First Place Writing – Breaking News


Sandusky charged with sex abuse; Curley, Schultz, charged with perjury

By Anastasia Orso

Editor’s note: This article contains graphic content.

Former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky used university facilities to sexually abuse young boys over a span of at least 10 years, and top university officials lied under oath about their knowledge of the events, according to a 23-page grand jury presentment.

Sandusky, 67, of State College, was indicted Friday on 40 counts on seven different charges stemming from incidents where he allegedly sexually abused eight young boys from The Second Mile program — the non-profit organization he founded in 1977 for underprivileged children — in Penn State football locker rooms, his home and other locations.

Additionally, Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and Penn State Interim Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz were each charged Saturday with perjury and failure to report in connection to the case. According to the grand jury’s findings, both men were aware that Sandusky engaged in “sexual conduct” with a young boy in a shower located in the Lasch Football Building and did not notify police.

Curley and Schultz have since requested to step down from their positions — in Curley’s case, temporarily — according to a press release on Penn State Live. Curley asked to be placed on administrative leave, and Senior Associate Athletic Director Mark Sherburne will serve as interim athletic director “until Curley’s legal situation is resolved,” according to the release. Schultz will return to retirement, according to the release.

On Sunday, Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said the university will pay for the legal counsel for Schultz and Curley because the matter concerns how they acted as employees of the university.

Later that day, Penn State posted on its Facebook page that the funding will come from insurance set aside to pay for legal funding.

President Graham Spanier and head football coach Joe Paterno both appeared before the grand jury during the investigation, which began in January 2009. Neither Spanier nor Paterno have been charged.

In a media release issued Saturday from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office, Attorney General Linda Kelly called Sandusky a “sexual predator” who used his job at the university to “prey on young boys” on multiple occasions.

She also said high-profile university officials “allegedly failed to report the sexual assault of a young boy” after they were made aware of information related to the incident, according to the release. Kelly also said in the release that Curley and Schultz lied under oath.

How it began

At the start of 2009, a grand jury launched an investigation that would last nearly three years after a 15-year-old Clinton County teen reported that Sandusky had inappropriate contact with him over a four-year period. Some of the encounters occurred at a Clinton County high school where Sandusky volunteered as an assistant football coach.

During the investigation, the boy said he was 11 or 12 years old when he met Sandusky after attending a Second Mile camp at Penn State. Starting in 2007, Sandusky routinely had the boy stay overnight at his home in State College and took him to professional and college football games.

Sandusky showered the boy with gifts like golf clubs, a computer, clothes and cash, according to the grand jury’s findings.

Sandusky began having unwanted physical contact with him at bedtime, the boy said, which eventually escalated into kissing him and performing sexual acts on him.

The boy tried to cease contact with Sandusky in the spring of 2008. Between January 2008 and July 2009, Sandusky made 118 phone calls to the boy’s home phone, according to Anthony Sassano, a Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office agent. In the same time period, four phone calls were made to Sandusky from the boy’s home phone and one from his mother’s cell phone.

The situation was brought to the attention of law enforcement after the boy’s mother told school officials about the incidents, and then school officials reported it to police.

The “quick action” taken by the high school staff members is “in marked contrast to the reaction of top officials” at Penn State, Kelly said in the media release.

Curley, Schultz charged

Both Curley and Schultz face charges related to their involvement in the case. They were made aware of a similar abuse situation seven years earlier in 2002 and did not notify law enforcement as required by the mandated reporting law, according to the grand jury’s findings.

The men’s lawyers say they are innocent.

Spanier released a statement regarding the situation within several hours of the release of the grand jury’s findings, calling the allegations against Sandusky “troubling” and expressing his “unconditional support” for Curley and Schultz.

“I have known and worked daily with Tim and Gary for more than 16 years. I have complete confidence in how they have handled the allegations about a former University employee,” Spanier said in the statement. “Tim Curley and Gary Schultz operate at the highest levels of honesty, integrity and compassion. I am confident the record will show that these charges are groundless and that they conducted themselves professionally and appropriately.”

In March 2002, a graduate assistant — who was not identified in the grand jury’s findings — entered a locker room in the Lasch Football Building and observed Sandusky subjecting a young boy, around age 10, to anal intercourse, according to the grand jury’s findings.

The graduate assistant told his father what he witnessed, and his father urged him to tell Paterno the next day. Paterno testified that he called Curley, his immediate supervisor, the next day and told him that the graduate assistant saw Sandusky “fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy.”

A week and a half later, the graduate assistant was called to a meeting with Curley and Schultz where he told them what he saw. The men assured him they would look into the matter.

Weeks later, Curley told the graduate assistant that Sandusky’s keys to the locker room were taken away, The Second Mile was notified about the incident and Sandusky was told he could no longer bring children into locker rooms on campus, according to the grand jury’s findings.

Curley later testified that this ban to bring children into the locker rooms was unenforceable.

Neither Curley nor Schultz ever reported the incident to police and the identity of the child was never sought.

Curley denied before the grand jury multiple times that he was told the incident was sexual in nature.

Schultz — who oversaw University Police as part of his administrative role — testified that what he was told was “not that serious” and that he had no indication that an actual crime had occurred. He acknowledged that he knew of a similar investigation of Sandusky that took place in 1998 that yielded no charges.

In 1998, a mother reported Sandusky was with her son in a shower on campus. The incident was reviewed by University Police and then-University counsel Wendell Courtney.

Courtney was, and still is, the lawyer for The Second Mile.

Former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar decided there was not enough evidence to charge Sandusky after the incident.

The attorney general indicted Curley after the grand jury found that he made a false statement regarding what he was told by the graduate assistant, according to the grand jury’s findings.

Schultz was also charged after the grand jury found that he made a false statement when he testified that he had no indication that a crime had occurred.

Both men were also charged for not reporting the incident to police, as required by Pennsylvania law.

This “failure” to act on reports enabled a “predator” to walk free for years, Kelly said in the media release, adding that this time enabled Sandusky to “target new victims.”

What’s next

Sandusky’s charges include seven counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, one count of aggravated indecent assault, eight counts of unlawful contact with a minor, eight counts of endangering the welfare of a child, eight counts of corruption of minors, seven counts of indecent assault and one count of attempt to commit indecent assault.

He was taken into custody and released on $100,000 unsecured bail Saturday morning under Magisterial District Judge Leslie Dutchcot. Sandusky is set to appear at his preliminary hearing Nov. 9 at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, according to court documents. He has the legal right to waive this hearing.

Both Curley and Schultz were charged with one count of perjury, punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine, along with one count each of failure to report, punishable by up to 90 days in prison and a $200 fine, according to the attorney general’s media release.

Curley and Schultz are expected to turn themselves in today before Magisterial District Judge Marsha Stewart in Harrisburg. They will go through the prosecution process in Dauphin County, and Sandusky will face prosecution in Centre County.

Comments from Pittsburgh lawyer Thomas J. Farrell show that he plans to have the failure to report charges against Schultz dropped, because according to Farrell, the mandated reporting rules only apply to people who come in direct contact with children. He also claims that the statute of limitation is two years, meaning Schultz would have needed to be charged by 2004.

On Sunday night, members of the Penn State Board of Trustees convened in Old Main for what one trustee called an “emergency executive meeting.” Other trustees declined comment.

Paterno and Spanier have not been charged

Since news of the case broke over the weekend, speculation has been flying regarding what Paterno and Spanier did –– and did not –– do.

Paterno, the winningest coach in Division 1 history, was made aware of the situation and will not be charged.

The suspected child abuse mandated reporting law stipulates that if someone is a staff member and is made aware of suspected child abuse, he or she is required to immediately notify the person in charge of the institution or the designated agent of the person in charge.

Paterno’s direct supervisor is Curley.

In addition to Paterno being aware of the situation, Spanier was also made aware of the information received from the graduate assistant and the steps that were taken by Schultz and Curley as a result, according to the grand jury’s findings.

But Spanier, who has a background in sociology and marriage and family counseling, denied that the incident was reported to him as sexual.

Spanier described what he was told as “Jerry Sandusky in the football building locker area in the shower with a younger child and that they were horsing around in the shower,” according to the grand jury’s findings.

Spanier said he did not find this description to be sexual in nature and was unaware a crime had occurred. He was also not charged in the case.

Investigation revealed more abuse

As the grand jury investigation began in January 2009, it was based only on one incident reported by school officials in Clinton County. After the investigation, reports that Sandusky sexually assaulted seven more boys were uncovered, according to the grand jury’s findings. Sandusky met all of them through The Second Mile.

In 1994, a boy — identified as “Victim 7” in the grand jury’s findings — met Sandusky when he was about 10 years old. Sandusky took the boy to Penn State football games and had him sleep over at his home.

The boy reported that Sandusky made him feel uncomfortable when Sandusky would put his hand on his thigh. At one point, Sandusky put his hands down the boy’s waistband, the now 26-year-old man reported.

Sandusky also bear-hugged him, cracked his back and shared showers with him, according to the grand jury’s findings.

The man told the grand jury he was contacted by Sandusky, Sandusky’s wife and a friend of Sandusky’s before he testified. He said he did not return these phone calls.

Another boy — identified as “Victim 6” in the grand jury presentment — met Sandusky at a Second Mile picnic when he was 7 or 8 years old. He estimated this was sometime between 1994 and 1995.

The contact with this boy initiated the investigation by University Police in 1998 after the boy’s mother found out Sandusky had been showering with him. The detective who was assigned to the case testified that he listened in on a conversation between the boy’s mother and Sandusky.

When she asked Sandusky if his “private parts” touched the boy when he hugged him in the shower, Sandusky replied “I don’t think so… maybe,” according to the grand jury presentment.

The detective advised Sandusky not to shower with any child again, and Sandusky said he would not.

No charges were filed after the 1998 investigation.

Another boy — identified as “Victim 5” in the grand jury presentment — testified that he met Sandusky in 1995 when he was 7 or 8 years old. Sandusky took the boy, now 22, to about 15 football games, and the boy was always taken into the locker rooms.

He told the jury that Sandusky was showering with him and when the boy looked over, Sandusky had an erection. When the boy looked away after feeling uncomfortable, he said Sandusky approached him from behind, pinned him up against the wall and Sandusky placed the boys hand on his erect penis.

The boy walked away from Sandusky and dried himself off, according to the grand jury’s findings. He told the jury he didn’t think he was ever invited to another football game.

Between 1996 and 1997, another boy — identified as “Victim 4” — met Sandusky. According to the grand jury’s findings, this boy was repeatedly subjected to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse at the hands of Sandusky.

The assaults took place in several areas including football buildings on campus and the Toftrees Golf Resort and Conference Center, where the football team and staff stayed prior to home football games.

Sandusky also sexually assaulted the boy when he traveled with the team to bowl games, according to the grand jury’s findings.

The boy, now age 27, reported that Sandusky would initiate contact in the shower by having “soap battles.” Over three years, Sandusky would wrestle with him and maneuver him into positions where the boy’s face would be near Sandusky’s genitals. He would then insert his erect penis into the boy’s mouth, sometimes ejaculating, according to the grand jury presentment.

He also testified Sandusky attempted to penetrate his anus with both his finger and his penis, but the boy resisted these attempts.

In 1999, Sandusky threatened to send the boy home from the Alamo Bowl because he was resisting his sexual advances, according to the presentment.

In 2000, another boy — identified as “Victim 3” in the jury presentment — came into contact with Sandusky through The Second Mile when he was between seventh and eighth grade. Sandusky would initiate physical contact with the boy when they would shower together in locker room showers located on campus.

According to the grand jury presentment, Sandusky would bear hug the boy while his penis was erect, he testified. Also, Sandusky would come into the basement when the boy stayed at his house and tickle his inner thigh and touch his genitals.

The last boy — identified as “Victim 8” in the grand jury presentment — never came forth and was never identified by law enforcement. A janitor who was employed at the time by Penn State, Jim Calhoun, observed Sandusky in the showers of the Lasch Football Building performing oral sex on the young boy.

Calhoun, who suffers from dementia and was unfit to testify, according to the grand jury’s findings, told other staff members what had occurred. These staff members testified based on what Calhoun had told them.

The incident was never reported to law enforcement by anyone involved, according to the grand jury’s findings.

The investigation surrounding Sandusky is ongoing and the search for additional people who may have been sexually abused by Sandusky continues.

Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators from the Office of Attorney General at 814-863-1053 or Pennsylvania State Police at 814-470-2238.