STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — A former defensive coordinator who was integral for decades to Penn State’s success in football was accused Saturday of sexually abusing eight boys, and the school’s athletic director and an administrator were charged with perjury and failing to report what they knew about the allegations in a case that prosecutors said uncovered a years-long trail of a predator and those who protected him.
Former coach Jerry Sandusky, 67, of State College, was arrested Saturday and released on $100,000 bail after being arraigned on 40 criminal counts, the state attorney general’s office said. Athletic director Tim Curley, 57, and Penn State vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz, 62, both of Boalsburg, were expected to turn themselves in Monday in Harrisburg. Schultz’s position includes oversight of the university’s police department.
Longtime head coach Joe Paterno, who has more victories than any coach in the history of Division I football, was not charged, authorities said, and the grand jury report did not appear to implicate him in wrongdoing. It said that when Paterno first learned of one report of abuse, he immediately reported it to Curley, but Sandusky was no longer coaching at the time and it’s not clear whether Paterno followed up with Curley.
Sandusky, closely identified with the school’s reputation as a defensive powerhouse and a program that produced top-quality linebackers, retired in 1999 but continued to work with at-risk children through the nonprofit Second Mile organization he founded in 1977. He was charged with multiple counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of a child, indecent assault and unlawful contact with a minor, as well as single counts of aggravated indecent assault and attempted indecent assault. A preliminary hearing for Sandusky is scheduled for Wednesday, but his lawyer told reporters it would likely be delayed.
“He’s shaky, as you can expect,” defense attorney Joe Amendola told WJAC-TV outside the arraignment hearing. “Being 67 years old, never having faced criminal charges in his life, and having the distinguished career that he’s had, these are very serious allegations.”
Amendola said Sandusky has been aware of the accusations for about three years and has maintained his innocence.
The allegations range from sexual touching to oral and anal sex, and victims testified they were in their early teens when some of the abuse occurred.
Attorney General Linda Kelly called Sandusky “a sexual predator who used his position within the university and community to repeatedly prey on young boys.”
The grand jury said eight boys who were targets of sexual advances or assaults by Sandusky from 1994 to 2009. None were named, and in at least one case, the jury said the child’s identity remains unknown to authorities.
One accuser, now 27, testified that Sandusky initiated contact with a “soap battle” in the shower that led to multiple instances of involuntary sexual intercourse and indecent assault at Sandusky’s hands, the grand jury report said.
Victim 4, as he was identified in the jury report, said he traveled to charity functions and Penn State games with Sandusky, even being listed as a member of Sandusky’s family’s party for the 1998 Outback Bowl and 1999 Alamo Bowl.
“Sandusky did threaten to send him home from the Alamo Bowl in Texas when Victim 4 resisted his advances,” the report said, and Sandusky gave him clothes, shoes, a snowboard, golf clubs, hockey gear and football jerseys.
“Sandusky even guaranteed Victim 4 that he could be a walk-on player at Penn State,” and the boy appeared with Sandusky in a photo in Sports Illustrated, the jury said. He testified that Sandusky once gave him $50 to buy marijuana, drove him to purchase it, and then drove him home as the boy smoked the drug, according to the report.
“This was when Victim 4 was trying to distance himself from Sandusky because he wanted no more sexual contact with him,” the jurors said.
Another child, Victim 8, as jurors named him, is known only as a boy, about 11 to 13, who was seen pinned against a wall, by a janitor who observed Sandusky performing oral sex on him in fall 2000, the jury said.
No one answered a knock at the door Saturday at Sandusky’s modest, two-story brick home at the end of a dead-end road in State College.
A man who answered the door at The Second Mile office in State College who declined to give his name said the organization had no comment.
The report accuses Curley and Schultz of knowing some details of accusations of sex abuse against Sandusky but failing to tell authorities what they knew.
“It is also a case about high-ranking university officials who allegedly failed to report the sexual assault of a young boy after the information was brought to their attention, and later made false statements to a grand jury,” Kelly said.
Lawyers for both men issued statements saying they were innocent of all charges.
Prosecutors said all of the young men first encountered Sandusky through Second Mile.
The first to come to light was a boy who met Sandusky when he was 11 or 12, the grand jury said. The boy received expensive gifts and trips to sports events from Sandusky, and physical contact began during his overnight stays at Sandusky’s home, jurors said. Eventually, the boy’s mother reported the allegations of sexual assault to his high school, and Sandusky was banned from the child’s school district in Clinton County in 2009. That triggered the state investigation that culminated in charges Saturday.
The report also alleges much earlier instances of abuse, and efforts by some who knew of it to stop it, to no avail.
Kelly said that in 2002, a graduate assistant saw Sandusky sexually assault a naked boy, estimated to be about 10 years old, in the locker room of the Lasch Football Building on campus. 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. Nothing happened.
“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.
Curley denied that the assistant had reported anything of a sexual nature, calling it “merely ‘horsing around,’” the 23-page grand jury report said.
But the jury said Curley was lying, Kelly said, adding that it also deemed portions of Schultz’s testimony not to be credible.
Curley testified that he barred Sandusky from bringing children onto campus and that he advised Penn State president Graham Spanier of the matter.
Schultz told the jurors he also knew of a 1998 investigation involving sexually inappropriate behavior by Sandusky with a boy in the showers the football team used. But despite his job overseeing campus police, he never reported the 2002 allegations to any authorities, “never sought or received a police report on the 1998 incident and never attempted to learn the identity of the child in the show in 2002,” the jurors wrote.
“No one from the university did so.”
In response to a request for comment from Paterno, a spokesman for the athletic department said all such questions would be referred to university representatives, who released a statement from Spanier calling the allegations against Sandusky “troubling” and adding Curley and Schultz had his unconditional support.
He predicted they will be exonerated.
“I have known and worked daily with Tim and Gary for more than 16 years,” Spanier said. “I have complete confidence in how they handled the allegations about a former university employee.”
Sandusky, once considered a potential successor to Paterno, drew up the defenses for the Nittany Lions’ national-title teams in 1982 and 1986. The team is enjoying another successful run this season; at 8-1, Penn State is ranked No. 16 in the AP Top 25 and is the last undefeated squad in Big Ten play. The Nittany Lions were off Saturday.
As stunning as the charges were the names implicated at a school where the football program is known for its consistency as much as its success — a big change this year was the removal of white trim from players’ uniforms.
“We’re supposed to be one of the universities to follow after, someone to look up to,” said sophomore Brian Prewitt of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. “… Now that people on the top are involved, it’s going to be bad.”
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