Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
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In 1998, Jerry Sandusky Told State Officials And University Police That "He Had Done This With Other Children In The Past"

Illustration for article titled In 1998, Jerry Sandusky Told State Officials And University Police That He Had Done This With Other Children In The Past

Allegations of Jerry Sandusky's abuse date back to 1994, but it was only in 1998 that one came to the attention of Penn State officials, and more importantly, the state child services department and University police. On May 3, Sandusky called up the home of the then-11-year-old (the one who would later testify that Sandusky told him to call him the "Tickle Monster") and invited him to come exercise at a Penn State facility.

Sandusky and the boy went to a coaches' locker room, where the two wrestled and Sandusky tried to "pin" the boy. After wrestling, the boy changed into clothes that Sandusky provided and followed him to work out on exercise machines. When they finished exercising, Sandusky kissed the boy's head and said, "I love you." Sandusky and the boy then went to a coaches' locker room where Sandusky turned on the showers and asked the boy if he wanted to shower. The boy agreed and began to turn on a shower several feet from Sandusky. Sandusky directed him to a shower head closer to Sandusky, saying it took some time for the water to warm up.

While in the shower, Sandusky wrapped his hands around the boy's chest and said, "Iʹm gonna squeeze your guts out." The boy then washed his body and hair. Sandusky lifted the boy to "get the soap out of" the boy's hair, bringing the boy's feet "up pretty high" near Sandusky's waist. The boy's back was touching Sandusky's chest and his feet touched Sandusky's thigh. The boy felt "weird" and "uncomfortable" during the time in the shower.


Word of the incident reached police, but no thanks to university officials. The boy's mother called University police the next morning to report it. He was quickly interviewed by Detective Ron Schreffler, but told the detective that he did not want Sandusky to get in any trouble.

The boy did not want anyone to talk to Sandusky because he might not invite him to any more games.

[Psychologist Alycia] Chambers made a report to the Pennsylvania child abuse line and also consulted with colleagues. Her colleagues agreed that "the incidents meet all of our definitions, based on experience and education, of a likely pedophile's pattern of building trust and gradual introduction of physical touch, within a context of a ‘loving,' ‘special' relationship."


Schreffler contacted Centre County Children and Youth Services, but CYS had several conflicts of interest in the case, including multiple links with the Second Mile. The case was passed on to the Department of Public Welfare.

While the investigation was ongoing, a series of emails were exchanged between Gary Schultz, Tim Curley, Graham Spanier, and Chief of University Police Thomas Harmon.

Curley, to Schultz:

Anything new in this department? Coach is anxious to know where it stands.

Schultz, to Curley:

Tim, I understand that a DPW person was here last week; don't know for sure if they talked with Jerry. They decided to have a child psychologist talk to the boys sometime over the next week. We won't know anything before then.


The case was evaluated for DPW by psychologist John Seasock, who found no evidence of abuse and "had never heard of a 52‐year‐old man 'becoming a pedophile.'" The district attorney eventually declined to prosecute, and sources would later say the case against Sandusky was "severely hampered" by Seasock's report. Seasock would go on to serve as an independent contractor for Penn State from 2000-2006.

The following emails were exchanged after the district attorney decided against pursuing criminal charges.


Harmon, to Schultz:

The DPW investigator and our officer met discreetly with Jerry this morning. his account of the matter was essentially the same as the child's. He also indicated that he had done this with other children in the past. He was advised since there was no criminal behavior established that the matter was closed as an investigation. He was a little emotional and expressed concern as to how this might have adversely affected the child.


Schultz, to Curley, Spanier and Harmon:

They met with Jerry on Monday and concluded there was no criminal behavior and the matter was closed as an investigation. he was a little emotional and expressed concern as to how this might have adversely affected the child. I think the matter has been appropriately investigated and I hope it is now behind us.


Spanier did not inform the Board of Trustees of the investigation, and the only action taken was Tim Curley warning Sandusky not to take children into campus showers anymore.

Read all our coverage of the Freeh report here.

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