity outings. Sandusky had lavished this victim with a variety of gifts. According to the report, "Sandusky even guaranteed [this victim] he could be a walk-on player at Penn State. [The victim] was in a video about linebackers that featured Sandusky, and he appeared with him in a photo accompanying an article about Sandusky in Sports Illustrated." Sandusky later tried to bribe this victim with cigarettes and marijuana after this victim began refusing his advances.


• Also: "[This victim] remembers Sandusky being emotionally upset after having a meeting with Joe Paterno in which Paterno told Sandusky he would not be the next head coach at Penn State and which preceded Sandusky's retirement. Sandusky told the victim not to tell anyone about the meeting. That meeting occurred in May 1999."

• Sandusky was investigated by university police in 1998 after a mother reported to them that her 11-year-old son had showered with Sandusky. A university police detective and a municipal police detective later eavesdropped on a conversation between the mother and Sandusky in which Sandusky answered "I don't know ... maybe" when the mother asked him if he had touched her son inappropriately. He also admitted he had showered with the boy to an investigator with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. The university police detective advised Sandusky not to shower with a child again, and Sandusky promised he would not. No charges were filed.


• In March 2002, a graduate assistant stumbled upon Sandusky and a boy showering together at Penn State's football facility. The grand jury report included the horrifying details of what that graduate assistant saw and heard:

As the graduate assistant entered the locker room doors, he was surprised to find the lights and the showers on. He then heard rhythmic, slapping sounds. He believed the sounds to be those of sexual activity. As the graduate assistant put his sneakers in his locker, he looked in the shower. He saw a naked boy ... whose age he estimated to be ten years old, with his hands up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky. The graduate assistant was shocked but noticed that both [the victim] and Sandusky saw him. The graduate assistant left immediately, distraught.


• The graduate assistant informed Joe Paterno the next day, and Paterno told Curley the day after that. About a week and a half after that, the graduate assistant met with Curley and Gary Schultz, Penn State's Vice President for Finance and Business and the other school administrator to be charged with perjury and failure to report an allegation. The graduate assistant described what he saw as being of a "sexual nature." Paterno said the graduate assistant had told him Sandusky's actions were "disturbing" and "inappropriate." Curley acknowledged to the grand jury that he was told Sandusky's actions were "inappropriate" and that they had made the graduate assistant "uncomfortable"; however, Curley denied under oath that he was told Sandusky had done anything sexual. Schultz conceded under oath that the graduate assistant had told him of inappropriate sexual conduct. But he also testified that the allegations were "not that serious" and that he and Curley were unaware any crime had taken place.

• It is worth noting here what Paterno did upon hearing a first-hand story from a "very upset" graduate assistant, in the words of the report, about "Jerry Sandusky ... fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy": Paterno took no action except to tell his athletic director.


• Curley and Schultz did tell Penn State president Graham Spanier what they had heard, but Spanier told the grand jury that Curley and Schultz had described Sandusky's actions to him as mere "horsing around in the shower." Spanier also denied any knowledge of the 1998 investigation of Sandusky by university police. Spanier issued a statement Saturday saying Curley and Schultz had his "unconditional support."

Schultz's duties included oversight of the university police. He testified that he was aware of the 1998 incident and acknowledged similarities between it and the 2002 allegations. But according to the grand jury report, Schultz "never sought or reviewed a police report on the 1998 incident and never attempted to learn the identity of the child in the shower in 2002. No one from the university did so. Schultz did not ask the graduate assistant for specifics. No one ever did. Schultz expressed surprise upon learning that the 1998 investigation by University Police produced a lengthy police report. Schultz said there was never any discussion between himself and Curley about turning the 2002 incident over to any police agency." The graduate assistant was also never questioned by police.


• Sandusky was told he could no longer bring children into Penn State's football facility in light of the 2002 incident, and the executive director of The Second Mile was made aware of that fact, in addition to the incident. Schultz testified that Spanier had approved this decision. Schultz also said he believed he and Curley had informed a "child protection agency" about the 2002 incident. Curley also admitted "the ban on bringing children to the campus was unenforceable," in the words of the report.

• Records show that the 2002 incident was never reported to the Department of Public Welfare, Children and Youth Services, or the university police, in violation of state law.


• The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reported Saturday that a source close to the investigation said Paterno would not be charged and that he would testify against Sandusky at trial.

• One of Sandusky's victims told the grand jury Sandusky had brought him to Penn State's preseason practices in 2007—a full five years after Paterno was made aware of sexual activity involving Sandusky and another boy.


You can read the entire grand jury report here: